View Full Version : My reel, would love some critique.

11 November 2010, 11:36 PM
looks like your got some solid skills man!! good work

11 November 2010, 11:38 PM
Hey Everyone.

Here is my reel for 2010

I created this a few months back while searching for a new job. This is my first demoreel so it isn't anything spectacular I know. But in terms of presentation, and how it stands as a 'lighting, texturing and shading' reel I would love to hear some feedback, suggestions and critique on what could be improved for my next reel.

Thanks :thumbsup:

11 November 2010, 12:11 AM
Wow they are absolutely beautiful. Bravo!!!
It would be so cool if you could render some close up shots as well and play with dof and all that funky stuff too.

I notice you used Maya and Mentalray. I can never get those kind of renders with Mentalray due to lack of kwowledge.

Would you mind recommanding any tutorials or books I can take a look to teach myself? If you couldn, that would be a great help.

Good luck in your future.

p.s. I love your profile picture. :thumbsup:

11 November 2010, 12:35 AM
That's a solid collection of work, very nice. Is it all personal work?

Car is very nicely modeled and rendered.

'Joe', very good texturing, it'd be nice to be able to hear what he's saying.

Architectural renders, top notch.

The reel is a good length and I like the fact that you left all the breakdowns at the end. Some people don't really care for breakdowns and don't want to sit through them before moving on to the next piece.

11 November 2010, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the kind words guys :)

Thanks, yeah I totally agree about the DOF. Will keep that in mind for next time. Yeah I use Maya and mentalray. Mentalray is a bit more difficult to get into but once you're used to it the level of customization and optimisation you're in control of is phenomenal. The main reason I use it is because of how powerful its huge shader collection is.

And on the topic of learning mentalray, I can recommend a few things :).
First learn linear workflow, this is very important for getting correct looking renders out of mentalray. Then learn creating high dynamic range scenes in 3D, I'm not talking about HDRI images here but using physically correct scale and intensity of lighting in your 3D scenes in conjunction with tone-mapping.

Once you have have a good grasp of all that stuff I recommend getting this mentalray book by Boaz Livny . He explains the workings behind stuff really well! unlike a lot of tutorials out there which are guilty of just telling you to punch in magical values to achieve a specific effect leaving you questioning why or how that works. This book gives you a solid foundation of all the features mentalray has to offer and makes you really comfortable with creating your own advanced mentalray shader networks to really achieve any effect you want. Digital tutors also have an online mentalray reference node guide, which is about 100 or so little videos explaining what each mentalray node does, they often dont go into a full explanation but they still show the basics of what each node's purpose is.


Yeah the Majority of it is personal work. A friend and myself collaborated on those Arch Viz renders which were used to advertise our now defunct visualization services, I did a small portion of the modeling for those renders, probably about 50% of the modeling on the house, and all of the texturing and shader work for both visualizations. We worked on the look development and lighting together.

The car was a test to achieve multiple different photorealistic shader network setups. I didn't use the car_paint_phen shader, I instead made my own phenomenon shader for the car paint and other object materials giving me a lot more control. All of the details of the car model, wheels, tyres, interior, grill, bumpers, headlights & tail lights were modeled by me and the shell/panels of the car were modeled by Tomasz Rozkosz.

Joe was an old character animation project from college, which I basically re-did the texturing/ lighting and rendering from scratch. I used it as a personal project for developing a good workflow to take advantage of multiple passes and polishing the final look using those passes within Nuke.


11 November 2010, 02:14 PM
thanks, I will look into that book for sure. Yeah, I spent some time watching tutorials, but it did not really explain what each attributes do.

btw, what do you mean tone mapping? you mean light it well, so you can see all appropriate tonal range? it's mapping with lighting, is that what you mean?

Thanks for your advice. :)

11 November 2010, 04:10 PM
This is tone mapping how I understand it.
For physical accuracy when you light a scene with high dynamic range lighting your light values can be way up in the hundred thousands, the colors in the render are going way out of the 0 to 1 display range , so you may have pixels with coluor values in the thousands. Without tone-mapping any color values above 1 will be clipped or cut off and just displayed as white. Tone-mapping refers to bringing all of these extreme high colour values(that range from 0 - 10000's) back into the rgb display range of 0 - 1.

You can do tone mapping from inside a compositing application if you output a linear 32bit image like a *.exr, or you can do it within mentalray if you only want to render straight to an 8bit format like *.jpeg or something.

Mentalray offers tone-mapping in the form of lens shaders, I use the 'mia_exposure_photographic' you plug this in to your camera as your lens shader and then it has all the same variables as a real world camera, you can adjust your f-stop , film iso , shutter speed etc which in turn affects what colour values it extracts from the HDR values into the 0 - 1 range.

Hope this helps,

11 November 2010, 06:30 PM
Great work! I feel a few areas are a bit too perfect, such as the brick/rock walls around the entryway of the house. Getting a bit more grime and imperfection would, I think, take this amazing work up even one more notch.

AWESOME stuff!

11 November 2010, 08:38 AM
Hey Travis :)

I agree with that completely. Looking at it again now that entrance area really stands out as too clean!
If I revisit that piece for a future reel I will keep that in mind, thanks. I did try add dirt to all of the nooks and crannies to push realism but unfortunately I didnt have enough time to do it to my hearts content and some areas got more attention than others or just went un noticed.

Thanks for the critique, I appreciate it.

11 November 2010, 09:47 AM
wow thats very impressive!. How much would u charge to make me a 5 second video for a youtube channel intro? Very good work.

11 November 2010, 04:15 PM
thanks for spending time explaing stuff.
i thought it was aesthetical aspect, but now i know it's technical stuff :)

i kept looking at ur demoreel, and noticed they are one still image animated? am i correct? if i am, it would be better if you could animate an actual camera. or maybe it doesn't matter for this type of reel?

anyways, as i said before it looks great, and thanks for sharing ur knowledge with me.

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