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Feedback on my showreel

polycounter lvl 4
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BTDarmstad polycounter lvl 4
Hey!

I recently made a new showreel, in which I am  going through a transitional phase from animation for ads to character animation for
video games. I'm really not sure how exactly you're supposed to target video game companies in an animation showreel,
but I've started replacing obvious generalist works with pure character animations, mostly loops.
Any feedback would be appreciated, and if you have many tips,
I would appreciate if you put them in order of importance.

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  • tholmes3d
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    tholmes3d polycounter lvl 9
    Nice reel! I'm guessing the blue fox, pink dragon, fish, tiger, and panther are the new ones? They all feel more game oriented and higher quality.  In terms of how to target games, you seem to be going a good job already the newer work, but I'll just write some stuff in case it's helpful. What i'd look for in a game animator is a mix of showing just plain good ol' high quality animation, as well as trying to show that you understand the special considerations that go into games (loops, special timing considerations, generally more physical acting as opposed to facial). If you are technically minded and can put things in a game engine that's a plus (more or less depending on how technical the animators expected to be at each studio). Do you have a specific target between gameplay animation and cinematics?
    If it's gameplay you're interested in, I'd look at other game animators reels and see what types of action they are showing off. Attacks and hit reacts both highlight game specific timing for example. If it's cinematic then more classic reel material like a mix between acting and physical, camera's etc. 
    Hope that helps spark some ideas. Feel free to ask any more specific questions if this is too basic.
  • BTDarmstad
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    BTDarmstad polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, they're the new ones, or I made the blue fox and panther loops a while ago and never used them in a showreel because I tried a more generalist approach with my showreel, which hasn't worked out, and isn't what I wanted in the first place, so I've taken the plunge and showing only character animation in my showreel now. Right now I'm animating a little acting scene (a rigged crocodile swinging a sword around) that could be interpreted as a character introduction cinematic.

    I would prefer gameplay animation, but I'd be more than happy to to cinematic animation. To be perfectly honest, any role in the video game industry that I'm qualified for would be okay (modeler, generalist, game designer), because if I've learned one thing, the number one qualification is who you already know. But yes, it's gameplay animation that I'm leaning towards. I imagine loops and little in-game context animations like throwing switches, or opening doors, I guess that kind of thing. I'm taking a course on Unity's animation tools right now, so I know how state machines work and a little bit of how to trigger them with booleans and make them read float values for speed variation. While I have no hands-on experience with it yet, I know there may be some IK controllers that have to be programmed in specific ways for animations that interact with the environment in some ways. Would you say putting in a small timelapse of me setting up a state machine in Unity or UE4 belongs in a video game animation showreel? All the job posts I've applied for mention an ability to implement animations into a game engine as a requirement or a plus. I mention it in the cover letter, but not in the showreel.
  • tholmes3d
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    tholmes3d polycounter lvl 9
    When I got my first game industry job, my reel had mostly loops and interacts (physical stuff like you mentioned, where I also tried to show character), and then I had one section where I recorded some gameplay from a third person game I had started working on with friends. It was just an empty test level where I showed an idle>walk>run>idle, a jump that could handle jumping up onto a box, and off of a box (showing that it was build in pieces with some logic to play the right anims at the right time), and a strafe set to show that I understood blending and considerations about things like legs clipping depending on how the logic was set up. On the reel I just said I was responsible for all animations and implementation and that was enough to show that I had an interest and super basic capabilities which was exactly what was required for the junior position I was applying for. The logic speaks for itself when you can see it being played, maybe include a quick title page before that section that says In-Game or something like that if you really want to call attention to it. Showing the graph doesn't actually display much to the viewer. As for things like IK, I would consider those bells and whistles that would take away from working on things that show core understanding at this stage.

    Good luck! Can't wait to see your progress along the way.
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