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riverreal

Graphics programmer?

5 posts in this topic

What kind of demos do the companies want from a graphics programmer's portfolio?

Specifically what kind of graphical features should I use in my portfolio for breaking into the industry as a graphics programmer?

Is it possible to break into the industry as a graphics programmer? or generally not? I mean, generally the graphics programmers have begun being graphics programmers or they just began lower? Lower = GUI programmer, and so on. (Sorry for being supercilious sad.png )

 

 

Thank you in advance.

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1. What kind of demos do the companies want from a graphics programmer's portfolio?

2. Is it possible to break into the industry as a graphics programmer?

 

1. They'll want to see visual demos, and clean elegant well-documented code.  Both.

2. Anything is possible except time travel to the past and the Star Trek holodeck. You might have to start doing tools programming or something.

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Is it possible to break into the industry as a graphics programmer? or generally not?
Possible?  Yes.

Does it generally happen?  No.  Not unless you earned your master's degree on a very specific rendering topic that the studio happens to be in desperate need of and is willing to take a huge risk on hiring an unknown person for that one specific need.

 

Most programmers break in to the industry as gameplay programmers, tools programmers, or otherwise doing grunt work.  After they are in the industry they tend to specialize; graphics is one specialty.

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1. They'll want to see visual demos, and clean elegant well-documented code.  Both.

 

 

 

Do you have any "guide" to be cleaner? 

Now for me a "clean code" is something subjective due to lack of knowledge.

 

 


 

Most programmers break in to the industry as gameplay programmers, tools programmers, or otherwise doing grunt work.  After they are in the industry they tend to specialize; graphics is one specialty.

 

 

 

 

I have no experience (I have never been in the industry) and I want to be a graphics programmer.

Do you think making a portfolio focused in graphics is appropriate to begin?

I have 3 options for my first portfolio:

-Normal portfolio (show some skills as a average newbie game programmer: gameplay, tools, GUI, etc)

-Graphics focused portfolio (show some skills with common graphical features)

-Mixed portfolio (mix both. It could have some sort of quallity reduction though)

 

I know there is no a "perfect way". But I don't know if just do the graphics focused portfolio from the beginning or try to make it as time goes (while working as a gameplay programmer of something).

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There is no formula. Prove to me that you can be a graphics programmer. Not just any graphics programmer. Prove to me that I need to hire you, right now, today.

Look at the kind of demos on scene.org. Most of those are the best of the best. Can you write code that does that? If so, do it.

Can you write code that makes good use of the 30+ gigapixels per second and the 100+ gigatexels per second? Not just a bunch of mindless instances, but actually bring a modern graphics card to leverage it's power for beauty? If so, do that.

A few million particles in a collection of particle fountains is not going to cut it. If you want to skip the line and jump straight to awesome graphics programmer, you need to actually be an actual awesome graphics programmer. You need to do the job before you can get the job. Can you do that?

Most people cannot. I know I cannot do that. If you want to break all the barriers and jump straight in to the core of the field, show that you really are that skilled.
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I worked as a gameplay programmer, then tools programming in a different (but related) industry, then transferred to the graphics engine team in that same company (based off nothing but an interview, because they couldn't find anyone experienced), then quit and got a job as an entry-level graphics programmer (actually: "junior game effects programmer") at a game company via a good interview, acing their test, a general portfolio, and making this demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1vsRM1MnAM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZI8PiYD42I

I forget exactly what's shown off in it, from memory there's: triplanar texturing, detail textures, procedural normal maps, particle systems, soft-edged water, camera splines, bloom, height-based fog, crappy lighting FX...

 

My portfolio highlighted all my past hobby work, such as game mods that I'd made, and had a little toy engine in it that showed off entity/component stuff, a multi-core implementation of the actor model, and a little 3D car racing prototype. They asked to see some more graphics stuff, so I made that above demo for them in about a week between the first (telephone) and second (in-person) interviews.

 

Getting those first two graphics jobs were really serendipitous "right place, right time" events.

 

In both of those graphics jobs I learned a lot from the people around me, so then it was easy getting my next graphics programming job (which was much more senior) again just from my resume and an interview.

Edited by Hodgman
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