Reel candidate - Critique welcome

DISCLAIMER: I UPDATE(D) THE VIDEO, LINK STAYED THE SAME. SOME CRITIQUE MAY NOT APPLY, BUT SOME POINTS ARE STILL VALID AND MAY BE USEFUL TO OTHERS.

Hey.

I want to use the scenes in the video in a show reel, but I’m not happy with how they look. I was wondering what I could do to improve these. I seem to have more success with still renders than animations.

I’m not asking about the 2D video aspects like montage, just what works in particular 3D scenes and what doesn’t; should I use less denoising, does the light look okay, do models even look good enough? I see so much incredible art around that I wonder how far I still have to go.

Also, most of these were made in the past month, but the water-pillar thing was made in 2014. Is it reasonable to use something that old?

For example, the planet-girl-falling thing looks okay at the initial frame, but once it is in video the contrasts lower, the dress doesn’t grab enough attention and the planet just looks ugly. I don’t know what to do about the stars, and the whole thing just feels like something is wrong. Uncanny valley?

I like the monitor display thing.
You should have your best work in a reel. If that means making new stuff you should do that. If you feel some works are probably not that great and don’t represent you current skill you should take them out. If you modeled something you are really proud of you should do a turntable of it and after one turn flip to a wireframe of the model. If you made some texture you are proud of you should have a close up of those textures. I feel many of your shots suffer from bad lighting. The room you have is budgy and dosen’t even look like it was rendered with Eevee quality. The movements of your dragon look stiff. If you are looking for a job focus on getting great at one field. Animation, chacter animation, rendering, modeling. etc. Spend some months on that and make something spectacular because companies only hire the best of the best.

Me: How bad is it that the room was rendered in Cycles, not eevee?

everyone turns to look, awkward silence

is this reel meant to show your work or is it to get employed , or both ?

Yes if its fit in the reel !

From what I see, you have a generalist profile, you’ve tried different stuff and you’ve got an even knowledge of CG.
What you can study more is lighting and after that compositing. That could improve a lot of shots like the girl on the earth, interiors scenes, and the last one with the dragon.
Try to get your hand on how photographers lit their subjects in real life to get inspired, also some CG tutorial on the lighting theory.