3D modelling is a lucrative field with numerous career options. The availability of different easy-to-use tools and more powerful hardware means that the barrier to entry is low enough for most people to scale.
The result is many more people getting into 3D modelling, thereby making the field more competitive.
For this reason, anyone who wants to get in has to stand out among their peers, and the best way to do so is through a portfolio.
This is a showcase of your skills and projects you have worked on in the past. If you haven’t created one before or worry yours is not strong enough, these tips should help.
Decide Between A Niche And A General Portfolio
While you have general 3D modelling skills, you may have a special talent that stands out. You may have expertise in a specific area or completed courses that can help you thrive in a specific area.
For example, you may have studied architecture or civil engineering and find that you are very good at environment or civil engineering 3D modelling.
When deciding between a general and niche portfolio, consider how much practice you have in each area you specialize in.
Also, think about the software you have experience with and that you are the most comfortable modelling with.
Lastly, consider what types of clients you would like to work with and what you love creating.
These two considerations are important because they will determine whether you remain interested in and excited about your work for a long time.
Create A Variety Of Works
Variety is very important when creating a 3D modelling portfolio. A wide range of works and projects shows potential employers your range and versatility.
If you do not yet have items to add to your portfolio, you can use free software to create the most common types of 3D models.
You can start with simple character designers that you can augment with animations and expressions to further show you can do this type of work. It also shows that you can make your characters look alive.
You should also consider creating a 3D environment. This could be the world your characters live in and can range from a simple, peaceful forest to a busy city.
You can use the environment and your characters to tell a story. How deep you go into the lore will depend on how much time you have, your skills, and how impressive you want everything to look.
You can also use your portfolio to showcase your 3D modelling skills. For example, you can create a product design that helps you showcase your attention to detail and technical skills.
If you are interested in jobs that include CGI and stories, you should also consider creating a storyboard.
Start with a simple storyboard and include elements that help you demonstrate your understanding of flow and storytelling.
Always remember to aim for quality over quantity. Remember that the portfolio should be a visual resume, and you should showcase your best creations to impress whoever comes across it.
Showcase Your Best Creations First
Even when you have numerous high-quality 3D models, you know that some are more impressive than others.
First impressions matter whether you are meeting a client or fellow creators for the first time or showcasing your work and skills.
For these reasons, you should always showcase your best creations first. Burying your best 3D models behind others or at the end of the portfolio will increase the likelihood that those you want to see them will not.
Think of your portfolio like a film trailer. They show the best and most exciting scenes to entice you to see the whole film. Your portfolio should do the same.
When picking which 3D models and projects to show first, think about those you are most proud of, and that showcase your skills the best.
The goal is to capture your audience’s attention, make them want to see more, and increase the likelihood of them reaching out with enquiries.
Choose The Right Platform or Medium
There is no shortage of platforms that you can use to showcase your work. However, platforms change and disappear all the time, so you should opt for a website you own and that you have complete control over.
As you create your portfolio, remember to choose a hosting provider with generous storage space allocation. The best 3D modelling showcases are videos, and you want enough space to host all of them.
An alternative is uploading your videos to video hosting platforms like YouTube and embedding them on your website.
Doing this also increases discoverability because YouTube is also a search engine, and it might show your videos to people who are interested in what you do.
You should also consider posting images of your work on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn. People in the 3D modelling community can also find your creations there and provide valuable feedback.
If you decide to add links to your social media platforms on your website, ensure you only link to professional accounts.
Your photographs might not be appropriate for clients, and you do not want them to form a negative impression of you before they have had a chance to know you.
Another popular option is sending high-quality PDFs showcasing your 3D models. While they might not capture your models like videos would, they still allow clients to see what you can do.
You can also add links to your videos, website, and social media accounts inside the PDF.
If you go this route, ensure the PDF files are of high quality. You should also periodically edit your PDF files to include your latest works for clients to see.
Instead of starting from scratch, you can convert your PDF to Word using an online PDF converter, edit the resulting file and then convert it back into a PDF. You can then end that latest updated file to past or potential clients.
Include Additional Details To Your Portfolio
Videos and images can do a great job of showing clients what you are good at, but they are not great for providing the details they need.
A client might need additional details to understand what you did, the tools you used, and other details.
You can provide this information by adding it to your landing page and wherever else you post your creations.
Descriptions of your work can bring clarity and help potential clients understand you and your skills better.
If you have group projects you worked on with other artists, you should mention that and explain they were collaborators.
However, you should always mention your role and specific contributions. Perhaps you handled the 3D modelling, lighting, or animation.
Potential clients want to know this so they can better understand your strengths.
Add Your Contact Information
What good is an impressive portfolio if clients cannot reach you? It should include a contact page or a paragraph telling them how they can find you. Provide different options so they can choose the ones that work best for them.
Your portfolio is crucial when looking for work in the 3D modelling industry. It should show your clients what you can do, explain your skills, and tell them you are comfortable using software they may want you to.
Once you create it, share your portfolio with as many people as possible. If you do not do this, they will not know it exists among the hundreds of other 3D modelling portfolios that are already online.