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Portfolio Tips & Guidelines

What aspect of ISGT are you most interested in? Whether its animation, visual effects, or something else, it’s important to have an amazing portfolio to help you stand out. After all, people from all over the world apply to gaming jobs in the U.S.!

Find tips on creating the right portfolio by clicking on the links below.

Animator

  • Animation video reel (fresh and up to date)
  • Put your best work first and close strong.
  • Include performances where there is a change of emotion.
  • Be specific, organized, and contain original ideas
  • Tell a story with your reel, don't be a shot animator.

Programmer

  • Keep a GitHub profile (Your primary résumé)
  • Showcase problem solving through a technical blog or other means
  • Include relevant details for each project such as the name of the project, description of what the code does, high-level description of how it works, the skills, the programming language, and tech stack used.

Concept Artist

  • Place your best work on the homepage with a small gallery of work to look through
  • Use a consistent theme showcasing your specialty; if you are best at environmental art, then this should be what fills your portfolio.
  • Do not crowd your portfolio with to much art.
  • Check out the book "The Big Bad World of Concept Art for Video Games: An Insider's Guide for Students". This book was created by Elliott Lily, a past instructor of Richland and an industry expert. The book has many useful tips on developing your portfolio.

Rigging

  • Like most reels for portfolios keep them short and highlight your best work first and foremost.
  • Showcase your rigs and how functional they are.
  • Demonstrate what the controllers do.
  • Show your organization and groups.

Level Designer

  • Explain your level from the top down, highlight design elements and your theory behind why you do what you do
  • Have a target company you want to work for and make levels that cater to their projects
  • Everything you post should be supported with your thought process though the project. Employers want to see how you use critical thinking to solve problems.
  • If you make a video, try making a walk through with commentary. Premise, challenges and solutions, postmortem stuff. It also helps to mention (off video): programs used, length of project, and collaborators if any.

Visual Effects (VFX) Artist

  • Create a video resume, show reel, and a graphical resume
  • Keep your reel short, around the 2-minute mark. Anything beyond may not be looked at.
  • Create a showreel specific to the job you're applying for.
  • Show fundamentals learn and understood

3D Modeler

  • As well as modeling you will want to showcase that you can properly UV and texture your work. 
  • Don't go overboard, but try to elegantly include as much information about your workflow as possible.
  • Show your wire frame, specifically if you are a new/junior artist. Employers want to see the cleanliness of your work

Sound Designer

  • No music. You're applying for a sound design position. Don't put music.
  • Good mix. Things should sound clear and understandable, not mushy and confusing.
  • Dynamic range. Don't send me a flat mix of chaos. Ups and downs are good.

Game Designer

  • While no one will read a massive game design document, no matter how great it is, game designer portfolios can have blogs and short documents detailing a relevant experience. Recruiters love seeing designers who can effectively document their process while building a game, brainstorming rule sets, and figuring out problems to design problems.
  • Include anything from images videos of games you have worked on to mods, levels, prototypes, and anything else related to the game design process. A portfolio where you just talk about your favorite games or explain why you’re good at game design (without any proof) will almost always be overlooked.
  • A designer who has level design or modding experience can add a few to their portfolio so others can see their work. You can even include links or downloads so people can actually play your levels and check them out first-hand

Producer

  • Producer portfolios are pretty straightforward. Make sure to have the projects you are proud to have worked on and list how you were involved in them. List the projects details as well.
  • This is a role that requires experience so you will most likely start out somewhere else in the industry before ending up here.

Lighting Artist

  • Lighting is all about composition, color, and intensity. Take a very simple blocked out scene and try and give it as much atmosphere and life as you can with just the lights telling the story of the scene.
  • Showcase your knowledge of materials and shaders and how their physical characteristics affect your scene.
  • Its not uncommon to get a reel where multiple people have worked on a project so just make sure the information is given on what you worked on.

Character Artist

  • Less is more. Learn to self-edit and be consistent with the type of work you are showing. 3 good characters are better than 8 okay ones.
  • Take multiple shots of your character in nice, then neutral lighting with a model/material breakdown. NO DEMO REELS.
  • Add in game art. Sculpting is only 33% of the job; you need to show the whole process.
  • Flesh out your designs and have them tell a story.