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J_Bispham

Looking for some feedback on my portfolio and resume

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Hi all,

 

I was hoping to get some feedback on my portfolio and resume. I won't bore you with too many details about me here as it should all be on my website but here's a bit...

 

I completed my Computer Games Technology degree in May and loved it. I have also been lecturing for the last year to the level 3 game development students. Not something I had always intended but I did enjoy it and am grateful for the experience. For the last couple of years I have been working freelance when I get a chance. Projects have included 3D animations, 3D architectural/Design renders and a large interactive product library project created in Unity.

 

I am looking to continue my career at a game development studio. I am best with 3D modelling, texturing and animation so I feel a role as a 3D artist is most suited to me and is something I really enjoy. However I have spent a lot of time coding in Unity for the last year or two and at times feel I enjoy that more than the artwork! I know I should be focusing towards one role and shouldn't be too general so I am kind of expecting some comments on that :)

 

I was thinking that as there are quite a few smaller companies around here (South West, UK) then there may be some roles that would allow me to get stuck in with different aspects of development. But I can see why advertising myself like that would put bigger companies off when they are looking for specialists for each role.

 

Anyway, I would really appreciate any comments or feedback.

 

www.jamesbispham.co.uk

 

Thanks!

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Resume:

- First paragraph is just a big block of text. That's a good way to get information you want to convey skipped.

- Not crazy about the two column layout.

- Include an HTML version on top of your pdf and doc version.

- Broadly, I can infer a lot of what you did but I can't be certain. This isn't what you want. As an example at random, what did you do for the project "Photorealistic architectural renders" for somerset college? I can guess from your left column list of skills, but I can't be sure.

- I hate the two background colors. Stick to white background with black text with bolding/etc as needed.

 

 

Website:

- I would want to see the demo video on the first page.

- Demo video (of Evoland-esque game). I understand why you put the 3d level last, but you may want to show that first to show off your 3d skills. I'm just concerned someone looking at this won't make it all the way through the video before writing off the block art.

- You're aiming for artist/developer. For your first job, you really should concentrate on one. I think it's a strength that you can do a bit of code, as well, but for the first position a mix like that comes across as "doesn't know what they want".

- Like in the resume, it wasn't fully clear your role with the game project. I suspect if you played a substantial role, you have a fair bit to show. You just need to inform your reader better.

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Your portfolio says you're a modeler who has been exposed to code.  Look for jobs as a modeler.

 

As for your resume, show rather than tell.  Use more descriptive text to tell what you did on projects.  The entire column "Skills and experience" should be removed, use those words as part of the descriptions of a project.  On this project used Mudbox; on that project used UVW unwrapping, on this other built the rigging and joint constraints for bipedal animation.  

 

If possible, add do your web page with more models of more types. Modelers make EVERYTHING that exists in the game, environment like rocks and trees and flowers and shrubs and dirt piles; buildings from outhouses and shacks to sprawling modern cities from many eras and locations; vehicles from carts and wagons to modern cars and tanks to futuristic spaceships; furniture like chairs and benches and sofas and historic thrones; food from candy wrappers to cereal boxes to sprawling feasts; bags and backpacks, clothing from all eras, books and bookshelves, and on and on.  The more variety you can showcase, the stronger your portfolio is.

Edited by frob

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Resume...

 


Your portfolio says you're a modeler...

 

Thanks to you both, all of your comments are really helpful and make sense! I have heavily edited the resume taking on both of your comments, i am happier with it but hope it does not look like too much text, may need to refine it a bit. I thought the block of text I had at the beginning could be used as a base for cover letters so I left it out rather than cut it down for now. 

 

I also had videos for each of the levels so I have put one of just the 3D level on the portfolio page to show that off. I will most likely do the same with the interactive media project as there is more to show than just static images. 

 

I agree I need more models in there! Some different styles too. Would you say it is more effective to create environments containing lots of objects or try some single models that are different styles?

 

Anyway I have updated the resume and site so if you get another chance to have a look that would be great but if not thanks for your help already! biggrin.png

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The resume is better, but you are still telling rather than showing.

 

You tell for your lecturer position that you had "critical approaches to creative media products". I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. You tell that you "Creative media production management project".  Are those lectures you gave? Are those projects you created with your students? Are those something else?  You told about them, but you didn't show what you actually did.

 

You show in your Freelance Artist section that you "Used architectural plans and designs to ensure an accurate 3D representation of a building that is currently under construction. Realistic lighting & rendering with Mental Ray".  Excellent! You showed what you did in a way I can understand.

 

 

 

 

As you are a recent graduate  (as of four months ago) you should have education first. The items in your schooling are stronger selling points than your work history anyway. As a recent grad you are being hired as an entry level worker.

 

It is abundantly clear you are trying to pad your short life history by making lots of bullet points. Stop it. Employers *KNOW* you are an entry level worker, and they can see right through it. Padding encourages employers to dump the application in favor of someone more honest.  Make it clear you are an entry level modeler with some interesting projects, instead of trying to make it look like you've got history you don't.  

 

Also I'm assuming your "Freelance Landscape Gardener" from estimated ages 15-18 means that you mowed ONE family's lawn on weekends. If you did something more than that, such as actually working for a real landscape company, put the name of the company.  Otherwise, give me a scale I can work with, like "Mowed Lawns for X homes".  Or mowed and watered.  Or mowed, watered, planned and weeded flowerbeds. Otherwise I'm going to assume you have an old widow in your neighborhood who paid you for doing a single yard no matter how crappy the job was. But at least you were mostly dependable.

 

 

I would tighten up the text a little bit so you don't have lines with one or two words on them, favoring paragraphs that use the whole line. Then I'd remove lines like "references are available on request", remove white space, and get it down to a single page.  

 

 

 

 

As an entry level modeler an employer is going to glance over your paper -- which should be a single page -- and then if they are interested they'll hit your web site.  

 

I still think you should add additional variety to your portfolio if you can, right now everything is modern architecture and room interiors. What you have shows you can do some modeling, but without evidence my worry is that you cannot handle a variety of styles or types. There is no range. Excellent portfolios cover a range of styles from realistic to exaggerated comic styles, and a wide range of scenes, objects, animals, and people within those varied styles. Show me not just an ultramodern kitchen, but a comic-style giraffe, old west-style outhouses, constrained and shadowy horror rooms, and light and airy fantasy environments.  You're a beginner so you may not have them, but the more variety you can demonstrate, the stronger your portfolio will become.  Add to your portfolio as you develop your talents.

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The resume is better, but you are still telling rather than showing.

 

 

OK cool I see where you are coming from. It’s interesting to see how it comes across! I did include that the headings under the lecturer position were the modules I taught. No worries though I have cut them out now, the other bits seem more important when thinning it out. I guess if they really want to know they can ask.

 

I wish I was 15-18 doing the landscaping! I was 18-22ish. Am 26 now, did the whole University thing a bit later than some. The landscape work was quite successful but not what I wanted to really do.

 

I honestly wasn’t trying to pointlessly pad it out but I’m glad you pointed it out; I have a habit of waffling on. I think because I have left some clients and other jobs out I was making the most of the better ones to leave on there.

 

I agree, definitely need more variety in there, I’m going to work on some different models and a Unity based environment. May try do a bit of collaborative for a couple weeks if someone will have me, I've got a little job coming up but it's more interior renders!

 

I have attached a couple of older models, not sure whether to add them to the portfolio or not. I’m not sure if they come across cartoon-ish like they should or just look like failed attempts at AAA quality! (Obviously not what I was going for).

 

I have put the new resume on my site, it is down to a page and still puts across everything it did before so thanks for that smile.png

 

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:6923]
[sharedmedia=gallery:images:6924]

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