10 February 2009

what constitute a good 3d Demo reel part 4

HI! Today I will continue on my series of article where I lived yesterday. Than maybe you are asking your self is there something that employers want to see and something that they not want to see in a 3d demo reel? I will also talk about how to present your demo in term of media and how to approach the employers.

So lets start
with your first question. In a sens Ive already answer it in the part 2 of this series of article in which I told you example of what you should put in it if your a modeller or an animator but are they some kind of stuff to prohibits in a demo reel? Are they things that employers doesn't want to see anymore? Well this is a good question. You might surf on the net there is some article about it! But I will summarize it here for you. First still it all depend on the employers and what they do as products and two it all depend if your are exceptional at what you do. But be assure that it is very difficult to be very original and they may have thousand of people coming with the same model character as you. But again if your model is really exceptional you may put it in your demo. I suggest you to be as more original than you can if you want to stand out of the crowd.

But actually it seems that they are an unofficial list of thing not to put in a demo. Let see some of them. First the infamous flying logos! It has been countless time seen and beside that it doesn't need a big amount of talent in animation to do it. Not so convincing for an employer.

Than you may be a fan of ''Star Trek'', ''Stars Wars'' or ''Battle Stars Galactica'' and absolutely want to model guess what? Yes you re right a magnificent spaceship!! Spaceships are cool but since the popularity of the TV series and movies on the big screen in the last decade, they grow to much liked in the 3d industries... You may like your spaceship but realize that employers who watch demo just cant stand anymore watching spaceship model. Sorry if it hurt you. Chocolate is very good tasting but eat to much of it at once and you will end sick.

W.O.W or world of walking like one of my friend use to say it to me! :OP You see me coming from miles away I know it! The well known orcs!!! Since the popularity of the world of Warcraft series of games it seem every beginner in the 3d want to model his own orc and guess what they love it so much that they put it in their demo as well. But chance are that your orc is not enough bad ass since you still a beginner so it can impress employers. Beside take in account that Blizzard apart how many company have game with orcs in it? Maybe Warhammer... OK maybe you can tell me 2, 3 or 5 company in the world but these company are the best and they took the best artist to work with them and guess what! Yeah they receive thousand of orcs by day. Are you good enough to stand out the crowd? Also take in account that the company where you may have your first interview don't have anything to do with a artist who model orcs.

Let me tell you a personal story here... The first job I get in a company of video games was in a company who do games for young girl aged of 8 to 12 years old. Not really the kind of jobs I was aiming for or dreaming of at the beginning but hey! you got to works. In the demo I show them I have a bad ass warrior barbarian like model in zbrush and 3ds max. You could see it at this link:

I was really proud of it and still I am :OP The director of the studio and the producer who receive the demo were amazed by my model and it open the doors for me. After that they send me to the Art director and to the lead artist. Both watch my demo and find it very good as they said to me but they didn't focus on the barbarian except to tell me that it have some minor proportion problem and to ask me how long it took me to do. Question to which Ive get a little shy to answer since it took me a fairly good amount of time to finish. At this time I was not the fastest modeller in town to make it short.

In the demo I also had a Pixar like incredible character who was very cool but they hook on the only two girl that I have never model till now!! The first is on my demo reel you remember the girl with the pink hair and the other was a kind of little witch made in Zbrush. She was cute but the modelling was awful and the proportion not to well. But they did focus on it .Why? The answer is simple just because they were doing little girl games. They didn't care about an artist who could just do big bad ass character and orcs... So it take us back to my last article where I said that you must know what the products of the companies your applying are so you can adapt yourself to it.

In my demo I also put a motorcycle . It is a Honda cbr rr if I recall well. One of my teacher could tell it just having see it one time. A couple year ago a lot of demo from student have a Bike or a car in it. It was not a bad idea because a car or a bike is kind of a mix between organic and hard surface modelling. If you do it well it is a great asset for your demo because it show that you have great skills in modelling. But now the employers seem to be tired of seeing cars and bike. It toke me a whole month to model mine and in the first interview that I got they just pass over it without any comments I was SO sad! :OP

Other thing that you may consider its to put your character in pose not the usual boring ''T'' pose. The benefits to put the character in pose is that it show if it deform,well, and if it deform well it is because you are great at doing mesh. Also it gives personality to your character. Finally you may not want to copy an already known design. Try to be original and create your own. It is also usual to put the statistics of the model: the number of polygons, the size of the texture, the software you use.

Also some line of tough tend to tell that if your a modeller you may just focus on modelling and not texture or pose your model. But as I was been told it is better to show good all around skills. The last Lead Artist that Ive got was in the industry for almost 10 years. He use to tell me that he better like to see a poor model textured and in pose than a poor model not even textured and not posed . Because at least it show that you may not be a god modeler but you know enough to unwrap , pose your character and do the lighting. Maybe you could have just plain grey shader model in ''T'' pose and it show that you have great skills but if they are searching for jack-of-all-trades than they might prefer a less skilled guy or just asking you to do some test which is nerve breaking and annoying and in finish your not so sure of being hired. It is much I got to say about what or not put in your demo. You may find other article on the web who are more exhaustive about it.

Lets finish quickly about how to present your demo reel to employers. Now you know how to constitute your demo. What to put in it and what not to put in it and how to present your pieces. Now lets talk about the format of it and the media. In example a media could be a website, a blog, a movie, a DVD, a CD, a portfolio in paper etc.

A DVD is a good way to do it. Except that you may have the trouble to go give it in person or to post it which may occur in fees. In person is a good way because you get a first contact whit the employers. If you are well dress, clean etc you may do a good lasting first impression. The employer may even remind you when they see your demo reel or even look at it whit you if they have time.

Remember you should always contact them before go and get in their office. They are extremely busy people. Take a rendez-vous to tell them that you want to gives them your new demo reel. Try to set an interview before. Also if you do a DVD then try to give them the box with a nice covers and put a stickers on the DVD. Don't just give them a plain CD or DVD with a marker writing on it. Try to look professional as it show that you take that to serious.

What I personally use and that I would suggest you is a website or a blog or a video host ed somewhere easy to see. I'm currently using a blog where I put all my image and videos so it is much easier when I apply to a job. Also it is easy to manage. When Ive done a pieces of art I just post it on my blog and my latest post is on the top. Usually my latest post is my better piece of arts so it make good impression to the viewers and they can browse down to see the evolution of my arts. In this way they see that I'm always working and upgrading myself in the field and that is a good point.

If you do a movie than host it where it is easy to see and where you don't lose to much quality in compression. It is particularly important if your demo is full of 3d high rise still. You want them to be as clear as possible to reflect your work. The Internet way is a good way because when applying you send a email to their job application links or email. In this mail you attach your resume and a letter of introduction in which you present yourself and tell how you have hear of the company and what you could do for them. Than in the mail you just say go see this links it is where my portfolio or demo reel is host. Than you finish by thanking them and assuring them that you,re at their disposition if they want to do an interview to talk more about your stuff. Bingo it is so much easier in this way!

So finally this is what take a end to this series of article talking about demo reel. I didn't know in the beginning that it will be so long but I hop it could help some of you to ligth up their mind about the subject. I'm open to any comments and question so don't be shy! Bye see you tomorrow!

Sam The 3d Blogger

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