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williamPalmer
01-28-2005, 01:31 PM
http://www.william-palmer.net/demoreel/wyvern_snow.jpg

http://www.william-palmer.net/demoreel/monster_fly_side.jpg

http://www.william-palmer.net/demoreel/nuke_end.jpg


Project Time: 8 weeks
Playback Length: 2m 42s

Software:
3ds Max 6
Photoshop CS
Premiere 6

Machine:
AMD 500MHZ
786MB RAM
GF2 MX/MX400 32MB

This is my first demo reel. I had not really worked with Biped, Character Studio, and Crowd before this project so there was a lot of reading tutorials and references and crashes involved. This was meant to be low polygon and game development oriented. A full description of the project can be found at the following link:

www.william-palmer.net/demoreel/Demo (http://www.william-palmer.net/demoreel/demoreel_2-42_320x183.mov) Reel Project.doc

I study painting and my graduation will be in May '05. I study Max and Photoshop at home after school. The main purpose of the reel was to either get a job as a game developer or get into Graduate school to study animation.

Please let me know if you think I have any potential at all or if I should just cut my losses now and go to work in a coal mine. All comments are welcome - just be honest.

45.1 MB - non-streaming - 1/2 size of original
http://www.william-palmer.net/demoreel/demoreel_2-42_320x183.mov

Jungle_Tribe
01-29-2005, 10:50 PM
I don't know what help my crits will be, I'm studying computer animation at Uni, and whilst i'm in the second year, my second animation much better than the first, i'm still only a beginner. :)

I like the overall look of your piece. I myself would be more tempted to call it an animation as apposed to an actaul demo reel (though may be entirely wrong. A demo reel is what you make it.)

One thing which did stick out to me though is that you need sound. I had a silent 2 minutes, and really, began to get bored.

You have some really nice textures and models in there. I myself would be more tempted to show them off in a demo reel.

Theres a couple of things i would look at animation wise, the dragons flapping their wings would be one. and the movement of the "bears" another.

You have some nice use of camera and you've kept it interesting using fades etc. (if this is very basic stuff to you, I apologise, I've been looking at alot of fellow students work lately. )

I would stick with it. :)

KielFiggins
01-29-2005, 11:16 PM
Your "reel" (which i too would consider a single animation) needs considerable work. What you have done is a rather blanket effect in demonstration of ability. However, your weaker points greatly detract from you stronger ones.

I would focus on character modeling and texture low poly for games. Turn table your models while their doing a cycle to show off the bind and "character" of the character. That is your strength.

I would move away from animation. That is your weakest area.

All your binds, poses, and animations are rigid and linear, with barely any overlap, no weight, and leave a lot lacking. I will not entirely go into all those areas, but for one solid example, a wing of any animal has over lap from the root to the tip, when a bird is flapping the chest and body rise and dip accordingly. I would look at muybridge photos for some great reference.

Your human movements are greatly hindered, and the bear things should almost be removed entirely. Quads do not move like that. And when an object falls and hits, a bounce and secondary overlap occur, currently it doesnt in your scene.

From a demo reel sense. I would start your reel with your name and website, then fade into content (get to your content withen 4-5 seconds). Also, put this information, plus any additional ones (like you have done) at the end. Only this time drop the large blue bar and make the text large and readable. We know this is your demo reel, no sense in stating that, your name should be the largest thing, then your contact, then credits.

And as a side note, i personaly dont care one way or the other, but any sort of music or ambience would add to the overall presentation.

BobDigital
01-30-2005, 02:45 AM
i agree with jungle tribe's response. for a beginner i think it looks real nice. keep up the good work. dont mind all that techno geek babble kiel is talking about.

williamPalmer
01-31-2005, 12:21 PM
Thanks for the detailed critique. That's exactly what I'm looking for. I don't know anyone else experienced in this sort of thing so the information and advice are great.

I have been thinking as well that I should concentrate solely on characters. I was a bit to ambitious for this project and tried to do to much in to little time.

On the 'linearness' of the animations. This was all rigid binding. I haven't played any recent games so I'm not sure what's current but the last time that I was looking at mod making almost all the requirements said no vertex blending. I guess that isn't the case anymore. Max can do alot of high-end things but I didn't think that game engines can. As such, I tried to build everything in as minimal a way as possible.

Right. Thanks again for the critique and next time it will be better and an actual demo reel.

maya_geek
01-31-2005, 07:25 PM
hey bob,
kiel was just being honest and fair. dont be hating on him cause he's a better "character animator" than you. jeesh... and its not "techno geek babble" its a critique. you shouldnt cut other people down for trying to help.

Smartypants
01-31-2005, 10:29 PM
I think this is good work for a beginner. You've gotten a lot done and you have tried a lot of different things: modelling, rigging, texturing, character animation, animated cameras, effects... This is obviously an ambitious project. Keep up the good work!

Having said that, here are some specific comments:

- Balance out epic-sized projects like this one with smaller projects. Work on some really nicely animated motion studies, or some sophisticated models and character designs.

- Don't spend too long trying to tweak this project into perfection; accept it for what it is and move on to something else. This is how you can build a big body of work.

- Your camera angles and composition are good, but there are too many wide shots. You should break up your storytelling by getting closer to the action. For example, when the flying beasts are chasing the people, you could have had a close-up of a man running, looking over his shoulder, and then cutting to his point of view, showing the flying creature chasing him.

Keep working. You have potential and you'll only get better.

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