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November 24, 2011
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November 24, 2011

Making a Show-reel

The field of animation & VFX is much more dynamic than what it was couple of years back.The competition is much more tougher. Scenario has change from few skilled professional to many & from multi- taskers to highly skilled ,specialized professionals.

There is a flood of candidates applying for multiple post with out even knowing the studio’s requirement. At time the number of such unsolicited entries touches 200 per day.

Today for you to get your dream job in 3D you have to let your work speak for you.

As a 3D artist you will have just about two or three minutes to showcase work. If the recruiters’ time is short, they tend make a judgment call in the first 15 seconds, so there’s no point saving your best stuff for the end. You’ve got to shine from the start, playing to your strengths.

Here’s an insider for all aspiring CG Artist to get closer to the “Dream Job”


It’s not just your reel that will make a good impression. Presentation is crucial .

As well as thinking about the 3D content, it’s worth giving serious consideration to the supporting material in your reel – it can be a vital part of selling yourself. CVs, portfolios & website links can all boost your chances. Be wary of sending hard copies packaged with your disc, as it’s easy for material to get separated at the other end. It’s far better, if possible, to include material on the disc. Hard copies are more useful at the interview stage, where you might find yourself shunted into a back room without a PC to hand. In your CV, be clear & be relevant.

If you have relevant work online, then you can use a web-site link to point recruiters towards it, with the advantage that they won’t expect it to be as tailored & focused as the demo reel. If you are including a link make sure it’s not on some kind of free hosting, or expired, or too slow to download. What you need are images or videos that people can see extraordinarily easily, on any machine.


When it comes to the technical details, the watchwords are clarity & transparency. You can’t talk the recruiter through the demo, & they won’t have time for long explanations, so you need to set everything out as plainly as possible. In case you are including a project that you were a part of, its very important that you mention clearly what work you did in the project. A clear, concise breakdown is highly advisable, along with a list of the software used.


Don’t stand out for the wrong reasons & avoid including irrelevant.

It’s better to do something that’s simple & done well, than going for more complex projects &looking like an amateur. Your reel must focus on your strengths, but remember who you’re sending it to.


Cut anything that’s not up to scratch and leave them wanting more

Most recruiters agree that a demo reel should ideally be two or three minutes – perhaps even less. The cardinal rule is that substandard work should be avoided at all costs.


Video or DVD? DigiBeta or DivX? Oh, it’s all so confusing!

The bulk of demo reels are sent on VHS and DVD. Both formats are still serviceable, and preferred by many companies because of the fewer compatibility problems they pose. A physical format like DigiBeta or a non-standard codec like DivX are less advisable, as many companies simply don’t have then.


Yes, we know you know. But you can forget the basics in all the excitement…

There are some things that go without saying, but it’s easy to forget about them and still slip up. For starters, make sure that the demo reel is clearly labelled with your contact details, and that these are accurate and up-to-date. Make sure they’re somewhere onscreen as well, in case the reel gets separated from the packaging. Check that your tape, DVD or CD has what it should have on it.


Put that pretty pink bow down, and read on to see how to pack to impress.

There’s a slight difference of opinion among companies as to what kind of packaging is required. Some recruiters argue that it’s practically irrelevant, beyond an image on the box that gives an idea of the content and a clear interface guiding the viewer through. Its advised to put your name and email on the case, and felt-tip them on the disc itself .


A final check and off there goes your showreel. And wait for the call form studio.

All the best.

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