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komilll

Graphics programmer - first job/path

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Hello!

I am looking for: advice on my learning path and opinion of portfolio/project that I've created in January-September 2019.
https://github.com/komilll/LEngine

II wanted to do something more interesting than standard model loading, texturing and different kinds of shading.
I created systems that I thought that will be useful in real life:

  • Scene managment - raypicking, copying, deleting, changing transforms, changing materials, adding lights - everything in runtime
  • IBL with offline cubemap generation
  • Postprocess stack with a few different settings to choose from
  • Materials system - based on UE4 in-editor materials. You can use nodes to create material that you can just choose from list for any object on scene. It is parsed to .ps file and used in PBR pipeline

Everything was done in DX11, HLSL (.vs/.ps files), C++ 11.

My question is: is it interesting in any way for future employer? Are those system that might be helpful in real life and will recruiters treat them as something more appealing than standard portfolio?
Currently I am gameplay programmer but I think that's irrelevant for my question - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1gvGCtqRf0

My other question is: What now? I had a lot of work and extramular university to sort out so I haven't done anything related to graphics (except reading) for 1.5 month now. I gain my all time back now, but I don't feel like doing anything with graphics. I felt like it was my magnum opus, something I've dedicated a lot of time to, but at the end I was tired like hell. I learned a lot but I don't feel like I will grow more by improving this engine or doing something familiar.
Should I create raytracer or rasterizer? I was thinking 2.5D Doom/Wolfenstein engine based on raytracing. I was thinking about picking up DX12/Vulkan. Maybe continue adding new techniques to LEngine. Maybe do some animations? Maybe OpenGL?
Of course, it would be awesome to do everything, but my main concern is to learn the most important stuff that I would use on daily basis as graphics programmer. With experience my interests will surely clarify, so I don't feel the need to specialize right now.

All feedback and your personal stories would be awesome. I especially love this community because the engine above wouldn't exist with your answers to a lot of mine anoying questions. So, thank you!

 

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I totally agree with lesson 24 and I dare to say that I've already done that and... I am already in industry.
I didn't specify my background: 22 yo, started working and extramular studies at 20 (after finishing technical high school). Relocated to stuty in one of best Polish universities in big city. Currently lead gameplay programmer working on Ghostrunner.

I also totally agree with lesson 27 and I had implemented it. You wrote great stuff. I hope that I've read that 3 years ago.

But as I said - title might be a little wrong. I'd like to get a first job as graphics programmer not generally in gamedev. And I'm in no rush. Mostly I'd like to know what to learn next in field of rendering. But thanks for great articles. That was a good read.

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You say that you are tired of graphics programming, yet you want a graphics programming job? On the other hand, you do have a cool looking repo there that could get an employer's attention. If you really want a job like that, you should start applying and go to interviews. DX12 and Vulkan knowledge will definitely get more interest from the employer. Although, my suggestion is that you should work on things that really interest you in the free time and have a real passion about it. You will have to talk about this stuff in the interviews and they can easily find out if you don't really care and only going for plus points and will lose interest in you.

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On 11/3/2019 at 11:41 PM, turanszkij said:

You say that you are tired of graphics programming, yet you want a graphics programming job?

Well, maybe I was tired of specific project. Or generally tired because for last two years I was studying at univesity, working full time and doing side projects with basically no free time. Maybe because my portfolio catched attention of one employer but the other one totally ignored it and offered me only non-rendering position. It's propably accumulated stress throughout two years. I really like doing it, even though it was hard on times.

On 11/3/2019 at 11:41 PM, turanszkij said:

Although, my suggestion is that you should work on things that really interest you in the free time and have a real passion about it.

I totally agree and understand that. I'd like to balance fun and knowledge that I'll be getting from doing it. That's why I was asking for specific areas that I should pick on.

In that project LEngine I was doing something that I found meaningful. You could see rarely that level of scene managment on Github. Also material generator in UE4 style is an uncommon, but really helpful and interesting system. I could understand why and how it is made in Unreal and it's brilliant. Of course I wasn't doing all shader variants because that would be much harder system, but I had a lot of fun doing it.

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