My new reel

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  05 May 2012
Very nicely done ! At 1:55 the stone house falloff too strong? or is it the style? Really like the last shot
  05 May 2012
Thanks very much for the feedback, everyone. It's great to get some objective reaction - as I spend a lot of time doing this in a relative vacuum.

In answer to some of your questions/comments:

EricM: I agree that a lot of the work isn't Motion Graphics. I think that's a sign of how much the projects I work on vary. Perhaps I shouldn't refer to it as a mograph reel. I thought of building two reels, which I may still do. I agree that the reel starts slowly. But I'm so fed up with in-your-face graphics reels. Nevertheless, I'll take a look at improving the pace.

PeteS: The render times weren't too bad. But I did spend quite a while refining my render settings. If you have a look here, vrayforc4d forum you can see a bit more about how I made the mountain shot and how long it took to render. For the record, I do have access to a 10 machine farm. This makes it much easier to zero in on good speed vs. quality settings.

Hilt: agreed, that bit's coming out. And thanks, I've managed to avoid Vue for now. Hopefully I can continue to live e-on free.

Jin-G: yes it was meant to be like that. But I agree it looks odd when not seen in context. Perhaps I'll take it out.

Skamiersky: care to be more specific?

Cheers everybody,

My portfolio site

  05 May 2012
Originally Posted by Kokosing: Thanks very much, everyone!

Joel - the space shots use two planes with wrap deformers. One for the ground and sea, the other for the clouds. The material on the ground uses layers to apply different colour, bump and spec to the land and sea. The cloud material uses a very high res cloud texture with displacement and SSS. All rendered in Vray with GI and comped in AE with a depth pass for atmosphere.



Thanks for the info. So not a globe but deformed planes--interesting. I think it looks great--especially the first earth shot. I too noticed the falloff on the stone building and thought it looked odd. Was there a reason you added that effect?

The only other shot that I felt detracted a bit from the rest was the snow/mountain shot with the black background. Looked like a test at first--until you see the vfx element of the comped in explorers on the ground. Maybe if that could be retimed to get to the people faster in the shot. Or finish it off with the rest of the background environment

But really, other than those 2 minor points I wouldn't change a thing. Theres been a trend in some circles that a reel should be short fast and sweet. I prefer to imagine things from a producer's point of view rather than what's trendy.

I think the reel, pretty much as is, shows off your range of skills in terms of broadcast cg/vfx and nice to see you also have a good eye for motion design. A nice generalist reel. if I were a broadcast producer these are the skills I'd be looking for. Only thing that could make it better and is missing would be some character work, and more smaller scale action shots, otherwise you might get pigeonholed as the big sweeping landscape guy. But nothing wrong with that.

Last edited by JoelDubin : 05 May 2012 at 06:22 PM.
  05 May 2012

Great work, saw a lot of it before as you finished projects, but some new things too!

I htink there are a few spots in the longer shots where shaving off 2-3 seconds at the beginning would tighten up the shots. When there is new information being revealed, the longer shots are impressive. Not that that 2-3 seconds makes them NOT interesting, but tightening things up slightly would show the "best of the shots."

The viewer can grasp quite a lot, like in the X-ray shot around 1:27 and the Bullets shot at 1:30. In about 3 seconds, you get what's going on, the viewer gets a big bang for the buck, and it moves on to the next exciting piece.

On the Snow shot around 1:58, it could be about 2-3 sec shorter to show the mountain top, but then revealing the scale with the humans in the foreground. That's the meaningful reveal of the scale of the scene.

The other shot was the melting snow globe shot, the detail of the melting snow is pretty small earlier in the shot, around 2:07, where it mainly looks like a globe flyover, but if it started around 2:11, it gives the impression of a flyover, but then fairly quickly reveals major ice melting.

So editing to where the shot reveals to show something new tightens things up a little. Editing is tough, to remove things, and get it down to "the essence" of the scene. But, like in setting up shots, and even story construction, about each element being there for a reason. The inverse approach, maybe for each second in the video, is asking, "Is this second showing me something new, or is it just the same thing that the viewer already "got it."

There is a place in the reel, for pacing, to have some longer, slower shots, so it shows you can construct longer shots artistically, and you aren't just hiding bits with short shots, so it's not like "long shots" are bad.

But it's something that's a struggle each time, to edit things down, since I labored over each frame, and want people to appreciate it. But showing others, the most common thing was to tighten it up. That's hard, but after I tried it reluctantly, it did flow with slightly more energy. The "making of" sections on movie DVDs are full of great work, that due to pacing, just got trimmed, or cut altogether. Editing is really quite ruthless to do it's job.

Great work, Will!

  05 May 2012
Great work! I love to see this level of attention to detail!

  05 May 2012
Tasty! All great stuff but the 'concept' work shone, and the Fiver job was a winner!
Behance | Twitter
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  05 May 2012
As well as nice 3d work there, finally I can enjoy a showreel without banging techno music!

Good stuff.

  05 May 2012
I agree with most of the c.crits, but a great reel all the same. Top work.
  05 May 2012
wonderfull reel.......
  05 May 2012
nice work

awesome work!
How long have you been working in the industry, and just curious
how long did you study?

nice one again
  05 May 2012
Really well done! The only thing I thought was out of place was the weirdly lit archeological dig-site and the guy with the blue-screen, those shots were sub-par compared to the rest of the nice work in there.

Good choice of music as well!

Cobra 6
Modelling & Texture artist
  05 May 2012
I personally like the pacing. The landscape and nature shots are good enough where I feel like you can give them enough time to "breathe" and allow the viewer to take them in.

At first I was thinking, "Wow this is some incredible work with Vue", but then I saw you used World Machine and C4D/Vray. Bravo!
Check out my reel at
  05 May 2012
Nice work, some of those nature shots are awesome.

As far as crits go, in my opinion it is too long, the shots are quite drawn out. I don't think you need all of the stone house sections, they are not as strong as a lot of the other work. It is kinda cool to see the break downs / before after but I'm not convinced they make the reel stronger. The guy made of paper is cool too, but I didn't think the render stands up to scrutiny, the paper doesn't look real especially when the character stands, maybe just keep it flying down the road. You could work on the design of the title. Looks like you dropped the type on at the last minute and this is the first thing we see.

It depends on the reason you've made a reel, but I would suggest making it shorter. Most producers I've worked with will have to watch a lot of reels when hiring and they will not have time to sit through over 2 mins for each applicant. You could still keep most of the content, some of it is beautiful after all, but perhaps don't linger on each shot quite as much.

3D Animation and Motion Graphics
Professional MoGraph & VFX Training

  05 May 2012
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate you all taking the time to watch the reel and then comment. It's great to get some honest and supportive feedback. There are some other forums out there the comments are much less helpful!

I'm going to attack the reel this weekend and hopefully post a new one early next week.

Until then, thanks again!

My portfolio site

  06 June 2012
I agree with everything TimC said, except I'd encourage you to keep the paper guy. The strength of the concept makes that shot great and it is more memorable than most.
Jonah Tobias
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