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8 Ways To Create A Professional Animation Portfolio

ben marvazi 2020

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The key to succeeding as an animator is to make a killer animation portfolio that draws the attention of potential animation clients and employers.

When you’re looking to pursue your career as an animator, you need to find a way to portray your animation work to show future animation clients or employers your capabilities and potential.

The best way to do this is by creating an animation portfolio that truly depicts what you can provide by showcasing your best work. Creating the perfect animation portfolio takes a lot of time and effort, but once you put it together, it can be used in many ways to further your animation career.

A great animation portfolio is dynamic and contains both visual and written proof of your career. In this blog post, we’ll cover the importance of creating an animation portfolio, as well as how to make one that captivates potential animation clients and businesses.

The Importance of an Animation Portfolio

a woman shouting "its important" when talking about an animators portfolio

GIF by Hey Arnold via GIPHY 

If you’re looking to branch out in your career an animation portfolio is crucial. This animation portfolio can be valuable for many different uses. Anyone in the animation industry can use an animation portfolio to highlight previous work, so they can grow their animation career.

When you’re job hunting in the animation industry, you need to have an up-to-date animation portfolio that shows off your best work. Finding animation work effectively can be challenging, so creating a well-planned animation portfolio can benefit you throughout this tedious process.  

It shows potential animation employers and businesses your skills and what you’re capable of as an animator. You stand out from your competition, especially if you learn how to build a proper animation portfolio that is unique and enticing.

Employers want to see past work that you’ve done, and they want to know that you have what it takes for the job.

Are you looking for animation clients to work with? As an animation business, creating an animation portfolio that showcases all of your best work can help you to convince valuable animation clients to use your services.

You should use your business website as an animation portfolio that portrays who you are and the various forms of work you can produce. Showing potential clients your past work helps them to build trust in you, as they're able to see that you’re capable of producing the work they want.

Social Proof

a job interviewer looking at who you've worked with in the past for animation

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

When potential clients see the past work you’ve done, as well as the satisfaction of your past clients, it may make them more comfortable and convinced to hire you. In the animation industry, experience and proof of work can often be a lot more valuable than the degrees you have.

This depends on the job you apply for, but most job opportunities require you to have examples of your work. This animation portfolio can portray your true skills and abilities to animate, and without it, potential employers are unable to see what you’re capable of. 

As an animation business, how you portray yourself through your portfolio, can make a difference between gaining many potential clients or uninterested clients. With something as visual and creative as animation, what you show potential clients is important. 

If they see what they like, you’ll find yourself fully booked, but if there’s no content available for them to review, how could they be sure you’re the best to work with?

Whether you’re an animator, or you own an animation business, you’re going to be faced with challenges in this industry. Many enthusiastic animators are looking for jobs. This can make it highly competitive and challenging to score your preferable job.

You may find many animation businesses offering similar services and you don’t know how you can stand out from them.

This is where your animation portfolio comes into play, as it can be the determining factor that makes you the chosen one out of your competition or the rejected option that doesn’t get a second look.

If you’re looking for more tips that will help you to find work successfully in the animation industry, you can consider our animation accelerator program

The Requirements of an Animation Portfolio

a man saying "moder problems require modern solutions" showing how animation portfolios can be made today

GIF by Moodman via GIPHY 

An animation portfolio is relatively simple to make, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. You can either make an animation portfolio that only covers all of the basic requirements, or you could work on making a portfolio that stands out from the rest.

If you’re learning how to make an animation from scratch, you should ensure your animation portfolio has the basic requirements it needs to be successful.

These are some basic animation portfolio requirements you should take into consideration when you’re creating your animation portfolio.

1. Make an Online Animation Website

an animator making an animation website

Photo by Burst from Pexels

Most jobs or potential clients want to see an online animation portfolio that they can have direct access to. This makes an online animation portfolio effective and valuable.

Your animation portfolio must be hosted on a website. If you feel inexperienced at making websites, you can hire someone to build your website. They can help you build a website with a responsive design that can make your animation portfolio stand out. 

Creating an animation website can benefit you whether you’re an independent animator or an animation business. You want to ensure that you make a user-friendly website where people can find your animation work and experience.  

2. A Demo Reel

On your website, you’ll need to post a demo reel. This is a short video that showcases your animation work. You want to ensure that you have more than one style of animation in the demo reel to showcase in your animation portfolio. This can show your versatility and skill as an animator.

When you create a demo reel, you need to ensure that you display your best work as an animator. This is arguably the most important part of your animation portfolio, as it accurately displays your quality of work as an animator.


an illustration on the online portfolio of an animator

Including illustrations in your animation portfolio helps you to show a wider variety of work. This can showcase your skills and what you’re able to accomplish as an animator. You can include the types of art styles you specialize in such as life, animal, object, and character drawings.

In your animation portfolio, you’re able to express what your different skills are as an animator. You can show potential animation clients and employers that you’re able to do proper research and translate content into an animation

3. 2D and 3D Animation Portfolio

Including both 2D and 3D animation in your portfolio helps you to show variety. You may specialize in either 2D or 3D animation, but you should consider opening yourself up to more opportunities. 

It would be valuable to learn 2D and 3D animation, as it helps you to expand your reach as an animator.

Making an animation portfolio with a combination of 2D and 3D animation gives you a wider variety of job options. It can increase your chances of finding work when you add demo reels and drawings that showcase both your 2D and 3D animation skills.

4. Following General Requirements

Checking the requirements for the jobs you’re interested in is important, as this can help you to make an animation portfolio that appeals to potential animation clients. Every job has its own requirements that they expect from you before they consider hiring you.

This makes it important for you to consider their requirements, so you can adapt your portfolio for them. By fulfilling their requirements, you increase your chances of getting hired. 

To make a well-rounded portfolio that is suitable for the type of animation jobs you’re applying for. Take a look at the requirements for various jobs in your chosen field, and work on incorporating them into your animation portfolio.

Animation Portfolio Tips for Success

a man cheering as he finds success with his online animation portfolio

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

We’ve established that animation portfolios can be easy to make, but it’s the content, add-ons, and display that can turn something regular, into something valuable and life-changing for your career.

If you want to maximize your chances of finding success in your animation career, you need to go the extra mile with your animation portfolio. You may understand the basics of creating an animation portfolio, but you don’t know how to go about physically making a successful animation portfolio.

Your showreel, also known as a demo reel, can be the most important part of your animation portfolio, as it showcases your skill and experience. When you make a demo reel you want to ensure it showcases your best work and personality

You can host your demo reels on Vimeo or Youtube, as they can both be free platforms where the public can view your work.

When creating videos for your animation portfolio, you should include different types of video content that potential animation clients may find beneficial for their business.  

Learning how to build a website and where to host your animation portfolio is also important. You want to ensure that you’re using something reliable and user-friendly.

Remember that the quality of your website determines how professional it is. You should aim to make an animation portfolio website that shows you mean business!

Any website hosting platform will require a payment that isn’t too expensive. This small investment is worth it, as it’ll be what you need to find your place in your career. Some websites that are great for hosting your animation portfolio include the following:

These are some additional tips you should take into consideration when you’re making your animation portfolio:

5. Keep It Relevant

You don’t want your potential employers or animation clients to see your old, irrelevant work. The best way to keep your animation portfolio relevant is by constantly adding new work and removing old reels that don’t fit in anymore.

6. Learn How to Share Your Portfolio

When you’ve completed your animation portfolio, you want to discover ways you can get it out there.

Some job applications will ask you to provide a link, but if not, you can add the link to your portfolio on your CV, so they’re able to check it out themselves. You should also add your portfolio link to platforms such as LinkedIn.

7. Showcases Your Animation Style

As an animator having a personal animation style is valuable as it helps you to build a brand and display authenticity. When you’re creating your animation portfolio, ensure that the work you put on your website showcases a clear animation style. 

8. Add a Personal Touch

Your animation portfolio is not just a website filled with your work, as it’s also a platform that can be used to explain who you are and why you are an animator. Telling your story gives people a better, more personal perspective of you. 

When adding your personal touch, you can decide to write an introduction story that explains your journey as an animator.

A simple introduction can help potential clients learn so much about you. Don’t forget to add your details, so potential animation clients and employers know how to get in contact with you! 

Examples of Animation Portfolios

a man looks into the camera saying "examples?" as you ask for animation portfolio examples

GIF by Pulp Fiction via GIPHY 

To get a better idea of what a professional animation portfolio looks like, you should look at animation portfolio examples. These are a few examples of different animation portfolios to try out.

The following example of an animation portfolio belongs to Rafael Varona.

What’s great about this animation portfolio is that it shows visitors his motion graphics as soon as they visit his homepage. This will pique their interest, making them want to explore more of your animation portfolio.

an animated gif of Rafael Varona's website for animation, illustration, and art direction

Although motion pictures are a great way to intrigue potential animation clients, you can also showcase your illustrations, if this is what you’re more skilled at. Show a variety of your work like Hannah Jacobs has done in her animation portfolio.

an example of an animation portfolio from hannah jacobs showing off her illustrations

When you’re creating an animation portfolio, you want to ensure that you’re sticking to a niche. Finding your niche as an animator is crucial, as it shows potential clients and employers what they can expect from you.

You need to keep your niche in mind when making your animation portfolio as Yulia Ruditskayd did in her portfolio.

example of an animation portfolio from Yulia Ruditskayd and their animation niche

After learning everything you need for your animation portfolio, making a checklist can remind you of everything you need to incorporate in one small package. This is an example of a checklist you can make for yourself:

  • Have I made a website for my animation portfolio?
  • What requirements do jobs want to see in my animation portfolio?
  • Do I have a variety of demo reels in my portfolio that showcase my skills and abilities best?
  • Is my animation portfolio easily accessible to everyone?

After you’ve made a more detailed checklist for yourself, you’re able to make a well-thought-out animation portfolio that helps you to grow a successful animation career.

The Secret to Making a Portfolio for Animation

An animation portfolio may be just what you need to integrate yourself into the animation community. It can be extremely challenging to score a job without having a valuable animation portfolio that shows your true skills and capabilities as an animator.

All you need to remember when making your animation portfolio is that you must incorporate all of the basic requirements, as well as remember that the attention is in the detail.

You want to make an animation portfolio that truly stands out from the rest and makes potential animation clients and employers excited to work with you.

If you’re looking to grow your animation career further, we suggest that you watch our free masterclass and download a copy of our free marketing handbook!

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