Demo reel tips

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.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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