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"Alley" Game Design Student Work by Tyler Thomas


Demo Reels and Portfolios


Make a demo reel. It's best to keep it simple so you are highlighting your work, not the graphics/titles around your work. Avoid over complicating the demo reel.



- Start with a title card, your name, type of demo reel (can even just say "2017 Demo Reel") AND a way to contact you (cell, email or both) 
- black and white titles with a simple font is fine, remember you are highlighting your work not the titles
- group into sections with a title card of the  project and type of work at the beginning of each section
- best most relevant work first
- Make sure you label everything. What the project is and what you did.
- Drawings and still images, you can show still images in a slide show, use a title card at the beginning of each section
- Show highlights of your work. Do not include an entire animation or short in the body of the demo reel. You can add the entire animatic/short after the

   demo reel so they can watch it if they want to, but do not include it in the body of your demo reel.
- End with the title card with your name and contact info

What to include

- Put your most relevant work first. For an internship reel it is ok to include exercises and test. 
- You can include artwork like photos of sculpture and paintings if they are really good. Just put them at the end of the demo reel.
- Show only your best work. Everyone has done bad work. If you include bad work you are letting people know you can not tell what is good or bad.
- You do not have to include the entire exercise/shot/test/ There might be part of the test that is really working and part that has a problem. Just show the part that works. You do not have to through out the entire test.



There are a lot of resources for editing your portfolio together now and it only takes a couple hours. We have programs such as After Effects and Premiere Pro available in the labs. You could also use online editing tools like youtube now if you had to. I would make the title cards in something like photoshop and save as single images to bring into what ever editor you are using. I find this an easier way to keep the titles consistent and not dependent on the editing software. Also setting up titles can take a little longer to figure out inside the editing software. 

Show the Process with Examples

Modeling: For CG models show the beauty pass then the flow line pass. Show the concept work you based the model on. Very important - show your model in a pose that shows acting and character.
Compositing, Roto, VFX: Show the progression. Show the shot then show the plate and how you built up the shot.
Concept work: It is ok to show thumb nails and explorations with the final painting/drawing. Show your reference too so they can see how you work.

Flat Portfolios for Storyboard/Concept Development

It is still good to have a physical "flat" portfolio for storyboards, concept development to bring with you to an interview (and possibly leave behind, so you don't need to have the original drawings/paintings, bring a good printed copies) but most companies want to see your work online and/or as a pdf file.

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