This is a post I’ve been waiting years to write as whenever I’m knee-deep in demo reels I’m invariably too busy hiring, but all that changes this week. After sifting through hundreds of examples while creating this Vimeo group of Game Anim Demo Reels, here are my thoughts on creating the perfect demo reel with the specific intent of landing a videogame animation job. Greater length, quality and variety is expected from someone with industry experience behind them, whereas a student need mostly show potential, passion and imagination that can be nurtured. Admittedly, these are only my opinions so I’d be interested to hear what other developers think, and please also add your reel or others you know of to the group – it’s open to everyone.
Ten steps to a great game animation demo reel:
Show really strong work
It may sound obvious, but this is so important above everything else that it’s worth putting as number one. This brief list won’t tell you how to do that as it takes years and years of hard work and practice, but it will help you sell what you have in the best possible light to stand out from the increasingly talented crowd while avoiding many of the pitfalls that can detract from otherwise good animation. Making a strong demo reel is the single most important way to get my attention and make me want to work with you, so take your time and approach it with the same level of creativity and polish that you would any other project with your name on it.