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 How to work on a Showreel? 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post How to work on a Showreel?
The compiled information below is more towards 3d job findings in Singapore.

Over the last 7 yrs we have spoken to many who need help in educational and career advise. So far, we have reviewed close to 300 showreels. The information gathered below are some of the mistakes commonly neglected by the beginners.

Through our effort in SAC helpline, we have also assisted a number of companies here in their recruitment including some foreign companies based here. This has helped us to better understand what they are looking for.

SAC has also been involved in supporting foreign companies who has expressed interest in setting base here and wanted to find out more about the local talent pool. Through these discussions, they have given us a lot of feedbacks on their various job requirements. In addition to that, keep us to date, we do receive additional information from our members working overseas on updates of the job market in the countries they are working for. Hence this give us a better understanding of the regional and global industry.

So we hope this compilation below will help many newbies to better prepared themselves for the local job market.

Hope it helps

Singapore Animators Connection

Pls note that this is necessary mainly for beginners. Once you have established yourself, it is really about who you know in the industry.


A) DemoReels

. No fancy openings (Flying in your logos etc)
. No Colour Bars / tones
. No Countdown


. Customise your Demoreel for different positions and companies. E.g Game companies, VFX House, Animation Studio etc
(For companies that create realistic look or stylized look)

. Do not submit originals or masters. Only copies.

. Focus in your strength - Specialisation
(Esp for foreign companies)

. Quality not Quantity

. This is not a personal historical showcase. Don't do a chronological work history. Do not show all your works - starting from day one you learn CG.
And if you have doubts, don't show it. Do not create doubts in your ability. Show only your best.

. Make sure your demoreel assures your employer that you can excel in the position you are applying for. Its very competitive. So your reel must demonstrate that you are much better than other candidates.

. NO WIP, test, tutorials etc

. Put your best at the beginning. The first 15 to 20 sec must catch the viewers attention. Don't put your best stuff last. The viewer may never get to it.

. Your showreel must not exceed 3 mins. 5 mins is too long already.

. Avoid short film with loads of eye candy but yet does not show your skill in the specific position you are applying for.

. Divide your reel into sections if you are good at different roles.
"Character Animation", "Modeling" etc.
(So that at least your employer know what to look out for when viewing different section)

. Include life drawing or other fine art work such as sculpture, painting or photography at the tail of your reel.

. Update your reel every six months and remove old works.

. Minimize offensive materials etc.
Just to play safe. (avoid materials that suggest sex, violence etc)
Example, if the company is doing children programs, probably you should not include offensive stuff.

. Don't repeat shots or create a teaser or trailer before showing the actual works.

. No MTV style kind of reel. Everything runs so fast, no one going to be able to catch what is done by you.

MUSIC / Sound

. Simple Background music will do.

. Try to use royalty free music or music that does not have any copyrights issue.
(Some foreign companies are very particular in this. And unless you have seek clearance from the music company and sign a release document. Else they will not see your work)

If you have problem getting such music, it is better to leave it silent.
(Esp for modeling reel - It is fine)

Old swing, jazz or classical music (Animation)

. Don't use loud, obnoxious music or elaborate sound

. Lip Sync (Turn on the dialogue and make sure the music don't compete with it)

. VFX (Trance and Techno) is fine but always remember that the focus is the work. Not the music. Not too loud.

Beginning / End

. Your name / email / Tel /
website (Optional - applying for small company only)

. Make sure your e-mail and
website (Optional - applying for small company only)
are both working properly


. Simple and professional

. VHS NTSC Tapes (US Companies)

. DVD has higher quality. And more and more companies have DVD players or DVD ROMs nowadays. It is easier to move backward and forward when viewing it. However if you really want, send both VHS and DVD just to be safe. (US Companies)

. Do not re-use tapes. Use new ones.

. Use short length tape stock. (No 120/180 mins tape etc)

. Rewind your tapes

. For Singapore companies (Esp smaller ones)
Besides VHS Tape (PAL) and DVD bring along a VCD (mpg) and a CD with a QT file just in case. (Some smaller companies do not have DVD or VHS players. VCD and PC are more popular here.

. Use hard cases if possible. (Not absolutely necessary)
So that it is more presentable that is all.

. Label your box

. Total Length of reel

. Avoid uncommon codecs, DIVx etc (Singapore context)
In fact, should avoid showing your works in avi.

. Indicate which part is done by you. Break it down. (Group project)
Breakdown should include a title/description of each shot
-what the applicant was responsible for
-software used
-any important facts that will sell you. Keep it short.

If you have done everything, make sure you make it clear.
Don't make the viewer wonder.

B) Resume

. Customise your resume for different positions and companies. E.g Game companies, VFX House, Animation Studio etc

. Highlight your skill

. Don't just simply list down a whole long list of software you know.
Explain what you use it for. The tools in the software you use for production.
Certain techniques. Highlight only the points that will help to indicate you
can excel in the position. Be clear and specific about what exactly you can do.

(Use either Software or Skillset as main heading)

E.g 3d Studio MAX (Software focus)
- Extensive experience with organic modeling (Polygonal modeling technique) - Edit Poly / Mesh smooth etc
- Working Knowledge of MAX scripting
Have used MAX in conjunction with particle dynamics in several projects.

E.g Organic Character Modeling (Skillset focus)
Experience in using MAYA to create custom rig for 2, 4 and 8 legged characters.
Extensive knowledge in modeling organic and character using MAYA Sub D surfaces

. Highlight relevant projects that you have work on in the past and
your past relevant responsibilities.

. Highlight related awards you have won.

. Cert is not that crucial for most art base positions.
More important for academic/govt/technical positions.
(However for foreigner who wish to work in US, you will be in a better position to obtain a working visa if you have a degree. Esp with a US Degree)


A good resume will be around 2 to 3 pages, and possess:

A. Contact information (All phone numbers, email and regular address)
B. Objective (What exact position you are going for. What is your goal for the job)
C. Work Experience (Date of hires, job title and description)
D. Skills (C++ and Java, 3D Studio Max, Networking, Excel etc.)
E. Education (Degrees, additional schooling or certificates)
F. Other Relevant skills (related skills, personal notes)

C) Interviews (More focus in Singapore context)

. Research on your employer and know the company well

. Dressing - Short sleeve shirt and jeans for guys will do.
(No need to be formal)
Generally anything Simple / professional / presentable for both guys and girls
First impression counts
Don't dress like a

- rock star
- movie star
- as though you are going to a club
- beach party

You will be surprised what some new wave design students will do.

. You can be stylish and yet neat/tidy

. Nod your head and show interest during conversation
(No screen saver mode pls - don't zone out)

. smile

. Listen and always maintain eye contact

. Nice colour Printouts of Artwork (Modeling renderings, Drawings etc)

. Show only relevant stuff

. Ask questions

. Be nice / friendly

. Just to be safe (DVD/VCD(MPG)/VHS/QT) - Local context

. Situp properly

Misc (In Singapore and Asia)

. Simple, nice and professionally designed name cards and website.
(Make sure your website / email are working. People can easily read your contacts from the namecards)

. Website keep it simple. You are selling your 3d works. NOt your website.

. No Flash for website.

. Don't over decorate it. You are selling your skill. Not your website or namecard. Make sure your design is not too abstract until no one can find your contacts.

All the best

David Kwok
Singapore Animators Connection

Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:51 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post Re: How to work on a Showreel?
CG Talk reference ... oReel.html

Demo Reels are Key to Opening Doors to Employment ... _showreels

Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:53 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post Re: How to work on a Showreel?
How to Create a Demo Reel - Pixar

Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:23 am
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