VFX Inspiration: Tips for Creating an FX Reel to Impress Recruiters

VFX Inspiration: Tips for Creating an FX Reel to Impress Recruiters

The Rookie Awards 2022 uncovered portfolios that will surely impress recruiters. In this article, we are sharing a selection of the best FX demo reels we've seen this year.

So, how do you make a killer reel and get your dream job at a studio? In this panel discussion originally broadcasted via Houdini HIVE Education Edition on YouTube, experts working in the industry give their tips for what you should (and shouldn't!) include in your VFX reel, along with advice for applying to studios.

If you are looking for some inspiration, check out these Rookie Awards 2022 FX entries as well as some timeless advice below!

A selection of work by ArtFX student Guilhem Bergon. Guilhem, won a badge of excellence for his entry to the 2022 Rookie Awards.

If you want to get noticed, post videos online. Use social networks like Instagram, Twitter, whatever. Be part of the community, and you will get visibility.

- Thomas Hullin, Head of Studio & VFX Supervisor - Rodeo FX Munich

FX Demo Reel 2022 by Tania Navarro, created as her final project for her Master's Degree in VFX and Digital Composition with Houdini and Nuke at Animum Creativity Advanced School.

This demo reel showcases the work of Hirohide Shishido during his studies at Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects. Hirohide, won a badge of excellence for his entry to the 2022 Rookie Awards.

This is a selection of personal and school projects during Pierre Legargeant's last year of studies at RUBIKA. Pierre's entry to the 2022 Rookie Awards was Highly Commended.

I would recommend to focus more on a few shots which are really polished, not putting everything in there, and having these shots at the beginning of the reel...you watch 10 or 20 reels in a row and if it doesn't catch you in the first 10 seconds or sit's a really bad shot, then you might not even watch till the end.

- Andreas Giesen, VFX Supervisor - Rise FX

FX ANIMATION Barcelona 3D & Film School student Marc Mesa, shares his latest Houdini portfolio which includes almost every part of the software. Marc was a ROTY Finalist in the Visual Effects category this year.

Two years since his first rookies entry and three since he began his 3D journey, FX ANIMATION Barcelona 3D & Film School student, Santiago Cabrera and ROTY Finalist, presents a culmination of his best work.

Axel Leparmentier shows off his FX work for "EONIA", a group project at NEW3DGE in Paris, for which he won an Excellence Award.

Don't put anything on your reel that is the result of a tutorial - the people reviewing the reels have seen them all and they recognise them instantly. Using the techniques described in a tutorial is fine - but make your own project that shows what you can do.

- Michael Goldfarb, Training Lead - SideFX

Each of Alessandro Pertile's works is inspired by something he has experienced: a journey, a photograph, scenes from movies related to the Star Wars universe...He has reworked the memories with the techniques learned at Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects and always adds his own personal touch. Alessandro earned an Excellence Award for his entry to the Visual Effects category of the Rookie Awards 2022.

Dakota Smith is a student at Gnomon studying FX, and this is a collection of a few of the projects that she has made so far which she is proudest of. Dakota was a finalist for a job opportunity in the Visual Effects category, Rookie Awards 2022.

Your Reel is about selling your capabilities as an FX Artist as well as a team player...it's good to include personal projects and group projects...

- Hudson Martins Ribeiro, Head of FX - Axis Studios Glasgow

Shivam Upadhyay shares a collection of work created over 12 months at 3Dsense Media School.

Dominik Benz, a student at PIXL VISN, shares a detailed breakdown for his demoreel project, "Fantasy Environment" for which he used Houdini for cloth simulations for the first time.

Soham Shah's career goal is to work for Pixar and Dreamworks as a FX artist and in the future open up his own studio where he can share his own vision.

Anouk Donkers is a student at Howest University of Applied Sciences - Digital Arts and Entertainment, and a technical artist. Her entry included a tool she created in Houdini that generates buildings using your own modular assets to customise any build you want.

[Beyond the demoreel] it's your attitude at work, and how much you are willing to push and learn, and to develop.

- Thomas Hullin, Head of Studio & VFX Supervisor - Rodeo FX Munich

Enjoy the full Panel Discussion here, as well as additional instructional videos on the Houdini HIVE Education Edition playlist.