#1 06-11-2017 11:58 pm

Jump_Zero
Registered: 06-11-2017
Posts: 5

What should I put in my reel?

Hi!

I'm a new animator. Just recently completed the animation courses at Animation Mentor. I want to work at a game studio, no place in particular, just break into the industry. But I don't have a reel and my last mentor said I should create one from scratch. I'm not sure what game companies look for. Do you guys have any suggestions? Thanks!

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#2 06-12-2017 7:17 am

thelittlepenguin84
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

You completed animation mentor, but do not have any coursework from there? Please don't say your dog ate it?

p.s. i'd suggest looking at reels coming out of online schools' gaming courses. Or reels of those at studios you like

Last edited by thelittlepenguin84 (06-12-2017 7:32 am)

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#3 06-12-2017 5:27 pm

Jump_Zero
Registered: 06-11-2017
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Thanks for the input! I didn't think to look at others demo reels, instead i thought I should ask and see if there are general guidelines for demo reels depending on the direction you want to go.

Well as I said previously, my mentor said I should create a reel from scratch. It's not that I don't have existing work, it's just that my work during school isn't good enough to be put in a reel. Because of that, I'm trying to get an idea of shots that I can do that would help me create a decent reel.

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#4 06-13-2017 7:24 am

auto540
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Check out Jason Shum's channel, he and a few other Riot Games animator do demoreel /animation reviews. I've learned a lot in their channel, despite it being a pretty new channel. It's great if you are trying to get into the gaming industyr.
https://www.facebook.com/shumface/


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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOXCoX … p-Mzz91CXQ

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#5 06-13-2017 7:46 am

thelittlepenguin84
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Right now, you haven't said which direction you want to go. You can quickly google what to put into a gaming reel, but it depends on your tastes and goals. The more reels you look at the clearer your vision may become. This is basically, how I have continually set myself different goals etc. I did a class at Ianimate in creature work, and looked at some of my friends' work who had been employed in similar positions. It meant I had a clear idea of level of complexity, I asked them what studios had said about it and then chose a similar type of exercise. This led me to work at a great vfx studio.

Currently, I am now working upon acting pieces. Looking at several reels, including my mentors, gave me a grasp and focus on the kind of shot to produce. It still very much has my own ideas, but it cleared the clutter and gave me confidence in my choice

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#6 06-13-2017 3:56 pm

Jump_Zero
Registered: 06-11-2017
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about my direction. I thought saying that I'd like to work in a game studio was indication of the direction I want to go. Would you mind clarifying what you meant?

thanks for the advice! I'll look at some reels and try to find similarities.

Thanks for the link, Auto540. I just happened to stumble upon that page last night and found that one of my mentors, Warren Goff, did a video with Jasom Shum. Thanks again!

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#7 06-13-2017 4:15 pm

thelittlepenguin84
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Blizzard, Ninja Theory, Deepsilver Dambuster, Bungie, Travellers Tales are just a few game studios who look for different things from their animators.

Equally, Blue Sky Studios, Sony, Pixar and Dreamworks all do different styles.

So it helps to know which games interest you and you want to make

Last edited by thelittlepenguin84 (06-13-2017 4:17 pm)

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#8 06-13-2017 8:42 pm

RyanHagen
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Came across this today.  Enjoy

http://www.gameanim.com/category/featured-reels/


Ryan
Animator
"Frustration is the handmaiden of creativity" ~ Chuck Jones

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#9 06-13-2017 8:43 pm

Jump_Zero
Registered: 06-11-2017
Posts: 5

Re: What should I put in my reel?

Ahhh, thanks for the clarification.

Blizzard would be my top choice. Followed by a few various studios who create some of my favorite games such as Ubisoft, Telltale, Bioware, 2k Games. Though I feel like I don't have much of a chance to get into any of those studios because of lack of experience. A lot of the positions call for 5 years experience or similar with X number of products shipped. So I feel like my best chance would to be in a smaller Indie Studio. Though I have no idea where to look for indie jobs or start ups that are so small.

I hope that answer was closer for what you were looking for. Thanks again for the helpful input Penguin.

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#10 06-13-2017 9:39 pm

RyanHagen
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

A lot of times, studio put those things in the requirements to stop people from applying in the first place.  There's absolutely no reason you can't send your stuff in anyways.  The worst they could say is "nah".


Ryan
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"Frustration is the handmaiden of creativity" ~ Chuck Jones

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#11 06-13-2017 9:43 pm

thelittlepenguin84
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Then use this as your basis. Search for people who have worked there and look at their reels prior and after. Make a list of what they are presenting. A quick search online gave me also a link to the types of tests blizzard give to their animators.

Also look at schools' gaming reels. Note number of pieces for schools as many will take the same assignments.

Together you'll notice patterns.

As for getting that first job. Yes, you may need a little luck to get your first break. As Ryan said, some studios may offer you the chance without the experience. Note though, my first job came upon Guardians of the Galaxy and I wasn't ready at the time, particularly to join just before crunch. A smaller studio may provide you the time to get familiar with an industry environment.

You never know when your first break will come. So stay focused and stay hungry. Once the first job has happened, recruitment agencies may offer a resource for finding these indie studios. After a couple of jobs, that certainly happened for me in England.

The problem you will have is getting the controller response to your animations. Some schools offer this facility as part of their course. But you don't necessarily need it. You just got to give the studio enough reasons to identify you as somebody they want to work with. This can be reel alone, or maybe you have a contact etc.

Ah, one last thing. Quality over quantity. Strive to make a reel of 30 seconds. Do not go for a minute until your new work has earned the right to be alongside it. Everyone wants a longer reel, but a weak piece can be a strong reason not to hire you.

Last edited by thelittlepenguin84 (06-13-2017 9:48 pm)

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#12 06-13-2017 11:05 pm

zethicus
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

RyanHagen wrote:

Came across this today.  Enjoy

http://www.gameanim.com/category/featured-reels/

Killer link, thanks a lot!


-Zeth

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#13 06-14-2017 2:17 am

Jump_Zero
Registered: 06-11-2017
Posts: 5

Re: What should I put in my reel?

Ryan, thanks so much for the link! I just find it weird to put that kind of experience needed to weed people out. I understand why they do it, but I find it wrong. But I think you're right, the worst they can say is "no."

Penguin, I'm sure I'm gonna need way more than luck to get my first break. So I know I'm not gonna be anywhere near a triple A studio for quite a while. I guess I'm a little worried trying to find an Indie studio who just needs an animator. It's my understanding that bigger studios have the budget to find people who specialize in one area. Smaller studios tend to look for people with more than one skill because of size and budget. So hopefully, I can find a studio that doesn't pay or is I suppose willing to undertake a junior animator or intern of a sort. On the last note, I remember reading something where someone said anything under 1 min of a reel would make a recruiter think that particular person doesn't work. My first thought was to make 30 secs of killer work. But after reading that, I feel like it should be a minute. I'm pretty sure it came from GameAnim. Could you provide your thoughts on that? Thanks again for the advice!

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#14 06-14-2017 4:07 am

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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Jump_Zero wrote:

Ryan, thanks so much for the link! I just find it weird to put that kind of experience needed to weed people out. I understand why they do it, but I find it wrong. But I think you're right, the worst they can say is "no."

Penguin, I'm sure I'm gonna need way more than luck to get my first break. So I know I'm not gonna be anywhere near a triple A studio for quite a while. I guess I'm a little worried trying to find an Indie studio who just needs an animator. It's my understanding that bigger studios have the budget to find people who specialize in one area. Smaller studios tend to look for people with more than one skill because of size and budget. So hopefully, I can find a studio that doesn't pay or is I suppose willing to undertake a junior animator or intern of a sort. On the last note, I remember reading something where someone said anything under 1 min of a reel would make a recruiter think that particular person doesn't work. My first thought was to make 30 secs of killer work. But after reading that, I feel like it should be a minute. I'm pretty sure it came from GameAnim. Could you provide your thoughts on that? Thanks again for the advice!

I've heard about people not even looking at entire reels. Which makes sense if you had to look at like 30+ reels. Also heard you can tell if some one can animate by just seeing a few seconds.


"Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft." - Will Smith

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#15 06-14-2017 8:09 am

AFightingPanda
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Jump_Zero wrote:

It's my understanding that bigger studios have the budget to find people who specialize in one area. Smaller studios tend to look for people with more than one skill because of size and budget.

That is generally true.  That is why I tend to suggest young animators try to get intern positions or junior positions at larger companies.  Because to get that job all you have to do is prove you can animate well and have potential to be a solid asset to the team at least for the near future. 

Jump_Zero wrote:

I remember reading something where someone said anything under 1 min of a reel would make a recruiter think that particular person doesn't work. My first thought was to make 30 secs of killer work. But after reading that, I feel like it should be a minute. I'm pretty sure it came from GameAnim. Could you provide your thoughts on that? Thanks again for the advice!

Different opinions man, that is all it comes down to.  One guy may look at a short reel of great work and say its not enough to hire the guy.  But the majority don't really care about quantity at all.  Not saying that one guy isn't out there because I guarantee he is.  I am simply saying you gotta shoot for success with the 95 percent of hiring reviewers, not the 5 percent.  I promise you, you are better served producing 30 seconds of truly great work than any amazing amount of mediocre work.  No one cares if you can produce 5 minutes of boring cliche animation.


“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

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#16 06-15-2017 12:39 pm

KyleG
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

Jump_Zero wrote:

I remember reading something where someone said anything under 1 min of a reel would make a recruiter think that particular person doesn't work. My first thought was to make 30 secs of killer work. But after reading that, I feel like it should be a minute. I'm pretty sure it came from GameAnim. Could you provide your thoughts on that? Thanks again for the advice!

If you are straight out of school I honestly doubt you will have a minute plus of high quality animation. It's about quality not quantity

And the honest truth...We look at so many reels when we are hiring that I can usually tell within the first 5 -10 secs whether you are worth contacting. So if I'm not "wowed" in that amount of time I will just shut the reel off


Kyle Kenworthy
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#17 06-15-2017 1:55 pm

RyanHagen
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

I would also assume(yes i'm aware of what that does), but they will most likely have  you do a test.  And they'll use that "test" to gauge your speed and level you can achieve within that time frame.  It's not uncommon anyways.  I don't disagree with the practice one bit personally.


Ryan
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"Frustration is the handmaiden of creativity" ~ Chuck Jones

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#18 06-17-2017 4:20 am

Dr. Robot
Registered: 12-12-2011
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Re: What should I put in my reel?

thelittlepenguin84 wrote:

You never know when your first break will come. So stay focused and stay hungry.

Lots of great advice in here, but I think this might be the most important thing to remember for animators fresh out of school. Keep learning and improving, keep applying everywhere you can, and keep having fun animating.

As far as getting a job in games goes, I think you generally want to show strong body mechanics, knowledge of motion capture, a bit of acting & facial animation, and an understanding of how gameplay animation is designed and implemented. It really does depend on the studio and the specific project you're applying for though.

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