The purpose of having a digital showreel is more relevant for digital media such as cinematography, advertising, animations, visual effects, etc. Almost all of the references I have come across were non-photography related. As a digital photographer as well as a multimedia designer, it is the norm to have both physical and digital portfolio in the Singapore industry, to show that the one’s versatility in both mediums. The thing is not trying to be a jack of all trades, but more importantly, to show one’s versatility in both mediums. In my case, it was of how I can use a different platform to compliment another medium, photography.

References

Andrey Nikolaev’s portfolio of cinematography, CG, color grading, and a bit of directing reel.

ScanLAB Projects are the UK’s leading provider of large scale 3D scanning, capturing precise, beautiful digital replicas of buildings, landscapes, objects and events.

Showreel by Photographer & Retoucher MCGRORY was more photography related, but more focused on retouching aspects.

My showreel

So far most of the photography related showreels looked more like a powerpoint slideshow (case in point: McGrory showreel) and it didn’t look professional to me. I  was influenced by those digital media showreels and wanted to see if I could get a better outcome by marrying visual effects to photography. Hence, I started about this showreel project during the Creative Brain exercise in Year Two, in which I had stated that I would use it as the base template to work on.

For this project, the photographic images were still the main focal point and yet part of the video. I wanted to retain the same complex structure of the visual effects, as though a complex network of creativity which links all of my images together. Compared to my earlier attempt, I had more images to showcase this time and the main motive behind was to compile my best images from my assignment works into the showreel. This was a video showreel I made as part of my promotional package and I intend to put it onto video sharing website & social media platforms, and more importantly, my website.

 

The Process Challenges

Like my earlier attempts in After Effects, the visuals consists of many layers of effects. The easy part was to replace the previous image contents with my own images. I wanted to include portraitures and some still life images, this was to have the commercial appeal rather than purely landscape and cityscapes.

The difficult part, however, was to pull the scenes much longer requires more layers and to animate the camera movement seamlessly across each visual. After adjusting the camera layer around the 3D space in After Effects, I can’t immediately view the effects of one scene because the contents were too heavy to render out in real time. Instead, for every adjustment made I had to render a video out to check for camera movement issues.  Hence its a bit like trial and error where each scene may take up to full 72 hours to correct the problem; imagine how long ten scenes would take!

The next phase was to edit the video in sync with the music tempo in Premiere Pro and re-render them again as one final piece. This was the workflow which took me a full two weeks to complete the first preview. The music I used was Ryan Taubert’s “Honour” which I had bought the license to use.

 

Aftermath

I showed the finished result to people, and the majority of my classmates thought it was cool. However, some people thought the effect visuals were distracting. the camera movements at some point were a little too fast to be able to enjoy the images. to some which I agree because controlling the camera movement was pretty darn difficult.

I am happy with how much effort it took me to produce the showreel, but as I continue to strive for excellence in quality, I might change some of those images as the music was 2.5 minutes long and they don’t quite stand out a lot to keep the viewers interested. Some advice I received were that some of my older works didn’t fit well in it. As for other improvements, I might consider tweaking the colour palette to my blue and purple theme in alignment with my original self-promotional plans. In the interest of time, I would probably update this again sometime after graduation.

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