5 Tips for Creating an Effective
Animation Showreel

When applying for a job in most careers, a CV or diploma is usually enough. In the creative sector, in which we also include animation, your work speaks for you. It has long been the norm among filmmakers and animators to present themselves to the world with a so-called showreel, which is a video that contains the best works of the artist. We've put together 5 tips for you on how to build a kick ass showreel that will open doors for you.

1. Less is more

In today's fast-paced world, it's tough to hold the viewer's attention for too long. And for videos that aren't intended purely as entertainment, that's doubly true. So whether you publish your reel publicly on the Internet or it's only intended for the eyes of the heads of animation studios, try to make it as short as possible. The ideal length is up to two minutes, especially if you lack years of practice and haven't completed multiple minutes of good animation.

2. Choose wisely

The maxim of Quality over Quantity applies to showreels as well as most good things in life. Only use your best animations and if you're not sure about the quality of a piece, leave it off the reel. A shorter, punchy cut will serve you better than if you try to flesh out your reel with average work.
Are you going to use animations that were created for a client? Then don't forget to get their consent to use it.

3. Order is important

You will make the biggest impression in the first few seconds. The viewer is probably used to seeing a lot of videos every day, and to make a mark with your reel, you have to hook them from the very beginning. Therefore, place your best animations in the first thirty seconds. At the same time, drop something memorable in at the very end, so that they will remember that reel long after it has finished.

4. The power of the edit

An effective animation showreel should not be just a montage of random shots without any thought. Think of your presentation as a story that must flow from start to finish. Make sure the individual shots are the correct length - don't make it so fast-paced that you can't appreciate the scene, but don't bore the viewer with long scenes either. Choose an engaging rhythm and tempo to keep the viewer's attention and stay entertaining. If you want to show some creativity, position individual animations to react (or contrast) with each other. You will generate humour with the right context, or breathe a story arc into the whole reel.

5. Don't underestimate the sound

You will need to present your visual skills in your showreel, but effective sound is also a crucial part of its success. Don't underestimate the sound mix, as careless cuts between individual shots will disrupt the viewing experience. By choosing the right music that complements the editing rhythm, you will give the whole video the necessary mood and elevate it. If you are not good at sound, find someone who is and buy them a beer or three so they'll do it for you.

Did you find our tips useful? Whatever process you choose for creating your showreel, pay close attention to it and make it as good as it can possibly be. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you and hope it helps you with your dream job.
Finally, take a look at a couple of our showreels if you need some inspiration.

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