Category Archives: smArtist thoughts

Someone Finally Made Google Hangouts Better On Desktop

Someone Finally Made Google Hangouts Better On Desktop

It’s about time! Hangouts for serious use is awful on a Mac, and Common Hangouts has been fantastic to use so far. I’d previously switched all work IM over to iMessage\Messages on Mac, but that doesn’t support group chat. Common Hangouts has essentially the same layout that I like, except with full Google Hangouts features. Awesome stuff!

Also, MakeUseOf is a great tech blog, and I recommend it.

Thoughts on low-poly art and the Marketplace

Hi all! Here’s a Facebook post I made about low-poly art and what we look for on the Unreal Engine Marketplace with regards to quality and content for low-poly submissions. People seemed to respond well to it so I edited it slightly and wanted to post it here. I’d be curious to hear feedback!

I’m personally a big fan of low-poly art. I’ve been making game art since before Quake 1 and I started out as a character artist, and I’ve done my fair share of environment art as well. Finding the tradeoff between form and function in a realtime environment is awesome, and I’ve spent thousands of hours picking apart my own models as well as the art of others to find out why this edge flips this way to get the right definition and deformation, or how to create strong silhouette while staying within your poly budget, and precisely how, where, and why to cut corners.

However, with the advent of technology, a lot of the real-time performance considerations at this particular level of low-poly art has become more about stylistic choices than boosting framerate on the desktop. And then there’s mobile games, where the art you’re seeing on your phone or tablet today meets or exceeds the best desktop PCs ten years ago. So there’s kind of a split there. We’re also seeing a resurgence of 8-bit and retro-styled games coming in, and low-poly to me is kind of the 3D equivalent to that.

For the Unreal Engine, one of the things it’s always pushed harder than anything else is photorealism. With UE4 getting released, Epic pushing big on PBR and open world and architectural visualization, most of the Marketplace content we’re seeing is building in that direction. Low-poly style stuff is still pretty new and we haven’t seen a lot of it yet, and we’re trying to develop an approach to how we vet and accept content for it.

I want to be *very* clear that I’m speaking about general guidelines for low-poly art submissions, and *NOT* about anything specific that anyone has submitted. I’ve been making game art for over half my life and this is an aggregate summary of my observations over the years.

A big part of what makes low-poly art work is that the reason it exists at all is because it was built to meet certain technical requirements. Within those constraints, techniques developed, and a style was born.

Over the years I’ve my fair share of novice artists that think “hey, low-poly is popular and looks easy, I’ll try that!” and create art that’s simply low detail, low-quality, and easy to produce in a short amount of time. They’ll crank it out, think “awesome, I nailed the style!” and feel great about it. Unfortunately there’s a lot more to it than that. Silhouette is important, and so is proper edge flow, consistent polygon size, and distribution of detail based on where the eye will fall. It’s a lot more than just being faster and somewhat easier to produce than high-res, high-end art.

Here’s a checklist of things that are important in low-poly art:

* Use your edges well. Just because something is faceted and has very few polygons doesn’t mean it’s good. If you’re making a low-poly character, flipping an edge on the face can be the difference between a chiseled cheekbone or a fat face. What does that edge mean, and what does it imply about the overall form and shape of the object it represents?

* Simplify your shapes, but no simpler than necessary. Understand what the real-world object is that it’s trying to represent, and use your geometry wisely to imply smoothness, roundness, harsh angles, convex and concave surfaces. Again, the entire reason for the low-poly style was because you had to aggressively, constantly reduce polygon count and it forced you to make tough choices. That enforced a special kind of creativity. “Do I lose this edge, or that edge? Is this as good as it could be? Will it hold up at a distance and up close?” One of my favorite examples of simplifying a form that can still be readable and easily understood is Picasso’s reduction of a bull to its simplest form:

* Consistent level of detail. It looks weird to have a 50 ft tall rock that’s 24 polys, and a 3 ft tall stool that’s 1000 polys. Unless it’s a distant background element, or there are other extenuating circumstances, no real low-poly game would ever be built like that. If you had a strict poly budget and you had to choose where to spend it, the first place you’d start out looking to cut polys is where the eye is least likely to land. That’s why, back in the day, the top half of a character had more detail than the bottom half because that’s what the player looks at the most. Even more from there, in a 3rd person game, you’ll see more detail in the back of the head, shoulders, and butt of a character than on the front in many cases. Find ways to cut corners where people won’t be looking for it. That’s part of why the style developed.

* With proper construction and with the idea in mind of why low-poly is what it is, consider the market. There aren’t a lot of low-poly packs, and most content for this engine is photorealistic. If you’re developing a game with a low-poly style, and you buy a single content pack that’ll cover maybe one or two parts of a specific style or zone, where is the rest of the art going to come from? If I’m making a game and I buy a low-poly Lava Kit, where is the rest of my game’s content going to come from? I could see if there’s more content of a similar style that I could use, or make it myself, or try to find an artist that will make more, or I can try to take what’s already in this pack and extend it.

I realize this is a bit of a catch-22, but what I’m really saying is that a good low-poly pack will be a) highly modular and able to create a large amount of game content with, and b) have a LOT of content in it. Honestly, low-poly art is much faster to make than current-gen stuff, and I know exactly how much effort goes into it. We’re not looking for limited-scope weekend projects, we’re looking for a broad, modular, useful set of content that game developers can use in a variety of ways across their whole game.

For example, this is what I think a good low-poly asset pack would contain:

1) Landscapes with multiple features (mountains, hills, rivers, cliffs) built with modularity in mind and multiple materials so you can reuse this across a whole game.

2) Low-poly modular buildings with single and multiple floors and roofs, set up with good UV layouts you can swap easily or even make new textures for yourself without much effort.

3) Modular walls and fences that don’t look repetitive. Having some theme-specific ones is good, but think about reusing content across multiple levels with minimal graphical tweaks that won’t be too obvious to a player.

4) Mobile compatibility. UE4 does actually work on mobile but we don’t have a lot of Marketplace content yet that’s built specifically for mobile. We are extremely interested in mobile content, and are very likely to shine a spotlight on it to get more people using the engine for mobile games. HINT HINT!

Job hunters! Auto-gather LinkedIn’s job suggestions for you to a spreadsheet!

Hi everybody! I made a little IFTTT recipe to automatically add all of LinkedIn’s job suggestions to a Google Drive spreadsheet for you. If you’re on the job hunt, this is a handy way to bring the leads straight to you.

Click here to set it up. All you have to do is connect your IFTTT account to Google Drive and to LinkedIn, and you’re done! One minute and you’re ready to roll.

For those that don’t know, IFTTT is a wonderfully useful task automation tool that’s compatible with Gmail, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, LinkedIn, and over 100 other services to automate all manner of tasks in an incredibly simple way.

Hope you enjoy! I may post these more often as I create them. Task automation is of great interest to me these days.

LinkedIn For People Who Hate LinkedIn

I hear a lot of criticism levelled at LinkedIn from game developers. It’s a business networking tool, and on some level, people find that mildly repugnant. What the hell am I supposed to do with LinkedIn? Why should I care? It’s spammy. I’m not even looking for a job. Should I just delete it?

No, no, no, hell no. You need a LinkedIn, and I’m going to explain exactly why: If you don’t have a LinkedIn, you don’t look professional. Worse, you look like you don’t care enough to spend 15 minutes doing the bare minimum to look professional.

*mic drop*

I’m going to show you how to get a basic professional-level LinkedIn profile set up in 15 minutes, and wrap that up with some power-tips on how to use LinkedIn to get a job. This information is from the perspective of 1) a heavy, long-time LinkedIn user, and 2) someone who uses LinkedIn to research people to hire. I will tell you what I look for and why, and what to do and what not to do.

LinkedIn has over 225 million members in over 200 countries. There is no question that it is *the* social network for business networking. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a recruiter or a spammer or a job seeker to use it. If you’re an average developer that isn’t looking for a job, it still has its use. You can get set up in 15 minutes with a basic professional-looking profile, and contact settings that will keep people from bothering you.

Ultimately it doesn’t hurt anything to be on LinkedIn, whereas it limits future opportunities not to. In general, it’s a good life strategy to make sure good things can come to you without expending much effort, and this is a potentially high-yield way to do that. Let’s get into it!

1) Why do I need a LinkedIn profile?

Having a LinkedIn profile is the bare minimum you can do to look professional when people search for you. It’s a respected, credible source of information over which you have ultimate control. Controlling what you put on there controls how you present yourself. LinkedIn is the FIRST place people look if they want to know what you do professionally. If a hiring manager that could give you your dream job is searching for the right candidate, would you rather have your important professional information listed in the first place they will look for it, or not?

That’s one angle not many people consider… passive presence. You don’t have to be on LinkedIn every single day updating and posting and searching. Or even looking for a job. Think of it as your professional storefront. Wash the windows every once in a while, but don’t worry too much about it day-to-day. This is the key point: You want to be discoverable, even without applying consistent effort, even if you don’t need something *right now.*

2) What shouldn’t I put on my LinkedIn?

It pains me that this even needs to be said, but DON’T BREAK YOUR NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS AND TALK ABOUT WHAT SECRET PROJECTS YOU’RE WORKING ON. If you’re not sure, ask your company. When in doubt, don’t say anything. Game news sites regularly look for stories by combing through your LinkedIn profile and connecting the dots. Stalking peoples’ resumes to make the news is a scumbag thing to do, and I hate that it happens. However, it IS public information. There’s a new story every couple of weeks about a developer breaking their NDA on LinkedIn and making headlines. That one guy over at Kotaku has an entire column where he does this. And we give him the material.

Generally speaking, it’s not a good thing if product announcements happen accidentally. Especially not if it makes headlines and they link directly to your personal LinkedIn page. It shows a lack of discretion, and makes you look less hireable. And it’s also completely preventable, which makes you look even worse. You don’t have to be that person!

Here are a few bullet points of what NOT to put on your LinkedIn profile:

  • A fake profile. Don’t fill out a personal profile with your company name, then go around adding people. There are Company Pages for a reason, and you look like you don’t understand how to use the system, or just don’t care. Have you ever made the mistake of adding your grandparents on Facebook? Seeing this is similar to grandparent social media cringe.
  • Fake names. Use your real name. Don’t be cute. LinkedIn is a place to present yourself professionally, not be funny. I’m talking to you, Sparklesunshine von Ponypants. You were not as advertised.

  • Bad spelling. Especially for job titles. I’ve seen my fair share of Arists, Prodcuers, Desingers, Principles, Enviroment Artists, and once a “Certified Scum Master.” I’m also fairly certain you didn’t attend Pubic School. That, or I forgot to reset my search filter settings from last night.

  • “Cute” job titles. Having a creative title like “BADASS!” or “Pixel Wizard!” or “I fart polys!” isn’t necessarily bad, but it is *really* dorky. It makes you stand out, and not necessarily in a good way.

  • Douchey job titles. I find it hard to take anyone seriously that refers to themselves as a “visionary” or “thought leader” on a resume or LinkedIn. This tells me that person’s idea of a good night is a glass of wine and reading their own blog.

  • Party photos. I don’t care how many shot glasses you can fit into your mouth, how many glitter-dusted bar skanks you can hang off each arm, or about how you can turn a pig into a bong without killing it. Unless you’re applying to be on some sort of totally awesome reality show, keep it professional and boring. No one has ever said “Well, Candidate A is more qualified, but Candidate B burned off his eyebrows drinking a flaming Dr. Pepper while standing on his head — and he kept drinking. Our choice is clear.”

  • Age. Never tell anyone your age. You could be 10, 50, or 14 million years old. Never indicate your age. It’s not professionally relevant and it’s very easily judgeable. Don’t give them that. I’ve followed this rule since I was 12, because people get weird about people being too young, or too old. It’s ammo, and it can only lead to negative judgments. Don’t give it to them.

  • Religious affiliation. No one cares, it’s one additional data point that’s easy to judge people for, no one cares, aaaaand no one cares. I will be blunt: Being really up-front about your religious affiliation on your resume could make people think you’re likely to be enthusiastically obnoxious about it in the workplace. Think day one, enter that person: “HI EVERYBODY I’M REALLY EXCITED TO WORK HERE! I LOVE AND WORSHIP BACCHUS. LET’S STRIP DOWN, DRINK WHISKEY AND ROAST A GOAT!” This isn’t discriminating or stifling religious belief or thought, it’s a very simple and practical consideration: religion is an extremely sensitive subject that people really like starting discrimination lawsuits over. No one wants that drama. Don’t bring it up.

  • Twitter. DON’T LINK YOUR TWITTER. DON’T DON’T DON’T. Do. Not. Link. Your. Twitter. No good can come of that. It will confuse the message that you are a professional, because Twitter is the guileless Ritalin-popping chatterbox child of social networks.

3) What should I put on my LinkedIn?

Think searchable, relevant key words. You want to be easily discoverable via simple key words that apply to your skill set. Hiring managers, recruiters, and people like me search for people by job title, software proficiencies, and skills. For example, environment artist with Maya and ZBrush experience that’s worked on the Xbox 360. UI artist that knows Scaleform and has developed for the Wii. Animator with Softimage and Motionbuilder experience and has developed for the Ouya. (just kidding, no one cares about having Ouya platform experience! wah wah.)

Golly, I like bulleted lists. Here’s another one:

  • A professional summary. Two to three short paragraphs, depending on how long you’ve been in games. First person or third person never mattered much to me personally, but do it in the first person to be on the safe side.
  • Start\end dates for all your jobs, with proper job title. Under each job, describe your duties, what software you used, what titles you worked on (if you can), and one or two specific, interesting aspects of it that stand out. Don’t brag, don’t bitch, don’t gripe, and don’t fluff it out. This is a very important point: These are simplified pieces of data that are the basis for starting a conversation, not the conversation itself.

  • Education. I personally don’t care about education or what school you went to, but my purview is primarily art, where education for that matters less in the game industry. Still, include it if you’ve got it. It’s a qualification and another potential point of distinction that tells the story of you.

  • List of projects you’ve worked on. Link it to the company and the other people you worked with. Creating a little network like that will show people who you’ve worked with before, and in a job-getting situation, they’ll most likely be asked about you. And if you link to them that may encourage reciprocal linking, which will make it easier for people to find you from other peoples’ LinkedIn pages. Bam, discoverability.

  • Skills and expertise. The Endorsements system in LinkedIn is stupid and mostly useless, but it’s still worth it to edit that list to make sure that only skills relevant to you are listed. Keep it serious, and don’t list yourself as a Taco Expert or Beer God. Keeping these up to date and relevant make you easier to find. Keywords, yo!

  • Recommendations. The usefulness of written recommendations from people on LinkedIn is a controversial subject. Many people say they ignore them and think they’re worthless, and other people think they’re the greatest thing ever. My opinion is that it’s never a bad thing if you can get people on the record saying they liked working with you. However, if you’re in a layoff and everyone at the company is writing them for everyone else, it’ll be obvious that it’s probably going to be stress-induced fluffery, and more likely to be ignored. You can’t help but reciprocate if someone offers it without looking like a jerk. But if you can get a lead or a colleague you’ve worked with a lot to say a few good words about you, that’s never a bad thing. Just don’t put up 14 million of them, because that does start to look douchey.

  • Published works. If you’ve published articles or given talks at a conference, link them to your page. It’s a good thing! It demonstrates professional relevance, and it’s another point of distinction in your favor. Not everybody writes, and you look even smarter about the subject if you take the time to write about it.

4) What else can I use LinkedIn for besides looking for a job?

LinkedIn is a search engine in which people generally want to be found, so they make the relevant information easy to find. Aside from being a place simply to look for jobs, here are a few ideas for how LinkedIn can be useful:

  • Instead of applying for a job through the website, try to find their recruiter or HR manager on LinkedIn. Path less traveled!
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn Groups. You can meet cool people and learn. Check your friends’ Groups on their profile and join them. You can also request connections with people based on groups you have in common.

  • Are you interviewing? Ask for the names of the people you’re interviewing with and look them up. Find out who they know that you know. Ask questions about them. Knowing people in common can’t hurt. Also, make sure you check the gender of the person with which you’re interviewing… this does happen.

  • Add your coworkers. Find out where they’ve worked before, and get to know them better through that. “Hey, I saw on LinkedIn that you used to work at X company. Did you know Sparklesunshine von Ponypants? What a complete tool, right?”

  • Learn about new companies. See a new one opening in the news? Look it up. Look up the founders. Find out what they’ve done before. It’s a great way to educate yourself, and to find new connections with people you didn’t know you had.

5) General LinkedIn tips

  • If you don’t want people to contact you all the time, take the time to set your contact settings under Settings -> Communications. Set email frequency settings as low as you like, set who can send you invitations, and select the type of messages you’re willing to receive. If you want to do a fully fire-and-forget LinkedIn profile, set most of it to ‘off’ and enjoy the silence.
  • If you’re prepping to change jobs and want to stay secret, you can turn off LinkedIn’s profile update notifications first… shh. Settings -> Profile -> Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.

  • Keep LinkedIn updated quarterly. Set up a calendar event to update it.

  • Don’t forget your portfolio website link! Put it in the Summary, too. People forget this a lot.

  • If you’re trying to add someone you don’t know on LinkedIn, when it asks you how you know them, don’t select “Friend.” It’s tacky. If you don’t know them, don’t add them. If you’re a member of the same Group where you’re active, that’s cool, use that.

  • Here are ten simple but very important security settings to protect yourself on Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc:

  • If you’re adding someone, please remind them how they know you or how you met. Again, don’t call them a Friend if you’re not.

  • A link to your LinkedIn profile is not a substitute for having a resume on your portfolio.

  • After layoffs, I see floods of LinkedIn contact requests from people who never had LinkedIn before. This is one of my most important points: Connect with people before you need it, and before there’s a huge rush! It’s annoying getting hit up only by people who want something from you, right then. It’s worth taking the time to maintain your network and get your friends and coworkers in there.

In conclusion, if you want to look professional, be discoverable, and control the way you appear to potential employers, take the time to set up a basic LinkedIn profile. Even if you’re not looking for a job, you need a periodically-updated LinkedIn profile to ensure discoverability in case something good could come your way, or in case you really need it in the future. There is no downside to being easy to find and appearing professional to people who might give you money.

Jon Jones, Art Outsourcing Manager on Facebook!

Hi everybody! To those that may not follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn already, I’ve put together a Facebook page where I post video game industry job openings, startups, business news, hot new tools and tech, and more! Game dev productivity buffs, this is your news. :)

Please Like it share with your friends!

Resume and portfolio tips TwitterBlast!

Hi everybody! Here’s another TwitterBlast I did on my @jonjones Twitter account on the subject of resumes and portfolios. Here’s the info-dump, and I’ve followed that with a bit more explanation on why I dislike Blogspot and Wix.


  • Resume tip #1: Including your location is a must. Home address isn’t necessary.
  • Resume tip #2: When applying, specify the job title you’re applying for. Make sure it’s industry-standard, not something weird or made-up.
  • Resume tip #3: If your resume is light on experience, I personally like seeing skills up front..
  • Resume tip #4: It’s “3D Studio MAX,” not “3D MAX!” Even pros get this wrong, and most don’t care, but this drives me up the wall!
  • Resume tip #5: Only one typeface, and keep consistent font sizes. One resume I saw got smaller and smaller text ’til the end!
  • Resume tip #6: Since spellcheck won’t check most software names, make sure you proofread them carefully.
  • Resume tip #7: Clickable email and portfolio links in your PDF resume is a great thing to do!
  • Portfolio tip #1: If all you have is in your folio is classwork, and you graduated 1+ year ago, it looks like you stopped trying.
  • Portfolio tip #2: I like embedded demo reels, just make sure they’re big enough to see! i.e. not 320×240.
  • Portfolio tip #3: Having an “About” page on CGSociety with your full name and whatever nickname you use makes finding you even easier.
  • Portfolio tip #4: If you create a character of a different race than yours, ask honest friends if it’s unintentionally, hilariously racist.
  • Portfolio tip #5: Test your portfolio in all browsers and resolutions, especially if you’re embedding video.
  • Portfolio tip #6: I prefer seeing reels on Vimeo instead of Youtube. I just saw a full length softcore Indian porn movie as a Recommended Video.
  • Portfolio tip #7: A Blogspot page is not a portfolio.
  • Portfolio tip #8: A Wix page is not a portfolio. Wix is the Photoshop lens flare of portfolio hosts.
  • Portfolio tip #9: ENVIRONMENT ARTISTS! Dude, EVERYBODY MODELS ANGKOR WAT! Do the temples in Bhutan or something off the wall instead. Be creative!
  • Portfolio tip #10: Full Sail and Animation Mentor grads — when you graduate, use a new character model! It’s great to learn on, but I see it *everywhere.*
  • Portfolio tip #11: It’s not strictly necessary, but it’s always nice to get a Not Safe For Work warning before poppin’ out some boobs.
  • Portfolio tip #12: If you EVER autoplay music, I will find out where you live, burn your house down, and salt the earth.
  • Portfolio tip #13: You need a website in addition to just a reel, because it’s easier to update with new content.
  • Portfolio tip #14: When crediting people for assets used in your folio or reel, make sure you spell their names correctly.

So, Blogspot! Here’s why I don’t like it: It’s way too easy to have one portfolio piece per post, and have 2 – 10 pages’ worth of content I have to manually click through to see anything. Blogspot is for creating a timestamped archive of content, not a presentation of deliberately selected art. It’s fundamentally a posting format that automatically archives your work and hides it behind multiple pages anytime you post something new. You really can’t curate content or present your work that way. Imagine if every time you made a new piece of art, the 10th-latest piece of art you made before that was deleted forever. From an art director’s point of view looking at a Blogspot page, that’s how it is.

Yesterday when I was posting these, I almost passed on giving a guy an art test because he had a Blogspot page with so-so work on the first page, and his actual reel with good work in it on the second page. Fortunately I was being thorough and caught it, but not everyone’s going to do that. Make your art so easy to access I can see it accidentally!

I dislike Wix because a) it’s Flash, b) it’s VERY easy to make a horrible slow-loading page, and c) it’s VERY easy to make a horrible slow-loading page. I don’t care about fancy templates or cool presentation. Think about it this way: As an artist with a portfolio, you’re inclined to think of it as designing an experience to present your work and want it to look super polished and cool, and seeing flashy features and presentation is very tempting. As an art director, I have a list of portfolios to go through and I just want to see art IMMEDIATELY. I don’t care about bells and whistles, I’m less inclined to be forgiving of load times, and Flash-heavy websites that bog down my browser just annoy me. I see Wix and I see a platform that makes it incredibly likely art will be harder and slower for me to see.

In summary, Blogspot is for archived, non-curated content, and Wix’s temptingly flashy themes and features make it very easy to have a super slow portfolio. Some artists can do absolutely great working within those constraints to make good portfolios, but, across hundreds to thousands of portfolios, in the literal sense of “on the average” over a data set that broad, they are more annoying and badly done than not. There are exceptions, but it usually sucks.

Hope that’s helpful!

Art Test Tips TwitterBlast!

Hi folks! I’ve been posting a lot on Twitter lately, especially resume, portfolio, and artist tips. I’ve been queueing up a bunch of individual tips and pushing them out in one big two-second barrage of advice, and people have been asking for a more permanent location for them. Well, here you go! I’ll post these here anytime I do that from now on. Here are my tips on understanding and completing art tests:

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #1: NEVER be afraid to ask questions. It’s expected! However, a) DON’T ask just to seem clever, and b) DO try to ask them all at once.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #2: Follow directions precisely. You’d be astonished how often this DOESN’T happen, and it’s completely avoidable.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #3: We give directions, but also read between the lines at what isn’t said to add extra polish.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #4: Be tidy. It’s as technical as it is artistic. Tidy outliner, clean object and filenaming, organized layer groups in the PSD, etc.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #5: Be on time. If you’re going to be late, acknowledge it the *INSTANT* you know you will be late, and politely propose a new date.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #6: Log your time and be honest about it.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #7: Overdeliver, within reason. “Is there a way to jazz this up a little within my creative, time, and tech constraints?”

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #8: Unless they say otherwise, assume the art assets are meant for a realtime game. Construct the assets accordingly.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #9: When submitting, always send a separate confirmation email. FTP uploads don’t notify, and large email attachments sometimes bounce.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #10: Think hard about how you distribute detail with polygons and texture. This says a lot about how you think.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #11: Make sure the zipped art test contains ONLY the files needed, not dozens of extra directories or files (.mayaswatches, I’m looking at you).

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #12: If you’re asked to provide diffuse, normal, and spec maps… don’t randomly just not use them and not explain why.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #13: Don’t include files with random names like “SomethingWhatever.tga” or “DammitPleaseWork.jpg” or “”

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #14: DON’T PUT ART TESTS IN YOUR PORTFOLIO! a) It means you failed the test, and b) I’ve already seen 50 other people do that one, and probably better.

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #15: Ask your friends to look over your work. Be willing to accept criticism. Don’t make people wonder “did he even look at the reference?”

ARTISTS! Art Test Tip #16: Don’t let your own self-doubt keep you from finishing or submitting. It’s their job to evaluate you, not yours. Stay strong.