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Demo Reel...almost done

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Demo Reel...almost done

Hey People,

Below is a link to my Demo Reel (in progress). Almost done...wanted to get some feedback.
I appreciate all who respond.

animationhead's picture


Quick comments - you're getting really close.

I think the timing feels slow in parts. You can shave a few seconds off the intro and get to "welcome to my reel" quicker. Have your name and contact info come in as he starts to speak that way it stays up longer. (repeat the info at the end) The bouncing boxes look floaty. Have them hit the ground quicker/harder and the whole jump could move faster.

The singer still feels a little stiff. Maybe close his eyes/shake his head before he sings the last line.

The "kid" sneaking a drink is OK but I think the reaction is a bit forced. I think of kids throwing their hands behind their back like "I'm not touching anything".

But the overall reel is a good length and shows variety. Keep going!

Thanks b'ini.

I really like the idea of having the "kid's" hands go behind his back VS up in the air. That will indeed make him look "guilty". :)

I'll check into the other comments as well.

As always...much appreciated.

Are you working in the industry right now? Just curious.
Thanks again for the comments


I really like the blocks, I think they were very well done.

yes, I'm working in the industry but not as an animator; I'm in production. I hope to transition into animation but, like you, I'm working on my reel. I know how important feed back is. I hope to post some of my stuff in a few weeks so you'll have to help me out!

I do get to see a lot of demo reels and have heard a lot of comments so have an idea of what they're looking for. And like all crits, it's just one opinion that may or may not work. Keep going!

I really liked the block animation. Did a good job at making them seem like more than mere blocks.

I also liked the emotion you seemed to get out of the singer.


Can't wait to see your stuff. Don't know how much I can help, as I DON'T see demos like you do, (which must be cool, gives you an idea of what NOT to do! :))but I look forward to seeing it. Hope I know when it's up. I presume you will post in Show and Tell?


Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated. Will work more on the singer as I DO see some stiffness. Gonna try some different head movements and stuff.

Will "tweak" some and re-post.

Thanks for responding guys!! :)

Anyone else care to take a peek and critique??:)


You have a good base to work with animationhead, but you need to push everything a lot further.

The poses pushed further. Try filming yourself while acting out the scenes, and watch it back. This will help make the poses more naturalistic. Right now all the poses look very stiff and robotic.

What you need to work on the most is your timing and pacing. You need to study the basics more. For example the blocks when they hop. They should accelerate up into the air, ease in at the top of the arc, then accelerate back down to the ground. These are basics that need to be mastered before you can move on to acting.

The timing on the singing also needs to be changed up. He's singing a song, not just saying words. When he's swaying and shaking his head, it needs to be on the beat and not just moving for the sake of moving. Also he seems to go back to almost a default pose after each movement.

For that sneak, his body needs to loosen up a lot more. When you sneak around trying not to make a sound, your body becomes very flexible in order to lightly transfer your body weight into the floor. The movements also become more exaggerated due to the slow motion of movement. A prime example of the stiffness of the character is when he looks around. It almost looks like his head is locked to his pelvis, so to look around the character has to rotate his hips from side to side. I'm not saying to only turn the head, but actions diminish as they travel down the body. The head is going to rotate the most, then the neck, followed by the upper torso and so on down the line. With the amount of head rotation, the pelvis shouldn't be really rotating.

Like I said, you have a good base, now you need to push things and really think WHY things are moving, and now moving them, just to move them.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Thanks Animated Ape.

I will go back again and have a look at your suggestions.

I thought I DID do that with the blocks but guess I must go check my keys again. :(

I will look at the head movement on my singer again as well. Have heard about his stiffness from others.

It's funny, because I had the sneak kid bending forward and such a lot more but changed it, thinking it was too much. Maybe I will go back and do it agian to see how it looks.

You're not saying my basics are all wrong, are you? :(

Thanks for your concern.

Will re-work it and re-post when done!


I thought I DID do that with the blocks but guess I must go check my keys again. :(

You're not saying my basics are all wrong, are you? :(

It's not so much the keys that need to be fixed, it's the timing and spacing inbetween those keys where the problem lies. Try cutting the time it takes for each hop in half. See how that looks and adjust it from there.

Timing is one of the basics that is hard to get down. With most new animators their timing is very slow, so everything looks like they live on the moon or underwater.

I just had another look at the cubes. Another thing that needs to be pushed more is that they need to squash more at the top of the arc. Right now it kind of extends too soon and is throwing it off.

Keep working at it and don't be afraid to look at animation books like Tony White's book and Preston Blair's book. There are good sneak references in those that you can look at, as well and good clear explanations on the basic animation principles.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Thanks again Animated Ape.

Tightened up the jumps a bit with a little bit of hang time, if you will.

Below is a link of just the cubes. Wanted to work on it before going to work and get your opinion again.

Anyone else, as well...let me know what you think.

Thanks as always. :)


OK. ya'll. Come on...critique me on the above link...I know you been lookiing! :)


The piece look fine to me, I think I have already said that earlier. If you wont something to do with it, you could make the large block hop to the seat then hop over the back.

Thanks Wontobe.

I DID change it though.

That's why I am asking for feedback again.

If you look at the original link, which is the whole demo with the blocks on it, they DO look like they are floating compared to now.

The jumps were too even. No acceleration or slow down. I think I have that now.

The idea about having it jump to the bench and THEN over it might work as well. Thanks.

Anyone else care to comment?:)


The purple box jumps feel a lot better. They still need to be tweeked a bit more. The hop onto the ball are still a bit floaty and slow. Try taking about 4 frames out of the drop onto the ball and see how that feels.

The blue box's jump over the bench is too fast. I think having it hop on the back of the bench and then over is a good solution to break up such a big jump.

How are things looking to you animationhead?

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

I agree about the purple box. I think it looks a lot better.

And I DO like that idea about mama box jumping on the bench first because I think it is too fast too, especially the drop down.

I will change up mama box AND look at the little box hoping onto the ball as well.

Thanks for all your input.

Gotta go Christmas shopping now. Just got off work.

Willl work on this Sunday night and re-post for further input along with the other clips I changed too.

Thanks again.

By the way, what do you do in the industry Animate Ape?


It's coming along nicely. Can we see what it looks like without the yellow trash can? It doesn't really play a part in the scene and seems unnecessary.

At the end, what if just the little box bowed down? The big box looking more like a superior. or offset the way the two boxes bow. Try the big box first (intimidating) and then the little one (feeling bad)? See what tells more of a story.

Thanks b'ini.

Yea, that trash can is just costing me render time anyway, so I really don't need it. I agreee. I initially had grass too, (to make it look more like a park, you know?), but lost it cuz of render time and file size so I guess the trash can can go too! I am a charcater animator, not a scene buiilder. So you're right.:)

Actually the end is supposed to be hugging. Did I blow that?

I like the idea of just the small box bowing its "head" though. Making the larger box superior, which it is (mama), so that might work out good.
I will try it and see.

I will be posting tomorrow sometime with an update.

Thanks again for all your input.


OK. I worked on it tonight a bit.

Below is the link.

Please tell me what you think about the changes.

Thanks guys n gals!!


I think that works! Don't even miss the trash can. I like the extra squash momma gets when she jumps over the bench. And the offset bow/hug looks good. Cool. Do you have original animation so we can see before/after?

Hey b'ini,

Thanks. I agree, the trash can is not missed.
I will post some of the first animation of this completed scene, but I also changed the one you saw a bit after posting last night, so will post both.

No more hug. Trying to make mama look larger than life and look down on her child as in "what are you doing" kinda thing.

"Older" - I took out the trash can however. :)

Current -

I am now going to work on the other 2 clips some more and post for critiques as well.

Thanks to all who care!!


OK. Below is yet another link of my New Kid clip.

Critiques please!!



One more link. This time of my sneak guy.

Thanks Everyone!!


Your stuff gets better with every pass you do. On the boxes, when the mama box stretches tall to "scold" the child box, you have the child box bow down, which is good, but try having the child squash down a little, too, it'll add a little more impact a more remorseful feel. The sneak is looking pretty good, but you need to have more translation in the Y axis on the root, that will give him a lot more weight as he sneaks about. Hope that helps!

Just took a quick look. The timing on the boxes look much better. The sneek needs more up and down action of the hips with each step. Also watch his center of gravity, it's starting to look impossible for him not to fall over, esspecially with that upper body action.

I'm an animator working in TV and film and am making the transition from 2D to 3D animation.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Animated Ape and earchild,

Thanks for your input, as always.

Will check into the suggestions and re-post!!

Animated Ape, that is MY ultimate do film!! :)

How about you earchild? What do you do in the industry, if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks guys!!


Alright you guys.

Check out the updated sneak link.

I'm all yours!! :)

I DID add a squash to the baby box upon mama standing tall from the other clip. No need to post as it does add to the effect. Thanks earchild. :)


OK. Hopefully this is my last post on the issue of my current Demo Reel in the making.

Below is the link of its "completion".

Please let me know what you think.

Thank you.


Haven't had a chance to look at the new version, but will get to it soon. I'm currently looking to get into the biz, having completed a degree program at AAU last December, looking at it as a career change. So, other than class work and some random bits on my own, I've got bupkiss for experience, but am holding out hope that I will be able to get that elusive first job. :rolleyes:

Thanks earchild.

I too am looking for that first elusive job.

Would anyone like to comment on the link I provided above? Feedback is greatly appreciated. Although it is the same stuff I have been posting here, it IS updated.

Thanks to all who care! :)


It looks much better animationhead. There are still things you need to work on, but it's a vast improvement over the first version you showed. The sneak still needs work. The main thing that's lacking is his anticipation before he goes into his sneak. The microphone comes in and out too fast in the singing piece.

I think at this point you should leave what you have alone. Start working on other projects and apply what you've learned to the new scenes. Those will be much better than if you went back into these older scenes and tweaked them more and more.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Thanks Animated Ape.

I kind of agree. I want to move on to different/new scenes.

Thanks for all your input. It is much appreciated.

Will post more later under a new thread.

Anyone else care to comment??

Thanks to all who did and/or do. :)


Yeah, the new projects you animate will have a higher starting point in which you can tweek and make better. Just remember to keep in mind everything you've learned and apply that knowledge next time.

Just curious, how do YOU feel about your demo? What do you think is the strongest parts? The weakest? Also what do you feel you need to work on in animation in general? Strong points and weak points?

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

OK. I DO like my Demo, at the same time, I only have 3 shots on it. A little diversity, but only 3. Yea, it's a minute and a half, but only 3.

(I think on my next Demo, due in Spring 2010, will have more scenes of shorter length each, therefore keeping it within 90 seconds, just with MORE diversity, you know?)

I DO think the Box scene is pretty good, but that's why I'm on here, to see if my thoughts are pretty much right. :)

I like my lip sync and the emotions shown by the singer. I LOVE doing lip sync anyway so...

I like the sneak, worked on it for a bit. I like the behind the back VS arms and hands flying into the air. Think it made a big differece. I do believe, however, that this is the weakest on my demo.

My strongest point here is probably my lip sync. It so has to be "spot" on! I LOVE doing it. I think the Box scene is next strongest, as I think many aspects are shown in it with a mini story.

And, like I said, my sneak would be third.

That said, what's your feel??


Any other "takers" for the below link??

Your comments/feedback is appreciated.

Although I have moved on to new material...I would still like more feedback on the current stuff.

Thanks everyone and thanks again to all who have supplied their input, I has indeed proved helpful! :)


Hey animationhead,

finally had some time to look over your improvements and make some notes. First, like Ape, I think you made some big improvements since your first posting. The boxes piece looks a lot nicer, has more weight to the characters, but the jump the child box makes from the front of the bench to the back looks awkward. It could be because you are doing a camera move at the same time, it's hard to tell. The mama box's jump over the bench is better, but could still use a little more weight to it. Overall, though, a big improvement. The lip synch piece I personally don't care for, mostly because it's just a TT shot of the character while he sings, so you lose a lot of stuff you can be doing with posture and hands. The lip synch itself is pretty good, but you may want to look into pushing some of the mouth shapes, like on the "B" sound in "begins" and the "O" in "go". Sometimes exaggerating the mouth shapes on certain sounds makes the synch look even better (something I struggle with). I'm not familiar with that rig (I use Norman), but since you chose such a close shot of the face, you would want to do more with the face, adding more nuance to the eyes and brows, and even some of the mouth shapes. Oh, and don't be afraid to move the jaw from side to side as well as up and down, it adds a little something extra (not a lot though, otherwise he'll look like Jim Carey). The sneak is looking better and better, but still needs some work, like Ape's suggestion of more anticipation before he goes into it, as well as shifting the COG so that the weight shifts forward and back, as well as side to side (side to side is hard to tell at the angle you have, so you may already have it).

I also agree with Ape that you should move on to new projects, it's a good practice to get in. It keeps you from obsessing over minutia, and also keeps you excited about the work so you don't feel like you're slaving over something forever trying to perfect it. Keep posting new stuff, you're improving every time!

Much appreciated earchild.

I appreciate such a long post and the critique that came with it. That's what it's all about.

I am going forward and working on new stuff already. So I will indeed post once the work is at a stage for critique. For sure, some time after the holidays.

Thanks again to all!! :D

And Happy Holidays to all, as well. :)