Yes, I have been meaning to put this up ages ago, as I should really do a Adelaide 3D community. But having worked in 3D a lot, here are some tips for some budding 3D people that I think might help thier demo reels.
Animation – show shape, weight, balance, timing. Basic motions like lifting, sawing, pulling, pushing, and interacting with scene elements as opposed to simply running, jumping, or walking (everyone can find behavoiurs and there are plugins for that).
Modeling – reality is the key here. If it is a human it should look like a human. Show a sense of proportion and detail unless you’re going for a stylized cartoon look.
Lighting – should create a mood or atmosphere. Don’t have over-lit scenes just to show off your models, make sure you know the difference rendering techniques too.
Camera – have an effective transition without leaving the viewer in a state of vertigo. Have a nice flow between shots to help the viewer understand what is going on, if you need help in this, ask me.
Show your best work only. Show your best work first. Demo reels should not be longer than 5 minutes long.
Show each work once. No need to repeat the same piece.
Use good judgment on music or audio that accompanies the work. Didn’t someone say, ‘The audience is listening?’
Spend the time to do at least one thing really, really well.
Everyone has a walk cycle – think, how do you make your reel stand out?
Model an object with high precision and high quality texture maps and make it your pride piece.
Work on lighting. This seems to be the most overlooked thing on demos Ive seen. Show how lighting adds mood or excitement to a scene or how it can be used to increase efficiency by reducing the number of elements that need to be built in a scene. I have a cool book from a course i did on digital cinematography, that one day I will let u read.
Use good textures. Are your textures appropriate for the model, or are they just the ones that come with Maya? Show that you can create your own textures and have good judgment on how to use them well. Do they add detail that otherwise would have to have been modeled? Do you know the different types of textures?
Show wire frames of models. Wire frames show whether you hacked the model together or built true shapes and forms. They also show how efficient you are as a modeler. This is key if you are going for a low-poly role or a high poly job, very important.
Have high quality prints made of your work. Render an at least 1080p version and bung it on YouTube.
Fix any technical problems. Make sure you don’t have any dropped frames or animation spikes in your work, us techies can spot them a mile off.
More tips from me coming soon.