Nathan Thomas - Reel Review

-Nathan Thomas
-Reel Review

Review :

It's a nice demoreel! There is some solid work on there, and you show experience of different styles of animation.
Nothing stands out as being bad and so doesn't bring down the impact of other shots.

Some thoughts:

-The first shot of the woman is looking good, some nice facial shapes and strong posing. I think there is room for the realisation to show in her face after she says "...bald gangly!", try and show her expression change before she pulls back - maybe widen the eyes, raise the brows a bit, show that she is shocked at what she has said because she thinks of herself as a "nice person".

-What did you do in the car shootout game clips? Did you animate everything by hand, including the cars and all human characters? Or is it cleaned up mocap? Did you animate the cameras? I think it's a valid choice of work and is evidence that you can work in this style, but just make it clear what part you played in it's creation.

-If you were looking to edit the reel a bit you could do without the 'running and hitting the tree' shot, and the guy being chased by the big monster. The second one especially suffers from a lack of weight in the motion.

-Anim Dailies

Ankit Gokani - Demoreel

-Ankit Gokani


For a first showreel I think you've made a great start. Its a good choice of dialogue to engage the viewer and to create colourful contrasting characters, and I like your simple setup and staging. I also think you're hitting all the right beats, and the acting choice for the screen left guy is pretty good, he's doing all the right things.

Things you could improve are:

(1) Screen right guy's acting choices:
(A) I think you could make this scenario more entertaining and clearer by having stronger acting choices. The screen right character could start by looking really happy with himself, perhaps cocky even, and is trying to show off and even disturb the screen left guy, who is clearly minding his own business.
(B) There's a laugh in the audio at the start which is missing in his performance.
(C) There's a pause between getting his friend's attention and "great plus" which is an opportunity to both nod at the key fob to draw the viewers' eye and also show that he think's its impressive. This would make a nice contrast in the final shot where he's completely deflated.

(2) Adding polish: there's a few spots where the animation feels a little clunky and could be smoother. Check the arcs and spacing controls, particularly on the hips and hand.

(3) Sound seems offset to the visuals, might be a problem with the way its uploaded.

Bonus Review :

I know you only asked for feedback on the first shot, but its great to see your cycle work added to the reel and thought you might like some feedback there too. Cycles demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the structure, weight and balance of a character.

Things to improve on the cycles are:

1) The girls hips tilt in the opposite way to what I'd expect. As she places her weight on a foot, that foot should support the weight of the entire body, so her hips should then tilt down on the other side as the other leg is lifted. As a result of this, the spine would arc to counter this weight in the opposite direction to what you have, so she stays balanced.

The hands are a bit late. Each hand should lead the opposite foot forward (They also act as a counter balance). Try walking around and noticing whats happening as you do it. Even better, film yourself doing it, and play it back!

2) Its great to see a horse trot cycle. First of all (looking front on) i would bring all four feet in toward the center of the horse for a more natural pose. I wouldn't lift the front feet quite so high compared with the back feet. Look carefully at Muybridge examples. Muybridge is a great source of animal and human motion reference for animators

Try to make the hip and chest motion less clicky. We want to feel the natural weight and bounce. And offset the front and back by a frame or two, taking care to keep the impact on the foot fall. At some point we'll post some motion curve examples for good hip and chest weight.

The head and neck will also benefit from feeling the impact of the front feet with some follow through.

3) A good rotary gallop with weight is challenging, so congratulations on giving it a go and putting this one forward..

I would look closely at the posing here. The front and back feet feel squashed at times. The ankles going into the thighs etc. Look online for some good (slow motion) cheetah running reference.

Also the chest and hips don't feel like they are bouncing from the impacts of the feet. In fact i don't feel much weight in this cycle. Look at the timing of this, and try to achieve the kind of rolling wave motion that you get through the spine of a cheetah. You want to feel the body is springing the cheetah forward with each push off from the back feet.

Its a good starting point though, well done!

4) The man jumping up to the bar needs a fluid swinging motion. Try key posing him at the extreme of the swing, back and forth, than play with the timing of those key poses off-setting feet to get the kind of swing you want, adding a more emotive straining leg motion if you want him to struggle at the end.

The timing of his look up to the bar at the start feels quite sharp and late. Make him look up a touch earlier so he has more time to see it before jumping. Think again about his motivation. If hes feeling very sure of him self at the start, he could do something to communicate that as well as the hand rub, like nodding for example.

-Anim Dailies