Cut a showreel

Use Adobe to create a dynamic showreel. J.J. Johnstone shows you how to prepare, produce and publish your own reel...

The showreel is a fun and interesting way to show off your portfolio; it gives a quick glimpse into your work and shows the range of your skills. A reel can also show off your personality and get potential clients or employers interested in your work. Whether you're a 3D modeller or a storyboard artist, a showreel can grab attention and attract new clients.

Studios such as Stardust, Buck and National Television wow us with new reels every year, and now freelancers like Dstrukt, Adam Gault and The Ronin have stepped up with amazing reels. It's hard to get your work out there nowadays without a showreel. The combination of fast-moving motion graphics and a good song, in a montage format, seems to be the drug of choice for studio buyers, animation headhunters and agency producers alike. Visit sites such as,, and to see a variety of showreels.

In this tutorial we'll go through all the steps for assembling a perfect reel. We start by showing you how to create the intro then work into actual edit, followed by compressing for web. Feel free to use the files included or start from scratch. No special plug-ins or new software were used for this tutorial, just Adobe Illustrator and After Effects. Once you've completed your reel, post it on to show it off to the motion graphics community.

Click here to download the support files (72.2MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free