View Full Version : Animation Reel : What's missing?

06 June 2004, 06:54 PM
Hello everyone!

As I've been looking for more work and redoing bits of my demo reel here and there, I've been getting more interviews and interest from companies. While this is all good and well, I know there must be something missing from my reel.

So, I'm posting my reel today and asking you guys/gals to keep in mind one question when viewing it.

What's missing?

What spots are working? Where can improvement be made? I want someone to hire me immediately after viewing the reel. I don't want to be the second or third on list of contacts. I'm aiming for first place here. I want this to get noticed. What's holding my reel back?

Right-click or option-click and save as...
Quicktime Version (
Divx Version (

Many thank yous in advance to everyone here!


06 June 2004, 08:27 PM
Well to be honest with you its pretty boring. Nothing really that special, nothing that sets it apart from the crowd except that theres no real time that seemed to go into it. Not much care it seems. Ya its nifty, and kinda neato but thats about it. Its just not very impressive, and if this is all that you can say for your self thats why your not getting the my opinion.

Are your abilities limited to just this type of work? theres no variety at all.

06 June 2004, 09:26 PM
The main things missing in your animation is wieght and timing. I think some of the motions are too slow and lack snap.

06 June 2004, 12:33 PM
BishopLynx, thanks. This is something that I plan on going into to fix. What pieces would you say need it the most, at what parts?

DV8R, I've read and reread your post and I'm still not understanding what makes you think this. I'm interested in why you think "theres no real time that seemed to go into it". The reel is targeted to character animation, no modeling or texturing, so I thought that using a simple rig/character would be best. I'm especially interested in why you said "Are your abilities limited to just this type of work?" What type of work are you talking about? Are you trying to say I should have other stuff on there than just character animation? I'm sorry if I'm not picking up on something that's clear to you, but your post was a little vague and I'm not completely understanding you.


06 June 2004, 06:14 PM
Ok Chris,

I agree with BishopLynx. Your main lacking aspect of your reel is weight, and to a certain extent, timing.

Your motions are nice and smooth. No pops or jitters. So, in terms of clean motion, you've got that down pat.

But....alot of your character do not show any sort of realistic weight.

1. You keep your charater's knees bent ALOT. This is particularly evident in your lip synch piece. Try standing like this for that long, and you'll realize how uncomfortable this is. I know everyone wants to avoid "IK pops", but there are certain situations where you do want the legs to get pretty close to locking straight. If you spend some time watching how people move and stand, you'll get a better idea of how this works.

2. The fall off of the balance beam is waaaay too slow. Looks like he's falling through water. This is a great area to play with weight. Why not have him hang in the air for a sec, and then....whooosh!! Have him fall. I think you should experiment with this a bit more.

3. Alot of your motions seem to be "floaty" Take, for example, when your crawling character stands up. It looks like you set 2 keys on his Y tran, and let the CPU do the inbetweening. Not only does this motion look too slow, but it has no snap or drag, and it doesn't look like it took any effort.

4. The fight sequence needs work, especially in the weight part. When blue dude throws orange dude, there is no force, no doesn't seem like a violent move. The floor slam has decent impact, but again, the fall is too slow.

So, I think the main things you should work on are weight and timing. I would suggest working on some very short, simple clips, maybe 5 secs each, just to experiment and develop this.

Aside from that, where is the piece you did in my character 1 class? That was your strongest acting by far.

Keep it up, you'll get hired, but you'll probably have to bust your ass and make a few more pieces to get the job you really want.

Keep in mind that my current reel has almost NONE of my scad work on it, including my chair piece. I sent that one to the grave awhile ago.



06 June 2004, 07:08 PM
Basically, Im simply saying that the reel is just not popping man. Its not making me want to knock my secretary over to get to the phone to call

I look at it like this. If you have to ask....then its not. You know what I mean?

Please dont take me the wrong way its great work. But, considering the competition out there....well....its just not enough to really set you apart from the rest of the herd. Your reel needs to reach out of the screen and kick that client or employer in the nuts,...ya dig?

Isnt that want you want it to do? Kick the potential employer in the nuts. Of course it is. Thats what we all want right?

Mix up your original idea with something BIG, LOUD, BANGING, not so toyish and child like It really needs some emotion....expression. Bring some more excitment to the reel... suck me into your work.

06 June 2004, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the encouragement guys! I've been reworking on some of the pieces and hopefully I have another draft to post up here soon. I'm also getting started on a few new projects that I think will be pretty interesting. till then...


06 June 2004, 07:48 AM
ok, so i just saw this thread and thought I would reply... (better late than never I guess)...
I would agree with what they said about the weight, but what I would like to see is a little more anticipation in the characters actions... when he moves forward, he needs to move backward for a few frames to get that build up that we do naturally in motion (there is a pretty good example when the crawling character gets back up... he is resting on his knee, then his motion goes down before it goes up... real nice)
I would also like to see some more exaggerated poses... if none of the still frames capture your attention, the animation will have a hard time doing it as well.
overall I really liked it and cant wait to see the revamped version!!

06 June 2004, 03:59 AM
The Reel is good but the motion could be a little bit faster and correspond with the timing. The first sequence i found it funny but as i said before the motion was the problem. Keep up the good work.

Good luck....

06 June 2004, 05:34 AM
What you do have seems good and fun, but doesn't seem to really show off you're talent (from what I see I can gather you have it, but just aren't showing it off)

You've shown you can move a stick man around well to fast music, but not much else. When someone see's it they will be thinking, "what if my animation needs to be more than a moving stickman" or "what if I need a complex model" They won't be analysing the exact movements of the characters, they will be anlyzing the overall sence they get of your abilities.
Most of this post of mine is assuming your potential clients aren't animators themselves, but want you to do the stuff that they can't. Therefor they don't even know what a proper animation is supposed to look like. They only know if it gives them that fuzzy feeling.

Watching the reel one time or just a few times, they aren't neccissarily going to notice if every knee and bend is perfect. They are just going to notice the big stuff, and either be convinced by the images or not. From your animations, they deffinatly won't be going, "come on, that's not realistic movement" they'll be going, "cool, a moving stick man...oh..and another stick man...oh...and the same stick man....oh...more stick men..."

I would vary the work you show, and make sure that the work is not perfect, but convincing.

You really just need to deversify this reel, and show everything you are cabable of and not just one thing you are able to do.

Either they are going to be sold and wowed the first time they see it, or they won't be.
hope that makes any sence and is any help (sometimes when I write in the middle of the night my thoughts aren't exactly clear :-) )

06 June 2004, 04:12 PM
I would have to disagree with thephalinx on just one issue...
You've shown you can move a stick man around well to fast music, but not much else. When someone see's it they will be thinking, "what if my animation needs to be more than a moving stickman" or "what if I need a complex model" animation is animation... secondary movement, anticipation, easeIneaseOut, they are all concepts that work with stickmen as well as complex models. If you are not a modeler or rigger... then a stickman will be the best bet because you are not distracting the people with a sub-par model or rigging that brings the whole reel down...
some of the best animation ive seen has been on simple models... if your applying for animation, show great animation. if you have the skills (or someone else with the skills) to model, texture, and rig complex models... thats great, but not essential.
Game-boi, I would stick with the stickmen, and any animation company worth working at should realize good animation when they see it.
Keep up the good work

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