What to put on your showreel? The rules!
I received an email a couple of days from someone asking what they should put on their showreel for someone getting into the industry so I thought it would be the perfect time to write about the rules of the showreel
Don’t show everything
I think the most important thing is not to do everything and just target your strengths. I’ve seen many showreels where the VFX artist has been a really good modeller but rubbish at texturing. If your texturing skills arn’t up to scratch then don’t texture your models. Just have a couple of really good models which you can show off. The same goes with compositors especially if you want to get into the industry. If your going to be a junior you will be rotoscoping or maybe camera tracking/motion capture, so make sure you have some really good roto work and really show off your roto skills.
Put the best work at the start of your showreel
Companies get A LOT of showreels and those that watch them if they don’t see anything they like very quickly its just straight onto the next showreel. So put your best work at the start. You don’t need to do fancy DVD menus or fancy intro credits to your showreel they just want to see what you can do and how good you are.
Not too long
A general rule of thumb is don’t make your showreel longer than 5minutes, to be honest 3 minutes should be plenty of time.
People wanting to get into Compositing:
As mentioned before the key things for those wanting to get into compositing to show on your showreel are rotoscoping and camera tracking, as companies use a lot of people to do these jobs. Now they maybe not that glamous to start off with but it gets you through the door. Escape have just launched an online camera tracking course to try and get more people into camera tracking in London due to the upcoming need for artists (a couple of big budget films are going to start doing VFX in March in London).
Its important when showing of your roto skills that you show how good your roto is. That there is no bubbling of the roto splines etc. So overlay the roto splines on top of the object/character you have rotoscoped and provide a good shot breakdown so you can see exactly what you have aproached the work.