Creating my showreel

After researching and finally deciding what to actually put into my showreel, I got to work. As time went on it changed as I was creating more work that could be put into it, so there are multiple versions of my showreel:

Version 1:

Version 2, this time I added in some more dynamics work:

Version 3, I’ve added a Bifrost simulation and corrected the run cycle:

the latest version, another Bifrost simulation was added and the order changed:

I also had adjusted the Bus stop animation, trying to improve the movement of his leg while he’s sitting, the wireframe images were also changed: I managed to render out the lower poly wireframe. When smoothing my model (after hitting 3) I also pressed fn and the down arrow.





Before creating my own showreel, I’ve done a little research to see how I should go about it, including tips and showreels from a few artists…

Some notes I took while reading the links below:


The link below contains artists showreels to back up the points they have made…

Adding tags to your showreel to show what you did/what it is. Mike Bain’s showreel is a good example of this as it contains shots from easily recognised films:

Gerard Dunleavy, won international CG student of the year 2012, his showreel is below:

A playlist of the best showreels and demo reels on vimeo created by premium beat (most of these are company showreels and not individual artists but they are still very impressive…)

I really enjoyed the showreel below by Leticia Reinaldo, focussing on modelling, lighting and texturing. The timing is what caught my attention, there is enough time to view the models yet they aren’t overstaying their welcome…

A rather dramatic showreel.. some dramatic camera movements:


Over easter while I was working on some animations I decided I wanted to take a break from them and try something else, I fancied doing some modelling but didn’t know what to model, then I realised I was sitting at my desk…


I started off with the desk…

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 16.31.43

Also attached to my desk is a magnetic board and a CD rack, I then modelled these features and added them to the desk:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.05.17

The my monitor and speakers, including the cable coming from the speakers:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.30.57

I then started to fill the CD rack, will something similar to the photo at the beginning of this post, to get the draping of the paper I made the geometry an Ncloth and anything it collides with a collider, I then played the simulation until I found a shape that I liked. While the simulation was paused I duplicated the geometry and then deleted the cloth attributes:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.39.45

Below the cd rack, again I used Maya’s Ncloth to create the realistic shapes of the paper:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.46.23

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.49.42

One of the more challenging features was the desk lamp:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.53.17

There’s also a little pot of stationary that sits behind my laptop:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.55.39

my laptop, complete with a USB pen:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 17.57.23

Also through the use of dynamics I created the object that hangs from my lamp:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 18.00.34

I also then connected my monitor and laptop by modelling an hdmi cable, all cables were modelled using the tutorial below:

not forgetting my mouse either:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 18.05.35

Along the top of my desk there is quite a few photo frames:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 18.06.59

also some other objects, including a candle and lip balm:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 18.08.39

A rendered image of the whole scene, along with a wireframe render:

Desk AO desk wire

Some close ups, used in my showreel:

Desk AO close 1 desk close wire 1 desk AO close 2 desk close wire 2tif

Lower poly (smoothed) wireframes, used in my showreel:

desk desk_close2 desk_close1


After having a class where we looked at Maya’s 2D and 3D fluid effects, I decided i would experiment with Bifrost, again keeping my showreel in mind…

the first thing I attempted was running water:

The tutorial above showed me how to set up the liquid and also the geometry it would collide with, along with the lighting for the scene. I then decided I didn’t really want the water to be appearing from nowhere, I modelled and textured a tap so that the water had somewhere to come from…

Another render:

I also thought my showreel could do with something a little more exciting than just running water, so I’ve also attempted a splash, which I feel is an improvement on the running water, this time the liquid acts a lot more like water as this time I experimented a lot more with the liquids attributes. The set up for the splash was pretty much the same as the tutorial above, I created a box that would hold the liquid, a box form which the liquid would be emitted and an object to fall into the liquid creating the splash… I found that a long, thin cube created a much more dramatic splash than just a sphere. These objects were then set as colliders and the cube animated to fall into the water…


After having a class on Maya’s particles, I decided to experiment with the N-cloth feature, hoping to created something that I could put into my showreel. I had recently been watching an episode of ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ (when am I not watching that programme…?) where the two clips below appeared (Smash the Mirror 4×08) and I was inspired to try something similar:

I really liked the effect of the particles moving through the air and the cracking effect created within the eye of the actress. Although I was after an effect similar to the clip below, how the particles were controlled:

I decided that I would try something similar to this effect using a head model that I had retopologised so that it would be useable. Using Maya’s Ncloth and a vortex field I created the effect below:


After a class on Maya’s particles and emitters, I decided I wanted to include some more dynamics work in my showreel, so I watched a couple of tutorials and decided to experiment with particles…
Using Maya’s mo-cap characters I created the scenes below:

Firstly I had one of the characters run and leave a trail of particles behind it…

I then had the same character run, hit the wall and explode into particles…

Finally I then had two runners run at one another before exploding into particles, I thought this would be the better of the three to render out. Before rendering I added in a camera movement to make it a little more exiting, along with giving the floor a reflective material to make it more appealing to the eye…


Waiting for the Bus…

I have a few walk cycles ready to put into my showreel but I also wanted something that wasn’t a cycle. So using the Dex character from the body mechanics mega pack, I created a Bus stop and decided to animate the character waiting for a bus which would then drive on by…

The set which I modelled myself, not putting to much detail into it as I wanted the animation of the character to be the main focus of the short:

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.07.23

and a rendered view from the camera I will be using:

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.08.19

Blocking out the movement:

Adding the In-betweens, this first attempt didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would, the movement at the start goes a little too fast – the timing needs to be adjusted throughout the entire clip. The wave at the start while the character is sitting doesn’t make a lot of sense at the moment, it needs a little more anticipation:

I then took another attempt at creating in-betweens and I am pleased to say that this attempt was much better:

Adding in the reaction of the character as he realises the bus isn’t stopping:

The character turns as the bus drives past:

Once I was happy with the main movement of the character I then went back through and adjusted to movement of the hands, giving them some delay and overlapping action:

I then decided I wanted more of a reaction from the character, so at the end I have him punch through the air, hopefully conveying that the character is angry/ annoyed:

After getting the rough movement of the arm, I then went in and adjusted it slightly:

After fixing the right arm, I then tried adjusting the left, just to give it a little more movement:

I then experimented with the movement of the right wrist as he punches the air:

I wasn’t happy with the movement of the wrist in the video above so i took another go at it:

and the finished render:

After feedback, it was suggested that the movement of the leg, from the characters lap to the ground could be a little stronger, so I attempted the movement again:

Some notes I took in preparation for this animation:

IMG_0639 IMG_0637

The above notes are taken from Richard William’s Animation Survival Kit, regarding the topic of anticipation. I also took a look at what ‘The Illusion of Life’ had to say about the same topic…

“People in the audience will not be able to understand the events on screen unless there is a planned sequence of actions that leads them clearly form one activity to the next…The anticipatory moves may not show why he is doing something, but there is no question about what he is doing – or what he is going to do next. Expecting that, the audience can now enjoy the way it is done.”

“Few movements in real life occur without some kind of anticipation. It seems to be the natural way for creatures to move, and without it there would be little power in any action.”   – pages 51-53, The Illusion of Life.

I also took note of Follow through and overlapping action and Arcs (also from the Illusion of life) to apply these principles to the animation: