Recently at the Develop Conference I was able to network with a good few studios who were present and also managed to get start talking about my work with one studio in particular.
In the next 3 weeks they wish me to put together a show reel that shows what my skills are in the unreal engine, As this is the best place I know for getting information on how to go about such things, can anyone lend some insight into how I should be presenting it?
How long should it be.
How many pieces of work.
Cinematic pass through or actual game play (I'm thinking cinematic as they are level pieces)
Like I said, I have about 3 weeks but I would love to get it done sooner (not too soon that it's rushed though)
Interesting. I haven't made one, but I have looked into this a bit as well. Given that, grain of salt n whatnot disclaimer applies...
Brevity is key, I'd imagine. Make it long enough to showcase your skill, and not one second longer. Most of the ones you can find by doing a simple 'level design demo reel' google search are between 2.5 and 5 minutes. Have your contact info/website/whatever at the bottom of the video for the whole thing. I really really hate those videos where the first 30 seconds are text intros with the name of the person and stating that the video is a demo reel... Also, the sky is blue.
How many pieces of work, depends on how many you have to choose from. Always use your strongest material, and hope that it's varied enough to not look like a 5 minute video of one type of level set.
What to show, this is probably the biggest variable. It all depends on the content that you've created. And what kind of company you're applying to. If you're just showing a DM type levelset, a cine pass through would be best. If you're showing off some script heavy work like puzzle design or combat design with enemy waves n whatnot, then actual gameplay would be better.
Thanks for the reply OhSnap, I too hate long winded intros, they can be a big turn off when viewing someone's work.
I'm currently using two levels, one is already set up with matinee for a pass through of the level and the other is a "teaser" level for a game idea I had awhile back, it involves interacting with AI and fighting enemies along with a cinematic at the end so I'l most likely be recording it's game play.
The first level is about 2 minutes in matinee, It could be cut down a little as it does stop quite a bit on parts not relevant to it's showcase, the rest of the time I'll use on the second level.
Work starts today on this show reel so I'll post back on here when it's completed
Both of your levels are pretty dark. Really, too dark, in my opinion. It wasn't as bad when I maximize the video, but when viewing a dark video surrounded by light colors (like this forum) it intensifies the contrast to your eyes and makes it seem darker.
Interesting that you seem to have gone full tilt brushes in UDK, which has not great brush tools... but anyway. You've got HUGE brushes with no variation to them. Extremely noticeable tiling effect all over the place. The sidewalks in burn out city, lots of the walls, ceilings, etc. =(
The big building in burn out city really picks at me. It's got no glass (probably style choice, given level name) but that makes the windows just look like big empty spaces, and there's sooo many, and it's repetitive, that it bothers me. Also, its like an 8 story building or something with only 4 walls... sue me, I used to be an architecture student, but that thing would never stand =/
There's 1 weird shaft of light in burn out city going across the entire map which seems too bright (can see it on top of the big building at 0:56 and the wall at 1:01) It looks like a lighting bug to me, given how dark the sky is.
For burn out city, personally, I'd have gone with... softer and more justified barriers (burned out cars, destroyed buildings, police barriers, etc). If you'd want it to emulate an actual city in destruction. A wall around the entire map is... too easy. The skybox needs more stuff if it's supposed to be an actual city.
Metro looks a bit better, but still suffers from a lot of the things burn out city does; darkness, big huge brushes that aren't broken up, etc.
The fire on the barrel that the two guys are dancing at, at 2:29, looks like it's floating above the barrel.
There are a few awkward swings of the camera in there and lots of different speeds going on. Instead of having one running track, in certain shots, you just want two keys in there and very little movement.. If you want to show off a certain area, literally have like 32 units of movement in Unreal and have it moving over like 7-8seconds and it will have a much nicer effect.. I guess my overall advice: Slow things down and give us time to take it all in! We've not spent months inside of the level like you have
Thanks WPG! See the swings are what confused me at first, I had no idea how they being created but after reading through the matinee section on UDN apparently it's to do with auto curve? Read through a few articles and it looks like I need to turn it off to get rid of them.
The speed thing I really agree with, it was hard at times to really judge how fast a shot was panning out, I'll go back into the cameras and start decreasing units crossed and such
Worked a bit more on the matinee sequence on Metro, everything is a bit slower now but nice chunks of the level are shown, this is my final release without using a 3D Modelling program and only using online resources so expect to see BSP brushes (But this was the whole point of the project)
Decided to switch to my Vimeo Plus account, Youtube was crushing the videos look with it's compression and also the video can be in embedded with HD.
Firstly, not a huge fan of the ceiling shots, if you started the camera looking up from the floor towards the AI then moved backwards that would look a bit nicer I think.
Second shot, you're moving to the right but not pointing the camera there, its almost like I want to see whats to the right so move the camera that way as you're moving instead of 'strafing'. Also, what are you show casing in this map? The billboards on the wall might be humorous to you but is this the focus of the map? I think a more subtle approach to this might be better. For example, have them in the shots, but dont shove the camera up to them saying 'look how funny these are'.
Third shot, again, possibly not the ceiling? Then how it pans down the subway steps and then moves backwards then over to the left, you're not really showing us much in these shots. So always consider what we're looking at.
That fourth shot is nice coming along the underground towards that AI but we didnt need to come down the steps then turn left..just start it from when you're already looking forward. Then when you're looking forward at the flame there no movement at all...Possibly break that shot into 2, and instead of panning over to the fire, just start it with the fire and have a little movement just panning to show the fire.
The shot from the train to the AI around the fire is nice, but that little jump just before that shot I dont think was needed. Just keep it at those two last frames.
..Thats just how I would have edited it and its more about personal creativity on this stuff so I'm not saying its right, just the way I would have like to have seen it. And since I know you I can be a little more direct Still cool work though Olly! Just trying to get the most out of your portfolio!
Seriously WPG, Any help is needed with this, this is my first major use of matinee inside UDK for a level showcase so any pointers in my camera technique is helpful.
The adverts are not really a focus at all, It was more panning across from one moving AI to an idle AI sitting guard, I might want to re-think that shot entirely.
No idea why the cameras keep getting close to the ceiling, it's driving me nuts, I'm not locking the cameras to my view and moving so I have no idea why they start or go up that high but it's something I'll try to correct again.
I'll re-work the entrance to the underground along with the fire shot, I'll use another camera for the pan from the train to the AI around the fire.
Hey, i watched your portfolio i liked it but there were a few issues to it. First of all you should of done some music to make it more intense, and second the metro by itself doesn`t seem to have a sense of atmnosphere it seems empty, if it is an abandoned metro what you can do is add some sort of rocks, or garbage to all sorts of ruined stuff in the rooms and not just the exits. Also i really really liked the fire bit, that was really cool with the particles and desctruction it looked really cool. Anyway try to add some sense to it, you can even make some flickering lights etc. Good luck !