Is Motion Graphics Work in Decline....or...?


I suspect that we all have seen so many demo reels that we are jaded. It’s very difficult for us to be wow’d. We’ve seen so much superb work…we can’t help but set the bar incredibly high.

But as I was watching the latest Maxon demo reel I couldn’t help but wonder if the quality of the work, is in fact, declining.

What are your impressions?

I saw a handful of super nice shots, a lot of nice work…but wow, seems to pale compared to c4d 2015 demo reel:


Could be that they’re being more honest with their reels now. There’s a bunch of pyro and particle stuff from that 2015 reel, that - let’s be real here - was in no way done in native Cinema 4D.

Still, lots of nice work though.



I would guess the projects in the 2015 demo reel had much more funding than the 2020 demo reel. Covid has trimmed back ad budgets, but still I can’t help but sense that artists aren’t innovating and stretching as much.

But that too could be a reflection of difficult locked-at-home situation.


I can’t honestly say I see a reduction in quality. There is much more stuff in the 2015 reel which shows render engines limitations, the overall level has risen in the 2020 reel. I think the editing might not help, the new reel has a cut to a new shot every 0.5 - 2 seconds, the older reel is happy to leave work up on screen much much longer, perhaps this is just giving you a chance to see the details, especially given youtubes low bitrate.

The 2015 reel is also quite MvM and Mill heavy, perhaps they just didn’t submit as much for the newer reel.

Or, perhaps with the virus, the big flashy jobs just aren’t getting done or released right now.


C’mon Matt…If we were to vote on the top 10 clips…7 of them would come from the 2015 reel, easy.

I’m not talking about rendering quality…there’s 5 years of technology jump…a huge edge for today’s artists. 2020 has the the advantage of many new features in c4d, in rendering, in computer speed etc. And yet!

2015 work is better in terms of ingenuity, memorability, emotional resonance.

Now if we want to talk about recent work from OLDER artists…yes amazing:

This is rooted in a true sense of wonder and awe. And it shows big time.

Kramer’s “Weather the Storm” was also amazing. It starts with great sense of story… and human emotion. The latest generation of artists is missing this.

I find 98% of movies in the last 10 years to be a total bore as well.


here is my humble view on this subject:

Back in the days companies where happy to spend (and also had to) a lot of money to get something extraordinary. Just a view companies where able to deliver such quality. Because of technological limits these projects needed more time all together. therefor there also was more time for the creative part of a job. Now that the software gets better and more and more artists enter the market far more companies and also individuals can produce good and very good results (not outstanding) prices and time budgets got down quite a bit. As the production still needs time to produce the quality picture (and you can not save on that) the creative processes are the first to be cut.
I saw a enormous change in the regard of budgets and time schedules especially in the last 5 years or so. No wonder the quality suffers.

best regards


for me they are mostly on par, for my personal taste the 2020 reel has more interesting things in it and also more variety. so my answer to your question would be no, it isn‘t in decline. it’s also mostly up to what has been chosen to get into the reel, this doesn‘t naturally reflect what has been done. to take those reels and see it as a reliable indicator of the stuff that has been done that year is the wrong way to look at it i think.


Sorry, but this is a demo reel with images on screen for 1-4 seconds. I’m not getting an “emotional resonance” from anything.

In your first post you literally said you think the quality of the work is declining, but then responded with “im not talking about rendering quality”. Given we’re on a 3D rendering forum, what else are we supposed to judge by?

Maybe if we look at the full productions the clips are taken from, I might agree, but in the context of a fast cut demo reel, I do think the 2020 reel looks better than the 2015 reel.


At least in my country advertising has been in decline since Covid restrictions began in march. The global market has contracted as well.

Just look at the movie industry, do you guys think we have lots of movies like we did in 2020 to make a reel of it, or is just Tenet and Mulan this year?


I think you’ve nailed the key factors accounting for the decline in much work that we see. Obviously there are exceptions.



Camera moves, composition, creative concept, design, timing, etc.


I will concede that I regularly see some stunning work on the Octane render Facebook page…much of it c4d/octane. Many of the submissions are more interesting and sophisticated (IMO) than what one finds in the Maxon demo reel.


that is the worst mograph work guideline related argument you could have ever picked, im not even gonna go there,

are you bored or u need some attention?

we were limited // last couple of years, have been the most detrimental for small shops and c4d artists, at this point c4d is a full adult, 20 years ago we were scarping ideas over

You render 20 times faster and better than 10 years ago, there is plenty of good work, you just have to know where to look



Ah…a personal attack. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :roll_eyes:


I think the 2020 reel intended to focus on projects that revolved mostly around C4D, Redshift and RedGiant to promote their newest features (like Moves at 1:24).

The 2015 had many elements from 3rd party apps like Realflow, XParticles, AE etc… I think it focused on the fact that now C4D can be part of big project pipelines involving other apps.