TheCGBros CGInsider Newsletter

Editor's Note

Have you ever wondered how smart you are? How intuitive, how cunning, logical and decisive you are?  Are you at all curious about the overall performance of your brain’s “power”?  Have you ever thought that video games make you smarter and actually develop some of these powers deep within your cerebral cortex?  Many studies have been performed in recent decades relating to either the damaging effects of video games or the value and mentally enhancing capabilities and depending on where you want to be on that spectrum, interestingly, there are all sorts of supporting data for both sides of this argument.

But as far as brainpower is concerned, scientists at Kyoto University and BonBon Inc, a Kyoto-based healthcare-related IT company, recently teamed up to show that multiple cognitive abilities can be empirically measured from a complex game experience. “Video games can be made to engage and characterize distinct cognitive abilities while still retaining the entertainment value that popular titles offer,” says Tomihiro Ono, lead author of the joint study in Scientific Reports.

“For example, we found that there are in-game micro-level connections such as between stealth behavior and abstract thinking, aiming and attention, and targeting and visual discrimination. We think that a granular understanding of cognitive engagement in video games has the potential in benefitting such research areas as psychiatry, psychology, and education,” concludes the author.  So it seems that I.Q. tests in the future could be done just by playing a video game, and do you think that video game companies are making these kinds of assessments of their players already?  Let us know what you think at!

"Creating A Demo Reel That Really Stands Out! (Part 1)"

This month in TheCGInsider – November 2022, we begin our discussion on what you need to know to create a killer demo reel and land your dream job in 3D animation/VFX!

Presenting Your Work As An Artist

It’s more important than ever these days to have a killer demo reel if you’re looking to get a job in the 3D animation/VFX industries. Because, unlike traditional employment credentialing, what we do doesn’t fit very well on a resume because the CGI work is of a visual nature.  It’s the face of your work as an artist. It’s your video interview. You’ll need to visually demonstrate the skills that you’ve acquired and show your prospective employer that you can accomplish the work that needs to be done.

So you’ll need a visual resume to get a job doing visual work.  It shows you are a bona fide artist – or not.  It’s your chance to show what a brilliant technical or visionary artist you actually are.  It is a testament and culmination of your skills and work experiences.  It should be as perfect as you can make it, without rolling your emotions into it.

It’s easy to forget that crafting a demo reel is not about your ego, and needs to be taken very seriously. For practical purposes, you can consider it your video interview. We’ve all heard that “you only get one chance to make a first impression” and often they are correct so you’ll want to put your best foot forwards when it comes to your demo reel.

Take Your Time & Be Patient

Building a demo reel is often a tedious process because you have to go over all your past works, from your earliest creations to your most recent ones. It takes a lot of planning, editing, and revisions. The good thing about this process is that it really forces you to be honest with yourself so that you can objectively evaluate what is actually your best work.

As artists ourselves, we are extremely biased about what we think is good.  Just because we might be emotionally invested in something, or spent an inordinate amount of time creating it, doesn’t make it our best work. Even if you want to integrate every project you’ve worked on, you need to be extremely selective because you only have between 1 and 2 minutes to show what you’ve got – So you’ll want to show only the highest quality content in your video portfolio.

Something that we recommend as a good thing to do is to get opinions and advice from your trusted peers and colleagues and even faculty or educators that you learned from, to help you in making an objective decision.  The last thing you will want to do is ask people that cannot give you an educated and objective opinion i.e. don’t ask your Mom or your girlfriend/boyfriend.  This is something you will want to get brutally honest feedback on. 

What To Put In Your Demo Reel

When choosing what to put into your demo reel, it’s been said a million times to pick your best works only.  BTW, they can’t all be the best. A good demo reel needs to immediately grab their attention and hold their interest thru the entire video. You always want your demo reel to make a big first impression on viewers. The goal should be to hook their attention at the beginning, and if you can do that, the chances are good you can keep their attention and they’ll watch your demo all the way thru.

For this reason, you need to be strategic when choosing your opening scene. You’ve probably heard the saying “save the best thing for last” – That definitely doesn’t apply here. Begin your demo reel with a selection of your most interesting and visually intriguing works. The first few seconds always make the most lasting impression on viewers and can be the difference between a prospective employer watching your reel or turning it off. 

Your demo reel should succinctly show the widest possible array of your work and illustrate the scope of your abilities.  It needs to demonstrate the breadth of your experience and the level of your skill. Reels may not impress when they lack this variety and will show that you are not versatile in your skills, and of course, this will be dependent on whether the job you are going after, for instance, is a general artist position, as opposed to a specialist’s position, but the idea is to show a variety of your skillsets within your specific discipline(s)

Show Your Process.

Many beginning artists say, “where do I get material for my demo reel when I have never worked at a studio before?”  While this may seem like a problem at first, it is actually a great opportunity to show off your skills by showing your “work-in-progress”. We’ve been quite impressed by many of the showreels we’ve reviewed by artists that show “before” and “after” shots of their work, usually as a side-by-side.

Or you can create progression videos.  For instance, if you’re going for a modeling position, you can highlight all the stages of your model process, as well as your approach to UV layout, texturing, materials, and shader creation.  If you are going for an animation position, you could show your progression thru your animation rigging setups, animation testing, and any custom tools you may have built to assist you in the process as this shows that you are a problem solver.  

Work in progress and process style demoreels should illustrate that you not only understand the basics within your art discipline because everything builds on a good foundation of the basics, but you should also be sure to demonstrate your understanding of any advanced principles that you’ve learned.

Keep Them Wanting More

The million-dollar secret to a good demo reel is – you always want to leave the viewer of your reel wanting to see more. One of the keys to accomplishing this is by allowing part of you to shine within your work.  It is the spice that makes your demo reel personal.

Most prospective employers (if they know what they’re doing), understand every you and every other artist has their own unique strengths, experiences that they’ve lived, passions and desires, and individual ideas. Making sure that these things come thru in your demo reel is very important and you’ll make a strong, lasting impression – and you’ll get the job offers that you are going after.

If you don’t have a lot of people to provide you feedback on your demo reel, online forums, and interest groups are good places to get unbiased and straightforward feedback on your work. CG Master Academy offers complimentary portfolio reviews for their current students as well as “prospective” students. We don’t have any relationship with them but think it could be a good idea if you are in that situation.

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 what NOT to put in your demo reel!  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.

This is a super well-known YouTube channel and I always find myself scrolling down the page and choosing from a bunch of short films to discover new stuff. It would be awesome to be apart of that channel and have more people see my own work – and see what they think of it!” – Nicolas Leclerc

"St(r)ay (迷)留" - by Chiang Yao and Cyder Studio

TheCGBros Presents “St(r)ay (迷)留”, a Devastatingly Beautiful Film About Dementia by Chiang Yao and Cyder Studio – A camel, on a quest to find his missing wife in the desert, faces the dilemma of chasing his treasure or continuing his journey. ‘St(r)ay’ is a story of how someone recognizes the most important thing in life amid chaos caused by dementia.

Runners up:

"Iron City" - by Mondlicht Studios

"DADDY" - by Shagua animation

News Articles "On the Edge"

Marvel Drops ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania’ Trailer, Images and Poster -

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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:

  • 2244 – 11/01/22 How Is CGI Used In Interface Design?
  • 2245 – 11/08/22 What Is Volumetric Video?
  • 2246 – 11/15/22 How Is CGI Used To Create 3D Digital Sculptures?
  • 2247 – 11/22/22 What Is Rendering In CGI?
  • 2248 – 11/29/22 How Is 3D Scanning Used In CGI?

Next 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