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How To: Reels

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

ShowReel / Demo Reel

What is a Demo/ Show Reel?

A reel is a video compilation of a media artist’s best works to showcase their skills and design style.

ShowReel vs Demo Reel

These differ based on the content of the compilation.

Showreels focus on production work, software exposure done in films, tv, or the gaming industry. Demo reels are videos of the artworks that demonstrate the technicality, skills, and abilities of the individual artists. Most digital/media arts and studios will have a demo or showreel of some sort. [2]

How to make a demo reel?

1. Gather your materials

Render out or screen record each of your works. Consider a theme or a

storytelling element.

This is about you. This is highlighting your work. [3]

2. Use software or an app that allows for video editing

Use any video editing software such as Adobe Premiere or After Effects etc. You

can even use phone apps, such as InShot or Quik.

3. Identify your strongest works

As a general rule, the BEST WORK should go first. This is your hook. The

moment to captivate your viewer. End the reel with your fourth or fifth strongest

piece. Finish with a bang.

4. Always add a title card and an end card.

A title card introduces yourself. Your Name, Type of Reel and year, the type of

artist you are or your Role [1], and a website or contact.

Example: DEMO REEL 2021, John Doe, Interactive Artist,

You can use the title card as your end card as well.

5. The Lower Thirds

When dealing with multi-media artworks, consider using the lower thirds to

define the specifications for the project or the role you participated in.

Example: Project Name, Software used - or - Project Name, Role

Reactive Particles, Touch Designer - or- Reactive Particles, Visualization Director

6. Keep it Short

A reel should be no more than 90 seconds[4]. Many reels are about 20-30

seconds. Consider this as a commercial for your artwork. [1]

7. Music/ Audio

Music can be distracting. It is not necessary to add music to your reel unless it is

required. For example, if there was voice acting that should be showcased. If

you do add music consider the rhythm of the music and cut to the music. [1]

Again, consider the theme or storytelling.

8. Rendering

Once you have completed your reel. Be ready to render it. Consider video

formats (where will this be viewed) mp4, mov, avi are notable formats. [1]


Don’t add fancy transitions or unnecessary animations. The work should stand on its own. Consider this a presentation of your collective work.

Video- What makes a Great Demo Reel?

10 Tips for Cutting Better ShowReels

Example of Reels:

Touch Designer Demo Reel - Reda Radi

Demo Reels from Industry Professionals:

Laura Barbera - CG Animation Director

Mauro Maressa - Traditional Animation - Disney

Tim Jones - Senior Game Animator + Modeler

Justin C. Harder - ClausStudios - Motion Design

ShowReels from Studios:

The Third Floor

MPC Film


Brand New School

Work Cited

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