Wednesday, 10 September 2014

How to Create a Great Demo Reel

What goes into a great demo reel? The answer is - only your very best work. Better a short reel with excellent work than a long one with mistakes which need fixing. Employers and clients will look for mistakes, errors, and unfinished work - these are red flags which suggest a digital artist who doesn't complete, or who might flounder under pressure.

Which brings us to the single most important rule of demo reels:

A Demo Reel should be Entirely Free of Mistakes.

What do I mean by that? I mean that there should be nothing obviously wrong with any of your work on your reel. If any part of your work is still a work-in-progress, then don't include it. Or, rather, include it, but only once it's finished.

The best way to judge your reel is to see it through the eyes of other people. Show it to your friends, your colleagues, people whose view you respect. Ask them what they think. Do they understand what you did? Did they like the work? Are there things which confused them?

A demo reel is the single most important weapon in your arsenal when it comes to finding work. Make sure it's the best work you are capable of.

The video above runs about 15 minutes, and covers most of the steps towards putting together a great reel.



  1. Great video
    Tackles common questions and clarifies ambiguous areas surrounding reels.

    How many animations (cycles, shots etc) should one have to choose from when its time to cut a reel for an advertised role?
    Should they be categorised like we learnt @ AA - locomotion, performance etc?

  2. It's always best to tailor your reel for the job if you can, and have the time to re-edit. Employers are generally looking for a specific style of animation, so that's what you want on the reel that you show them.