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shrox
05-14-2009, 10:09 AM
I have redone my website, I keep it pretty simple. That's to let the artwork speak for itself.

http://www.shrox.com

A cool new forum section might be a website review, it could be for stuff just like this.

caccipergolo
05-14-2009, 10:24 AM
your car shoots are simply great!!!

GandB
05-14-2009, 10:56 AM
Love the Zombie music in the car sequence (I also like your new title under your avatar! ;))!

All around your portfolio is great! Too bad the idiot at your former place of employment let you slip away.

-Keith

JamesCurtis
05-14-2009, 05:01 PM
Hey Shrox, very nice site. Why the blue AND red link selections?

$95.00 per hour, eh!! Man, I wish I COULD charge that much! My geographic area doesn't support that much, but I sure wish it did!!

Let's hope the economy rebounds. My clients cut way back with the project work. Hopefully things will improve after Summer though.

Good to see you back in the states and rebounding yourself.

borkus
05-14-2009, 05:21 PM
Out of your stills, my favorite is the eight ball, with the space station a very close second. Awesome stuff. Agreed with what James said. His loss. Somebody will scoop you up, or you'll start your own company and that guy will still be dreaming of his "big" movie...

zapper1998
05-14-2009, 05:56 PM
really cool

Matt
05-14-2009, 08:26 PM
Can I be honest? I think you're website design doesn't reflect your skills in LightWave, looks too web 1.0 to me. Sorry, but it might put some people off, which is a shame because your LightWave work is sooooo much more professional.

(Love the car shot, really well done that).

Hopper
05-14-2009, 09:15 PM
I'd have to agree with Matt. The content is very nice, but the presentation could use a little work.

But without changing the formatting, you might want to provide a means to click on your artwork to see a bigger version. I'm sure potential clients want to see as much detail as possible.

And I've seen the 70's car movie about 20 times and I still click on it every time I see it. :)

shrox
05-14-2009, 09:30 PM
I was hoping for some honest comments, I always have a hard time doing something for myself. Does it need to be more "graphical"?

Hopper
05-14-2009, 09:46 PM
I think what Matt was referring to was to make it a little more "today" style and not so much straight minimal HTML. Being in the media business your website should reflect your ability to impress your viewers whether or not you do it yourself or have it created by a professional web developer. I know you're currently looking for work and the DIY method would better suit you at the moment, but as many have stated in the past... if it comes down to having a not-so-hot website vs. none at all, you are always better off with none at all.

I think we've hashed this subject a few times around here but I'll mention a few things again.

- Templates are a good idea, even if you have to steal them from other sites and make them your own.

- Research research research... Go grab some tips on using some JS plugins or even some Flash if you have to as long as you don't "gadget" it to death

- Make it clean and clear with an obvious means to navigate (which you have already done - just needs to be in a better format).

- Being an artist, almost everything should be graphical (i.e. navigation icons, titles, etc...). But again... keep it simple and clean. You want your vistors to pay more attention to your work than the site itself.

- Provide a small dose of wow factor to the site without destracting the visitor from the subject at hand.. YOUR work.

- Be aware of some basic standards for implementing successful sites such as target screen width, optimizing graphics, color schems and font sizes, etc... Super high contrast sites tend to be a bit annoying. Black backgrounds are hard to pull off unless your content and navigation system covers a majority of it.

I'm sure you can get a ton of tips from this forum alone. There are quite a few forum users that have done some wonderful work around here. Go visit some fo their sites and get some ideas. Go ask about plugins they've used, what their ISP requirements are, etc...

And like I said before, your content is great, you just need a better way to present it.

Silkrooster
05-15-2009, 02:48 AM
I think dumping the text type menus and going with more of graphical menu would do wonders. I agree your images are superb. I don't think you need you need to go buy a template though, but making all the pages match will help. Think of it like a power point presentation. Each page much have a matching theme.

COBRASoft
05-15-2009, 03:29 AM
I have to agree with Matt and Hopper. Very nice content, but overall look of the site s*cks (sorry). Hopper gave some very good ideas there.

Matt
05-15-2009, 03:33 AM
This is a good place to start for inspiration:

http://www.coolhomepages.com/

meshpig
05-15-2009, 04:56 AM
Putting your hourly rate so amidst notions of "for the love of art" ( the last page) to me is ambivalent.

Maybe you need to "trade as" and put the rate on a separate page?

Love your work!

m

biliousfrog
05-15-2009, 07:07 AM
Can I be honest?

http://www.shrox.com/art.html

I wish I could charge $95 for that level of work. I have no doubt that you've done some good stuff otherwise you wouldn't be finding work or able to charge so much but, honestly, that page screams early 90's fumblings with poser and bryce.

If I was a potential employer I'd want to know what you can offer artistically over a student on minimum wage...Looking at that page, I can see some potential in the 8-ball and space station but nothing that would make me look twice.

'Art has always been in life. My mother was an artist, as are both my sisters. I have been doing computer graphics and 3D animation before you could go to school for it! That's almost 20 years.'

If you're going to say that, back it up with something. Show us that you've progressed through those 20yrs, not learned something within the first 5 and then got stuck in a rut for 15. Experience holds a lot of weight but not if you haven't got anything to show for it.

Sorry to be so honest but you're either charging waaay more than you're worth or you're not showing what you can really do...I think that it's the latter.

[EDIT] I'll just add that I only had a quick look, these are first impressions acting like a potential employer rather than a fellow LW'er or anything else. I wasn't compelled to dig deeper, look at the showreel or anything else, although I probably will later.

MooseDog
05-15-2009, 07:20 AM
mho for site improvements:

navigation should be text-based for the same reasons we like lw's text-based navigation: intuitive, fast, natural and thus helpful.

there are a ton of free css templates out there that you can use to throw together a very nice looking page very quickly. plus they're semantically correct and often w3c compliant (which helps with your s.e.o.).

ericsmith
05-15-2009, 10:07 AM
Can I be honest?

http://www.shrox.com/art.html

I wish I could charge $95 for that level of work. I have no doubt that you've done some good stuff otherwise you wouldn't be finding work or able to charge so much but, honestly, that page screams early 90's fumblings with poser and bryce.

I've been considering saying something like this myself but hesitated because I didn't want the thread to get nasty. But I'm going to agree with this.

Shrox, you do have some nice work in your demo reel, but there are some pieces in it and on the Art page that you shouldn't show anyone when trying to market yourself. Specifically, the space ship and the four characters on the desert landscape show promise, but everything else on that page only hurts you from a marketing point of view.

My question for you is this. Are those pieces on your website because 1) you don't have enough high-end content to fill out the page, and you're putting in whatever you've got? Or 2) you feel that work is of a caliber that represents your abilities?

If the answer is 1, then I would say simplify the website to just get to the demo reel and use the few images that really stand out as background dressing for the site. Oh, and get busy making some more cool stuff! : )

If the answer is 2, that's kind of a bigger issue, and I'm not quite sure what to say about it, but here's something to chew on. There's a distinct separation for those of us in this field between the technical side of things and the aesthetic. And unfortunately, many only focus on the technical side. I guess this is okay if you're working in a studio and there's always someone above you directing the creative aspects of your work, but ultimately, as artists, we need to really focus on developing the our own sense of vision. This is best done by really studying the masters in our field, looking at their work, and trying to figure out what makes it work.

Honestly, I don't know how or if either of these points apply to you, and I hope I haven't offended in any way. But I do think you should take a second look at each piece of work that you've put up to represent you, and ask yourself how it stands up compared to, for example, the demo reel of the kind of company you'd like to work for.

And just to reiterate one more time, there is some nice work in your demo reel, so it's clear that you have what it takes to do good work.

Eric

AdamAvenali
05-15-2009, 10:20 AM
i know that i have linked to this before on these boards, but i really enjoy this write up about web galleries.

http://www.game-artist.net/forums/spotlight-articles/415-general-your-portfolio-repels-jobs.html

i agree with others that some of the work is great, but some of the lighting looks like it was never completed to a level of the others. great work though :thumbsup: i love the muscle cars!

shrox
05-15-2009, 11:21 AM
I appreciate all these comments, I wanted real opinions. I have some stuff that I haven't finished yet that I plan to put in, pictures for the art page, and a redone index and genreral template. I am going to tighten up the demo reel as well. I guess I'll focus on cars...

adamredwoods
05-15-2009, 11:37 AM
Great feedback. So nice to see honest *constructive* criticism.
Everyone should learn from this, it's the only way to move your work from good to great.

Myself included.

shrox
05-15-2009, 12:01 PM
Great feedback. So nice to see honest *constructive* criticism.
Everyone should learn from this, it's the only way to move your work from good to great.

Myself included.

Wait, I'm a prima donna remember?

I took the comment as a compliment of sorts, made it my title under my avatar...

Andyjaggy
05-21-2009, 03:50 PM
Okay here are my crits.

1) On the quality of the 3D work. I have to agree with what everyone. I see a lot of potential, but there are some images that are doing more harm then good. I think you have the skills you just need to spend two months really polishing and finishing a good piece that will truly show off your skills.

One really polished animation is going to say more then 10 mediocre ones.

2)The site design needs some work. Everything has to be professional or they will wonder if you can tell the difference between professional and not professional..... if that makes sense. To me it's more about your eye for what looks good then your skills at "3D".

I would hire someone who had an obvious artistic eye for what looks good over someone who knows how to use a 3D program. Your website says. "I don't know what looks good" to me.

So.......... I would recommend getting rid of the straight black background. A dark gray would work better imo. Stay with the text buttons. Just look around at website you find attractive, and then try to mimic them. I don't consider myself a really great web designer, but I would start by picking some colors you think work really great together. Then lay it out on paper. Draw some quick boxes where you think things should go, then start some simple prototyping in html. Take time doing it, if you do a good job on your site and make it really nice looking and simple to update it can last a a few years without having to put much work into it.

Good luck!!!

MooseDog
05-21-2009, 05:17 PM
to follow on andyjaggy's suggestions of color choice, chk this out:

http://colorschemedesigner.com/

has helped me come up with a palette that does not jolt the eye.

Lightwolf
05-21-2009, 05:40 PM
While I agree with the others (including the work shown) - there is one option as far as the site design goes that is different (and imho makes sense as well).
Go minimal. While it requires design as well, the idea is to make your work speak for yourself.
And by minimal I mean something as little as 80ies fixed font (ascii art) with only your images standing out.

Currently it is more - little: not enough glitz to make it bling-bling shine... and not stripped down and simplified enough to make it minimal.

Then again, what do I know, ask Matt :D

Cheers,
Mike

archijam
05-22-2009, 01:23 AM
What is similar to your previous website is that you put your art on the same level as your paying work, and you rate your older projects as if they were new ones.

Technology moves quickly - what was an impressive feat 10 or even 5 years ago now looks simple. If you really want to keep the older examples, put them in a separate page - named clearly 'the vault' or so, and don't confuse work you are/were proud of with work that sells your current skills, which many of us know are very well established.

The point is that your site is misrepresenting you. If need be, make two separate sites - one 'personal' and one 'professional'.


And by minimal I mean something as little as 80ies fixed font (ascii art) with only your images standing out.

A great example of exactly that (architects website, tho there is one of my renderings in there somewhere ;)):

http://mlzd.ch/

Glendalough
05-22-2009, 06:45 AM
..Go minimal. While it requires design as well, the idea is to make your work speak for yourself....

Think this would be the quickest and most effective route. Also think you should drop the Statue of Liberty pic, mayb it's too polictical or I'm just getting polictical. But it's a bit confusing, being topless and all and a gift from France, french fries...

The spacecraft on the first page is really stunning, but the font brings it down, the picture of the earth above it is very good but maybe only one pic on this page as they compete. The animation of that spaceship on strange planet is super too.

Andyjaggy
05-22-2009, 08:51 AM
While I agree with the others (including the work shown) - there is one option as far as the site design goes that is different (and imho makes sense as well).
Go minimal. While it requires design as well, the idea is to make your work speak for yourself.
And by minimal I mean something as little as 80ies fixed font (ascii art) with only your images standing out.

Currently it is more - little: not enough glitz to make it bling-bling shine... and not stripped down and simplified enough to make it minimal.

Then again, what do I know, ask Matt :D

Cheers,
Mike

That's a really good suggestion. Large images. Minimal text and navigation. Almost like a slideshow, but with some text, and a little navigation.

I've attached an example, keep in mind I spent all of 3 minutes on this. It's simple, still looks nice, would be easy to create and maintain, and shows of your work, not website skills.

biliousfrog
05-26-2009, 02:30 AM
That's a really good suggestion. Large images. Minimal text and navigation. Almost like a slideshow, but with some text, and a little navigation.

I've attached an example, keep in mind I spent all of 3 minutes on this. It's simple, still looks nice, would be easy to create and maintain, and shows of your work, not website skills.

Those style of flash slideshows are available for most CMS platforms, for basic HTML sites there's simple viewer: http://www.airtightinteractive.com/simpleviewer/

The downside to a minimalistic approach where the images do the talking is that you need the images to be good enough to speak for themselves and carry the whole site.

Tom Wood
05-26-2009, 07:05 AM
Those style of flash slideshows are available for most CMS platforms ...

I use Wordpress as a CMS and I'm pretty sure there are several slideshow plugins and lots of themes that can do this.

shrox
05-26-2009, 08:06 PM
I have been busy, I got some steady full time contract work, centered in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

MooseDog
05-26-2009, 08:38 PM
cool news!!!

shrox
06-24-2009, 12:54 PM
Ok, I made another pass at my website. Still open to changes.

www.shrox.com

RollerJesus
06-24-2009, 01:33 PM
much better. My only critique right now is that the header jumps around a bit when you change pages, a minor annoyance really. nice job, I like the landing page a lot.

Stooch
06-27-2009, 11:30 AM
eh.. still stuck int he early 90s. $95/hour?? no thanks. Frankly I wasnt even tempted to look at the artwork. and whats the deal with the page that has all those "poster thumbnails" but no fullsize pics? Aesthetics is a HUGE indicator. A good artist will make a layout look good with just plain text.

shrox
06-28-2009, 07:16 PM
eh.. still stuck int he early 90s. $95/hour?? no thanks. Frankly I wasnt even tempted to look at the artwork. and whats the deal with the page that has all those "poster thumbnails" but no fullsize pics? Aesthetics is a HUGE indicator. A good artist will make a layout look good with just plain text.

Yeah, I haven't been moving very quickly on it. I just never know what to do for my own work. The "content" is stuff from previous webpages, I am just trying to get the "frame" to look good first, then I have newer pictures to post.

cresshead
06-28-2009, 07:50 PM
nice show reel!