TheCGBros CGInsider Newsletter

Editor's Note

It’s really amazing just how quickly the last year seems to have flown by.  Looking back over the last 12 months, it’s humbling to have seen some truly astounding projects that were not only conceived of, but many of them executed to results that have raised the bar for every aspect of entertainment production, especially in the areas of CGI.  

Breathtaking advances in both the technology of software tools and the hardware that runs them have brought about a paradigm shift in how the media is created, distributed, and consumed. The business of creating 3D and VFX animation, characters, environments, and props has risen to new heights of detail, quality, and ultimate realism. And this shift is not only happening in the world of entertainment and media, it’s beginning to happen in other sectors as well.

What stands out most to us, however, is the way that AI (AI algorithms) are being introduced and utilized into the workflows in every area of CG production – with some pretty profound results.  AI integration is the last piece of the puzzle to complete the goal of seamlessly blending the real world with the unreal world in ways that can of course be used in both positive and negative ways.  Uncle Ben said, “with great power comes great responsibility”.  This has probably never been truer than today. Let us know what you think at!

"Creating A Demo Reel That Really Stands Out! (Conclusion)"

This month in TheCGInsider Newsletter- December 2022, we finish our discussion on how to create a killer demo reel to land your dream job in 3D animation/VFX in the upcoming year!

What To Keep Out Of Your Reel

To this point, we’ve told you about what you put into your demo reel, so we’ll continue this discussion by letting you know some that should not be included.  The first rule of thumb is don’t include things you made while doing a tutorial.  We’ve watched demo reels from 15 different applicants – all with the same wolverine claw blades extending sequence from a tutorial or lesson from school.  You should take what you learned in the tutorial and make something fresh, something that’s you with the techniques you learned. You want to have something that will differentiate you from others. 

Next on the list of no-nos is don’t make center your reel on a single work – even if you show it from differing angles, differing perspectives, and with different lighting scenarios, it just isn’t that impressive and really only shows how limited you are or might be.  Be sure to have at least 3 strong, distinct, separate, and original works that you can focus on. Employers want to know that you can take on a wide range of different projects successfully. 

Keeping It “Real”

Don’t include “unfinished work”.  Unless they are part of a progression to a final product, do not include anything that isn’t in a finished state such as wireframe animations or default shaded animations.  Take the extra time to take your work or project into a final rendered state.  This will show that you have complete knowledge of the process and pipeline that employers need.

Probably the most important thing that you should never ever include in your reel is someone else’s work and claim that it is your own. This is the quickest way to torpedo and sing yourself. You might say, “I worked on something as part of a team.” If this is the case, you can use the material if you are very specific about what role you had in creating it. This will not only keep you honest about your involvement, but it will give the person reviewing your reel a better sense of your abilities.

Woooah, Listen To The Music

There are a lot of opinions floating around out there as to whether you should or should not add music to your demo reel. While it is up to you, in the end, it doesn’t really make that much difference to a prospective employer.  We actually turn down the sound when watching demo reels because music is just a distraction from the things we are actually looking to hire for, and lets us focus more on the actual aesthetic work that someone has done.

There are also other problems with adding music to your demo reel unless you made it yourself such as copyright issues for example.  Besides, if you don’t own the copyright you have no right to use another artists work for your own gain wothpout compensation – don’t be a pirate!   But if you feel that you must use music in your reel or keep it classy and subdued.  The key is to let your work speak for itself.

Putting It all Together

And unless you’re making a cinematic or film-maker’s demo reel, we advise against wasting any of your time cutting your visuals to the beat of the music. These folks are generally trying to tell some kind of story with the music so using music in this way makes perfect sense. Otherwise, jumping quickly with jump cuts and frenetic “movie trailer-like” editing with the beats of the music will make your employer feel that you’re trying to hide something when they use it just to show what you’ve got in a professional and straightforward manner.

Let’s touch on a few technical aspects of the things not to include in your reel. Production value or the quality of your video cannot be underestimated.  The good production value in your reel will show your prospective employer that you have attention to detail and an eye for quality. Your demo reel is a reflection of yourself so it should present as professionally as possible.

Don’t use different aspect ratios because it will make your reel look haphazard and “slapped together”.  If you have your work in clips that are 16:9 and 4:3 or anywhere in between, the best approach to use is to add stylized sidebars that professionally “frame” your work.

We probably don’t need to mention this one but a lot of artists make this mistake – whatever you do – don’t ever repeat your footage because this also makes employers think you have a limited body of work and are grasping for something to show.

Carpe Deim!

Lastly, allow part of yourself to shine through your work.  It’s what will make your reel interesting, different, and personal. Employers understand that you and every other artist have their own unique strengths, experiences, passions, and desires, and come from a diversity of backgrounds and cultures. Making sure that some of these things come thru in your demo reel is very important to make a strong and lasting impression that will get you the job offers you’re looking for.

If you found this information valuable, please be sure to “spread the word” and pass this newsletter along to your friends and colleagues. Don’t miss next month’s issue of the CGInsider newsletter, where we’ll discuss The Power Of Storytelling!  You definitely won’t want to miss it! 

How did your video perform on TheCGBros YouTube Channel?

Your video has been showcased on TheCGBros YouTube Channel and it reached a worldwide audience. No doubt, you expected a few things – like getting easier access to a larger audience than you could on your own; helping to boost your resume; helping you land your dream job or interview. How did we help you meet those expectations? Tell us about your experience; we’d love to hear about it.  We may feature your testimonial on our website, YouTube Channel, or across our professional network. Please click below to provide us a few words, upload an image, or short video clip.

I’ve always kept my process videos on vimeo solely because of streaming quality, but I feel it’s time to leverage the wider YT audience and CGBros feels like a perfect fit :)” – Sava Zivkovic

"Countdown" - by Andrew Klimov

TheCGBros Presents “Countdown” – by Andrew Klimov – Deep space. An interstellar spaceship crashes. A crew of a small drop-ship have managed to miraculously survive in this disaster. Their ship is damaged and they have to land on an unexplored planet nearby. They steer the ship into an atmosphere without suspecting that a layer of impenetrable thunderclouds enveloping the planet hides something that will be even worse than their worst assumptions – an ocean of acid!

Runners up:

"K.I.T" - by Brandon Hill

"THE BEETLE" by Neelam Pratim Das

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TheCGBros CGInsider Podcast

Relevant, Trending and Cool Insight - New Episodes Weekly!

This year, after encouragement from fans and consistent with our mission to provide our members relevant and quality content, we launched our own Podcast: TheCGBros CGInsider Podcast. In it, we’ll be answering many questions that our fans have been asking. We will also discuss trends and relevant topics about computer graphics imagery, jobs in the video industry, animation, gaming, and much more. Check it out!

Upcoming Podcasts:

This Month’s Schedule:

  • 2249 – 12/06/22 What Makes CGI Animation Feel More Human?
  • 2250 – 12/13/22 Will AI Replace Humans In Art Creation?
  • 2251 – 12/20/22 How Is CGI Used For Facial Recognition?
  • 2252 – 12/27/22  CGI Insider Look Back: 2022

Next Month’s Schedule:

  • 2301 – 01/03/23 How Are Plants & Trees Animated Using CGI?
  • 2302 – 01/10/23 What Is Hard Surface Modeling?
  • 2303 – 01/17/23 How Is Destruction Done Using CGI??
  • 2304 – 01/24/23  CGI Insider Look Back: 2022
  • 2305 – 01/31/23 What Are The 12 Rules Of Animation?