7 tips for the perfect 3D gaming portfolio

Digital artist drawing on a tablet at a desk

Thanks to its creative opportunities and booming economic success, the gaming industry is a popular route for 3D artists looking for work. However, just like any successful sector, getting your foot in the door is easier said than done. Studying portfolio examples is a great way to learn how to present your work to potential clients, but we went one step further and asked Airship Images producer Declan Paul for his advice on how you should showcase your projects. Check out his tips below.

01. Art first

What employers want to see first and foremost is your art. Make sure your work is the main attraction and that navigating your portfolio is as straightforward as possible. Remember, you need to win someone over within the first few seconds they look. Use ArtStation to create an effective and easy-to-use portfolio site.

02. Quality over quantity

images from Star Wars Battlefront II

Airship Images worked on various character assets for Star Wars Battlefront II

One or two great projects is infinitely better than multiple mediocre ones. When you’re putting together your portfolio be sure to include only your best work. Don’t become too attached to old projects, be objective and if you need help ask other artists for their opinions. Keep in mind that you are only as strong as your weakest project.

03. Fundamentals are key

Employers are looking at your portfolio and assessing how well you grasp the fundamentals (e.g. perspective, light, anatomy and composition). Having a solid understanding of these is vital and will shine through in your work.

04. Take your art through the pipeline

Airship Images website

Airship Images has worked on a range of AAA titles

It’s important to have projects where you take an asset through the full pipeline. A portfolio consisting of only sculpts will not give us enough confidence that you’ll be able to handle the rest of the work you’ll encounter if hired.

05. State position you intend to fill

Make sure you state the position you are hoping to fill on your website; there’s no need to write ‘student’, ‘student artist’ or ‘aspiring’. ‘Character Artist – Seeking Work’ is a better choice and looks far more professional.

06. Be careful when adding group work

At Airship we prefer to see personal work as opposed to group work as often it can be difficult to determine exactly what you contributed. If you’re including group work in your portfolio, make sure it’s clearly labelled and you include breakdown shots to show what you worked on.

07. Be consistent

Consistency throughout your portfolio is generally preferred, as it makes you look more professional from the offset. This ranges from having the same page layout for each project to the same image layout for each breakdown.

This article originally appeared in issue 236 of 3D World, the world's leading magazine for 3D artists. Buy issue 236 or subscribe here.

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