After having reached a conclusion on where I want to be and how to get there I now need to look closer at the details. After being given the task of looking closer at some of the show reels that are out there and compare a good and a bad example I set out to see what I could find.
After watching a lot of show reels, most of them average, I found on that to me stood out as really bad. It was not bad because of the artwork, but because of the actual show reel. This was exactly what I’d been looking for. While perhaps not hitting all of the marks for a bad show reel it does hit a few.
Karim Rehimi has made some big mistakes in this. To start off with you may notice the font he’s used for his own name in the beginning. It’s very flashy, and a bit difficult to read. It’s a mistake a lot of people make with websites. Flashy fonts and animated introductions may seem like a good idea, but there’s no actual point with them if you are an environment artist and to be frank it seems a bit like what someone who just discovered flash and is overexcited about it would do. Sometimes it’s best just to keep it simple. Rehimi continues along the same road, putting too much effort in what’s between the artwork instead of on the artwork. When it comes to the actual artwork he makes a fundamental mistake: he appears to be only using static shots. There is no camera moving, no actual closer look of the scenes displayed. While I do think some of the artwork is good it would definitely benefit from being shown in flythrough. As it is it seems a bit jumbled together. Also I’m not entirely sure what he wanted with the last two bits, they seemed to be more about the animation than the environment. It would have been a better idea to not have them there at all. That would also have cut down on the length of the showreel, which was far too long. It was 3 minutes long. I was bored out of my mind after one minute.
One I really liked was this one:
Chris Zurowski does everything right that Rehimi did wrong. He has a simple opening screen which is easy to read and does not go on for too long. There are no flashy switchovers between clips. The camera movements are smooth and show off the best parts of the environments neatly. It also helps that the showreel is 1 minute 21 seconds long. It’s long enough to show off the work nicely, but not long enough to get boring. There seems to be no unnecessary effect or editing. While some artists seem to like showing a wireframe version I don’t thing Zurowski’s reel suffered from not having done so. I like the fact that Zurowski doesn’t clutter his showreel with unnecessary shots; it’s kept smooth and flowing which shows a lot of thought has gone into it. When I make my own showreel it’ll probably be fairly similar to Zurowski’s style.
For the same reasons I like this one:
After having looked at the showreels I found this online article: http://www.computerarts.co.uk/features/showreels-dummys-guide
It’s an article which states a few dos and don’ts of showreels that seems to match my observations. They do say that wireframes should be included, but it seems to me that this is simply to check the process you went through and could therefore be put in the portfolio instead of the reel.