Demo Reel


After a lot of hard work, I’ve created my first serious demo reel to aid in my quest for employment. The work is already my current ‘best’ as it were, so really what I’m asking for as far as criticism is any hints on my editing and presentation. For example, behind the mech warrior I think I have too much of the coloured background. Is the background too distracting from the work? etc etc.

The only thing I havent put on yet is a credit to the music (by AC-DC) and my contact details at the end. The text disappears pretty quickly, but the reel in dvd form will be accompanied by a cover letter explaining each model a bit, why I created it, with what etc.

Final thing - video compression. What codecs do people use? For the dvd I’ll simply port the uncompressed files over, but for the net I’m using +H264 or something with quicktime. Thoughts?

1min20ish in length / 13mb-ish -


(edited link on first post, found better codec)

Hmm… don’t know what codec You’ve used but I’m on a mac and I can’t read it! :stuck_out_tongue:

great stuff and nicely presented. editing suggestions: the first shot of the Davy Jones model has it immediately turning away from front view. i think a better intro shot for that model is the second Davy Jones shot. (make sense?)
i like the colored backgrounds, but i agree on the mech warrior it competes too much, and it might be too much on Pirate Link also?
i also feel like the first model deserves a few more seconds in the spotlight.
i think the song choice is great and your edits are timed nicely to it. for the player if quicktime wont read it. The codec is H.263+ but perhaps I’ll try something a little more generic. No sense having a reel no-one can open.

treatkor - thanks for the comments. The coloured backgrounds I can tone down easy, Davy I might need to re-render, because the render doesn’t loop like the mech or delorian does. Could play it backwards I guess, I get your point though. A thought I had with the first model, Grievous, was perhaps I could just have a simple rotation of him at the end when I’m crediting the music and putting my contact details in. That way he’d get more time in without messing around with the timing of the intro.


Figured Mpeg4 is a more common codec, still happy with the results.No actual changes made to the reel just yet, just the codec. Will post changes when I make them.


Very nice modeling. The colored streaks that halo your models are kinda cool looking, but I don’t think they are appropriate for your reel. They seem to be hiding some of the details. Also, on the pirate cad link model, I think the light might be a little too bright, obscuring the features of the model.

If you really want to have the colored streaks, then perhaps a good compromise would be to start with them, and them fade them out so that the viewer can see the model against a pure black background.

Good luck with your job search!

sketchy - I’ll give that a go, see if the edges of the models show up enough with black. The pirate does tend to get a little washed out, mainly because of the shader I used, but it shouldnt be that hard to tweak.

While I’m at it, thanks for the Ludwig rig, it’s stuff like that from the Blender community thats helped me get to where I am now. Animation is something I’m keen to get into more once the whole jobhunting scene settles out.

If you really want to have the colored streaks, then perhaps a good compromise would be to start with them, and them fade them out so that the viewer can see the model against a pure black background.

I totally agree with this, but you know this already. :smiley:

General Grievance is just freakin’ amazing. Is that purely a blender internal render? I presume so, in my opinion it renders better than the maya model which I assume you used mental ray for.

iamthwee - The mech is internal Maya software render, my graphics card lacks the pixel shaders for hardware and I dont think I have mental ray. (It was a short term uni project last year.) Also, the work is about 6 months older than most of the other models, but it shows I can use Maya to employers. Grievous is purely internal blender, he used to take 4min30 a frame, but I found a cool angle map and tweaked some stuff and he renders in under 30 seconds from basically any angle. He can even render out in HD ‘relatively’ quick.

Incidentally he’s about 90% rigged with IK and all that jazz.One day I’d like to ‘finish’ him, fully textured with normal maps, more lightsabers, add tubing with softbody/dynamics, etc etc and release him for people to practice animation on. 4 arms and two legs for fighting!! Not sure how the license would work seeing as he’s not my own concept… On that note, Davy Jones is taking a while for me to post the blend (for those who’ve read Davy’s own thread) because I’m trying to get the toon sss to work better with a normal map instead of the high res model, which is too large to put online. I appreciate not everyone has wicked broadband.


You could put both the hi-res and lo-res Davy online, that way those of us who do have wicked broadband can view your work at its fullest.:wink:

about halfway through the turn on Davy you should start the tentacles moving. That would FREAK PEOPLE OUT. Also if GG is rigged, have him pose still, then spin a sabre or something. Catch them off guard, make them remember.

Rings Junkie -

I’ve just made a post about the file in Davy’s thread, all explained there. Long story short - thats the full version, normal mapped version still coming.

RogerWickes - That would be pretty cool, but Davy isn’t rigged. Grievous is rigged fairly well, still plan to tinker further. I’ve basically decided not to have any animation in this reel because my modelling is of a much better standard at this stage and I didnt want to risk ‘dragging the rest down’ as it were. He might reappear fully rigged, textured and animated in a later reel though, or at least in a little animation to post on BlenderArtists sometime.


Very impressive. The only thing I would mention is that the video seems interlaced. It’s not obvious all the time, only the parts that are sped up. It’s very obvious on the Mech warrior part tho.

Interlaced is for playing on television but for video to be played on the computer it would look a lot better if it was “progressive”.

It’s probably just the default settings in your editing software. Simply select “progressive” instead of “interlaced” when you export your video.

If you don’t find a job with this demo reel, there is something very wrong in this world.

I’ve implemented the suggested changes that were ‘possible’:

  • Progressive, not interlaced
  • Davy spins the other way, focus on his face first
  • Coloured background toned down to blue or cut completely for most of it
  • Mech rendered out much clearer from video editor (Adobe Premiere Pro)
  • End ‘credits’ added fro list of programs and to thank ACDC for the use of their music…
  • Pirate link toned down to fix his ‘washed out’ white parts
  • Grievous reappears at the end behind the ‘credits’ with an AO simple camera rotation renderThink that’s it. Codec is H.264/AVC, I just like it better… great codec.


looks good to me! :smiley: grats!

Just looked at the latest version of the reel, nice work! I’ve done a lot of hiring for various types of artists at different places I’ve worked and seen hundreds of reels and portfolio. If this demo reel came in the door where I was working these would be my issues with it:

  • Have full rotation on all the models at a consistent speed. The quick cuts are flashy, but if all the details of your model can’t be seen the reel isn’t very effective in my opinion.
  • Less glare and lighting effects (again, if the models can’t be seen there’s no point having a reel).
  • Show your work flow (sketch > model > texture > lighting). A lot of places really like to see this and I’ve seen very few reels from established professional 3D artists that didn’t show work flow for at least one of the pieces in their reel. I think that might be particularly important for you since most of your models aren’t your designs and it demonstrates that the work is yours and not just grabbed from somewhere off the net.
  • More original designs. A lot of the places I have worked there was a premium put on the ability of artists to produce original stuff from scratch, usually quickly. That isn’t as much of an issue at big studios and effects companies because the designs get handed to you, but if you have a flair for designing models from scratch you should show more of that off. I think it’s a definite professional asset.Something that might not be helpful or possible for you right now, but what a lot of successful freelancers I have met do is cut multiple reels and put the emphasis in each on the type of work the company they are applying to is known. They’ll also throw in a few things in alternate styles to demonstrate their range too.

All that being said, it’s a great looking very polished reel. Good luck with the job hunting!

Definitely a lot better. There are still a few parts which (in my opinion) the background is still a little distracting. The very last image, just too bright. I don’t quite understand what effect you are trying to achieve, is it SSS? Whatever it is, you can’t see the details on the face at all.

I personally would prefer the credits at the end to be plain and on its own, I don’t think you need to plug general grievous again. The first scene shows him off as he should be, in all his metallic shiny glory.

Now if you could rig and animate him, that would give your future employees something else to droll over.

Oh and please, please, please finish you demo rell with davy jones. It’s the best. Save the best for last.

Its quite short, those I see on CG talk have at least 8-10 models or references to show off. Other than that the content is stellar!