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How Long Should a Computer Animation Demo Reel Be?


Question: How Long Should a Computer Animation Demo Reel Be?
You've produced hours of animation; how much of your best work should you cull out to present in condensed format? A minute? An hour? Half an hour?
Answer: There really is no easy way to choose the length of an animation demo reel, but the simplest answer is: short. Commonly demo reels range from 1-3 minutes, but can be as short as 30-second teasers or as long as 5-minute detailed samples.

Some prepare multiple demo reels of different lengths; a shorter reel can work as a hook, with the longer reel kept as a secondary resource should a potential employer or client ask for more samples of an animator's work. At times you may have to custom-tailor your reel to the specific length requirements of a situation.

If your demo reel is two seconds over or four seconds under an exact length, it's really nothing to worry about. What matters most is creating a short, punchy sample that demonstrates your best work and showcases your talents effectively. Creating a demo reel can be a good exercise in self-editing, but can also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as you evaluate what does or does not present your skills in the best light.

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