Updates

Following the feedback I got after my interview I updated my showreel, cv, cover letter and my website.

The changes made to my CV are very limited. I really liked the layout I had and there hadn’t been any real critique on this and so I decided to keep it the same on my final version. The main changes are that I swapped the positions of my education and experience because the experience I currently have isn’t relevant to the industry, whereas my education is. I also tried to quantify my experience with the software I had listed, I found this was quite difficult to do, and decided to cut 2 things off the list as I didn’t feel my proficiency with them compared to the others I had listed. This does mean however that the bottom of this section doesn’t line up quite as well with my skills section as it had previously.

The layout of my cover letter has changed more substantially, but the content is the same. In my feedback, Greg had told me that he liked how I had worded things, and so I didn’t feel it was necessary to change it very much. I did however reorder the paragraphs so that I was talking about myself and my skills after I talked about their company and first mentioned my placement. As well as this small change, I more or less completely revamped the layout. In my previous version, the bar at the side with my contact details which mimicked that of my CV took up almost a third of the page. This made the page seem too cluttered and it was unnecessary, so I removed it and instead put my address in the top right of the page.

For my showreel, I didn’t change too much. In my previous versions the turn arounds were too dark, so I re-rendered these with ambient occlusion rather than a standard texture with lighting set up, as well as this, I added my updated flower model to the gravestone turn around. Unfortunately, due to time I didn’t get a chance to re-render the wireframe turn around with linear tangents, but will be sure to update this when I can. I also added a turn around of my ZBrush sculpt to the end of my reel, I plan on re-rendering this with Arnold in the future so that it fits more smoothly with the rest of my reel, but I haven’t figured out how to export polypainted textures yet! Unfortunately after I had uploaded it I realised that the grave turnaround overlaps with the end of the church scene so this is something else I need to rectify.

My website hasn’t changed much; I have made slight changed to the contact section so that people aren’t put off messaging me and made my external links more obvious. I have also added a link to my art twitter so that people have an alternative way to contact me which seems more casual. As well as this I updated my showreel and added a few more images to my portfolio.

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Interview Feedback

Today I got to talk to Greg a bit about how I got on in my interview last week. The first piece of advice he gave me way that I come across as very nervous and need to be more succinct with my answers to questions rather than rambling to fill the silence.  He suggested that I have a page on my site I could talk people through to help tell them a bit about myself as this may help me be less nervous.

Then he gave me some really helpful feedback on the work which I brought with me to the interview:

CV

  • Move education above work experience: although experience usually trumps education, I have not yet done work which is relevant to the field.
  • Quantify the experience I have with software rather than just listing it.

Cover Letter

  • Get rid of branding; it takes up too much room.
  • Remove Piranha Bar’s address/ replace with my own as it is currently confusing
  • I have researched the company well and worded things nicely, move this paragraph to the beginning of the letter.

Site

  • Make everything bigger.
  • Change contact form so it is only asking for name, email, and message: Anything more will put people off
  • Make external links more obvious

Reel

  • Turnarounds need to be brighter
  • Animate with straight tangents: the ease in/ out doesn’t do anything for models and makes it seem amateurish

Showreel Draft

For our interview today we were asked to create a draft version of our showreels. I really enjoyed making this as it definitely helped with my understanding of After Effects. There are a few things which I need to change, such as adding the credits on screen but overall I am really happy with how this has turned out.

00:03 – 00:21 – Church Scene; modelling, composition and cameras – other aspects by Lorna Mcfall, Caitlín Collins, Jonny Rooney and John Hannon

00:21 – 00:29 – Gravestone and roses; all aspects

00:29 – 00:33 – Weight lift; animation only – rig and model by Joe Daniels

00:33 – 00:43 – Walk cycle; animation only – rig and model by Joe Daniels

Website Draft

For our interview, we were asked to have a rough version of our website finished, this is mine. I took a lot of inspiration from the likes of Alexandra Douglass who has a fall down style website, with clearly labelled sections. I, personally, feel that the simplicity of this type of website makes it very easy to navigate and ensures that users are able to easily find what they are looking for within the webpage.

The only pages which are separate from my main page are those for my university portfolio and personal portfolio. This was so that the page didn’t become too cluttered and I would be able to write about the projects in case users were interested in finding out more about them. The images I chose as the cover images for my portfolio are two of those which I felt fit best with my chosen colour scheme as well as showing off my skills.

 

Cover Letter Draft

For our interviews this week, we also needed to have a cover letter draft and after having spoken a bit to James Doherty at Short Sighted about what it was like to work with Piranha Bar, I decided to write my cover letter to them.

pb

Piranha Bar is a Dublin based Production Company and a full service Post Facility. They have a really diverse group of people working for them, with specialities in live action, 2D and 3D animation, VFX and motion graphics, as well as a lot of talented directors.

The studio was founded in 2002 out of a frustration with how post production was run at the time and a want to see a studio that was artist rather than facility led.

In an interview with Little Black Book Online, they explained how they got their name:

“The ‘Piranha’ part was about being a small, but lethal boutique at the time. The values of a collective of talented individuals being more effective as a group was also part of the original philosophy, which is probably even more applicable in our present guise.

The ‘Bar’ was about creating a welcoming, relaxing environment that people want to come to that doesn’t feel like ‘work’.”

Something that all the creators working with Piranha Bar share a passion for is effective story telling, which is something I value very highly as well. They also encourage a collaborative approach to all aspects of projects, which would give me the opportunity to work alongside the creators and see their creative process to explore ways of telling stories which are new to me.

With this in mind, I wrote the first draft of my cover letter. I tried to keep the same branding as was on my CV so that it would be clear to the person receiving them that they belonged together.

cover-letter-old

Updated Resume Draft

cv-old

After getting feedback in class a few weeks ago, I decided to make some changed to my CV before our mock interviews. I completely scrapped my old layout as it was much too busy at the top and then too bare beneath the header section. As well as this, the new layout fits more cohesively with the website layout I have created.

The main feedback I had gotten before was that my bio was too wordy and that this would put people off reading it. I was also advised to put down that I was a student mentor and use more power words when writing about my experiences.

There are a few things I feel need changed on this, for example, I would like to fit in a section talking about my hobbies and interest as I feel that this could help me make a connection with the person reading it if we have common interests.

Phil Campbell

Phil Campbell has been a designer for interactive entertainment for over 20 years working as an architect, writer, game creator and freelance designer on titles such as The Godfather, Omikron: The Nomad Soul and Tomb Raider. The list of things he has worked on is insane and some of these roles can be seen above.

He went to Oxford and worked with his dad as an architect for a while, but was never really good at the practical side of this. He was then head hunted for a games company and working through this gave him much more freedom as the buildings didn’t have to be technically sound.

Getting in to games was a fluke for him, it is much more difficult for people now as the jobs are much more specialised and there are a lot more people trying to get in to the industry. This means that you can create a beautiful product but still have an incredibly hard time selling it.

Notes

The Vortex:

  • Half remember things: this makes ideas much more malleable and gives you more freedom.
  • Always perceive yourself as being at the centre of the vortex: you are a result of the things around you.

Immerse yourself in everything around you.

Be enthusiastic: Tell the stories you want to tell.

Explore VR

  • Explore how you can manipulate time and transport people.

Bring post-it’s to meetings and work around a whiteboard:

  • Don’t worry about the neatness of how ideas are presented.
  • Go wild and get all your ideas out there.
  • Bounce off each other: help with the generation of ideas and way to solve problems.

Collect books, comics, biographies, everything:

  • This collection is a product of you and your life.
  • You can make it relevant to every thing you do.

When given a script or storyline to follow:

  • Weave your own narrative around the main plot points.
  • Push the limits.
  • Understand time limits and clients wishes but challenge it.
  • Make the stories you want to tell part of the stories you help create: through character’s attitudes, histories etc.

Getting your name out there:

  • Let your friends help: bounce off each other.
  • Trust yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail: accept rejection is part of the journey.
  • Become a good listener and learn to ask the right questions.
  • Don’t be egotistical BUT own your own shit

To help with team issues:

  • Do things with your team outside of work (go to the pub, play a board game, grab a coffee): It will help people come out of your shell.
  • Encourage each other.
  • Give people the space to communicate with you and don’t give up on them