Design Articles

Building a well- rounded portfolio is not an easy job, especially when you need to showcase your work to land your dream job or grab a client. You need to have a well-presented portfolio that fascinates the audience at once. Here are some practicing tips by the leading animators themselves that would help you master your showreel.

Good character animation is the art

Oscar-nominated animator Aaron Blaise points out, “Good character animation is the art of bringing characters to life – not moving them around.” He suggests keeping your work original by focusing on the characters and not on the movements and mechanics. Inject personality into your portfolio.

He adds by saying, “It can be just a look, an eye movement, a blink. I also advise animators to include performances where there’s a change of emotion or idea: angry to happy or fearful to brave. That’s when it becomes real and the viewer is pulled in.” Keep it real.

Know your audience

Andrew Gordon (ex-directing animator at Pixar, who worked on everything from A Bug’s Life to Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 3) says, “Whether you’re applying to a games studio, effects studio or a character animation studio, you have to tailor your portfolio to the studio you’re applying to and the type of work you aspire to do,” without having complete information about your audience could be a drawback, you should at least have an idea who your showreel or portfolio is aimed at.

Put your best work first 

Disney believes that if you need to grab someone’s attention you need to put your best work first in the arrangement of your portfolio and your closing strong.

“Keep in mind that we have seconds to evaluate your work,” explains Disney in its exceptionally helpful portfolio and show reel application guidelines. “Realize that people will fast-forward through your work. If they don’t see something really quickly, they’ll turn off.”

Game of Focus

Ty Carter emphasizes the importance of including original ideas in your portfolio, “Successful portfolios are specific, organized and contain original ideas,” says Blue Sky Studios visual development artist Ty Carter. His film credits include Ice Age 4, Epic, and The Peanuts Movie.

“It’s good to see one major focus like character design, set design or color. If you do each of these at a high level it doesn’t hurt to show them all, but be careful not to include too much,” Carter believes that if your work reflects your life experience that is true art.

Take your career to the next level with the help of the leading animator’s tips. Leave no room for errors in your portfolio.