View Full Version : Game Animation Reel: Examples and Advice?

09 September 2005, 04:07 PM
I posted this same thread on the Animation boards as well as here as I wasn't sure which was the most suitable area to ask this stuff. I normally don't double post but I know alot of people don't visit all the boards and this is kind of important to me, so I hope people don't mind.


I'm currently doing work for my game animation reel and I was wondering if anyone had any links to example reels so that I could get an idea of how people format them, what they do and don't include, etc? There are tons of examples of typical Pixar-esque animation reels with dialogue exchanges, character acting, etc, but I can't find many game-centric reels.

Also, if any game animators here have any advice on the kind of thing they like to see in reels, be it specific motions, types of character/creature, or any other advice, i'd really like to hear your thoughts. If there are any rules of thumb, like I need to have at least one human and at least one creature in there, or something like that, then again, that's the kind of thing i'd like to hear about.

So far i'm doing lots of short motion clips of typical game-type animations, so runs, walks, jumping and grabbing a ledge, that kind of thing. I'm also keeping things simple by only rendering out shaded models, and not doing any fancy lighting/shadows, or anything like that.

Since these kinds of motion clips are so short, do employers prefer to see each motion a few times, or would they rather see lots of motions and just rewind on their own time if they need to? I'm just worried that with some motions being so short that the people won't be able to register what's going on if i'm constantly cutting between motions.

Also, do people like to see the same motion from different angles? With runs and walks I can do a turnaround and it's not a problem but with more linear animation (like say, someone diving off a high board), should I be showing things from multiple angles or just going from one? Equally, do people prefer to see runs and walks on the spot or moving through the shot?

What kind of level of detail is expected in terms of models/lighting, etc. I've heard that since it's an animation reel and the concentration should be on animation specifically, that I should keep things as clear and simple as possible, but how far does that stretch? Are renders with just the Max biped acceptable?

Finally, is there any other information that people like to see on the reel, such as how long each animation might have taken to complete, how many frames it is, any thumbnail sketches I might have done for a motion, etc?

Really i'm kind of hoping for opinions from actual game animators here, as from an amature perspective I think i've got a reasonably good idea of what i'm doing already, but really i'd be happy to hear any comments and advice from anyone.


09 September 2005, 04:21 PM
What might nice is to have some game loops and uniques put together as they'd be seen in a game.

A series of looping and unique animations all working as they should (running, walking, ducking, rolling, climbing, etc...) with some kind of dummy props in the way. Then break it apart afterwards into the individual animations and seeing them loop a couple of times with the rig overlayed or something. Or vice versa, show the animations then show them strung together.

09 September 2005, 06:39 PM
a hiring rep from EA(i know, not the best but it gives you some ideas) gave a presentation at my university on how to break into the game biz. It was really an excuse for them to look at what the students are cranking out but they gave us some great advice on all sorts of different positions and what is needed to get into them.

Some of the recommended animations included two-legged walking, running and jumping animations, and one(possibly two) more complex animations (such as a spider, a robot, whatever). They recommended breaking down one simple and one complex and showing it at different speeds/renders levels. They definitely want to see your polygon layout from your models as well during the animations to see deforming.

They also want to see that you can animate both organic and non-organic forms, and that you can do both realistic and exxagerated/non-realistic looks. In EA the character modeler and animator are separate positions but I would doubt it is like that at most companies, so I would expect your modeling skills should be on par with animation.

09 September 2005, 03:49 PM
Cheers for the advice guys. I'll try to bear it in mind when i'm putting the reel together.

Anyone else have any advice?

09 September 2005, 04:40 PM
here are some ideas
from Kiel Figgins website. Animations (
from Ben Dada Reel (

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