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Hardcore Reel Critiques 335 Comments


One of the most popular requests I get on the GSG Live Cast and in email is “Can you critique my reel?” or “Do you like my new site?” I love doing them and people seem to get a lot out of it, but it just doesn’t work too well in a live format. So, instead, how about we try this…?

Post a link in the comments below to your site or reel. I will pick a few per week and do a full video critique of the site and reel. Keep in mind, these critiques will be public and I will be ruthless. However it’s all in the name of getting better. I really think this will be helpful for the people who submit their reel AND others that can watch and learn by what they are doing wrong or well.

So, if you dare, drop your website or reel in the comments and you may be chosen for a hardcore reel critique.



UPDATE: Holy crap, I didn’t expect this many people to volunteer to be publicly critiqued. That’s awesome! I will probably only pick 3 or 4 for the first set, but be sure that I will revisit this list when I do more critiques. Keep em coming.

Transform
Light Kit Pro

Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

335 Comments

    • Morgan

      Never preface a critique with an apology (or negativity).Always stand behind your work.

      Reply
      • I absolutely agree. It appears amateur if you try to ‘soften the blow’. If you aren’t happy with it don’t put your name on it. Nobody is 100% happy with their work, but you should never have the first thing in the audience’s mind be that it isn’t something you are proud of.

        Reply
    • Great work man! I didn’t do a formal critique cause I was looking for reels, but great stuff in there. Keep it up!!

      Reply
  1. Ha! Good idea.
    Should talk with one of the schools here in Chicago and do like a ‘Show Reel Slapdown’ for one of the motion graphics classes.

    Reply
    • Rodney

      The website does need work, but I love your reel it has some really cool functional graphics in it. I use the word functional because the work can be used commercially and not just cool.

      Reply
      • Thanks man, yeah the website is a work in progress, it’s just a temporary thing until I stop being lazy get my new one finished. Looking into the WordPress presets, never knew what the heck it was until I looked into it recently.

        Reply
  2. Huhuhu You’re gonna be saturated with that
    if this works with a first-served policy it’s gonna be a while, lol.
    I don’t really know if i come to the point of this since i do lots of compositing work opposed to motion… but anyways…
    My Reel is here
    http://www.vimeo.com/2601451
    I’d really like to know what i’m in lack of to be able to find work abroad (I’m from Colombia-SouthAmerica)
    Thank you so much for being so available to Noobz like me.

    Reply
    • Uhm, I can only see white on your reel. Have QT pro so it should play, no?

      Reply
    • same here whiteness
      maybe you have that quicktime setting where it needs to fully load then play, gotta take that off. dunno maybe?

      Reply
    • Try a refresh? I’ve got it running. What browsers/os’s are ya’ll using? Need to do some browser testing…

      Reply
    • Very cool stuff. Specially the matchmoving stuff. In fact I submitted your video to the Michael Zechner’ Matchmoving Group on Vimeo.

      Reply
  3. Ok, here’s my site, which features my reel and other work, just got out of school a few months ago so would love to get your’s and everyone else’s critique. But be gentle. hahaha
    http://mike-moreno.com

    Reply
  4. Hmmm for some reason my comments not posting so hopefully the third time’s a charm. Here’s my site which features my reel and other work: http://mike-moreno.com
    just got out of school so would appreciate the feedback. Also if my other two comments show up for some reason just please delete them.

    Reply
    • Harry

      Hey love your website, what word press theme are you using ? I love how simple it is

      Reply
      • Sebastian Kerner

        Thats a slightly modified version of “smart portfolio” for wp.

        Reply
    • Great work. I am a big fan of the lighting in the 3D pieces. Also the Reel was the perfect length. Kept me interested the whole way through and made me want to see more.

      Reply
      • Hey thanks for the kind words. It’s good to hear someone likes your work. Now for the hardcore critiques.

        And yes I used the Smart Portfolio from Theme Forest.

        Reply
        • Jordan Taylor

          yo yimbo your work is sick, i think i could critique your work on the smart car, i love the design and concept i think the only thing is the audio, i fell like it doesn’t fit with the animation and specifically at the end when the words fly on the screen it feels out of place i think it would make it feel more finished and professional if you added some new music and/or added sound for the text flying in.

          Reply
    • Dan Lucyszyn-Hinton

      great reel overall (specifically loved the 8-bit stuff), but there was one thing I picked up on – the poker chips spot looked like you were missing a pass – very low contrast and saturation…unless that’s what you were going for. Everything else is pretty much grrreat, especially in terms of pacing and movement – smooth and watchable all the way through, and interesting camera angles too. Do you use a rig or just well-tweaked keyframes?

      Reply
    • Thanks Dan.
      You’re right about the Chips video, I’ll try to fix that.

      for the camera I use a simple rig in Cinema 4D, nothing too fancy, just a simple camera as a child of a Null Object with all the camera controls on it as User Data.

      Reply
  5. Ben Carroll

    What about just like an individual project. I don’t have a reel at the moment.

    Reply
    • That’s a really nice Flash site. Super fast, no loading and smoooooth. How much action scripting knowledge do you need to know to create something like this? Any php involved? I’d like to make mock site using these technique. Great job.

      Reply
      • Jordan Taylor

        yo that is the sickest site i have ever seen!!!!!! awesome!!!!!!

        Reply
    • Just when I think Flash sites sucked. You have a very cool flsh site there, very cool looking and without any loading time.

      Reply
  6. Great idea, can we do it again in a few months when my reels done! : )

    Reply
  7. Thanks. This is very generous of you. I’m coming from a broadcast background so I’m trying to figure out which projects would appeal towards Companies like DK and which just focus to much on broadcast. Thanks again.

    Reply
  8. Nick I respect your opinion and have been following this site for a few months now. I think the resources you offer in here are amazing and I’d like to take advantage of your reel critiquing. Don’t hold back let me know what I need to do to improve it.

    Thanks
    For reel… thanks.

    Ryan
    http://www.heshouldworkforme.com

    Reply
  9. Luciano A. Munoz

    hey, thanks, this is a great idea, hopefully u wont die trying to review every single reel…
    this is gona take looong haha, cheers buddy, and thanks again for such great contributions to everyone!!

    http://www.vimeo.com/3944812

    Reply
    • Luciano A. Munoz

      I just Updated my reel, chopped it down, added new stuff, took off old stuff and the break downs, made a small presentation.
      Now i’m watching the critiques u’ve put over, and is amazing how much u can learn from that, so keep em coming, did this before i saw critiques, but go ahead i’ll be waiting in line for some comments :D

      http://www.vimeo.com/6751405

      Reply
  10. Tell me your thoughts please.

    Here’s my most recent reel, I made it for a student project and the teacher wanted it 5 minutes long so forgive me for the length.

    2009 Reel: http://www.vimeo.com/4638020

    Also here’s another that I made last year, I was rushed and basically put this together over night. It’s really out dated but I’d like to see the difference of oppinion from this reel to the current.

    2008 Reel: http://www.vimeo.com/2511146

    Thanks guy, I think it would be easiest to read your critiques if you left the comment on the videos vimeo page, thanks again!

    Reply
  11. Just a commercial, me self taught, 2/3 years in the biz now.

    Reep eet up my friend!

    Reply
  12. See, Nick, ya dropped the ball. You could’ve quickly just totally scared everyone out of putting their reels up by making an example of someone and berated them, said something nasty about their mother, told them they suck at life, and to stop playing with Cinema 4D and to go play in traffic, etc… then you wouldn’t have seen so many volunteers!

    Just sayin! :P

    Reply
  13. Kinsey Tracy

    Thanks for doing this for everyone! I’m graduating from grad school in the spring so it would be awesome to get a crit on my demo reel before sending it out!

    http://www.vimeo.com/5464173

    Reply
  14. Critique the crap out of this please :D

    http://www.timlobes.com – Vimeo Reel

    Planning on shortening it to 1 minute, but what should I leave in/take out, what works and sucks? Please be constructively brutal!
    Thanks Nick

    Reply
    • Nice Video and good presentation. The only thing that bothers me is the use of the ballon HDRI image from greyscale gorilla. I think it’s no problem to get inspired by tutorials and adapt them but make it in your way.
      Just a thought.

      I really like the typo tracking thing! Great Job.

      Reply
    • Brandon Withrow

      Hey, i saw Not Quite Hollywood about a month ago and loved the opening motion graphics. Great work!

      Reply
    • Really nice boards dude! Good site and good work, but you could benefit from trimming some fat off your reel – make it pop. cheers.

      Reply
  15. Rickard Bengtsson

    Just a question, not sure if it fits on this post but whatever.
    What is the avrege age for people around here doing 5sec challenges, posting their reels etc?
    Are there many people like me who haven’t even started working with this kind of stuff yet or do most of you have motion graphics jobs or something. Im 17 btw.

    I was really happy with my 2008 reel but now, when I look at it I see how much I’ve evolved and learned so it’s not that great anymore.
    Gonna post my 2009 reel whenever that’s done though.

    Reply
    • I’ve been wondering the same question. I just turned 20, and I’m just starting to really get into After Effects in my free time. From just browsing through the reels, it seems to me like most people here work as freelancers and have done work for some major clients.

      Reply
    • Zerox

      I think you should leave out the tutorialmaterial – Lexus,Copilot,Aetuts…everybody knows them, try something of your own with the shown techniques.

      Reply
      • finemotionvision

        yes – you’re right. i do this as a hobby and sometimes can’t believe what you can now do at home. I get a little bit carried away by a technique i’ve been shown and just want to get it out there and show people. However, i would like to go pro one day and so took your remarks seriously. Consequently, i’ve deleted it from vimeo and already replaced the first shot. thanks for the kick up the butt.

        Reply
  16. Hi! This is my webpage http://www.brunographer.com
    I’d really appreciate the critique, this is my first reel, made up mostly of the work I made in school during my master in motion graphics. I’m 24 years old and just getting into the business and could use some good feedback… thank you!

    Reply
  17. I see that I’ve noticed this message board a bit late, but I’d still love anyone’s comments.

    I’m an architecture student with an interest in art and graphics, but am extremely new to motion graphics. I don’t have a reel but I do have a new website with my body of work.

    So no matter how fundamental a critique may seem, it is all welcome here.

    http://www.charlieable.com/

    Reply
    • Jordan Taylor

      im confused on yur reel i swaer i saw a justin timberlake music video and i know for a fact i saw LUPE FIASCO n Pharrel but i didnt see like a tv station with it or neting it was just the video and i know u didnt make it, did i miss something on there?

      Reply
      • Thanks for the look Jordan. I worked on the Lupe Fiasco and Justin Timberlake videos back in ’06. I did backgrounds on the Lupe video and paint/roto on the Timberlake video.

        Not sure how to make that clearer in the reel because I don’t have before and after shots. Any suggestions?

        Reply
        • Put a credit list along with your reel that explains what you did for each shot. That is always helpful.

          Reply
  18. Hey everyone,
    I’m an architecture student trying to get into the world of motion graphics. I only have a few animation pieces, so no reel, but I am working on building up a diverse portfolio.

    Any comments, no matter how elementary are more than welcome.

    http://www.charlieable.com

    Reply
  19. New to the whole graphic design and photography business area – didn’t go to school for it, just learned with online tutorials, so I’m seeing where it’s all at anyway…

    http://www.redsixltd.com/

    Reply
  20. Neiko

    These are some good reels here people. There is one thing I noticed a lot of people using and that’s the twitch effect in the intros or ending. Don’t get me wrong, some of you are using it very well and are even mixing it with cinema 4d stuff, but some of you are just killing the effect. You guys that are using cinema 4d with the mograph plugin are making things happen, keep it up, you make me jealous.

    Reply
  21. Jonas

    Nick, have a website.com, a blog or a simple vimeo, to the eyes of the client, it changes something when hiring?

    Reply
  22. Hey Nick,
    Can you critique my reel…just kidding, I know it sucks…

    Peace dude!

    Reply
  23. Jonas Almeida

    Great Nick!
    Can you critique my website? Its goods and its bads? I’m brazilian and my site is: http://www.jonasalmeida.com.br
    I gonna finish some more works then make a single reel, while not, just the site!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  24. Bill Heffley

    Hi Nick! i don’t have a motion reel but a DP reel. Do you critique photography reels? If so i would love to post something. thanks!!

    Reply
  25. Scorpion206

    Nick is just a dalayed guy.
    Procrastinator guy.
    We helped him, he don’t help us.

    Reply
  26. Hi Nick,

    I’d like some feedback on my reel.
    I’m a french Motion Designer and I’m in Sydney, Australia now.
    Do you my think my skills are good enough to apply for a motion designer position in Australia.

    Any feedbacks from readers are welcome.

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  27. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for your awesome work with GSG for the past months, you are doing an amazing and truely inspiring job. Keep it up…

    My Reel:
    http://www.vimeo.com/7057820

    I currently live in Dubai and have only gotten into Motion Graphics in the past 2years but I’m really starting to get the hang of it and am prepared to do what ever it takes (well almost…lol) to get to the top…

    …please feel free to rip me into pieces…
    Would be nice to have some feedback (not only from Nick…)

    Thanks

    Reply
  28. Graduated this year from SVA, but been working professionally for the past 3 years (somehow I survived full time classes and work)

    Mograph already destroyed me… LOL

    Lets see what you think!

    http://www.manuruiz.com

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • I like it a lot …
      the movement of the camera and your graphical elements is really worked out well.
      I see a unique style and i like it.
      I see that on the one side you doing motiongraphics and on the other side the film department. This two things are not going that well together in your reel. That´s the only point …
      Nice Job!
      Best
      Michael
      here my reel
      http://www.vimeo.com/5743887

      Reply
  29. Nick,
    If possible, I’d like my reel to be critqued. After watching the first couple of reel critiques, I’ve noticed some common general questions that keep coming up so, here is a background breakdown of my reel to take some guess-work out of your job:

    Reel: joelhebert.com

    My Job: In-house Art Director for a company web-based network of OTC skin care product brands. I handle all the video production for the company. The majority of the work are various scenes from webmercials over the past year.

    My Role: Did everything on the reel but sing the song in the background. Also, some of the ugly labels on the products, I had nothing to do with. Other than that, I wrote the scripts, designed, modeled, animated, etc.

    Workflow: Adobe Production Suite, Strata 3D (65% of the 3D), Cinema 4D (35%, just bought broadcast edition two months ago, can’t put it down now!), Zbrush, Mudbox, Bodypaint 3D

    Output/Rendering: Various rendering setting, screen size was all 640×360. Some of the clips were compressed to-death which is why there is a little anti-aliasing, pixelating, and banding going on.

    Song: Ace Boone “shy people”, myspace.com/aceboone

    Keep up the good tutorials man! Your teaching style is very easy-to-understand

    Reply
  30. I would love some honest feedback. Its hard to keep my reel updated all the time, but I try. If you hate it tell me. If you love it tell me. I want to know what people think. Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Here is my graduating reel!! Its been a long road and ive been fortunate enough to spend a lot of that road working in the field. Was curious since i knew you were a somewhat regular at the Ai in Chicago, how my reel stacks up. Im graduating from the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale.

    http://www.vimeo.com/8112418

    Reply
  32. Guido Wolter

    Hi Nick,

    here is my new reel for 2010 fresh out of the render queue.

    http://www.vimeo.com/8610211

    I’d be glad if you had time to take a close look at it…c’mon rip it apart already :)

    Cheers Guido

    Reply

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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.