Portfolio, Demo Reel, CV

I know this gets posted a lot, from time to time. I have done a bit of a search but haven’t gone into the depths of last-last year’s posts, and haven’t found it. So the topic gets brought up in another thread and I’ll start a new one here.

Thoughts on how a TA demo reel, portfolio should look like? What should one say, what should one show in video or in images or in long articles attached?

Why I ask this: I grew up as an art intern, then 3d artist, rigging, animation, went to programming and back to art team. At some point: “ha!” you’re the studio technical artist. And it’s been fun.

Today I have to relocate, find a new job somewhere, get my things together and start selling my fish to recruiters.

In the past, I have reviewed 2d and 3d portfolios, gave my opinions on programming things, interviewed a few people myself. I still have a hard time picturing a TA portfolio that brings up “ha! that’s cool! I want that.”.

As I’ve mentioned before, my first attempt at it was so shameful I’ll have to start it all over.

The question, then: How do you manage to explain to someone, in less than 5 minutes, that you’re an awesome, dirty-tools-programming, hands-on problem-solver TA?

tricky question indeed…, and more thoughts from other people on this subject would be awsome :slight_smile:

I think the presentation of each item in the portfolio kinda needs its own design.

  • At the moment i have a mayaToPhotoshop python script in my portfolio, and I present it in both text and a demonstration video. I think it works for that type of tool (ppl, feel free to give your oppinion about it). But when it comes to more in-depth pipeline solutions, I have no clue.

I guess the problem with a TAs portfolio vs any art portfolio is that during the same amount of time the TA has to present the problem and the solution, while the art portfolio presents a final product.

What did it for me was building scenes, and demonstrating how my tech made it possible. I had a few unreal environments where a good part of the breakdown was on the materials I wired for it. That seemed to get peoples interest in me as a tech artist

I’m actually curious if people on the boards feel like a demo reel is a requirement at all. Personally, I’d rather see videos thoughtfully presented on a website with details about what the TA’s contribution was next to each of them.

Seems like demo reels may just be a hold over from the old days. The reason it’s difficult to make them is because they’re a really poor medium for conveying the information a potential employer might actually care about. Just my two cents. I’m sure larger companies have hiring policies in place that require reels, even if they’re getting a bit dated.

This is a tough one, but!

My opinion is that demo reels are not dated, nor is the idea of them. As a TA, you need to think of a demo reel less as an animation reel and more as a quick demonstration of tools you’ve developed, pipelines developed, etc., where possible. Think of a the traditional shotlist as the place where you explain your decisions, contributions and thought processes. And, if possible, provide (or, if you don’t like that, do it on request) sample scenes with encrypted executables for your tools for your potential employer to peruse.

As a potential employer, I feel that it’s a whole lot easier to look at one video to gauge interest, but I will want more detailed followup on all the stuff in the reel. I would recommend providing a “showreel” that shows off anything that you can show visually, a shotlist for that reel, and a website that details the reel as well as other non-visual work that you are capable of. Definitely include the website on your showreel.

The thing to remember is the job market is saturated, so the more streamlined you can be up front, in order to catch someones’s eye, the better. Just provide the details downstream if the interest is there. It’s why book jackets exist :slight_smile:

Also the fact that the person who knows what the heck the tool you’re demoing actually means to their pipeline isn’t always the first guy or gal to get your application/submission. Sometimes there is that layer of recruiters/whoever you need to pass through before your stuff will even get into the hands or be seen by someone who recognizes how awesome your autoFinishTheShotWayFaster script is. :slight_smile:

Not to say that it’s easy, just that it’s still important to be able to sell yourself with the traditional goods.

I think a demo reel is still crucial to get a quick feel if the guy knows what he’s doing. Sure, there’s a lot of TA stuff that’s nebulous like setting up pipelines and workflows, but a lot of it can be measurable.

The easy stuff is shaders, since you can have shiny objects for recruiters. Rigging is always good to have under your belt, specially if it demonstrates your scripting ability, if you can change the rigging time from a day or 2 per character to a 30 seconds script with an hour of cleaning up transferred weights, you’ll be desirable, guaranteed.

Personally I like to see that you know how to fuss with weird stuff, shows that you’re a problem solver. If you set up an asset management website, or figure out how to use a different UI module inside of Maya with Python, or just general cool stuff you’re golden.

And even if you’re working more on a director level you can still show an environment that looks badass and explain how your help made them pull it off, like saying you implemented a GI rendering pipeline to bake out lightmaps, you directed the tool development that allowed the artists iterate on this level on the console. Stuff like that goes a long way, because there are a lot of talented TAs out there but few that can truly guide art, design and programming towards a common and more efficient goal. A lot of a TA’s job is making sure noone’s dropping the ball and acting as a translator between departments.

Just my 25 cents =)

1 Like

The most familiar words are Portfolio and CV even id nay poele need writing services so they do research with the keywords like best Cv writers, Cv writing services or CV help, etc. Although there are many platforms that offer services and have their business names with that word.