View Full Version : demo reel - critics please :o)

01 January 2005, 06:14 PM
Hello all,

I recently graduated from NYIT's Computer Animation MA degree. I'm sure that you guys know how difficult it is to create a good demo reel :o) Well, this is what i came up with this weekend, it still is a work in progress, a pilot version for now. Make sure you turn on your speakers all the way up..and yeah,please, I definetely am looking for constructive critics..


Here is the link to my website.. my demo is about 20 MB now..thanks Kevin.. (

- my website will be up in 2 weeks with full the same adress..make sure you give it a shot later :0)

01 January 2005, 07:20 PM
Your work is excellent! I did notice a few things about the reel though. Not sure how much of it is my personal taste or if it's standard practice, but here goes:

- 60 MB is big. Really big. I think this particular movie is large because you've kept the music at maximum quality. If I were you, I'd try to compress with Sorenson Video 3, Medium Quality....and sample the audio down to 22 kHz, 8-bit, mono. Just for the web version. When you go to tape or DVD, you could go crazy. But for the web, 60 MB is a big download.

- The intro goes on too long for me...I'm not sure what I'm looking at, either. So the desk balls defy gravity? Then the name fades in very slowly, then fades to black for a little too long (for my taste). You could probably lose 10-15 seconds off the whole introductory sequence.

The walking alien with the fins is awesome. Why not fade your info in next to the 3/4 view of that guy?

- "Animation and Modeling"...I'd recommend that you pick one, and not advertise both. In your particular case, I'd stick with animation. I think leaving the turntables in there might be okay, but for the titles I'd pick one or the other. As I'm sure you're aware, industry jobs tend to be separated very specifically. Where's your contact info, like email and phone number?

- I would lose the fishy near the end. It doesn't stack up next to the shroom guys and the boxy character. I think you could lose the morphy head too.

- Instead of the turntables at the end, have you considered doing simple walkcycles for those characters?

- There's a lot of black at the end. That would be a good time to show your name, email, and phone number again.

It's a great reel, but it still leaves me wondering which area of the industry you'd like to work in. The boxy guy seems like a game-type character, but he doesn't do anything a game character would swing a sword or climb a ladder, or jump up onto a series of ledges. The mushroom guys are very well animated, but they don't fit in any particular area of the industry either. If they were photo-real or composited into a live action scene, I could guess you'd want to work in film. See where I'm coming from?

Overall a great effort. I think with a little more tailoring to a specific niche, you will be in business.

Good luck!

01 January 2005, 03:34 PM

Thanks a bunch for spending your time on my demo reel and thanks a lot for your valuable critiques..

- 60 MB is big : yeah, right! it was basicly because of the sound quality, i will take care of it!
- The intro goes on too long for me: well, i think i will keep it the same way it is..cause i wanted to have a kind of cinematic introduction to it.The black screens,throughout the demo, were left blank to put the credits in . The first black will probably have the words `dedicated to Miles Davis`..he is my favorite jazz player, and i have mostly listened to his music when i was creating my stuff.He is inspirational for me. The last one will have my info.(yeah i'll put my e-mail and number.. :o) )
- "Animation and Modeling" : you are totaly right ! i'll stick to Animation..
- fishy & morph head : immm..i think i'll keep the fishy where he is..but i might think of shortening the morph head.(i don't know if you have realized but the piano chords of the music go snychronized with the morph changes..that's actually why i wanted to keep it that long..)
-turntables : i don't have them rigged yet..The bald girl is, in fact, the main character of my short movie that i am currently working on..she will definetely have a rig soon, and will be animated as well :o)

ohhh yeah..the big question huh!? which area of the industry do i wanna work on? Well, i have been thinking about this for a quite long time, and i think i will go for the games..which probably, as you've said, requires more animation, especially character animation with dialog and probs..In that matter, i just decided to use this month to come up with some good character animations (a very good friend of mine,also a god damn talented animator, adviced me the same thing you did = more character animations!! )..maybe two months.hehe..

Well, again, i really do appreciate your help man! I did check your rocks! lots of good stuff!

Hope to hear from you soon..



01 January 2005, 05:52 PM
Hey man. Glad I could help!

As far as the titles go, that's cool that you want to put the Miles Davis tribute in there and everything; I can understand that...however, I've finally had the opportunity to show my work to some working pros in the game industry out here. They gave me a lot of very specific feedback on my work, but what all of it amounted to was them basically saying "Get to the point."

If you want to work on games, and you want to be an animator, they said, just do bones animations in simple environments and really refine the motion. Also - and this is me talking now - I would investigate Character Studio if you haven't already. I have this suspicion that Character Studio is to game animators what Dreamweaver is to Web HTML guys. It's certainly more convenient/portable. Anyway, maybe try a couple of your planned animations in Character Studio, if you have it.

But anyway - you're not alone. I'm not quite 'in' yet either. The one thing I have learned in a year and a half of living out here, talking to various people, is that this takes time. I think it's a matter of being known to these companies when they need somebody, and a matter of slowly steering your work in their go with their grain. Eventually, I think those two things come together and that's when the magic happens.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck. You've got a great start going, looking forward to seeing more!

01 January 2005, 06:56 PM

Well thanks for sharing you life experience with me..yeah, i am without no doubt a rookie at the very beginning of my animation life trying to come up with some good stuff.but it's tough man! and as u know it really takes time! well, basicly,i have been animating for a year, and i just can't wait to work in a company where i can learn more and more from experienced animators.I keep seeing other guys reels and i always feel desperate.A lot of talent out there.but after all, if i can work as much as i wish then hopefuly, maybe, i'll show up with somthing better, more sophisticated..but this is all i have now..
charater studio,i have used it couple of times.The big guy at the beginning of my reel [walk ycle-tired] was done with CS..but personally, i didn't like the plug-in that much..i feel more comfortable to animate with my own rigs..but yeah, i pretty much know how to use it..

I will definetely let you know when i've got something new to share..

take care..


01 January 2005, 05:11 AM
Lookin good serkan! I know what you mean about feeling desperate when seeing other guys
reels, I have been doing 3d going on five or six years now and my animation skills are now where near yours. I have mostly just been messing around and teaching myself.
One comment:
the cartoony monitor falling off the blocks at the end. I like the look a lot. I would just make it faster. All of it. Even his knees shaking looks slow. and then if all of the blocks could fall faster that would look better I would think. I know they are syncopated with the music, maybe it you could have like four blocks fall per beat or something. Just a suggestion.

Keep at it!
you'll deifinitely go high places!

01 January 2005, 05:38 AM
Hey Corey!
First of all thanks for your encouraging words :)
I have the same feeling about Mr.TV Head (that's the way i call him) was one of the first animations i have ever made, and that's why it lacks tons of stuff..and it is definetely on my 'must be fixed animations' list!
actually, i feel pretty ok about the `falling blocks` animation, but the rest definetely needs a review.maybe, after i correct his animation, i might have to do what you are pointing out.the blocks might look even slower the they now are when TVHead's animation goes faster..
we'll see.. :o)

I'll let you know how it goes..



01 January 2005, 11:37 AM
I definitely think you should just make this an animation demo reel. There is not near enough modeling on here to justify sending it for that type of position. That means you should take out the model of the head towards the end since it isn't animated. I think the intro is too long, but I know you already said you want to keep the intro, but I ended up skipping past it and that's what reviewers will do to, possibly missing your opening shots of animation. I would also take out the part with the computer and the falling blocks since I don't feel that the computer is animated enough or well enough to justify it. Alternately you could fix up the computer if your really keen on him and move him around more in the shot to give him more life.

Outside of that you have some nice stuff. Good job.

01 January 2005, 05:15 PM
Hey Sean,

I'll work on Mr.TV Head's animation..i know, it's pretty linear for now..everybody suggested me to cut the introduction..i think i'll do that too..or maybe shorten it...and yeah, i think i will get rid of the modeling stuff and make an animation reel only...
Thanks for feedback..


01 January 2005, 08:03 PM
hmm. I'm not a profesional either but the crit's so far would have been the same from me.
To be honest the only other problem I have is the choice of music. If I were doing the hiring and watching this reel, i would turn the music off. Only because I believe your choice in music is very specific. I don't know maybe it's just my taste, but since you have alot of good animation, I would change the music to a more fun and energetic sound. The music you chose bored. Just my honest opinion.

01 January 2005, 03:08 AM
Hey serkan:

Great demo reel so far. I agree with dropping the turn tables on the models and sticking to just animation. Also, I find the beginning intro to be too long. Speed that up. You don't want a recruiter turned off by waiting too much. I would also mix up the order with the animations. Did you feel that the first piece with the mushrooms on the teeter totter was your strongest piece? I personally like the skateboarding piece and the slow bummed out walk by the block guy to be two of your stronger pieces.

Did you do any animation with that little girl? She looks so Tim Burton-ish.. I'd love to see something with her.


01 January 2005, 06:27 PM
Hey guys,Thanks for feedback!

Spirogyro: well, i might be changing the music..but not sure yet..i'll decide that later when my editing is done..but probably i'll come up with something more alive :)

clockwerkz: yeah, i'll get rid of the turntables...and go with animations only..even though i really want to keep the intro, but since almost everyone suggested me to cut it off, i think i will either shorten it or delete it..I couldn't decide yet..the order of my animations might change too..and yeah, that little girl is the main character of my short that i am currently working on..i'll rig her up soon..and i'll most probably post some test anims here..make sure u check those out.. :)

well, again, thanks for your time guys!! I'll let you know when i do updates..



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