(Early) Demo Reel

I don’t really know what the rules are for making a demo reel. I’ve never done it before. I don’t know if a demo reel is supposed to just be all the animation you made in one year or what.
This is not that. Nor am I looking for a job in the animation industry, so it isn’t really a resume.
Instead it’s more of a retrospective of most of what I’ve done up till now, entered in more or less chronological order.
Mostly I did it to map where I’ve been, where I’m at, and to take stock of what I want to do in the future.
I never intended to become an animator before I found Blender. I didn’t think I could. My mother’s mother was the visual artist in the family, and I always figured I picked up more from my father’s mother, an English teacher and writer. Words were always my thing, and writing is what I studied in school. But, with Blender, I realized it could give me the power to bring my writing to the screen. That’s why I endeavored to become an animator.
Looking at this, I’m not satisfied. Yes, a lot of these were primitive, or even work in progress. Unfinished.
But it makes me want to aim for something higher in my future work. From now on, I’m making longer films, more cinematic, more dramatic. More story.
But this is where it started…


You lost me at drill baby drill. Politics and BA don’t mix…

That was the first animation I ever made (before I ever knew what BA was…)

First animation? Good job. My first was a cube moving… (I did not mean anything bad with my earlier post)

No, Place, I get it. I’ve said myself recently that BA is a terrible place to discuss politics. People get ridiculous pretty quick, and then the whole thread gets locked before you can spit.
It’s a bad place to talk about it.
But I do think that addressing the politics of the day is an essential role of art.
My point with this Demo Reel was not politics (some of the politics in some of these clips now seem detached and out of time, which is exactly the main problem with addressing politics in art (usually)) but to trace how my style has changed over the period I’ve been using Blender, as well as how the technology itself has changed. There are even a few Cycles clips in here that were rendered right at the time Cycles first became available to Blenderheads (and you can see some very ugly grain going on…)
Anyway, no harm no foul. I’ve always thought of you as a really nice guy, so I doubt you’d easily offend me anyway.
Besides, I’m a Georgian too, born in Atlanta. Anytime a Georgian gets pissed off about anything, I tend to think of Dr. McCoy, who was also supposed to be from Atlanta, and how easily he could become righteously indignant about particular thorny points. And how quickly he could snap out of it.

I have no problem whatsoever with your politics.

As far as your animation skills are concerned, your demo reel definitely shows an evolution with your skills.

Love it!

A demo reel is “supposed to be” no more than 2 and a half minutes of example(s) of your very best work only, in order to get their attention amongst the stacks of other animators applying; to prove that you are the one with the skills to take care of the job on offer.

Of course, break all the rules you want.

For an animation reel, you should focus on having a good example of lip sync (this in not just the lips moving to the words, you need to pick something where you demonstrate how you can make the characters act with emotion) and your clips should cover the age-tested classics like; how convincingly you can make a character walk, carry an object (and act as though it’s heavy) and other actions. For animation, your goal should be to make the reel look “real life” / natural in order to sell that you know how to pull it off.

@Animaguy: Thank you. Yeah, that was pretty much the goal of doing it, to trace what’s changed and maybe learn something I didn’t know about what I do by seeing a lot of things I’ve done all in one place for the first time.

@Lancer: I think I probably mentioned earlier that this wasn’t about job hunting. This is more for my own personal reflection, to try and see what I do from a more distanced perspective. To take stock of where I’ve been and get a better focus on what I want to do.
However, you did point out the need for good lipsynch and character animation. I admit, working with characters is something I avoided like the plague for a very long time. And only recently did I even begin to experiment with crude lipsynch for the first time. I had always been afraid to try, assuming that it must be insanely difficult. Same with more natural character animation. However, after recent basic experiments with lipsynch, I realized not only that it’s much, much easier than I had feared, but that I actually enjoy it. Because my upcoming work is more about storytelling and characters, it’s something I’ve been focusing on and practicing a lot more in the past couple of weeks.
Same with character animation. I think it takes someone with a lot of experience and talent to do good keyframe human character animation. That isn’t me, and the little bit of character work I’ve done like that was very hard, although I even (sort of) enjoyed that. In this reel there is some mocap animation (some bad, some a little better), but I don’t like the technique I was using to do it. Very complicated. I’ve recently learned some simplified methods, and that’s been my focus the past few days too.
At any rate, I’m back on the beat now. What I’m doing now has lots of characters, and lots of speech. And, although I focused on learning about rendering and moving the camera around and basics in the beginning, I’m enjoying working with human characters more than I’ve ever enjoyed anything in Blender before. I just hope it doesn’t take forever to get my upcoming character projects finished! :slight_smile:

Thanks for watching and the participation.