View Full Version : Need help constructing my Demo Reel !?!

andy gee
05-12-2006, 06:49 AM
Hi everybody

i have just read the thread on demo reels, and im getting a bit stressed about

putting my demo reel together.

First of all my main and only area of work has always been characters,

character creating, texturing rigging and animating. So my question is

how do i lay out my demo reel, i mean do i mix my animations with still shots

or make 2 separate reels, or what.

I guess the only thing in my favour is that im focused on one area or expertise

which i have heard is a good start, also if i have a still of a character then i

want to show an animation of him do i even bother adding the picture if

its of the same thing ? what im trying to say is how would i go about

displaying my work ? when it consists of 12 pictures and 4 animations ?

if any body has any advice or opinions on this or could help in any way that

would be great


Andy Gee

05-12-2006, 07:02 AM
I think the best advise I can offer is that you check out the demo reels on places like CG Talk re: http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=154

See what the competition is doing, what kind of formats are the accepted norm in your field.

05-12-2006, 12:50 PM

Can you list the programs you have? If you have program that has a timeline. you could use that to assembly your project there. When I first got Aura I used it to render complete projects. If you need help let me know.

05-12-2006, 02:46 PM
Hi Andy, this is what I would do if I were you. :)

Since you specialize in character creation I would separate the media or find ways of integrating the still art into your reel with After Effects or heck, even LW3D. Think of 2D polygons with your picture mapped onto them flying in front of the camera or something similar. Of course if you have the character animated that would be stronger in the presentation but if you want to show specific detail in something perhaps printed form would work better.


P.S. Find some nice music and just fade it at the end with the usual name/contact/favorite pet screen ;)

05-13-2006, 01:10 AM
Why woud you put stills in an Animation Reel anyway?
Generally you don't want static shots in a demo reel...

And you only want to showcase your best work...
1 minute of good character animation,
is better than 3mins of average stuff.
Leave the stills out, unless they are perfection.

If so you may want to do as mention and pan, zoom and scroll over the image in post.

05-13-2006, 02:14 AM
Here is another helpful advice. I was just reading this not too long ago.


05-13-2006, 03:35 AM
I would show each thing you can do separately and indicate on the reel clearly what you are showing in the section.
Show your model(s) and have it rotate slowly once.
Show your best example of texturing.
You could have a rigging and animation section
or a rigging section showing you demonstrating a rig youve created.

You might also have more then one reel showing off each of those separately depending on what a potential employer wants to see.

andy gee
05-13-2006, 01:00 PM

Ok have read what everybody has to say, and im really stuck in terms of how

to get my work across in a logical mannor.

the reason i want to include still images in my demo reel is because is shows

off what veriety i can do.

If i left them out i would have 1 futuristic animation 1 animal 2 cartoon and

thats it. Im hardly sure that, that would be enough work to imress anybody

im not sure i need further advice please.


Andy Gee

05-13-2006, 01:28 PM
My advice if you still wanna keep your stills and not have the demo... still is to have high rez images (Larger than the video) and do slow pans (or zoom, but be careful withem) to get some movement in them. You know there really isn't any 1 formula that will give you the "Perfect" demo, but there are tons of things not to do to get a really good demo. I think you're stressing too much about it. Think of it as a film, a short film in which there is a story you need to tell and each shot you have is atransition between the ones before and the one after


Robot character still. Panning from head to extended arm--> dissolve to your really nicly textured ogre arm (contrasty yes, but similar subject), perhaps this time its a video of the arm doing a gripping action--> now dissolve into the entire ogre mesh, still, pan toward head-->dissolve to the other ogre head yo have-->another ogre head-->now get that short lipsync you did in there (still on head)-->now throw in that shot of two people having a conversation...... You get the idea. Like I said there are a million ways to do this. This is only one. Its not perfect, its not the only way. I'm pretty sure everyone here has there own way... other such ways

1-Synch your slide show to music
2-do them in categories (parts, heads, bodies, textured bodies)
3-Do them in progression (Sketch-->model-->textured-->rendered-->animated)-->(second model progression)
4-movies only
5-turntable only
6-I've seen turntable with movement on the platform, very cool very simple
7-still only
Anyway, don't stress out. Stay calm, its just a reel. Just hang on to a concept and let it lead you.


05-13-2006, 08:16 PM

You've been given some good advice...and I can understand that you are wanting more to show...and to show you're more flexible than just the moving stuff you have.

I would suggest something a little different. I would use the stills in a moving graphic piece way but with your personal info and contact info on the reel...think of it as your moving backgrounds/environment...(I would include HARDCOPIES of your stills with ALL demo reels and mention that in your reel. Maybe on the back of your resume have one or thumbs) Also you want to show your BEST work and mastered techniques. But this is also YOUR commercial to sell yourself...DON'T be like everyone else. You want to stand out to sell yourself ...This is your commercial ON you !

Now think of HOW many candidates the supervisors or heads go thru to find just a couple or so to fit into their crew,workflow and pipeline. If your reel is the 200th seen...and it is like all the others...isn't that boring.

I am surprised @ how many reels of people use demo scenes, etc...to show what a book showed them to do.

I'm looking for creativity and the ability to problem solve on the fly...instant artistry without limits.

So don't go brain locked into, you must do things a specific way.
Make it up and be creative and show, sell and entertain if you can.

Good luck to you...hey also take the time to completely package your materials and reel into a professional looking submitle. It shows you care to even the fine details (check spelling, etc...)...now that may not get you the job right away...but keep developing your skills and your passion for what you do. Also know that many are also looking for people to get along with the crew...don't be afraid to show something of who you are as well.


05-13-2006, 08:26 PM
Im going to restate what Jeremy Birn said on his site:
Keep it simple. I think its important to remember that the people looking at demo reels usually dont have the time to look at a lot of them. That being the case I could keep the reel simple and to the point and avoid unecessary "flash and trash". :)