Introduction to Maya - Modeling Fundamentals Vol 1
This course will look at the fundamentals of modeling in Maya with an emphasis on creating good topology. We'll look at what makes a good model in Maya and why objects are modeled in the way they are.
# 1 17-10-2010 , 05:17 PM
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How Would One Make an Effective Portfolio?

I've got to make a quick portfolio to show my abilities with game modeling, so I was wondering what would go into making an effective portfolio.

I'm planning to make a 1-2 minute video showing turntables and walkthroughs, and a few still renders to go with it. Any advice helps

# 2 17-10-2010 , 10:15 PM
Nilla's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Prague
Posts: 827
My best advice would be less is more, so pick out your best work and include only that rather than trying to get as much as you can in there and adding mediocre work that doesn't actually show how well you can do things.

Also play to your strenghts, we had this discussion here the other day because we were going through a lot of lightwave reels and it's nice to show off skills in as many fields as possible but if you include a badly textured model that's been animated well this will take down the overall impression and you'd be better of just keeping the default material and show off the animation instead.

When you make turntables make sure that they don't spin super fast but move around slowly and show the model well because there's nothing more annoying than a three second long turntable where you can barely see anything. Also zoom in fairly close and show the wires so other people will understand what they're looking at.

Dave mentioned something the other day as well when he was working on his fluid simulation in realflow that it's nice to see complete breakdowns of a scene, he made one I'm not sure if he posted it on the site yet but basically it went from the end result to showing the settings for the wine pour in realflow, the actual geometry present in the scene including the direct light sources and just seeing this you could tell that the background was an image and that a fair few things were also done in post. A breakdown like this would show a potential employer that you know a bit about fluid simulations, shading/lighting, when to actually model geometry and also how things can be done in post. These breakdowns as well are helpful for other people who watch your reel and might want to do something similar to yours I think.

I know nothing about games specifically but it sounds like you've got the right idea. In general though I'd keep it simple and focus on getting a few things in there and spend a fair bit of time getting them to look good rather than trying to do too much.

# 3 18-10-2010 , 06:08 AM
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Wow, nice write up, thanks a lot!

I was thinking about it a fair bit more today, and I think I'm going to do a 2 minute video, showcasing 5-6 models (20-24 seconds per model), and including a link in the description of the video (it would probably be on Youtube) to a PhotoBucket album of wireframe renders, and things like that of the models in the video as well as UV maps, ect.

The video would have maybe turntables of 4-5 cars (the company I'm doing this particular one for only does driving simulation and racing games) and 1-2 fly-bys/walkarounds of track props (pit lane garages, tyre stacks, etc)

For the turntables, I'm thinking one spin around showing it tectured and all, then another wire frame rendered.

The job only entails modeling and UV mapping, maybe texturing depending on the situation, so I can't think of much else to show... Any more suggestions? user added image

# 4 19-10-2010 , 07:18 AM
LauriePriest's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London
Posts: 1,001
If your applying for a job in games perhaps load a few of your models into a game engine, my pet peve for VFX show-reels is people not showing work that's not relevant or in context to what they will be doing.

Look at the job description and try and tick all the boxes in your show-reel where its possible.

Also as its for games show your models with normal maps.

FX supervisor - double negative
# 5 19-10-2010 , 05:16 PM
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Yea, I was thinking to use normal maps for some of them, but not quite sure how to make them yet. Was also considering putting pictures of cars I've done and have in-game (for mods) into the Photobucket album, not sure about fitting any into the video though because I want to keep it short.

# 6 14-12-2010 , 11:10 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Prague
Posts: 827
I don't know what happened with your reel but I just picked up some advice on modeling reels for the games industry from a friend of mine who worked in this field for years and I remembered this thread so I wanted to share it with you in case you're still working on it. What he said was this:

1. You MUST show wireframe of everything and do it well. If not the person who's watching it can not understand how you modeled it doesn't matter if it's low poly as it can still be modeled wrong.
2. Studios want modelers who can do characters and hard surface objects, it is really important you display both these skills in a games modeling reel. This field is one of the most competative so you basically don't stand a chance of landing a job if you can't character model. I've picked up the same thing from Jay who's in the movie industry as well and is a great character modeler but still does hard surface to be able to compete better. And I have not yet come across anyone who works in the industry who can't do both even if people are usually much better in one of these two fields. Still I keep seeing modeling reels without any characters so it's made me think it's one of the main reasons for why their reels get passed over, as if you had the choice the better man for the job would be someone who could do both.
3. If you have textured models it is important you show the textures with the UV map. All they care about is how your polys look and as UV layout is part of the job your UV maps would be more relevant than the actual textures. Nice lighting and renders is always more visually appealing but it's not important in this case, what they will look at is how well you understand geometry and laying out UV's well would be relevant to your reel while the textures themselves really wouldn't matter as much.

So keeping it to the point as was mentioned aboveuser added image My friend mentioned as well that when he worked with games (he works in advertisement now) they always had an abundance of modelers and what they really needed was animators. He ended up becoming an animator instead for this very reason. Another thing he said was that they used motionbuilder a lot where he worked, so it wasn't riggers as much as animators that were in demand for games at this time. I don't know how well this last thing applies today but it's something you might want to research to get more of an edge.


# 7 15-12-2010 , 12:26 AM
Joey81's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 244
This week @ work we were talking about making a showreel. Its very important to do a Huuge Impression with the first part. i mean in 10-15sec. Most of the shoowreels they dont look till 1 or 2 minutes. You ve to get them immediately!!!
Breakdown is really important as Nilla wrote. but dont make a 3-4minutes long video. Sure you can, but for a CV i think 1:30-1:45 is more than enought

I think the best user added image If you ve a website with more showreels. I felt really UNconfortable when they asked to tell my site with showreels user added image
I still dont ve... ahh

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