View Full Version : Demo Reel Critique

05 May 2005, 03:28 AM
Hi All

Just recently finished a new version of my lighting reel. If anyone has a few minutes to check it out, I would really appreciate any feedback or questions.

Low Resolution - 360 x 240 - 7.04 MB

High Resolution - 720 x 480 - 20.64 MB



05 May 2005, 05:15 AM
nice job man.

All pieces were of great quality and constiant throughout the reel.

However here are some suggestions for you. Most of these tips are from what I learned about a lighting reel from a teacher that I had who used to work as a lighter for rhythm and hues

1. I would make better breakdowns of your work. Not just removing the object/character and putting it back. Since you are showing off your lighting, lets see a build up of your lights, such as a diffuse, specular, and shadow pass. Or even just buildup your lighting like "key" or "fill light1" or something so we can see where you lit.

2. I am not sure if you actually lit yourself the first shots with the motorcyle or if you used Image Based Lighting, but I would put your hand layed lighting pieces up front, IBL is not really "lighting" but it takes take time and the know how to do it correctly but I would rather see the stuff you lit, not a probe that did the work if you know what I mean.

3. I would maybe remove the shot with the two statues on the side of the screen. They are good, but a little far away to see the detail, I was let down to find out you didn't light the main statue up close

4. I don't know about the "interview" shot with the gradient backdrop in the reel. If you are trying to now you can light in real life, then maybe a better example. I'm not sure though, I was kind of curious about that one.

I really like your stuff, you definitely got the photorealism down well. I would like to see some more "mood" lighting in your portfolio so it will show you can do all cg animation as well as matching to live action lighting.

Keep it up, very nice work! Me likey!


05 May 2005, 04:00 PM
Hi Scott

Thanks for taking the time to check out my reel. I really appreciate the suggestions, you made some very valid points. The first one you brought up about showing all the lighting passes is something that has been discussed before on these forums. Some artists say just show the final piece and others the break down. I guess there is no right answer , and just personal choice.

Just to point out the practical lighting, the interview shot, the cognac and cigars and the hooded figure is all practical lighting.

The point you made about just 3D lighting and mood, is something I definitely have to work on, right now its very minimal or none existent.

Checked out your site, you've got some nice stuff. I like the zig animation with butterflies. Keep up the good work.



05 May 2005, 04:22 PM
Cool reel. What quicktime compression did you use for the low res version because yours had decent quality.

05 May 2005, 04:41 PM
Hi Avedis
I've dowloaded your reel and liked it a lot. scottiedoo gived nice suggestion. I just wanted to see some extreme lighting such as things under a bright sun and some night shots..etc
I want to wish you good luck, you deserve a good job.

Polyman, I'll answer you. He's using Sorenson 3.


05 May 2005, 04:48 PM
I've tried Sorenson 3 but I guess my settings are off because I can never get it down to like 10MB for a movie thats less then 2 minutes. Thanks.

05 May 2005, 05:17 PM
there is a program called Sorenson Squeeze. It really great to take any type of video and compress it extremely well. Like on my website, my reel is about a minute or so long, its only I think 3 or 4 mb thanks to that great program.

I highly recommend it


very nice, Its interesting to see a lighter that tries to match practical lighting in their reel. I definite think that is a good idea. Keep up the great work, and I'm sure with a photorealistic lighting match like you have will get you into some really great studios like ILM or Rhythm and Hues, or maybe Weta.. haha..

Thanks for checking out my site, its been a little while since I have updated, but I did finish Zig and in the next few days it will be up on my site, the stuff you saw as kind of old and outdated compared to the final product. I hope you like it.

Best of luck you guys, doing great jobs!

05 May 2005, 05:58 PM
Hi all

Scott is right about the program, I used sorenson squeeze, with sorenson 3 codec. I'll post the settings that I used when I get back home tonight. Thanks for all the great feedback and positive comments.

Scott let us know when you have your stuff updated, I would definetly like to check it out.

Best of Luck


05 May 2005, 03:52 AM
Hey avedis, I just uploaded Zig online. Go to my website and there is a link on the homepage.

Hope you enjoy it!

05 May 2005, 05:13 AM
Hey Scott

The Zig looks a lot better, the environment and the added music gives it even more life. Nice job overall, keep up the good work; hope to see more of your animation in the future.

As I had mentioned earlier, here are the Sorenson squeeze settings I used for my reel.

High Rez: 720 x 480, 50 percent quality, with Data rate 360kbps: 29.97 fps
Low Rez 360x240, 50 percent quality, with Data rate of 160kbps, 29.97 fps

The original file size was 2.60 GB uncompressed.

Hope that is of some use,

Take Care - Thanks for all the feedback


05 May 2005, 08:19 AM
The quality of your work was good throughout.

I'd avise accompanying the reel with some kind of breakdown, otherwise it's hard to know exactly what I should be looking at.

For instance, the bike: should I be looking at the modelling, or the lighting?

It appears for the lighting you're just using IBL. Did you make the HDRI yourself? If so you should say so.

Similarly for the other renders. Rather than just showing the 3d/comp, you should show more lighting passes to show how you built up the final look, like IBL, occlusion, gi, direct light etc. Unless of course you're going for a job as a compositor that is, in which case just showing the comp would be fine I guess.

05 May 2005, 09:32 PM
Hi playmesumch00ns

Thanks for all the input. The suggestion you had in regards to a breakdown, I actually do have one and always send it out with the reel. Also what you suggested of building up passes is a nice touch for a reel, just as scott had mentioned earlier in the thread.



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