How To Prepare A Great Showreel

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How To Prepare A Great Showreel
A quality visuals and  eye candy is a key to a great showreel. You have to impress people with your artwork and then you stand a chance to get hired, no matter what you list on your CV. It is a skill that will help you to land a job in CG Industry and other video production companies and not your software ability.

Sometimes you see a great artwork but the animation skills are mediocre. Sometime you will see experienced artists put an artwork which demonstrate a mediocre CG skills.

Are you Bad at modeling?

If your animation skill is better than your modeling skills – download some generic characters and use them in your showreel. Avoid badly modeled objects. Badly modeled objects make your animation look ugly. If you are applying as a modeler make sure you make a 360 degree turntable.

Do not try to get a job by using other people’s work. It is very easy to spot those artists since they could not do something they said they could. So the studio hires you as a trainee for first three months.


Spend your time in converting a NICE animation into AWESOME one , than spending time in adding fancy titles. Fill up your showreel with as much work as you can. Review and refine your existing work. The duration should not exceed more than 3 mins. If you don’t have 3 minutes of work avoid filling it with long titles and credits.

Arrange Your Work

  • Not all studios watch entire showreel
  • If you are not sure how to arrange your work, use American Idol Formula
  • Put your Best work first
  • Put your Great work in the middle
  • Again your Best work last
  • Mediocre Work  – NOT on the reel!
  • Your showreel should do to the employer what movie trailer does to you. A viewer should be drawn into your showreel.

PACING Your showreel

Pacing your showreel is one of the important aspect. Keep the reel flowing smoothly at constant pace. Turntable animations should not be slow. Rotate your model only once. Fast animations and transitions will confuse the viewer.

Selecting a  SOUND TRACK

Select a sound track that will go with the showreel. Looping music is a best bet. Sound track should not annoy the viewer. Every viewer has their own taste in music. They may not like your favorite rock band music on your showreel and lose the job opportunity.


Start your reel with your name and contact details. End your reel with the same. You can add which software you have used in the reel.

Do not try to act clever by saying that work is done by studios. Company will never hire a company. They hire an individual. Market yourself and not a company.

Presenting A SHOWREEL


Always present your showreel in a DVD or VHS. Avoid supplying it as a video file. There are possibilities that the format is not used by the employer.


Putting your reel on the web is a great idea. Compress the data without compromising the video quality and upload it on Vimeo or YouTube or personal blog.

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1 Comment to How To Prepare A Great Showreel

  1. James Roberts

    Some pretty generic advice. Some of it sounds like it was written by Popeye.Twelve hour working days are just plain stupid, and the long hours working culture does not breed great artists – it breeds artists who have no other life other than work. In order to animate life you have to live one – or words to that effect – is a statement I have heard many, very experienced artists quote. Very often, I find the kind of advice given in this format is somewhat condescending in its tone. I do not know anyone who uses VHS cassette tapes anymore. Vimeo uploads should be perfectly acceptable in this day and age. Are you really going to send a clunky old VHS tape which could get lost in the office, or screw up in the VCR, which hasn’t been maintained in ages? As for music, I wouldn’t bother with an audio track unless it is for lip sync in the case of character animators. You may love your music selection but the recruiter might not and so you risk turning off the audience with annoying music. (I haven’t bothered with music in years.) It isn’t just a simple case of working to extraordinary lengths on your work but developing the right work flow which allows you to work more effectively and therefore not such long hours.

    There is a good deal more to animating than knowing about Issac Newton’s laws of motion, which is pure science, we work in a time based creative media and it is an art form for the purposes enteratinment and story telling.


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