147 demo reels thrown away!!


#1

Why were they tossed out? If your demo reel hasn’t been landing you gigs then you need to check out the link.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lw3d/message/54753

Mod edit: The article above has been removed, but has been reposted and can be found here.


#2

He made a very very good point in that.

“Nowadays in the world of hundreds-of-graduates-annually from art and animation schools why are we seeing so many bad demo reels? Because (at least from where I sit) they’re teaching people how to use software and not how to be artists.”

This was the main reason I left the school I was at a little over halfway through the courses. They wanted to be centeric to use this software, and were not really teaching how to be artful.

Shame.

All the points he makes are dead on.


#3

I’d guess that at least 50% of those who enroll in such schools have no business being there as they have no artistic aptitude to begin with.


#4

Originally posted by EsteyP
[B]Why were they tossed out? If your demo reel hasn’t been landing you gigs then you need to check out the link.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lw3d/message/54753 [/B]

If your demo reel isn’t landing you gigs, you’re the only one to blame… bottomline.

I’m im my second year of classes at my state university (an academic unviersity, with a pretty solid arts program, and a small digital arts major, NOT a new trend one-track 3D art school.) and I agree, the majority of the people majoring in this stuff just dont belong there.

I’m working my ass off trying to improve my skills, learn the programs, learn tradition art, figure drawing, painting, sculpture, etc… and when my classmates come up to me all proud of a soulless bryce/poser render, I cant help but feel a bit bad for him/her… then they wonder why ILM never responded to their reel senior year, and are baffled that their plans to work on the next starwars are suddenly gone from out of nowhere. :shrug:

Ah well, all the better for the serious users I suppose… and thankfully this forum seems to a central meeting place for many of the serious users out there. :wavey:

We all just keep up the good work, and we’ll be rewarded one of these days… :beer:
-DivideByZero-


#5

he’s right, BUT…

I think Bob & Co. should look into some usability and type design training in regards to their website. Must spend too much time looking at demo reels i guess…

Thats what I always find interesting…CG houses that do wonderful CG work and have strict quality control over their work, yet let their websites suck to hell and back.

my 1/50th of a dollar.


#6

Why were they tossed out? If your demo reel hasn’t been landing you gigs then you need to check out the link.

Yup.

Actually if you want to have an eye openner, check out the trashbins around any siggraph. Typically towards the end you’ll find the odd one stuffed full of demo reels.

Studios don’t want to cart back a few thousand vhs tapes back to the studio, so they’ll pick through the ones with work experience and if they get time check through some other ones and throw out the rest.

Usually you will get a thank you letter, or a post card, but I wouldn’t expect it. It is a fulltime job for a HR person to keep track of incoming reels, who sucks and sending out responses. This is especially bad if you get many many tapes a week. I wouldn’t expect a response back from smaller studios.

The only thing I disagree with what the guy said was that everything had to be amazing at everything (It helps, Alot, but)… if you suck at modelling-rigging but you can do amazing [and I do mean amazing] animation you’ll get considered at some places, particularlly the larger shops. But in cases like that you are better off getting some help in those areas.

But I agree with his assessment of the industry, too many students, not enough quality. I pegged the hiriable to unhirable ratio at 1:10 5 years ago but thats creeped up to at least 1:30 by now.

The only ones who are winning at this is the schools. I still can’t see the rationale of tuition being high as it is for some courses. When the software and hardware was 20,000$+ factored in with the teachers salarys then it tracks clean. But now You can get a decent 3d machine for 4-6,000$ and thats with a seat of 3d software.

Since most schools are software centric and basically follow the manual tutorials, there is no real value.


#7

No school can teach everyone everything. The best they can do is teach you a few basics and make sure you have the research skills to teach yourself the rest. The most important thing any person takes away from school is knowing how to learn and where to look.


#8

I do agree that a lot of the quality of the latest demo reels is low.

BUT he wonders why this has changed in the past few years. The answer is very simple. There are a heck of a lot more reels out there right now. So it’s not that the quality has gone down, I actually think the level has gone up. It’s just there there are tons and tons more of reels out there and the top good ones are tough to root out. Before you needed a huge machine with big time package to produce a reel. Today any kid in his home coputer can and does come up with a reel.

I also don’t agree that EVERYTHING has to be spotless or he throughs the reel on the can. If you want to be an animator, I don’t necesarily see why your models have to be awesome, or your lighting or your textures.

I saw ones a reel from a guy (I’ll keep his name anonymous) that was done with characters made from boxes and he made the reel specifically for Pixar. The animation was superb. And he did get the job at Pixar. He was an animator and he wanted to animate, and that’s what he did… no textures, no lighting, just pure beautiful animation. (I head about no textures, just boxes animation before, and I always went yeah yeah yeah… and then I saw it… saw his reel and he is working at Pixar…)

Anyway… I’ve looked at reels in the past and I do feel for the HR people or anybody that has to review them. People should know when their work is up to standard.

Goosh


#9

Originally posted by dmeyer
[B]he’s right, BUT…

I think Bob & Co. should look into some usability and type design training in regards to their website. Must spend too much time looking at demo reels i guess…
[/B]

I didn’t have a problem with the site. I also noticed that a new one was on it’s way.

I don’t think I’d really publicly slam the website belonging to a studio like rezn8 either. Unless it was making my eyes bleed just from looking at it.


#10

I agree with the opinion that demo reels are not improving. An art director at my previous employer told me that he had not seen a good demo reel in the last year.

I also take a look once in a while at student work posted on school websites, and they are no better than 3 years ago. In some cases, they are significantly worse.

But this has no effect on the people who are truly dedicated to their work. The people doing the hiring will be very appreciative when they see a great demo reel. It’s totally up to you on how far you want to improve your skills.


#11

I think, what we are seeing is a wannabee culture, not meaning to be harsh, alot of people who answer the question “Can you draw?” with a no, should really concider what it is they want.
Ok so to light or rig or animate drawing is not essential, but you have to have an artistic bone to start with, its not enough watching shrek and saying, hey I am gonna work for Pdi, ILM whoever… there are alot of people who are talented and are getting a raw deal because compnies are fed up of being assalted with wanabee reels, they dont even bother, just employ seasoned veterans. So its now very hard to get a break.
Sorry if I have put anybody off, but youdot just decide to work in an industry withought the relevant qualities.


#12

Originally posted by CG.p
[B]I didn’t have a problem with the site. I also noticed that a new one was on it’s way.

I don’t think I’d really publicly slam the website belonging to a studio like rezn8 either. Unless it was making my eyes bleed just from looking at it. [/B]

Yeah the REZN8 ninjas might come to my house while i am sleeping…

and the main issue with their site the fact that it breaks not all, but a good portion, of rules for effective type design. I don’t care how cool it looks if i can’t read it. :shame: Look at the press section especially.

But seriously, just because they are a well known studio does not make them infallible in regards to all things design. In any case, it was a critique, one that may have appeared harsh. The statement would be considered pretty kind in many design schools though.

It’s not so much just this site, and not only CG sites either. With the explosion of web “design” tech schools (cough dreamweaver 101 cough cough) design seems to have gone right out the window on the web. Not that it was ever really prominant in the first place.


#13

>>The only thing I disagree with what the guy said was that everything had to be amazing at everything (It helps, Alot, but)… if you suck at modelling-rigging but you can do amazing [and I do mean amazing] animation you’ll get considered at some places, particularlly the larger shops.

In these cases you shouldn’t put a crappy models or textures on your tape then. Just stick with simple designs of noodle like characters. If you can’t do it well, then don’t put it on your tape, simple as that.


#14

Originally posted by goosh
was an animator and he wanted to animate, and that’s what he did… no textures, no lighting, just pure beautiful animation. (I head about no textures, just boxes animation before, and I always went yeah yeah yeah… and then I saw it… saw his reel and he is working at Pixar…)

And I think here is the main reason one sees so much crap lately. People who apply for these “jobs” think a well rounded education is the best bet. This is untrue, in any field.

Yes, diversity has its place, but when a company is hiring animators, and they get assaulted with 147 tapes of piss poor lighting and texturing, so-so models and all around cheesy FX, I think I would get bored out of my skull very quick.

Having watched a fair share of reels, I can say, I have seen maybe 5 or 6 that I have in the back of my head which left a lasting impression that I may want to hire/work with those people one day.

If you want to texture, texture. Model, model. If you want to be all around guy, then a TD position might better suit you, and you should show those things which showcase that ability.

Granted, everyone wants to make a Shrek. Not going to happen. The CG industry seems to me what the law industry was twenty years ago. Everyone I knew wanted to be a lawyer and sure enuf, right after they graduated, boom, the industry is so overwhelmed there are a ton of unemployed perry mason wannabe lawyers floating around.

I think in a few years it will switch again. I can already see the trend towards arm chair directors. Want to make a film, screw hollywood, get a dv cam !!! As if this isn’t a reality already, just wait till the generation that is watching everything we make come of age.


#15

>>And I think here is the main reason one sees so much crap lately. People who apply for these “jobs” think a well rounded education is the best bet. This is untrue, in any field.

Not so, depends the company. The entire industry isn’t made up of big companies. 3/4 of the companies out there are little small botique houses that need generalists and only have 1-2 3d artists. Your not going to do them any good if your only good at animation. You should really have two tapes, one general and one specific for the larger companies that need people for each piece of the 3d pie.


#16

He stated later that you don’t have to be amazing at everything. As long as the rest of the reel makes up for any bad spots. Also, depending on how large studio/developer you are applying at, the number of skills is important. Small studios usually want a jack of all trades, large studios hire pople with more specific skills.

Example, small game studio is looking for modeler/texturer and preferably animator in one, a larger studio is looking for a modeler OR a texturer OR an animator etc etc… Tailor your reels/knowledge for where you want to work.


#17

Wow, 147… that’s really sad.

I can honestly say that most schools nowadays are all about putting asses in seats.

One thing that wasn’t mentioned is the fact that students often get that ego at the end of their course. Anyone who has formal education knows what I am talking about…

It’s the “I was the best in my class… I studied the hardest, I actually got my reel done, I graduated with honors…” blah, blah, blah… mentality that blows me away. Odds are you’ve got a long ways to go before you’re worth considering for a real job…

It needs to be said that although you may be the best in your class, you need to evaluate your work realistically. The best of the beginners is still in beginner territory in the real world.

If that sounds harsh, you’re probably one of the ones with the problem.

And the fix is simple… do your best, compare your work honestly against the work coming out of the industry, and if at all possible, have your work evaluated by a pro before sending it where you potentially want to work.

Keeping a level head about your work will keep it from getting bashed in by rejection letters.


#18

Originally posted by dmeyer

But seriously, just because they are a well known studio does not make them infallible in regards to all things design. In any case, it was a critique, one that may have appeared harsh. The statement would be considered pretty kind in many design schools though.

But few design schools might need to send them a demo reel down the road. :slight_smile:


#19

I’m absolutely on board with what this guy says. Unfortunately, it takes a certain level of competence to recognise just how bad you are in the first place and when rich people’s dumb kids are being sent through these schools, all the while told their work is brilliant, then this is the result you’ll get.

Now I know I’m never going to work form ILM in an artistic capability (might end up in advanced research for the software and shader design, but not anything artistic), because I’m just not that artistically capable. There is (last I checked) only one animation course in the UK that’s taken seriously by the major studios, and that’s a proper Bachelor of Arts degree at Bournemouth University where the entry requirements state that A’ Level Art is essential.

The point being, that without proper tuition it takes vastly longer to ‘just develop’ your skils and artistic direction. I’m spending my own hard earned cash on computer hardware and software because I’ve done Media A’ Level and therefore have a clue about structure, lighting and composition (plus my main project was stop-motion animation) and yet I’m under no illusions that I’m ever likely to get a job out of it because I have no real experience with traditional art. I’m just doing this because I enjoy it and hope that I might produce one or two at least competent animations.

I honestly think people shouldn’t be allowed any of these ‘schools’ without some serious art qualifications or a demonstratable portfolio, and if you “haven’t got the time or energy” to learn art first then you really don’t have the dedication or drive necessary to become a truly good 3D artist.

regards, Paul


#20

out of everyone i graduated with, only myself and 1 other person i know got a job in the 3-d industry…

things are overcrowded with underachievers