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Please I need an advice about my reel

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Please I need an advice about my reel

Hello everyone

I intend to work in 2d animation industry, as well as advertisement illustration and flash. What do you think that is important to have in my portifolio. I'm going to put in it life drawings, animations, my resumé, background and contact, all this in flash environment (with character animation 2D). I'll be thankful for who could help me.

Alan Camilo's picture

Hello everyone

I intend to work in 2d animation industry, as well as advertisement illustration and flash.

Rather than having one portfolio I'd have three; one for each discipline if you can. Two at the very least one for the flash and 2D and one for the illustration. Recruiters want to know what you are going for, if you have too much variety it makes them confused about where your passions lie. You can use the life drawing in both.


Department of Computer Animation
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota Florida

You're right Ed, thanks for your advice. I'm for of having "focus" in each kind of job!

Ed's right. If you aren't focused on what you want specifically, you'll be less likely to be picked for anything. Employers like to see a strong portfolio with a purpose in mind.

Most likely, employers won't be looking for 3 things...they'll be looking for one. Research the company so you know what it is that they want, and impress them with what they're looking for. Anything else will be overlooked anyways, because they're looking for a specific talent.

And don't overkill your portfolio either. Many animators think that quantity beats quality. A good round number for a portfolio is about 30 pages, but I wouldn't work past that. Only include your best stuff, and even produce a few new pieces for that specific's worth it. Hey, I took a week and produced a short animated flick for a company once..using their characters, (made sure to specify that it was that it was for them only)...How can a company turn you down when you show them EXACTLY what they're looking for.

What you want to do is show them that you're the best out of the 50 people that applied to that same position. If you know that you're not, then's the only way. Don't cross your fingers and hope that someone'll see the magic hidden in your should jump out at them. They only have a short time to browse over your portfolio anyways.

Here are a few quick tips...

-Your portfolio should be clean and straight to the point (ie..Classical Animation portfolio front page..with animated sequences, life drawings, character designs, maybe layout designs, character pose sheets, model sheets, rotations etc...) Don't throw an advertising type flash flick if it has nothing to do with "Classical Animation".

- Make it easy to flip through. After lugging around big fancy 300 dollar portfolios for years, and asking kindly for the animation director to move his coffee over so I can take up the whole table with my portfolio, I realized I was going too far. I ended up buying one of those little 10 by 13 black leather porfolios with individual sleeves, that I can fit in my bag.

- To add to the last note, that type of porfolio is easy to flip through...every drawing is seperate, and gets individual attention. If you have 6 pages of work on the same big sleeve, then alot will be overlooked, and directors aren't idiots...they'll see that you're trying too hard.

_ To add to bullsh-t...keep it simple and clean...stay away from "decorating" your work with cross effects etc...unless you're applying for lighting effects specialist. Otherwise keep your drawing in line form, and keep away from hiding your faults and weakenesses behind obscure texturing.

-Arrange your portfolio so that the person viewing your work doesn't have to rotate your portfolio everytime they turn the page. Prepare your work (printed or original) so it's all nicely aligned in the same direction...(either landscape or portrait)..that way, the director places the simple portfolio in front of them with their coffee, and casually flips from one page to the next with no eyesores.

- Blend one theme to the next from page to page. Try to avoid arranging your work in this 1 - life drawing, page 2 - character design - page 3 layout - page 4 life drawing - page 5 - life drawing - page 6 - layout - page 7 - animated sequences - page 8 - character design...These are all eye sores, and you want them to enjoy the experience of looking at your work with no "ehhs".
Another way to try is 1 - your best life drawing first with introduction...maybe "Joe Shmoe..Classical Animation Portfolio" on the side.....pages 2-8 - blend from single life eventually quick poses..3-4 per 9...your best character design followed by pages 10 - 20 of other character designs to character poses, to character rotations etc..Page 21 - Character animated sequences...collage a sequence of 8 to 30 line frames of an animated sequence...(look at "disneys illusion of magic for a good reference to how to put it together), and follow that by maybe page 22 - 26 of a few other animated sequences...The last pages can include full coloured screenshots, full colour illustrations etc...A good SPLASH at the end of your portfolio, and leaves them on a good note..but it's not the most important unless that's what you're going for.

- Remember to ONLY include good work. People only remember your worst work most. It's always that little something that irritated them that sticks in their mind. So make sure that your worst piece of work in your portfolio is very good if not great.

So that's all I can think of now, but with that in mind, you'll definitely grab their attention, and hopefully grab the position in the interim.

Good luck my friend, I hope all this banter comes in handy.


Oh yeah, one other thing.

Only include things you're good at. If you're a fantastic character designer, but you're a miserable layout designer, then leave the layouts out altoghether. Remember, they'll see your faults before your strengths. Don't throw them in just to show that you've experimented with layouts...they want to see good work, in whichever form it comes.


Thanks Adam. You don't know how your advice has "cleared" my mind!

Well done, you nailed it on the head.


De nada!