Getting a job in the computer animation, VFX and special effects industry is tough. It’s a competitive world and the first thing that your future employer will see is your showreel.


How to make a Reel this question comes in every artist’s mind in the industry from fresher to a supervisor.Every level you need some guideline or terms to follow, so to get your desired job in the field of Animation and VFX.

Actually, your Showreel speaks on behalf of you before even the face to face interview.

An Outstanding showreel wins the half battle for you, So Knowledge on how to make a Reel is very crucial as you cannot take the risk to lose “that dream job” for which you had been trying so hard.

6 Tips for Reel:

Edit Yourself Thoroughly

Start your reel by editing yourself, It should be interesting, Editing is key.  Be honest about what you did don’t depend on other, Put your Best work first, because recruiter and supervisors don’t have time when they view the reels, so the best thing is to do is put the best work in front if you wanna grab their attention. First three second of best work can say more than 30 seconds of fluff. So keep reel length short, should not be over 2 to 3 minutes.

Keep the relevant work

Focus on your skills and strengths, Match your reel to your specialisation and vacancy. That means if you are rigger don’t put any other work like Modelling or texturing. Only put Rigging stuff, show your best skills in Rigging which reflects your skills and you are applying for.

Let Your Process Show Through

What you’ve created speaks for itself to an extent, but people will want to know how you did it too. Explain what you’ve done “Provide a shot breakdown. show what your contribution was , give a breakdown of the details, if you are Lighter, in the corner of each shot, list exactly what you did for that shot or if you are texture artist put a label on your texture map. If you’re a modeller, make sure you include at least one “moment in time” turntable, Rigger can show Rigging controls, For animators, make sure you always do walk cycle turn-tables.

Keep things simple

Don’t clutter your showreel, or don’t make complex reels, always remember Less is more. A single best thing or single image can speak more than a lot of material, it’s fantastic to remove unwanted stuff. No Fancy titles, Spend your time in converting a NICE animation into AWESOME one.


Take care when applying a soundtrack, Don’t put music in animation reel where dialogue or lip sync animation is involved. Music should not overrule the content of reel. Honestly, most recruiter and supervisors mute sound, while watching showreels.

Avoid old work and Be a professional.

Always keep the latest work – change is the only constant. Unlike in days of CD and DVD, now you can do things on move format, in the digital age, visual artists have much more scope to change and update their things on the fly. This means your showreel should evolve with you, and for that reason, you should always be updating it with your latest work and projects.

A big part of working in VFX is professionalism. VFX is challenging and fun, but it’s also a Job, and respecting yourself and your co-workers is key.  So be a professional, even before you get a job. Respect the recruiter’s time and don’t waste it!  When submitting a reel, always include a Cover Letter, a Shot Breakdown and Reel Outline, and of course your Resume.  Be sure to include software and operating systems you’ve used in production.

DVD OR Online

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.


Finally, Avoid doing this common mistakes:

Going on too long

Recruiter and supervisors are busy people. No-one has time to watch your epic half-hour long reel. Keep it to no more than two minutes.

Bunging everything in there

With only a few minutes to impress, Put only Best work of you.

Not getting permission

No one wants to start their career with a legal Notice, So please take permission before using other’s work, Even for the soundtrack, go for royalty free music.

Forgetting to take the credit

Add it at the end or Start. also, in any given shot, make it clear what exactly your role was. Can use captions to do this but fonts should be readable, not distracting.

Some Useful links for Showreel:

If you have any queries feel free to mail us by contact us page Good luck.



Author, cgwires

CG WIRES is an online destination for computer graphics artists. CGWIRES aim to serve entertainment production industry with News, Features and Community services.