6 February 2009

what constitute a good 3d Demo reel part 2

Hi! This is me, Sam The 3d blogger!

Yesterday for the ones who were there I was talking about what could constitute a good 3d demo reel. Specifically I was talking about what kind of music or song you should use as soundtrack in your demo reel. So basically I told you that a too much aggressive or to distracting song could be bad for your demo. I also told you to go with the content of your demo as if its a animation demo reel you need to put a song where the rhythm fit well with the rhythm of the animation. In this way the both enhance each other in a complementary way. You may also need a song where the cut of the demo could happen on specific beat or movement in the song. In example when the bridge of the song came you may want to put one of your nicest pieces.

So this is basically about that for the music, no need to add anything if not to be cautious and to realized that the people who will see your demo and hire you may not like or having the same taste as you.

That's been said lets talk as I said yesterday about the lenght of your demo and what you should put in it! The fun parts! As I'm talking I will refer to my own demo reel that Ive done for my 3d animation class when I was a student. Ive already put it on the blog on my last article yesterday so just scroll a little down to take a look a it.

How long my demo reel should be ? I know you are asking you that question! Well the answer should be as long as you got awesome stuff to show! But a rule of thumbs is that if your not yet a professional 3d artist you should not go pass 1:15 minutes. But it all depend on the content as I said and specifically on the genre of your demo. 1:15minutes its very long when you got only four render to show... but at the inverse if you got 4 animation it will go faster. You got it! Its all relative in a way but keep in mind that the purpose to have a demo reel is to show it to people who may and will hire you. They must not be annoyed in any sens, if they had a bad experience when watching your demo even if you are good you could be dismiss.

In the same way its like passing an interview for a job. You surely already take class on the subject at the school. You know when presenting yourself you should be shaved, looking clean, having nice and clean clothes.... You know the kind of stuff who should be natural and that we always been told at school... At equal talent or as pound for pound as they said in the boxing circle who may win? Talent for talent they might choose or should I said they will took the one who inspired them the most credibility and this person is the person who look well dress and clean because it tell to the employers that this person is cautious, loyal, nice, take the job application seriously and in extend that person is serious etc...

Back to the demo!! Sorry I tend to make digression sometimes but its all for your food!:OP. Than your demo should look slick and cool and professional. Looking like you put some effort in it. In example don't just put anything in anyways in it. Do a presentation screen and a credit screen! Take a look to my demo is what I'm talking about. Ive done a presentation screen with my name and already present some of my character in pose. It lead the employer to think that they will learn much about these character. Then on the credit screen you may want to thanks your teachers and your friend who gives you advice. The employers may even know your teachers because they were colleague or one of his old students! I'm not saying it is the only way but a good presentation screen is a must as well as a credit screen. Think about it like writing an essay. Have you ever read an essay without introduction and conclusion??

Select only your better stuff!. A guy from a video game company came one day at the college to give advice on what they want in a demo reel and the most important thing he said to remember is that in doubt of a piece, just don't put it in your demo! Just put the one you are the most proud of, you get it? In other ways there is no need to put 15 character if they are all botched or for 2minutes long of walk cycle if they are ugly or not finish yet... You can always in that case put the inscription w.i.p beside them but only if they are promising stuff that you have been told to put in by your teacher or friend that understand the field.

But concretely what I should put in it? Are you a modeller, a texture artist, an animator etc..? To ask is to answer in that case. If your a modeller and you suck a animation just don't put your animation in your reel as I said before it surely will not be your best works. Beside it you want to applied for a modelling job so don't confuse the employer..... Eh eh it always go back to the employers!! If by any chance your good at both than select just the best of your work or better do two demo reel! one for each field of competence.

OK let assume that your a modeller.... do you want to specialise in character modelling or in environment? or both... A good character modeller know the human anatomy very well so you migth want to put a male and a female in your demo, big shot of face and head modelling etc... In this way you will show that you are efficient in both anatomies. Put your character in pose so they can look more natural and funny not just the boring ''T'' pose.

You are good in environment? Are you good in modelling props? terrain? Building? That's right I know you get it! Put one or two example of your best work in each categories. The diversity is the key of the evolution as Darwin might have said! In this way the employers will look a your demo and see that you can do a lot of different things in modelling and will be tempted to hire you before a guy who just model character in example. But it still depend on what they searching for... so you may check before if your talent correspond to their demand. Do your homework do research on the company you want to applied, what they need when will they need people etc.. Beside that I know that little company and studios prefer to have jack of all trade people and big studios may categorize their artist by their competences and skills. In example some will just be texture artist other only lighting artist...

Let finish quickly with stuff to put for animators before that post became too much long... As for modeller the point is to show your skill. In animation it depend if you want to be a video game artist or a movie artist but both tend to collapse these days. The base a employer want to see usually are a walk cycle, a run cycle, a jump cycle, a lift, an animal. walking...and ultimately interaction between two character. You can also show your skill at cartoon and realism and do a facial acting. So you may also want to put each of these cycle for male and female. Take a look at the Richard Williams '' The animator's survival kit'' book, its the bible of animator try searching it in google. I know you can get it as pdf as well. All these cycle are show in it. So you could put all these animation in your demo but just the lapse of time needed to show correctly the cycle. In example no need to put 20 second of a walk cycle after 3 or 5 seconds its usually enough.

So this is it for today post, maybe tomorrow or Sunday I will continue on that matter in criticising more concretely my demo reel so you could learn from my mistakes as well as my good shot!

Sam The 3d Blogger

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