December 18, 2008

Get Freelance Work with your online Portfolio / Demo Reel

The five FREE websites you MUST register to:

-Upload your animation demo reel here.

-Upload designs and sketches here, and embed your demo reel from YouTube. This website will be what you can show to employers and clients to give them an immediate sample of your art and animation.

Linked In
-Build you resume here, start making connections with friends and past employers to stay in contact with potential work, place the link to this profile on to your blog.

-The top freelance animation/illustration newsgroup, make a living searching for and bidding on contracts and projects during your spare time or as a full time job. Click on the 'Freelancers' tab and get registered, display samples of your work by showing clients your blog which showcases your artwork, a link to your demo reel, and has your detailed resume.

-The fastest and easiest way for a client to safely pay you directly to your banking account with just an e-mail address.

Go to each one of these sites and create a new account (if you haven't already).
Try to keep the same e-mail, username, password for all of them, so do you don't forget how to log in later.

Put together a 2-3 minute showreel.
Show you're best stuff FIRST, your second best stuff last, and everything else in between.
Place your name and e-mail at the start and end.
Emphasize your strengths, make sure your demo reel is relevant to the job you want. If you're applying as a character animator don't send your YouTube reel that has all your compositing work. Focus on your strengths, if you are not good at modeling, get stock models and concentrate on animation. If you're strength is 3D character design, don't show off your mediocre animation skills, show the stages and process of your modeling skills.
For character animation, show how you can do lip sync and exaggerated character acting.
Show some variety, Flash symbol animation, classical animation, Toonboom, and/or 3D clips. If you only have tests and exercises in traditional animation or just Maya, that's fine, show only the best stuff. A one minute reel with good character acting is better than 4 minutes of all the stuff you've ever done.
Show you can display emotions with subtle facial animation and strong acting principles ... it's all in the eyes.
Show diversity with different design styles.
Don't have a slideshow of your figure drawings.
Don't do a chronological work history.
Don't include work in progress.
Don't ask for feedback.
Don't include early tests and tutorials.
Remember, your employer sees a lot of demo reels, keep it moving, learn to trim and cut your shots tightly.
Only do a slide show of artwork if you are tailoring a demo reel to showcase design and paint work for an employer. Fine art, BG color keys, character color models are fine, but a simple blog could showcase these images in a better way than a low resolution video clip.

More Character Animation Demo Tips:

Tutorial for rendering for YouTube with Adobe Premiere CS3:

How to embed your YouTube Demo Reel into your blog:

Best formats that YouTube accepts:
* Video Format: H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 preferred
* Aspect Ratio: Native aspect ratio without letterboxing (examples: 4:3, 16:9)
* Resolution: 640x360 (16:9) or 720x486 (4:3)
* Audio Format: MP3 or AAC preferred
* Frames per second: 30
* Maximum length: 10 minutes
* Maximum file size: 1 GB

If you're rendering from Flash to YouTube, here's some suggestions ...

Render Flash file from PC (3 Options):
No Quicktime Options.
- Use AVI, raise the Quality to as high as you can go
(the file will be HUGE so watch out), test it,
it may have glitches in the render.
- Use Image Sequence
(PNG, TGA, PIC) Quality is perfectly preserved and
the dimensions rendered are usually quite large.
Import all the images as a batch in a video editing software
like After Effects to re-render as a Quicktime.
- Use SWF format
Enables a fast and easy render, small file (no audio),
limited range of render size, allows for a fast and simple
upload to an After Effects timeline to be rasterized and

Render Flash file from Mac (2 Options):
- Quicktime Video - Animation Compression (high)
render size is unlimited, quality is the best.
Re-render through Quicktime Pro
H264 - 2000 kb/s - 1000 keyframes - Same dimensions,
So that ANY video player (on any other computer) can read the file.
- Use Image Sequence
(PNG, JPG, PIC) Quality is perfectly preserved and
the dimensions rendered out are at any size you wish.
It will have to be imported, compiled and re-rendered through After Effects or any video editing software that can batch import sequential images and re-export at the correct frame rate.

Fill out all the info on your profile, this is your new online digital resume, you can be as detailed as you want, get past employers, co-workers or instructors to recommend you.

Start uploading your figure drawings, rough character models, polished/colored character and background designs, and any other sketches, paintings, prop designs, concept art, and illustrations.
Categorize them, organize them, play with the settings and the look of your blog. This is the simplest and easiest way to show an employer your art style and designs online.
Add a link in the sidebar to your LinkedIn profile (showing your work history and specialties).
Now add in your YouTube demo reel. Copy paste the embed code into a new post and BAM! You're done.

How to embed your YouTube Demo Reel into your blog:

Tips on customizing your blog:

Now you are ready to e-mail a single link ( to any potential employer via e-mail, and that site will have samples of your work, a point-and-click demo reel and a link to your resume.
Update all four accounts as you get jobs completed, it builds experience and can keep you busy while you find a more full-time and long-term contract in a studio or through online clients/employers.

Sign up for an account through paypal, it sometimes takes a few days or even weeks to register since the company must go through the process to ensure you are actually who you say you are and to varify your information. Once it's complete and all setup, you can request getting paid directly through paypal for any freelance job.

There's many freelance-oriented websites for graphic designers, illustrators, CG artists and animation artists of all types. Guru is just one of many. If you are a photographer, a account may be all you need to showcase samples of your work online. Search on Guru for work in your chosen field, comb through all the sub-categories and find clients that have jobs for the skills you have. Comic book coloring, designs for an animated commercial, storyboards for a music video, logos for an advertising firm, Photoshop effects for some web graphics, 3D models for an online game, the list is endless. Once you have a few successful projects completed your reputation builds up as a reliable source of art or animation.

Once registerd you will get daily e-mails displaying recent job requests from new posts made in your chosen field and categories.

Tip #1: Look at the Employer’s statistics.
Review the Employer’s statistics to learn about his / her history.
Does the Employer have the highest available feedback rating, 5-stars,
from other Freelancers?
How much money has the Employer paid to other Freelancers?
How many invoices has the Employer paid to other Freelancers?
How many outstanding invoices does the Employer have?
Employers with zero outstanding invoices pay their Freelancers on time

Tip #2: Don’t begin work without a Project Award.
An Employer may say you have the project, but unless you receive a
Project Award you have not officially been granted the work on Ask an Employer to send you a Project Award in order to:
Improve your Customer Acquisition Rate (CAR) and ultimately your
Rank in the search results. You must be awarded a project and paid
for it through the SafePay system for it to count toward your
CAR. Obtain the necessary information to bill the Employer through
SafePay Invoicing or SafePay Escrow. Reduce the risk of not being
paid for the work you have done.

Tip #3: Upload an Online Project Agreement.
A Project Agreement allows both parties to identify and agree on their
expectations for the project. Taking the time to outline the basic Project
Agreement greatly reduces the potential for disputes. Learn how to
upload an online Project Agreement:

The online Project Agreement form allows you to:
Upload a comprehensive Project Plan document (.doc, .txt, etc.) that
defines your project’s details, scope, and payment terms. Create your
Project Plan offline with your Employer and upload it to the Project
Agreement area once it’s complete.

List short Project Milestones —
enter delivery (due) dates and payment amounts to help both you and
your Employer follow a project timeline.

Upload Change Orders to the original Project Plan and Project
Milestones as needed.
Tip #4: Use SafePay Escrow. Avoid Unpaid Invoices.
If you’re about to work with a new Employer, SafePay Escrow can
lower your risk. With SafePay Escrow, you can request that your
Employer deposit 100% of the payment upfront before beginning to work
on the project. This upfront investment shows that an Employer to show
you that he or she is serious about getting the project done.

The Employer deposits the funds in a neutral Escrow account. When the
project is completed and delivered in accordance with your online Project
Agreement, the Employer releases the funds to you.

If a dispute occurs during the project, will mediate the dispute.
If a satisfactory agreement cannot be met through mediation, an
arbitrator will review the case and award the escrowed funds accordingly.

More SafePay Information:
How to identify and avoid fraudulent employers:
Alternative document for showcasing your goodies on the web - ArtDojo's Getting Online Free & Simple:

In my opinion this is the easiest way to apply to studios for contract work or to clients for freelance work. Whether you're applying for a job to the company's HR person, producer, director, production manager, recruiting officer, or publisher. No hassle, no DVDs, and no big clumsy expensive printed booklets need to be made.

Send your web address to the e-mail of the person hiring, now it's in their hands, point-and-click easy to use.

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