Dos and don’ts for creating a motion design portfolio

Tobias van Schneider
3 min readSep 29, 2022

For an animator or motion designer, a portfolio is a must.

You can’t send a PDF or Dropbox link of videos to a potential employer. They need to see them in action — in an environment where you control the quality, timing and presentation of every piece.

Carbonmade is made for animation & motion work. Here’s how to make a portfolio that moves your audience:

❌ DON’T embed videos from external platforms

Your portfolio is about you — why have YouTube’s logo all over it? External embeds from somewhere like YouTube or Vimeo look cluttered, clunky and spammy on a website. Plus, they can be taken down from YouTube at any moment for licensing or other reasons, leaving you with an empty site.

✅ DO upload high-res videos to your site

In Carbonmade, you can drag & drop video files from your computer straight into your portfolio. We support 4k video, meaning your videos will be as fast, crisp and liquid smooth. And with auto-play, looping videos and customizable player controls, it’s going to look 10x better than those clunky video embeds.

PRO TIP: If you want to call attention to specific parts of a scene, cut the video or trailer into auto-playing GIFs. Take us through the story GIF by GIF, pointing out details with short captions.

❌ DON’T leave anything to guesswork

The video looks great, but where was it used? What was the goal of the campaign? What restrictions were you working within?

✅ DO set the scene in short case studies

This is your chance to show off: What should we know to fully appreciate the visuals we’re about to see? What special details would we miss if you didn’t point them out?

Set the scene with a short description of the project, your goals, and how you contributed (you can use the Description & Info block in Carbonmade for that). Then, using the Experience & Details block, list the client name, platform, results and any other important context for the project.

❌ DON’T settle for a portfolio template

Templates limit your possibilities and make it harder for your site to evolve. If you want to update your design or change your layout, you need to start from scratch with a new template. Which means most portfolios fall by the wayside and look dated quickly.

That’s not the case with Carbonmade.

✅ DO use Carbonmade to build a site that evolves with you

In Carbonmade you build your site with blocks, meaning it takes minutes to switch up your site anytime you want. No templates locking you in, no daunting redesigns.

Not feeling your homepage? Just change your portfolio grid style, or swap out your navigation. Sick of your site colors or typography? Update them in seconds.

All visuals here were created by Aran Quinn. You can see his full portfolio here, made with Carbonmade.