~ Demo Reels – The Competition and Audio

I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve spent hours looking at other artists’ demo reels and animated shorts. I also visit animation studios’ websites on a regular basis. In fact, just last week, I asked a local claymation artist if I could come and visit his studio.

I know that as an aspiring animator, I need to know what other artists are doing – not so that I can feel bad that I don’t have a demo reel polished and ready for the world to view – but so that I can see what skill level the world is expecting to see. I could easily slap together a short video of some dominos falling, or a ball bouncing; but the fact is, I’ll need to push myself to attain the polished delights that I’ve seen around the web:

Animation takes time and patience. I’ve been laying the foundation for my demo reel for many months now and one of the biggest challenges I’ve met is deciding on background music and sound effects. It’s a time-consuming task to listen to audio clips of creaks, slams, drips, and footsteps to try to find the right one that not only fits the character or object, but also contributes to the tone of the scene. In the clips I shared above, most of the artists took the time necessary to find just the right audio.

With that said, here’s something I’ve been playing around with. I animated the scene and then found some cool ambient noise and sound effects to set (what I hope comes across as) an eerie, lonely event. I’m thinking – after adjusting the scene lighting to make it more ominous and polishing it up overall – that it’ll make a cool intro to my demo reel. Take a look and see if you can distinguish between the layers of sound:

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