Animation Demo Reel Advice

DESIGN_BANNER_small_with_boarderTrying to put together a demo reel for an animation job but not sure where to start? Don’t panic! On this page you can find our top Dos and Don’ts for animation demo reels.

*Don’t forget; you can find our top tips for animation portfolios here – and you can find the latest animation job vacancies on our job board here.*




Include Contact Details:

When sending in a demo reel, it’s a good idea to include title cards before each project and to also include your contact details, the job you’re applying for and the date at the start and end of your demo reel. Why? Because demo reels can easily get lost in busy studios – and there’s a chance your reel might not stay with your CV for too long. Similarly, if you include the job details and a date, if an employer finds your demo reel in their files at a later date, it’ll give them a bit of context as to what role you applied for – and whether they need to request a more up-to-date version of your demo reel.

Keep The Length Appropriate:

When you’re putting your demo reel together it can be really tempting to just keep extending it and extending it as you finish more and more projects – and before you know it, it’s 20 minutes long – but this really isn’t advisable. Why? Because a prospective employer only has a limited amount of time to review each application so you need to be able to demonstrate that you can be critical and identify your best work. As a general rule, we’d advise you to stick to between four and five minutes for your demo reel and start with your strongest, most relevant work – this way you know it’ll definitely get seen.

Include A Demo Reel Breakdown:

In addition to your demo reel, it’s a good idea to include a demo reel breakdown to give the employer a bit of context as to the work you’ve included in your reel. This should include what you actually did in each animation and the techniques you used. Be sure to number each piece in your demo reel and your accompanying breakdown sheet to make it really easy for an employer to follow.



Expect Your Reel Back:

Studios and agencies are extremely busy – so it’s highly unlikely that they’ll bother to send your demo reel back if you don’t get the job. With that in mind, it’s important not to include any work which you only have one copy of – because it’s pretty likely that you’ll never see it again.

Choose An Inappropriate Soundtrack:

Love a bit of death metal? That’s great but it’s an acquired taste so it’s probably not appropriate for your demo reel. When choosing a soundtrack, try and avoid music which is really irritating, over the top or extreme – remember, you want an employer to focus on your work, not the music that accompanies it! Great choices for demo reels are pieces of music which are gentle and which won’t get on anyone’s nerves if they have to replay your reel a few times to check one of the techniques you’ve used.

Include Work Which Hasn’t Been Created With Industry Standard Software:

In your demo reel, an employer is going to be on the lookout for examples of projects where you’ve used industry standard software. Why? Because that’s what they’ll already use – so if you’re already familiar with it, you’re already ticking some of their boxes. With that in mind, it’s probably a good idea to miss out any projects which have been created with any alternative software such as video games engines which aren’t always recognised as ‘standard’ across the industry.