Unfortunately, only a few know how to properly evaluate someone’s portfolio. Most will simply look at how attractive the works are. If those works meet their criteria, they’ll often think that the 3D designer can handle their project. Others only consider how many 3D works a designer has completed.
It’s not entirely wrong — portfolios allow you to assess a designer’s capabilities after all. However, there are some considerations you should make:
- First, you gauge the quality of the works in his portfolio
- Second, you check how many items are included in the portfolio
- Third, you ask questions if you have concerns; based on the answers given, you make conclusions
I believe the design is pretty self-explanatory. Therefore, let’s delve deeper into the number of works instead because there’s going to be some confusion encountered.
Why doesn’t the number of works always matter?
One of the best practices is to check the number of works in a designer’s portfolio then compare it with his experience in the field of 3D design.
An artist will claim that he has 15 years of relevant experience and show you his portfolio which contains 10 projects completed 10 years ago. On the other hand, another designer will give you a link to his portfolio containing 50 works he completed during his two years of working as a designer.
Based on this information, it’s safe to assume that the first artist only displays his best works and hides the rest. Or maybe, he’s only worked on a small number of projects and isn’t really what he claims he is. If he’s been in this field of work for a long time period and doesn’t have enough works showcased in his portfolio, try to ask him why. If possible, have him show you his other works.
If he refuses without explaining why it’s more likely that his works are either not present or simply failures.
Now let’s talk more about facts. Previously, my company – Faraday3D – showcased most of our works on a portfolio webpage. However, as we started working with larger 3D studios for bigger projects on a global scale, we are often required to sign NDAs regularly.
In some years, we have to work fully under NDAs without updating our portfolio. That is something that hasn’t really helped with our publicity.
I also noticed that having a large portfolio will sometimes overwhelm potential clients. Most of the time, they don’t bother reading the descriptions under every project and just ask something like, “can you do this?”, “can you do that?”, etc. Therefore, we have decided to close our portfolio; but we left the webpage open just in case.
We decided to use another strategy.
If our clients can’t browse through our portfolio and make conclusions, it would be a lot better if we only show them a specific part which is specifically intended for specific clients with a specific case. This is just to show them that we have already worked on and solve similar cases and that we are capable of doing so again.
Let’s be honest. Not all clients are after aesthetics. Some only need a quick solution to their problems. If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll know that some clients are contented with mediocre results simply because they don’t have enough time to wait for the renders or don’t have enough money to pay for them.
Likewise, this could explain why no new images are added to the portfolio.
In this case, 3D artists or studios who value quality could and should only create incredible outputs during their spare time. However, in some cases, they often get unfinished. This explains why asking for additional details and keeping the conversation going is important.
Let’s dig deeper; this time, let’s talk about mastery.
There’s no 3D artist capable of perfectly creating designs for everything. For example, a designer might excel at interior designs but will suck when it comes to exteriors. Another creates high-quality 3D exteriors but can’t come up with a good interior design.
Specialists are categorized into two:
- General profile – this type of specialist takes on any project as long as they’re paid for it. If you take a look at their portfolio, you can find a variety of works including interior renders, product designs, outdoor renders, etc.
- Narrow profile – narrow profile specialists are a lot more specific in their craft. You can expect to see only one type of work in their portfolio. For example, you will only see product designs, or interior designs, depending on the specialization. A narrow profile specialist only works on a single field because this is where he excels. In most cases, you’ll have a hard time choosing which is the better one in his works because they are all incredible.
This explains why working with a 3D studio is your best choice. Designers of varying profiles often work together inside a studio.
Since every designer has their own field of specialty, the output could turn out well. Other than that, the team can always seek advice or ask opinions about the project to further enhance the quality of work.
Now let’s move on to reliability. If you think that the artist claims the works of others, ask them to show you their previous clients so you can talk to them instead. If the client confirms that the designer did that work for him, that would be a good start.
However, if you really have a strong suspicion that it’s not the artist’s work, you can try searching for it online. Go to tineye.com and upload the image. You will receive results indicating where a similar image was used. You can try to visit the websites revealed and discover the true owner of those images.