I am a very recent graduate from SCAD (with a double major in Visual Effects & Game Development) and pursuing a path for Real Time VFX! I wanted to ask you guys, if you guys may please rip apart my demo reel so I can learn from my mistakes and improve myself I am also looking for a job at the moment as well!
Thank you guys and have a great week!!!
This is my demo reel
Hey Raed! My major feedback is that this reel is a fantastic showcase of your generalist work. For that purpose, I wouldn’t change a thing. But since you’re specifically looking for VFX feedback, something you could do is make separate videos and/or gifs for each of the VFX, done in isolation, maybe with a simple environment, with a stationary camera. This will make it easy for people to see every piece one by one, and breakdown how exactly you could improve it. You could simply post each singled-out video on this thread to keep all the feedback in one place.
But again: please don’t delete this video! It really demonstrates your ability to be a holistic game developer, not just an artist that works in a vacuum by yourself.
I’m excited to meet up at GDC. You should reach out to @ShannonBerke to see about attending the Riot mixer. Also, if your pass includes the VFX roundtables, that would be a fantastic place for you to network and gain some industry contacts.
May you please critique my new fx demo reel? ^u^ no holding back fully rip it apart so I can learn from my mistakes
Thank you and have an awesome time ^u^
Here’s my notes on the current reel
Since you’re posting more realistic-styled VFX at the beginning of your reel, I’m guessing that’s the kind of studio you’re going for. If you were to apply for a more stylized studio, I’d put the stylized work first.
The bulk of your VFX are environmental. Gameplay VFX, such as missiles, hit impacts, aoe damage, etc show much better in a reel. I never see an amazing explosive ability, and then wonder if the artist can also do idling smoke. However, seeing an atmospheric effect does leave me wondering if they can meet the challenging gameplay needs of our product. In short: add more “Hero VFX,” the stars of the show.
Your timing is generally slow and even. You could drastically punch-up a lot of these effects. Think super fast at first, then slow waaaay down. Try pushing it so much it breaks. Better to work backwards from over-done than to incrementally bump it up until it just starts to feel satisfying.
The Dino Batter VFX at 1:21 are confusing. Part of this is the extreme slow-ness of the animation, but also how they resolve in highly saturated, highly detailed stringy shapes. Play around with different types of dissolves, as well as more varied timing.
The bursts in the next scene are out of style from the rest of the environment. Both the black bits and the white sparklies are more detailed than anything else on the screen. Go for bolder, simpler shapes, made up of hand-crafted meshes and/or textures. It’s a lot harder to do well, but that tends to be the nature of a hand-crafted style.
The explosions at 1:37 need some love. Reference some real-life explosions to see what emitters you could add to enhance these, and also pay close attention to the timing of the dirt bits. Currently, they all rise and fall evenly, and at the same rate. Fred Hooper gave a fantastic lightning talk at the bootcamp on building a better explosion. Highly recommend.
Keep on going with it! Once you know who your primary audience is, you can start focusing your energy in that singular direction, to get more bang for the buck on your time investment.
The thing is i love doing both realistic or stylized, they are soo fun do to! (I would like to work almost anywhere :D) So do u think i should make two diffrent reels for that? Like one realistic real and one stylized reel?
Im gonna start re-doing the fx you told me to fix, and also try to enhance the timing to bring out the fx alot more. I will also start showing/re-working more explosive, and impact effects! The issue is that there isnt many hero vfx with the projects i worked with. The work given by my teammates were mostly for projectile trail/impact, environmental, and aoe effects.
So do you think I should start with a character effect, then trail and impact, then finally enviromental effects?
I really appreciate your input and help! I’ll start doing the fixes asap!
Two clarifications I want to make:
imho (others may disagree here) any reel, stylized or realistic, technical or hand-crafted, benefits from showcasing a variety of other work. The key is to simply show what you want your potential employer to see most at the beginning of the reel. The less relevant it is to whatever job you’re applying for, the later it should be in your reel (assuming it’s quality work, and good at being whatever it’s attempting to be).
When I said “Hero Effect,” I meant that the effect itself is the hero, not that it’s necessarily attached to a hero in a game (it could also be an ability effect, or it could be a glorious portal, or explosion, or some other point of interest in the environment). The important feature of a hero effect is that it captures the majority of your attention in the midst of other gameplay assets (environment, characters, UI, etc).