10 tips: How to get a job in animation and vfx industry

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10 tips: How to get a job in animation and vfx industry

Getting a job in CG industry as a fresher can be a challenge. Artists are often confused about what to add in a showreel, how to present your work, how to prepare for an interview. We will discuss 10 tips that might help you to land a job in Animation and VFX  industry.

Get Your Foot In The Door

Getting the first job in this industry is the most difficult part of the artist’s career.Almost all studios fill the positions from within. Whenever there are vacancies ,manager promote the qualified intern rather than hiring the stranger even if the applicant has a better work on his showreel.

Internal promotion saves lots of money of the company. Internal promotion makes sense because the intern know their way around the in house tools and also know the production pipeline of the studio. Promoting will motivate the interns which will increase the productivity.

If you can get into a good studio through internship program as a matchmover or rotoscopy, you can work your way up by learning the in house tools and production pipeline of the company.

Don’t over-decorate your demo reel.

When a studio ask for your demo reel , send a DVD, not any other media formats. Concentrate on content rather than packaging. The HR’s and managers are not impressed by the fancy painting or a logo you make for yourself. Label your Name and contact details on a DVD cover and put the best work onto the DVD. Use simple transitions and Straightforward titles.

Don’t Bluff on your Resume

Suppose if you are a “Lab Assistant” in a school, don’t write Multi Platform System Administrator. Write ” Lab Assistant” and then explain it below in a bullet – point underneath.

If you are a fresher, there is no point adding Professional Experience section if you don’t have anything substantial to write about.

Show Unique and Original work

Managers look for Original work and Uniqueness in your show reel. Do not do anything that is done by any artist before. You will look like less of an artist if you fail to produce original art. Learn to observe and draw from real life. Match your 3D work to a familiar piece of reality.

Short and simple showreel 

Showreel duration should not exceed 3 minutes. It is better to include one or two high quality project rather than adding many projects which does not represent best quality work.The first rule of editing is:If you are in doubt don’t add in a showreel.

If you are showing modelling texturing and lighting work on your showreel , make sure you make a turn table (the model that rotates 360 degrees). Your Turntable should not be too slow or too fast. 180 frames are enough.No need to add music – most HR’s view showreels with the sound turned off or very low.

Correct your spellings and grammatical errors

Every word on your demo reel and resume should be verified for correct spelling.  there are lot of the words you will not get in your word processor’s automatic spell-checker, so also check company websites or software documentation for the correct spellings of program names and technical terms.People hurt themselves when they spell badly.


Always do some research about the studio you are applying in. Find out the information about their past and current projects.You can ask intelligent questions at the interview, or mention specific examples of the company’s work that you admire or feel that you could contribute to. You have to find out the opportunities others might have overlooked.

Fully Explain your 3D Skills on your Resume

Instead of writing blocks of program titles on your resume, always mention the software that you actually know at expert level.Always explain how much you’ve used it, what you’ve done with it, and what you’re good at doing with it. See the example below.

Network and Promote Yourself. Channelize your work.

CG industry is actually a very small industry; you keep running into the same people over and over again in different companies, contexts, courses, and conventions. Focus on your reputation during school or your current job. Your trainers in institute and people you work with are your important contacts and references which will get you a job or help you in a company. Upload your work on CG Forums.

Be Good.

You should be good as an artist. Your work should stand out .You don’t have to be good at everything, of course, but your career will not take off until you get really good at something. Studios mostly prefer “Jack of all trades and master of One”. Learn everything that your trainer teaches you in your institute and specialize in any one field.


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Amod drinks lots of coffee and writes articles. A student by day , blogger by night. When a team needs a gum to hold itself together , he is there to chew it.

  • Uma Shankar Pandit

    Nice Tips, And I got positive thinking for myself after read all content

    • Nice Tips, And I got positive thinking for myself after read all content.

  • Jan Rabe

    Nice article, but ” Do not do anything that is done by any artist before.” is a bit ignorant, don’t you think? 😛

    • As a recruiter if you come across same artwork in hundreds of showreel,what will be your reaction?
      Imagine you got 10 lighting showreels and all showreels has the models and scenes downloaded from 3drender.com with a day and night lighting

      • Jan Rabe

        There is a difference between copy & pasting art of other people and re-doing it. My point was that there is hardly anything that hasn’t been done before by someone else. So saying be 100% original is actually not possible for 99.9999999% of all people and frankly not even necessary since the how is far more important than the what. Besides what if your showreels focus was on creating exceptional shaders then using the same model makes them actually more comparable. ;D

        • I meant to say if everyone is doing same day/night lighting why not try a different mood. Late evening or a Horror mood lighting instead of showing same moon lights and few artificial source of lights in a night scene…. Why not play with color schemes in compositing??

  • brousselaine

    In the Fully Explain 3D Skil on Resume section, you say « See the example below ».

    That would be below where? I can’t find any examples.

  • unaperrson .

    These tips are very generic!

    • Yes, these are very generic tips.These are the basic ones which matters most in India.