17 Breathtaking Visual Effects Show Reels

December 3rd, 2009

In the film and motion picture industry, nearly every major release utilizes some form of special effects. Some movies make minimal use of such effects, while others present plots and storylines that depend almost entirely on computer generated images. Examples of movies that have captivated audiences with special effects include the well-known science-fiction film The Matrix and the fantasy-based Lord of the Rings.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of 17 unbelievable and implausible visual effects “show reels” from a variety of artists and professionals, demonstrating the virtually unlimited possibilities presented by complex computer effects and animations.

Visual Effects Show Reels

The Best of the Best 2009 Autodesk Show Reel
A compilation reel of visual effects and animation work created by artists from around the world using Autodesk Media and Entertainment software.


Visual Effects Reel 2009
This reel showcases the effects work that Chris Wombold has done in RealFlow and Maya, as well as the TD work he has done. Projects worked on include Tezcatlipoca, Rock in the Road, and the Lost Sheep.


Visual Effects for Transformers; 2012; LOTR….
The official show reel of Digital Domain, a special effects company that makes computer generated images (CGI) for commercials, movies and games.


CINEMA 4D Demo Reel Siggraph 2008
On this inspiring new demo reel you’ll see some amazing animation made using CINEMA 4D. It includes award-winning visual effects and titles for well known shows such as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.


‘2012’ Trailer HD
A trailer for 2012, Roland Emmerich’s fictional disaster adventure movie with breathtaking and eye-popping special effects that made this film an amazing experience on a large screen. The stunning visual effects include mass destruction scenes, tornadoes, tidal waves, earthquake scenes, volcano scenes, a spectacular shipwreck, and the destruction of the White House — absolutely breathtaking!


VFX Demo Reel – Vancouver Film School
A demo reel created by Vancouver Film School student Gianfranco Valle through the VFS 3D Animation and Visual Effects program.


Tree of Life
A visual effects piece involving advanced green screen tracking and compositing, with integration into a 3D landscape created with VUE Infinite. The soundtrack is from the film, “The Fountain”, and really adds an extra layer of depth to the project.


Digital Domain Company Demo Reel
A mind-blowing company demo reel from Digital Domain


Visual Effects Compilation
Beautiful and disturbing visual effects compilation by Simon Hannon (iggy35). Once you start, you cant stop watching this.


RvD2: Ryan vs. Dorkman 2
For Star Wars fans — the hotly-anticipated sequel to the original YouTube phenomenon.


A Visual Effects Reel – Vancouver Film School
An effects reel created by Vancouver Film School student Drew Marwick through the VFS 3D Animation & Visual Effects program.


Nick Campbell (GreyScaleGorilla) Showreel 2008 + Selected Works
This is not just a normal showreel feature, this reel sums up the (old) works of motion designer Nick Campbell (a.k.a GreyScaleGorilla).


John Adams Visual FX
This show reel features beautiful Visual Effects from the HBO miniseries John Adams.


The FX Movie
A tribute/parody to visual effects, including references to Star Wars and Quantum Leap.


Eric Acsell VFX Reel
A wonderful visual effects showreel from Eric Acsell.


The Incredible Hulk Visual Effects Featurette
Mind-blowing visual effects from the Incredible Hulk movie


Peter Banoub 3d and VFX showreel
A beautiful compilation of visual effects.



We hope you were inspired by the creativity and talent demonstrated in this showcase of visual effects. If you know of an interesting effects showreel or similar compilation, please share it in the comments below.

Further Resources


Aquil Akhter is a web graphic designer and has been working in this field for 8 years. He also runs the blog, which focuses on free web resources and inspiration for designers and developers.


15 comments for „17 Breathtaking Visual Effects Show Reels
  1. Xpiderz on December 3rd, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Second one is great, it is a peak of visual effects and outstanding work i have ever seen!

    • Peachi on December 3rd, 2009 at 12:28 pm

      I think they’re all pretty spectacular.

  2. Cort on December 3rd, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Nice little collection.

  3. mrmunchies on December 3rd, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Got to love those special effects, they keep the movie entertaining!

  4. piyanistll on December 3rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    very nice great working thanks

  5. Ns on December 3rd, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I love ‘2012? Trailer, Superb effects till yet in movie history..

  6. shahzii on December 3rd, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Iggy35 work is really amazing, my vote for this, thanks for sharing.

  7. Jacques Alomo on December 4th, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Hi! nice selection

    you can find more great reels on the



  8. Atul - Web Designer on December 4th, 2009 at 3:10 am

    Awesome….I really like this one “CINEMA 4D Demo Reel Siggraph 2008”

    Thanks for sharing

  9. Magentoua on December 4th, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Great collection. 2012 – awesome :)

  10. smily on December 4th, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Great collection although couldnt see all reels, but 2nd one much inspired me as well as 2012 effects.

  11. webaddicty on December 4th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Cool, also check for some more cool visual effects..

  12. Franco da Rocha on December 7th, 2009 at 6:41 am

    That last one is your friend’s reel, right?
    All others are really good …
    Nice collection!

  13. firesprite on December 8th, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Here is collection from 40 showreels 2009

  14. Headcore on May 3rd, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Great stuff! I like zini. Another great showreel-Idea: