Animation Demo Reel Guidelines

Animation Demo Reel Guidelines

– For most professions, having a good resume or cover letter is the most important
factor in getting a job. For animators, though, it’s
all about the demo reel. Over the years, I have made
many demo reels for myself and watched dozens of
other people’s reels. In this video, I have
collected all the information I have learned about how to
make an effective demo reel that actually gets you hired. Here are the guidelines of
what I found to be the rules for an effective demo reel. The length of your reel should
not be over two minutes. Ideally, it would be under one minute, unless you’re a veteran animator, which in this case, you don’t really need to
watch this video anyway. I mean, if you think about it, it doesn’t make sense
that a beginner animator would have more than two minutes
worth of amazing content. And that’s what we’re looking for. Amazing animation. I cannot over-emphasize this. The reel should only include awesome work. A 30 seconds reel of amazing animation is much preferable to a two
minutes reel with mediocre work. Don’t include anything that
is less than amazing work as a time filler. If you’re not convinced that a piece is worth putting in your reel, either polish it or don’t use it. Regarding the content of the shots, try being original as much as you can. Don’t do the stuff that everybody does. Lifting something heavy,
walk cycle, bouncing ball. Try putting your
personality into the shots. Try standing out. For example, for my reel, I wanted to
add a diving board shot. But instead of a guy jumping, I made him slip and fall down. That way I added my own
little twist to the shot. Put first best work first. It takes people a few seconds to decide if they want to keep watching your reel. So make sure you have things
that grab their attention. If you have dialogue pieces, include the original sound. A quiet, unintrusive music
in the background is okay, but be careful with the choice of music. It should not distract
the viewer or annoy them, but only act as a connector
between the shots. If in doubt, just turn
off the music completely. Give every piece the time is deserves. Don’t edit to music, or get too creative. This isn’t a motion graphics reel. In an animation reel, you want to present each shot separately. Sometimes even with a
title card before each shot so you can let the viewer
understand what they’re watching without confusing them. Don’t forget to number
the shots in the reel and then write about each
shot in the description of the video. After finishing your reel, you might ask yourself, where should I upload it to? You have two main choices. Youtube or Vimeo. Both valid options but they have advantages
and disadvantages. Youtube has much more viewers, which means your reel
would have more exposure. But it’s considered less professional. Vimeo has less viewers, but it’s got one great feature. You can replace the
video under the same URL, which means that when
you update your reel, you can replace the video
and the link to your reel with always have the latest version. That’s pretty huge. That’s why my verdict is Vimeo. It’s considered to be the Youtube for artists, filmmakers,
and professionals. And the fact that you can
always update your reel without changing the
URL is really important. Think about a person who
wants to check out your reel a year after you send it to him. If you have used Youtube, that really would not be relevant anymore. Sure, Vimeo is less exposed, but that doesn’t really matter since the people who are
going to view your reel would most likely be people
you’ve sent it to them, and not some stranger
who happened to find it. If you’re in that place where
you’re looking for ideas for your reel, here are some suggestions
for animation exercises. Flower sack animation, dog walk or run cycle, a man juggles, throwing
knives on a board, or darts, man hits a ball with a bat, although it’s a bit of a cliche, someone chews food and
then likes it or hates it, a sword fight, kung-fu fight, man on a pogo stick, diver on a diving board, a character’s expression as
it gets bad or good news, laughter, some dialogue piece, under water, a man or a fish, transition between walk and run, a bird flying. Once your reel is done, don’t forget to check out this video on how to light and render
your animation shots in a very basic way so that you’ll have something nicer than a collection of play blasts. Got any more suggestions
for creating a demo reel? Write them down in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe
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  1. Can you make a video about Job interviews for animators? Talk about your experience and differences between an art interview compare to a… common interview… please? 😀

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