Show Reel Studio: Process Diary


Design Centre Enmore 3D Art and Animation (DCE3D)


DESIGN  CENTRE  ENMORE,  SYDNEY:  Bachelor of 3D Art and Animation


LECTURER  MENTOR:  Vincent  Rossini

MENTOR:  Kim Nguyen

MODELS:  Alvaro Luna Bautista,, Challenge #14

showReel_animaticCritique_B   Password:  train_01

Models are from lighting challenges.

The train is travelling through the Australian outback during a storm, it is windy, lightening strikes.  As the train travels to the front of the screen what is going to happen?

The colour palette is yellows and hot colours with some bluish purple.

Kim Nguyen and I are working together to take my student show reel from animatic to 3D.


SHOT  005

We have started on shot 5, of the 5 shots that make up the sequence as below, with the aim of completing this first and then seeing how it works within the time frame for further shots.  Kim is starting on the textures and I have started with the lighting.

shot 005 render tests


shot 005 Therese working on text renders


shot 005 test comp

shot 005 Kim working on test comps

Kim working on sky comp, lightening and clouds with matte painting





Kim working on the environment and environment textures



SELECTION  of  SHOTS  showing some of our work as as we have progressed and developed:



MAYA  to  MUDBOX and some issues with the downloaded geo:

SHOT 003

Then next shot is shot 3, being able to use some of the work done for shot 5 such as main lighting, UVs and textures.  Animation of the wheels has been done and working on the lighting for the station depo and lightening flash.




lightening flash test with aiArea light exposure


TEST  RENDERS every 10 frames, varying details as I go:

Arnold's Motion Blur

Arnold’s Motion Blur


Therese starting on comp. Shuffling out AOV passes and sky matte painting behind test render from Maya’s .exr file.









Oblivion: Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Monolith Pictures, Chernin Entertainment, Radical Studios

Oblivion 2013 Extensive Behind the Scenes Inside Look

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 1.15.38 PM

Demers, O., Urszenyi, C., 2002. Digital texturing & painting. New Riders, Indianapolis, IN. Page 106


Sarah Stone’s Shells 1781 shows an exotic assortment of shells thought to have been collected on Cook’s first Pacific voyage from 1768 to 1771. National Gallery of Australia Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2016

WHEN  THERE  WERE  STATIONS  This site is about the way railways were – more or less after steam, but during the next phase of railway ‘development’ – the rationalisation.  It happened all over the country, some states before others, but happened it has. Branch lines closed, and the evidence of their existence obliterated. Some lines remain open, but the stations were razed. The signal cabins, the intricate  lattice signal masts and gantries, the staff… all gone – well mostly.


Colours:  Complementary, Split Complementary is more harmonious and still high energy, more complex.  Double Split Complementary.  Monochromatic with complementary highlights.  Chiaroscuro is a gradation of light and darkness to create beautiful depth in atmosphere and mood.

Choose a focal point, controlling the focus.

The use of contrast, the luminous quality, level of detail and textural information.

Cloudy, less saturated, void of harsh shadows, lighting more constant.  Value and saturation affected by the loss of light, muted and cool.  Sunny is more saturated and warmer hues.

Quality of the edges, soft/hard creating sunlight, depth and harmony.

Consider the colour and size of the highlights, different colours and qualities on the same objects to create depth, authenticity to realism.

Shadows use cool colours, atmospheric depth is more muted and less saturated with the sky seeping over the distance.  Softness in details does not lessen realistic qualities, it can exemplify realism.  Let detail fade away, including into the shadows.  Create changes in texture as the eyes perceive distance as lack of detail and can get variation and interest from monotone hues.

Environments impact on textures, bumps, reflections, specular highlights.  Create a perfectly sunlit texture first, texture to reality, then change the hue and saturation to reflect the lighting and save both copies.

Look at photos, do paintings and scans of different surfaces for the objects, exploring how elements might look with colours, textures, damage, wear and tear.  Look for the unexpected. Do a hand painted colour and grunge map, then open in photoshop and unwrap it into layers of basic colours and textures.

Adjust hue/saturation, levels, add different tones, look at inverting versions and using layer masks. Colour Map layer using the Magic Want (Airbrush, Smudge) with Multiply set to 90% to add more definition.  Bump Map from this with different values of grey, consider a second Bump Map to accentuating some bump areas. Specular and Reflection Maps could be inverted, dark areas are less specular or reflective. Go layer by layer, maybe inverting and changing blending operations and opacity.


Atmospheric optics deals with how the unique optical properties of the Earth’s atmosphere cause a wide range of spectacular optical phenomena.

Color Palettes From Famous Movies Show How Colors Set The Mood Of A Film

Getty Images

SOUTH BRISBANE Queensland Government Railways

Trans Australian Railway at Pimba South Australia




Arthur Streeton

Sydney Nolan

Jack Absaiom

James Ainslie

Hudson River School


Blake Rudis

Daily Advertiser Your #Riverina, December 9 | Photos


Clouds vary in density, thickness and composition where there will be a definite light and shadow side.  Clouds transmit a greater quantity of light to the shadow side through internal scattering than the volume of light they pick up from secondary sources.

Greys mixed from blue and orange, red and green or violet and yellow.

Australian Pictures

Fine Art Photography of The Outback 

National Geographic

Outback Stock Photos

Sunrise Over White Cliff

Mungo National Park

Paul Arnold



Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales

Lake Cargelligo Station


Panaromio Photos

Walkover States

Federal Government review of grain rail lines in NSW




What comes first: thunder or lightning?

Lightning is usually white, but it can be a variety of colors depending on what the light travels through to get to the viewer’s eyes. In snowstorms, lightning can appear pink or green. Particles in the atmosphere affect the color by absorbing or diffracting a portion of the white light.

What color is lightning?

Netweather Community:  Colours of lightening

Though it is theoretically possible to hear thunder and then see lightning, lightning actually causes thunder, so it has to come first. Thunder is the noise that’s caused by the sound of the rapid expansion of air that gets suddenly heated by a bolt of lightning.


Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 1.51.11 PM

CGI & VFX Lighting Showreel 2016 Alastair Dixon – CGI & VFX



aaaqainc Electrical Services 


Gerti Images

Poultry Help Barn Electrical

Walkover States



South Australia and Northern Territory

Outback NSW


Upper quadrant semaphore signals UQ semaphore signals, 3 position auto (left) and 2 position distant (right)

The power-operated three-position upper quadrant semaphore signal, American in origin, was introduced to New South Wales by the English signal engineer, Mr C.B. Byles, in 1913. Mr Byles (1871–1948) led New South Wales Railways through its introduction of power signalling, from 1911 until 1929.[6]At night, two lights, one above the other, are exhibited. The spectacle attached to the signal arm has three lenses, that is a green for the vertical clear position and red for the other two lenses. In some cases the semaphore arm moves to the horizontal danger position when the line between the distant signal and the stop signal to which it applies is occupied. The Distant signals capable of exhibiting Danger are fitted with an upper red/green spectacle; the two-position versions have a fixed upper green. The Home/Starting signals give three indications. The arm moves from horizontal displaying a red light, upwards to 45 degrees displaying a green or yellow light, and fully vertical also displaying a green light. In double light areas, the lower light of these signals stays red until a full Clear indication is shown. Therefore, these signals will show the same lights indicated by the Lower Quadrant Semaphore Distant and two-arm signals, that is, two greens for Clear, a green over a red for Caution and two reds for Stop.



Lake Cargelligo Station

Lake Cargelligo Station

Federal Government review of grain rail lines in NSW

Panaromio Photos


Shooting the Aura of the Australian Outback




Shutter Stock Train Coupling 

Shutter Stock Hitched Coupler Freight Train


Genesee & Wyoming Australia

Santa Fe Passenger Trains

Trains  Adele Somer’s_on_the_Swan_Hill_line_Australian_Trains_by_VRfan-Train_Videos_Downunder/

Fast Trains HD Wallpapers Free Download

42101 4501=5L03 tour train at Mount Murray NSW

Loco Hauled Passenger Trains to Bacchus Marsh: Australian Trains

How Trains Turn

Wheel-rail interaction No 1

CSX Work Train In Reverse Wheels Lock Up Sliding Along Rails

Coupling Cars

Train starts up


An Introduction to Switches & Crossings – Network Rail engineering education (12 of 15)

Throwing The Switch

9 step manual train track switch




Cass Railroad, USA – Problem at the Water Tank


Rigging a train with IK Splines in Maya 2010 Cave House Studios

Maya – Animate a Train using IK Spline Handle Tool

Wheel rigging in MAYA 2014 the best solution in 10 mn


Outdoor environments have the sun or moon as the light source and has gradation which is darkest straight up and lightest at the horizon being colour depends on the time of day. Need to think about where the line of sight bounces off the form into the sky and think bout the value and colour the sky is at that point. The contrast between the object and the sky affects how much of the reflection of the sky is seen in the object and this could be where there are shadows, an illusion of the cast-shadows being more reflective.

Robertson, S., 2014. How to render: the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity. Design Studio Press, Culver City, CA.


Sunbeams, small areas of atoms being illuminated and edges of cast shadows of clouds.

Atmospheric Perspective or perceived depth with further away having less value. The contrast shift between the light and dark values with less colour saturation than surfaces that are closer. Strongest at the horizon as has more atmosphere, looking straight up has less then looking further away such as the horizon.

Sunlight direction and shadow construction is parallel and parallel lines in perspective have a vanishing point. Light rays share a vanishing point. Long when close to the horizon. Positive Sunlight, above the horizon and back lit. Negative sunlight which is below the horizon and front lit. Sunlight always has a constant angle of incident giving an even value over a surface. When the form changes the light’s rays change angles of incidence and the values change.

NATIONAL  GEOGRAPHIC  Earth’s Atmosphere, Clouds, Deserts, Ghan, South Australian Outback, Coober Pedy, Desert Sunset, Desert Thunderstorms


You don’t need to show light-by-light breakdowns unless it’s something really interesting that people couldn’t have guessed. For compositing exercises, showing before/after sometimes shows what you accomplished.

Your showreel should show that you can integrate 3D elements into a live-action environment, and also that you can light fully CG environments.

Composite a 3D creature, character, or vehicle into a live-action environment. Show that you can get the colors, lighting, shadows, and reflections to match between a real environment and something that you have lit in 3D. Demonstrate your range by lighting and rendering a variety of subjects, including some that are reflective, some that are organically textured or translucent, and some that are furry or have hair.

Show that you can light all-3D environments, including interiors and exteriors. The mood of the shot should be reflected in the lighting and colors as well as the content of the scene.
In addition to still images, it is a good idea to include some animation – not to prove that you are an animator, but only because most professional work involves dealing with moving footage. If you don’t have any animated characters, you could animate aspects of your environment such as the time of day, or different weather or seasons. Moving objects such as curtains, tree branches, or doors that cast different shadows and change the lighting during the shot. Some of the best lighting demonstrations involve studying a single location as the time or weather or mood changes; this shows how much lighting can add to a scene. If you are also interested in an effects TD position, then some effects animation—such as water, fire, or smoke—could be a good addition to your reel as well.

Developing something original, unique, or personal will make your showreel more memorable and reflect well on you as an artist, instead of doing fan-art or rip-offs of feature films.


Possible Job Description:

Good understanding of shading in Vray for Maya

Ability to use vray shading techniques to create specific stylised looks to match concept art.

Ability to optimize shaders to achieve the shortest possible render times and handle memory limitations.

Ability to spot and troubleshoot problems relating to shaders.

Ability to use Photoshop to alter painted maps given by texture artists.

Ability to alter UVs when needed to optimise time taken to shade an object.

Knowledge of lighting and rendering in vray.

Understanding of colour and light in the real world.

Knowledge of specific light types and how and when to use them.

Ability to light an environment from scratch.

Ability to optimize a scene and lights to keep render time down.


Arnold RGB Matte AOV

This script creates RGB Matte AOV similar to VRays Multi Matte set up. I personally prefer this to Arnolds built in Object ID pass. © 2016 Bryanna London

Shuffle out EXR buffers

# Shuffle out EXR buffers
# Vincent Rossini 2012
# v1.0 (Release Candidate)

nodes = nuke.selectedNodes()
for node in nodes:
if node.Class() == ‘Read’:
channels = node.channels()
AOVs = list( set([channel.split(‘.’)[0] for channel in channels]) )

if ‘rgba’ in AOVs:

for AOV in AOVs:
shuffleNode = nuke.nodes.Shuffle(label=AOV,inputs=[node])
shuffleNode[‘in’].setValue( AOV )

gradeNode = nuke.nodes.Grade(label=AOV, inputs=[shuffleNode])


# Extract AOVs for grading

# Vincent Rossini 2012

nodes = nuke.selectedNodes()

for node in nodes:

if node.Class() == ‘Read’:

channels = node.channels()

AOVs = list( set([channel.split(‘.’)[0] for channel in channels]) )


if ‘rgba’ in AOVs:


for AOV in AOVs:

shuffleNode = nuke.nodes.Shuffle(label=AOV,inputs=[node])

shuffleNode[‘in’].setValue( AOV )


gradeNode = nuke.nodes.Grade(label=AOV, inputs=[shuffleNode])



Applying UVs to multiple objects:

import maya.cmds as cm

#grab all the selected objects

selectedObjects =

#save first one into variable

#pop first one out of the selected objects list

driver = selectedObjects.pop(0)

#for each object in the selected objects list

for object in selectedObjects:[driver,object])

#transfer attributes

cm.transferAttributes(sampleSpace=4,transferUVs=2, transferColors=2 )

Name: Average Component Position – v1.0
Author: Vincent Rossini
Python: 2.6.4
Icon: avCP

This script will generate a locator at the world-space position of a single component
or for multiple components at their average world-space position.

The script will not work over multiple geometry surfaces.
The script requires one to select a compatible component type from the following list:

NURBS Curves/Surfaces Polygonal Surfaces Subdiv Surfaces
CVs Faces Faces
EPs Edges Edges
Verts Verts
1. Select component/components.
2. Click the avCP shelf button.

import maya.cmds as mc

def AverageCompPnt(*args):
Components =, flatten=True)

Node = Components[0]
Tmp = Node.split(‘.’)
TmpSize = len(Tmp)
NodeTransform = Tmp[TmpSize-2]

if ‘Shape’ in NodeTransform:
NodeType = mc.nodeType(NodeTransform)
NodeAlias = mc.listRelatives(NodeTransform, shapes=True, path=True)
NodeType = mc.nodeType(NodeAlias[0])

if NodeType == ‘nurbsSurface’ or NodeType == ‘nurbsCurve’ or NodeType == ‘subdiv’:
SelectedVerts = Components
SelectedVerts = mc.polyListComponentConversion(Components, toVertex=True)

ClusterTmp = mc.cluster(SelectedVerts)
spaceLoc = mc.spaceLocator(name=’averagedPoint_0#’)
pointConTmp = mc.pointConstraint(ClusterTmp, spaceLoc)

testSelection =

if len(testSelection) == 0:
mc.warning(‘No components selected! Please select component/s and try again…’)

Name: FixReflectionRefraction – v1.0
Author: Vincent Rossini

import maya.cmds as mc

polyObjects =”mesh”)

for i in range(0, len(polyObjects), 1):
#print polyObjects[i]
mc.setAttr( “{0}.visibleInReflections”.format(polyObjects[i]), 1)
mc.setAttr( “{0}.visibleInRefractions”.format(polyObjects[i]), 1)


SET TO SCALE:  Railways in Sydney:  Gauge, All Sydney trains use standard gauge, with a distance of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) between the rails.


SELECT ALL GEO and CHECK NORMALS, normals > unlock, normals > set to face, normals > conform






A realistic scheduling of tasks and deadlines to include a backup concept.

  • Layout showing the position model in environment
  • Rigging
  • Animation
  • Lighting
  • Textures, UV Layout
  • Shading
  • Rendering
  • Rendering Pipeline
  • Compositing


Pitch and present between 2 & 23 ideas for your major work.

 What I am considering:

  • story:  sense of concept, staging
  • lights:  story telling, warm and/or cool, interaction of light over time, weather events, time of day, light linking, perspective
  • camera:  story telling, camera rig, shot angles, shot sizes
  • movement:  how and when, camera, objects, environment, aerials, motion blur on foreground object
  • story:  as progression of events, unfolding, left wanting more, reveal
  • surfaces:  changing over time, contrasting
  • animation: timing, weight, personality
  • light sources: candle light, my own HDRI, windows, lamps, street lights, sky lights, sun, moon, lighthouse, paper lanterns
  • environment: fog, mist, smoke, lighting, fire, glow, sun rays on water like sunset
  • out of frame: light, location through window, car driving past, lighthouse, sound, gobo
  • background:  environment, reference, give perspective,
  • translucent: jellyfish on black, leaves
  • surfaces: human, face, eyes, fabric, concert, timber, plastic, metal, glass, water, sky, bubbles, car, aeroplane, television, fish bowl, water droplets, rain, balloon, hammer, insect, helicopter, outer space
  • times: different times of day and night with int and ext, moon, sun, shadows
  • scenes: bedroom, factory, cu desk, ws landscape, city scape, suburbs, lane way, kitchen, camera, phone
  • options:  live action, different renders, wedge study
  • depth of field
  • sms
  • set extension
  • chrome balls
  • personal logo
  • trailer at the end of credits
  • if it is a large scene I need to see some detail
  • if interested in being realistic show ability to be realistic to the image and consider using difference references
  • story v quality
  • show: software, how it was done, skill sets
  • with many options choose a pathway where it will be finished

Possibilities to include and breakdowns:


  • diffuse direct
  • diffuse indirect
  • specular colour
  • specular direct
  • specular indirect
  • reflection
  • refraction
  • ambient occlusion
  • sub surface scattering
  • luminance depth
  • opacity
  • illumination
  • shadow
  • default shading


  • background
  • geo
  • beauty
  • lights
  • volumetric scattering
  • global illumination
  • final gather
  • motion blur
  • dust particles
  • fog
  • depth of field
  • z depth
  • colour correction


  • lighting & flat comp
  • primary lighting
  • sky
  • key
  • fill
  • rim
  • kicker
  • glow
  • ambience
  • environment
  • candle


  • key light shadow
  • fill light shadow


  • colour (colour, _int, sRGB.tif .tga) or diffuse (colour, _int, sRGB .tif), remove the specular component.
  • diffuse rough (grey scale, sRGB .tga)
  • diffuse weight rough (grey scale, _int, sRGB.tif)
  • specular (grey scale, _int, sRGB.tif)
  • specular diffuse (grey scale, _int, sRGB .tga)
  • reflectivity (grey scale, sRGB .tga)
  • displacement  (open exr, 32-bit, floating point, RGBA), (tiff, 16-bit, integer, RGBA)
  • normal, purple, (16-bit, tif,4K), (_lin, .exr .tif .tga, )
  • ambient occlusion (16-bit, tiff, 4k)
  • cavity (white, grey scale, 16-bit, tiff, higher filter)
  • bump (grey scale, tga)
  • weight (grey scale, sRGB .tga)
  • opacity
  • mask
  • texture (.tif)


  • colour space: sRGB, IEC61966-2.1, linear, RGBA
  • files: raw, tiff, exr, 4096 x 4096 – 4K
  • depth: 8-bits/channel, 16-bits/channel
  • textures
  • images (.jpg, HDR Env Ref _ibl)
  • fog
  • colour correction
  • final output/comp
  • uv layout
  • lookdev
  • RGB
  • velocity
  • software used:  maya, nuke, photoshop premier, after effects, uv layout
  • techniques used:  shading, rendering, lighting, animation, clouds, smoke trails, fluids, particles, destruction, snow, ice, rocks, ocean shading, compositing, fx, explosions, smoke dust, volumetric clouds
  • skills:  demonstrate how they work, TX files, Programming, Animation, Rigging
  • credits:  black on white, white on black, colour and name, lighting, quote, guided by, music, software used icon symbol, skype, year, web address, email address, mobile, mentors, graduate show reel, linkedIn, models from 3d

MACBETH CHART:  White and 18% Grey, mid grey 128, 128, 128.


macbeth chart


This idea is to show contrast in how light interacts with different surfaces and objects in an environment.

Create a mood, if the objects are not moving in the scene there is the camera and various shots to show different areas of the scene.  Focus on the lights to add colour and movement such as the lights changing over time either with time of day or the weather and could see this happening in the surfaces of the objects in the scene.

To help achiever this the light sources could be candle light, HDRI, windows showing a shape or location, lamps, street lights, ceiling sky lights, what is happening out of the frame such as a car driving past. Using the background, even if not in the scene for reference to give perspective and motion blur.

The use of fog, mist, smoke, lighting, fire, glow.

Creating a story with the lights.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 10.17.43 PM

Challenge #23: Mad Science  Modeled by Andrew Kin Fun Chan and Dan Konieczka.


Challenge #6: Candle Light  Modeled by Jeremy Birn.


Challenge #4: Bottle Collection


Taking these ideas and applying it to an outside scene, again thinking of how to show mood and movement with the use of lights. With this scene it would be possible to include the sky to show the environment in the shot and consider some simple animation of the parts of the model, like the signal coming down and the train moving.


Challenge #14: The Local Train  Modeled by Alvaro Luna Bautista.


Take this scene that I lit last year and light it for different times of day, creating different moods, going through a tunnel, in the country side, in the city, at a train station, raining snowing.



Challenge #37: BAY AREA TRANSIT by Preston Plat

HDRI background:
Helped GoldenHour
Author: Blochi
Location: Los Angeles


10 Tips to Take Your Lighting and Compositing Demo Reel to the Next Level

So, you’ve created a masterpiece. And you’re ready for the world to marvel at the details! Creating an animation of your environment can lead to impressive results. But where do you start?  Mario Cameras shares his top tips for arch-viz animations and explains why it’s important to plan ahead to make the most of your valuable time.


Jared is an Environment Texture Artist whose work spans a variety of AAA game studios including White Moon Dreams, Bioware and, currently, Naughty Dog. Based on his experience, we thought Jared the perfect person to share some secrets on how to be successful landing an interview in this industry based on compiling an all-star portfolio. The below breakdown is packed with valuable information for all artists who are carving their dream path towards creating awesome visuals for movies, games and TV. Check it out:

I Hire Animators, This Is What I’ve Learned About Demo Reels

CG Spectrum’s Animation Department Head, Mark Pullyblank, provides some invaluable advice on what Animation Supervisors look for in a demo reel. He also gives some great tips on what to do and what NOT to do. 

  • You’re only as good as your worst piece.
  • Cut the fat. Size doesn’t matter.
  • Send it out.
  • Don’t assume you’re not qualified.

Solid Angle Learning Scenes

CG Society:

  • lighting challenges forum > mini challenge > lighting challenge > index of lighting challenge

3D Render

HDR Images: sIBL Archive

HDRI Lighting

Artist of the Month Reinier Reynhout

3dRender for Lighting Challenges and Resources

CGI & VFX: Showreels Vol.1 – YouTube

CGSOCIETY  How to make a Lighting Showreel?

Amman Akram 3D Artist & Developer

Strictly Showreels

Strictly Showreels, tag “arnold”

10 key tips for lighting and look development

TIPS TO CREATE MOVIE QUALITY ASSETS FOR YOU DEMO REEL  I honestly believe that choosing the right concept is key to the success of your work. Pick something you like and be passionate about it, because you are going to work on it for a lot of hours!


  • only your best work, judged by your worst work, below par work leave off
  • the work you want to be doing more work of
  • short, 30 sec and amazing work with an eye for design and animation
  • personal piece, done more or less on your own, could be an intro
  • edited well with every shot showing something new
  • leaving the viewer wanting more, want to go and see the portfolio
  • see something else in the portfolio that was not on the reel



Speaker: Dr Shilo T. McClean, is the Head of the UTS Animal Logic Academy and Chair of Sydney ACM Siggraph (Professional Chapter). She is the author of the books: Digital Storytelling – the narrative power of VFX in film and Digital Playing Fields – new rulz for film, art and performance.

43 sections, 21 films, 10 montages of 4 to 10 sec long usually being 3 sec, 25 years of work = 3 minutes

The show reel is what opens the door, if it is not in the showreel the conversation does not go any further.  Will always be learning including for work given to you that you do not know how to do and need to learn how to do it.  Prepare and go about the work in a way that facilitates how the work is analysed, planning, how to go about your work and learning.  Always be working on something, working to make it better and making new work. Spend time exploring, researching and finding out about what the shot, sequence and/or movie is all about, what is it that is needing to be achieved. Need to go the distance for the eye catching and detail of what you are wanting to achieve.  Show the diversity, range of ability, different styles and skill area of what you can do.

One perfectly created shot is better than one really good shot padded out with other not so good stuff, only put the beautiful shots in. What catches your eye and why.  Be brave, critical, get feedback and only the best stuff.  Sell them on what it is that you can do.  Do not need to see how you have improved, they only want to know that you are good and assume that you had to improve to be good.  Not selling ‘improving’, sell what it is that you can do, I can do this shot/work and this is the standard I can do it at, a sense of yes you are up to the job, show the technical standards of your work. Can show the elements and how you put it together, breakdowns.

How can I look at this differently?  How can I find a way to see what I want to make in a way that other people are not doing? How can I do this differently?  Dedication to learn what you want to craft as an image.

Close up is a clever way to show how technically awesome it is.  Draws you attention to the things that you want to most show off.  To show it in all its detail, show it off and not cheating like moving fast, putting it all out there to be seen.

Look at places other than were your eye is being told to go, look at what else is in the shot and everything else had to be made and put there.

What catches your eye and why?  Variety, diversity, range of different things even from the same film, different kinds of shots, editing creating narrative moments and changing energy, maintaining interest with pacing and music, length, music choice that setting the rhythm and pace.

What shots do you wish you had done and why?  Notice this and think about why, was it the lighting, the colour or the way it moved, what was in the shot that made me respond, what informs my understanding of how images work together, what is making something eye catching. what grabs me, why does this grab me, what is it about the shot that is so powerful and engaging and then want to bring this to the shot you are making. Always looking, learning and living in that approach to the world, how you walk around in the world.

How do they make you feel?  What is about them emotionally, did they make you feel anything, emotional experience you have, have an emotional connection?  Close your eyes and think of a particular shot that caught your eye.

How to Make Your Portfolio or Demo Reel Stand Out  from CG Spectrum

But, before you go and throw together a 20-minute opus beginning with your Primary School finger paintings and finishing with the 100-layer environment sketch you just finished, make sure you read through our list of tips provided by several of our mentors here at CG Spectrum.

  • MAKE YOUR REEL OR FOLIO ENTERTAINING  “What’s compelling to me is if I forget I’m watching a demo reel. I’m just being entertained.” Mark Pullyblank
  • OPEN AND CLOSE WITH A BANG  It is incredibly important to grab the viewer’s attention as early as possible with what you think is your best piece then leave a them with a lasting memory to close.
  • KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET A demo reel or folio that is concise and concentrated is not only filled with high quality content but also stands a better chance to be appreciated by the viewer.
  • BE RUTHLESS WITH YOUR OWN WORK  It always pays to look at your work objectively.
  • MAKE SURE IT’S APPLICABLE TO THE POSITION OR STUDIO  Do your research and create pieces that show off what you can do for the client.
  • SHOW WORK YOUR PROCESS  In some instances, studios and clients might ask to see how you go about creating your work. They might want to see that you have mastered the basics or that you are using techniques that they can work with.


Tram Wires Swanston Street 2017

Katrin Starke⎜Roto/Paint & Compositing Demo Reel

Sony Pictures Imageworks – Lighting Reel Tips

The Present Lighting Breakdown  Markus Kranzler1 month ago

Making OFF— VFX Breakdowns

Show Reel 2012 Cosku Turhan

Edison Compositing Reel 01/2017

CGI Animated Short Film HD: “A Fox Tale Short Film” by A Fox Tale Team

Lee Sunnyu – Lighting show reel (magnifying glass, close ups, movement, surfaces, reflections)

Billy Jang – CG Lighting Reel 2014 (movement, layers)

Ryan North – Lighting and Compositing Artist – 2014 show reel (surfaces, reflections, 7 11 falls, night lights and on sign)

Jean-Aves TEILLET – CGI VFX Showreels HD: “Shading/Lighting/Rendering Reel” (sky, glass, metal, shadows)

Damir Filipovic – CGI VFX Showreels “Lookdev & Lighting Showreel” (CU, surfaces, glass, reflections, shadows)

GROOVING – A VFS Rigging/TD demoreel by Bruno Nicko

Tim Hoffman – CGI & VFX Showreels: “Look Dev, Lighting & Texturing, Technical Director Reel” (night, paper section, spot light, volumetric)

Lighting / CG Generalist Showreel 2015  James Lojo

Animation Showreel 2014 Edwin Schaap

Ali Dixon – VFX Showreel – 2012 (reflections, windscreen, bubbles)

Sebastien Carrillo – CGI VFX Showreels HD: Lighting & Look Dev Modeling // Texturing (mix of CG and live action)

tejas tried – lighting show reel 2009-2014 (Life of Pi, bunnies Yogi Bear, Alvin)

David Luong – 2016 Lighting/Compositing/DMP Show Reel (shadows, breakdowns, candle light, particles, explosions, cloud, fog, petals, helmet, reflections, contrasting surfaces)

Antonio Fylladitis – Shading and Lighting Showreel 2016 (breakdowns, CU, glossy,  reflections, water drops)

Edu Martin – CGI VFX Showreels HD: “Lighting Reel” (glass, glossy, reflections, flame light, shadows, night, beam light)

Alessandro Cangelosi – CGI Showreel HD: “FX TD / Lighting TD Show Reel” (night, headlights, aerials, clouds, sky, surfaces)

Phillip Chang – CGI & VFX Showreels HD: “Lighting Showreel” (light credit, breakdowns, shiny surfaces, flame)

Navjit Gill Lighting & Compositing Show reel 2015 (shadows, glossy, reflections, window, glass, rubix cube)

Peter Hostyanszki – CGI VFX Showreels HD: “Lighting & Compositing Reel” (surfaces, sunset, shadows, night, water, space, cloud shadow, light flare)

Ross Novak – Animation Reel 2016

Jessy Kwon – CGI VFX Showreels HD: “Lighting / Compositing VFX: “Beetle” (surfaces, live action, door light, breakdown, set extensions) 

Graham Cunningham – CGI VFX Showreels HD: “Cinematics Lighting & Compositing Demo 2014” (CU, surfaces, space, windscreen, shadows)

Clément Gérard – CGI VFX Showreels HD: “Lighting / Generalist TD” (window, sun rays, night, city scares, explosions, volumetric, shadows)

Mark Stepanek – Lighting Show Reel – 2014 (dim light, surfaces, shadows, landscapes, train)

Alessandro Cangelosi – CGI Showreel HD: “FX TD / Lighting TD Show Reel” (night, headlights, aerials, clouds, sky, surfaces)

vfx/design reel 2012 –  Tim BorgmannPLUS3 years ago

Stephanie Cushing – 2014 Lighting/Compositing Show Reel (ice, cave, water, shadows, surfaces, night, moon)

Jesse Hildreth – VFX, Lighting Show Reel 2015 (surfaces, heat haze, water, space, dim light, shadows)

Martin Madeddu – CGI VFX Showreels HD: “Lighting\Rendering\Compositing” (faces)

Corentin Provost – CGI & VFX Showreels: “Texturing / Look Development / Lighting / Compositing” (breakdowns, shadows, light rays, models)

Georgy John Panicker – Lighting Show reel 2015 (stills)

Jean Philip – Marvel’s Ant-Man Show Reel – 3d lighting (disco lighting)

Tarek Elaydi – Lighting Show Reel 2011 (night, shadows, train, landscape, gingerbread man, rays, people)

Design Centre Enmore 3D Art and Animation (DCE3D)

3D Lighting Showreel (Demo reel) By Pankaj Adhav.


(Bind Furyl, Vancouver Film School Stephen, Keban Chauhan, Gems Cuneo?)

Disney Research Capture the Eye and PDF

DCE3D: Sam Getz. Show Reel. 2013

MACRO from Esther Lopez

Texture artist demo reel – Iaina Estrela

Demoreel 2011 (Generalist) from Billy Dao

3D Modeling Showreel By Justi Romero – CG Central HD

2011 Modeling and Lighting Reel Craig Kitzmann


Tiny Worlds

Philippe Patenaude- Character Animation Reel 2011


Jake Grygier (motion blur in the foreground, lighting), Kyle David (how pieces fit together),  Greenyer, Javier Blanco, Julie Tardiew, Dave Nolan (sun rays on water, real time render, real engine flow tick), Chritover LIvesey (shows how the models are used), Victor Hernandez (depth of field, good poses, gives a story), Corentin Provost (surfacing), Jung A Ram (what surprise next), Woman in Hanbok, Dorean Traditional Dress, Henning Sanden, Frank Tzeng (tick), Beat Reichenbach (tell a story in a shot, breakdown through window, no music, include something alive), Adrien Lambert (lights, camera), Jose Manuel Linares Lopeg, Stephan Mangin, Matthew Ladler (rigging, need good shoulders), Patrick Jordan, Push Believability, Engy’s Invention [SFM].

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