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Splinedoctors on Demo reels…. ouch ;-)

Posted on August 18, 2009  4 Comments
Filed under Animation, Animation Mentor

As a confirmation of what has been said by one of Pixar senior HR staff in Annecy, here is what Pixar artists have to say about demo reels.

I must admit that I still don’t know what to think about the 4th bullet point:

“4) Don’t use those free Internet models. I cant tell you how many times we see the same 4 or five models. Yes, we know its hard to rig and find a good model to animate, but seeing the same rig for all these years is getting old. If you are gonna use a free rig, alter it so much so that you cant tell that its the norman rig or the animation mentor rig.Using the stock rig is just boring.”

Do they expect people to learn how to rig? I don’t have any problem with technical stuff like rigging or modeling but I am not sure everyone is really inclined towards that stuff so how much customization do they think is necessary when using “stock rigs”? Do they have any successful example?


4 Responses to “Splinedoctors on Demo reels…. ouch ;-)”

  1. Henk on August 18th, 2009 13:06

    Hey Olivier,

    Plenty solutions for that. Create a blendshape to modify the nose. Create large ears for old characters. Add some good textures, eyelashes, Glasses and hair, a bit more extensive clothing. That should add up to a nicely “disguised” rig.

    AM showed some of this in their reel and its easily improved upon without really rigging your own character completely.

  2. Carla Prada on August 18th, 2009 22:46

    Hi Olive! Good post! They raised some interesting issues in that article. That’s a tough call about the stock rigs. I can understand their point but honestly I think solid stellar animation will shine through no matter what the rig is.
    I don’t want to name the studios :) but I have seen straight to DVD clips of second enstallment movies using the rigs from the cinema release and you can tell right away that the animation was not strong. The difference between the first cinema movie and the straight to DVD release is quite amazing actually. The cool character design and rig did not help disguise the lower quality of the animation.
    It happens in 2d as well, eg. Tarzan cinema release versus Tarzan dvd. Same characters but… In my opinion it’s all about the animation, it has to be rock solid!

  3. Olivier Ladeuix on August 21st, 2009 03:45

    hey guys, the talk we have had with the senior Pixar HR person was really dramatic but looking back, I still remember them hiring an AM student who had a customised version of Bishop and a plain version of Stewie on his reel.

  4. Ismini on August 24th, 2009 08:18


    I’m afraid it’s not only them, even here at Spider Eye that were looking for an animator a while back my boss kept saying how sick he was of seeing all those reels with animation mentor rigs!!

    Hope you’re good btw!!!


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