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improving portfolio
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brujahbart's Avatar
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Default improving portfolio - 11-02-2011, 06:49 AM

hey guys.

Ive been without a PC due to the motherboard frying but hopefully i should have a brand new custom PC by the end of this week ready to hit the work hard but im having one problem. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT. Obviously I want to create a portfolio that will get me a job in the vfx industry but im not sure what i should be producing for this. Ive read the core Vfx Pdf and will use that as a kick off point but i was hoping if you guys had any advice on what kind of work i should be producing ? should i do more city work ? more natural landscapes ? focus more on the compositing ? (im learning nuke)

Ive done some set extensions and day for night work and i feel i should definately concentrate on camera projections for some new projects and maybe 3d matte work. Ive just seen the jude law film repo men and found their work to be pretty inspiring.

you can view my current portfolio at www.digitalspherevfx.com to see where im at atm.

Any advice you can give would as always be greatly appreciated


Matte Painter/Concept Artist/VFX Artist available for freelance work
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Default 11-02-2011, 01:36 PM

I think you should start by looking at the format of other showreels and reading up some general showreel advice. You will find a lot of people say that they can tell whether they would hire an artist from the first 10 seconds that they see of the demoreel. It takes 22 seconds on your current showreel before we see any work at all, and a lot of people would be annoyed at wasting time getting to the shots. You definitely dont want people fast-forwarding your reel, that is a BAD sign.

Having said that, your work shows potential. You seem to have a good technical knowledge, as you are doing paintings, projection and compositing. Your artistic sensibilities could do with some work I think. The shot design isn't working as well as it could. There aren't any shots there that really give a grand scale. Try and get some depth in there, a lot of the shots from both design and execution are a bit flat. Keep working on your lighting too, that seems to be paying off, your recent day for night with set extension is pretty successful.

As for what to put in each shot, it doesnt really matter. Cover all your bases, get a little bit of everything in there. If you can do one natural landscape, one city shot with complex architecture and an interior, you will be off to a good start.

I hope this helps, maybe make a WIP thread for each shot you are doing so you can get some feedback as you go.

N


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Default 11-02-2011, 10:00 PM

If you only have two pieces of work to show, then your reel should be less than 30 secs long. Don't draw it out, or try to 'fill time'. There is nothing inherently wrong with a short reel - with the RIGHT pieces of work, it is still possible to be hired, however long your reel is. There's a story about a guy getting hired at pixar with an 11sec showreel - it may well be an urban myth, but it's not totally outside the realms of possibility.

Showing breakdowns is always a good idea if you've got them, but make it QUICK. Wiping between a before / after image, or flashing on and off the CG elements to highlight them - that sort of thing.

I'm not convinced that building up the image piece by piece is really required - anyone looking at your reel who can hire you already knows how the process of matte painting works. Most pro projects won't release .psd files, so this also flags your reel as non-professional work (for what that's worth).

In terms of shots to build up for your reel, you need to raise the quality bar. No-one hires a matte painter who is 'nearly there' - you can either produce photo-real images, or you can't. Simple but totally believable set extensions, cleanups, damage, aging, season changes, etc. will serve you much better than very ambitious but not totally believable establishing shots. Very few matte shots are huge establishing shots anyway, and they won't be given to juniors. Not every shot needs to be a projection, either - if you've demonstrated the skill in one shot, the others can be 2D paintings to save time.

If you are really stuck for ideas, have a look through the archives of the challenges Nick and I were helping run on cgtantra. The briefs were realistic, not too time consuming, and they've helped several people get their first job in the industry.

EDIT: Oh, and it's 'Rotoscoping' not 'Roto Scoping'. Little thing, but it looks more professional to get it right when it's such a niche term!


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Last edited by Alex Jenyon; 11-02-2011 at 10:07 PM..
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Default 11-03-2011, 04:00 PM

Good Advice,


Cheers Rich


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miragenz is Offline
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Default 11-03-2011, 05:42 PM

I rekon thats very insightful... thanks for sharing guys, cheers dave
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Default 11-08-2011, 11:50 AM

Thank you so much for the encouraging feedback guys. its given me a lot of motivation


Matte Painter/Concept Artist/VFX Artist available for freelance work
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