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Environment Art: John Emerson


Sigma
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Portfolio: http://johnemerson.net/

 

So I am actually quite nervous posting this but I need to get better feedback, from experts such as yourselves, about how I can improve this portfolio (let alone the quality of the work itself). Some things that come to mind are:

 

- Get right to the art (this is the biggest one I think) --> place a couple of images on the front page (I'm actually having trouble with transparency on all images (noticed it on the resume section for the Twitter and LinkedIn buttons) to do this :/ I think its the css and/or wordpress theme interferring that is preventing me from doing this the way I would like).

- Fix formatting on Internet Explorer (Chrome and Firefox look good so far).

- Narrow my focus down or choose to remain a generalist.

- Uniform all of the images and captions.

- Possibly include links and/or embed video of animated logos and other.

- Reduce webpage load times.

 

I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

Edited by Sigma
Change of Soul
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I agree with your assessment that you should probably have some images as soon as you load the page. It seems like a waste of space.

 

Most importantly, I think you need more content overall. You only have 3 images in your 2d Art section, 2 top down screenshots in your Levels section, and an overall dearth of content in your portfolio. The formatting and the way it's laid out and everything is fine though.

Edited by Bl1tz
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- Narrow my focus down or choose to remain a generalist.

 

Putting your work out there and asking for criticism can be frightening and I applaud you for doing this! :) Here's what I thought/asked myself when I visited your site: what job does he want? The jobs market is not that different from any other market. Employers usually have a demand for a person with a certain set of skills who can solve a specific problem/do a specific job. So think about what you want to do/can do and present yourself accordingly. "I am a computer graphics generalist" sounds very wishy-washy. You've got a couple of logos at display in the 2D Art section and 2 overview shots of Starcraft II maps is also a little light for a level design section. I can't really judge the 3D Art, looks to me like you're on a good path there, but sadly there aren't any shots of the assets in-game. My advice before you continue tinkering on the presentation or the website itself is to figure out what you want to do and then keep banging at it!

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Sounds like I need to keep working away and generate more content as well as show some of the others (especially in the 2D category).  Would you suggest removing the Starcraft II section altogether (I agree that it is light as far as level design goes in comparison to other works here)? I am reluctant to do that because it directly associates to the last year of my resume. Maybe find a better spot/method to show it?...

 

As for the generalist, I thought that was regarded fairly well or are they simply the first to be fazed out (therefore far better to specialize)?

 

My 5 year goal is to become a producer and/or strategic planner (or similar) in the industry--I don't know how incorporated art (or programming or design) background should be for a person in those roles as they are primarily internal business functions but I feel it is an important aspect to my background (not to mention I enjoy the work).

Edited by Sigma
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So you want to become a Producer at a game development studio? I think dipping your toes into as many aspects of game development can only be beneficial in that case. It shows that you know what different members of your team actually do and it helps to understand them. Many Producers have actually worked as designers, programmers or artists profesionally before. They understand the workflows and obstacles a team faces during development. Most importantly though they can coordinate a team, put the project first and can communicate well.

Having said that if you already KNOW that you want to become a producer, I wouldn't recommend to build a portfolio to move into design or art first. To me that's two different kinds of people: those who would like to work creatively and those who prefer to work in a management role. And building up the passion for one thing to get to the other feels wrong to me :) I'd try to somehow get project & team management experience and then move into an assistant producer role. Just my 2 cents.

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Thanks for the feedback. I have updated the site to include more work--but I am also looking more heavily into project & team management opportunities (for instance the Ubisoft Graduate Development program that is being piloted this year). It does help that my Master's degree (WIP) is concentrated on a financial/management area. So I am hopeful. Thanks again!

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well should you decide otherwise and aim for employment as an artist id say just make more stuff!

See nothing "wrong" with what you are doing just a lot of "inexperience" just keep making stuff and it will get better and better pretty much automatically.

 

welcome btw !

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well should you decide otherwise and aim for employment as an artist id say just make more stuff!

See nothing "wrong" with what you are doing just a lot of "inexperience" just keep making stuff and it will get better and better pretty much automatically.

 

welcome btw !

 

I am definitely going to continue making more stuff. I like it too much to let it go. That and continue participating here as I can.

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  • 11 months later...

My biggest issue with your portfolio is that when I open it I'm not sure what your professional identity is. Are you a 2D- or a 3D-artist maybe? Level designer? Writer? 

Content
I read through the other replies you've got and if you're sure you want to become a producer that's the first thing your portfolio should scream. 

And to me, if I would look after a good producer I would be looking first and foremost at how many projects you've been working in and how many people you've been collaborating with. As you might know, a producer is the link between all members of the team, may it be art, design, code or QC - all of them has a link. Therefore, I believe it's very important you can show you have worked with people from different fields with different backgrounds, preferably with written recommendations.

If you haven't been involved with very many projects yet, maybe it's time you get to it. There are tons of modding groups, independent game developer who would very good to have someone around who is in it solely/first and formost to make the project happen and not the development. 

Lastly, don't get me wrong about you showing off you know a good deal of multiple things. As a producer I also think it's important to have some kind of insight in all disciplines.

Layout
In terms of layout I like your portfolio, it is easy to navigate and has a simple design - just the way I like it. Also I think most people appreciate portfolios to be straight forward. I cannot find any big problems with the layout, so you go that going for you! There is this one thing that I noticed though, you are having different fonts for the image slices and your site header. Then you have your mailadress in itallic and all content text is in another font. My sister who studied typography once told me the fewer fonts the cleaner look you'll get. I'm not saying do this, do that - just maybe you could play around with different amounts of fonts. Maybe use one font only for all big texts and another for content. Now this is nitpicking but I thought I'd give it a mention.
 

 

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  • 6 months later...

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