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How to create an animation portfolio

How to create an animation portfolio

Many people describe the animation industry as cool, interesting, glamorous and other similar terms. Well, it’s no wonder 3D animation jobs are so highly sought after these days.

In such a competitive environment, an artist has to excel in packaging and promoting himself. You will have to learn the art of networking first of all. In many instances where the bigger studios are concerned, submitting show reels might not be sufficient to warrant the HR’s attention. If you participate in trade events like software launches or trade exhibitions, chances are you can get to know a lot of studio executives. By getting to know somebody directly and having a name to contact, you might get your demo reel viewed much faster. And if your reel is any good, chances are much better that you will get hired, especially if the studio is in a hiring mode.

Now sometimes even after you’ve done the above and your demo reel is really good, you still may not get a job, and that’s because the studio just isn’t hiring at that point in time. However, your portfolio will be kept for future references when they do have a vacancy.

Also, there are times when studios just don’t want to hire fresh CG artists. They may prefer to hire an experienced artist. But how are you going to be experience if you do not get hired by them.

OK, to answer your question, first you must realize that there are a number of industries where 3D animation is used, and you may be able to get started in an industry other than the one you initially had your heart set on. If you can’t find a job with an animation studio, then consider working with a web design company, a game design company, an architectural firm, a media company, an advertising company or even a product design company. Many such companies require a 3D artist, and you can build up an animation portfolio and the much coveted ‘experience’ there.

Getting an internship during your education is also a good method of paving the way toward getting your first animation job. If during the internship you exhibit yourself to be a conscientious worker with good work ethic and skills, you might just get a job offer upon graduation. Many 3D artists got their jobs this way, so this is a very valid method of getting your first job. Another spin off from this method is by offering to work for free. Look upon it as an opportunity to learn from working professionals and to gain experience with the latest software and real-world projects. If you present yourself to be sincere and dedicated, you could eventually be offered a position.

Whatever the case, remember to get a demo reel produced. The reel should exhibit your best work and skills only. You must be very selective with what you put into your reel. A demo reel is going to make or break you, so make sure you put in maximum effort into making the best reel you can produce. Know that the person reviewing your demo reel is most likely going to spend less than 30 seconds looking for something he likes. The moment he feels bored or unimpressed he loses the incentive to continue watching your reel, and you have just lost your job offer. Make your reel as interesting and as impressive as possible. Leave what happens next to providence.


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