Thanks! Most of the time, the studios only release finished shots to us; it's pretty rare that we get to do before-and-afters. An experienced vfx artist or producer will be able to evaluate skills based on a finished clip so long as the breakdowns document clearly states what the artist did on a particular shot. Really, if you look at a shot and say, "I don't get it, where are the effects?" then it's likely that the effects are pretty darn good. The stuff from Fringe is pretty obvious, but I dare say you'd never guess that there was a big blob of paint on Lady Gaga's lip in that shot in the bathtub. And the shot with the huge crowd only actually had about 30 people in it. In order to overlap the repeated groups, I had to make masks for all of the people in the back of each group.
It's surprising how many shots have visual effects in them that you'll never see. Targeted color corrections, background replacements, and rig removals are everywhere, and if they're done well, they're completely invisible to the viewer.
It's hard to believe that my reel is over a year old now. I should probably look into updating it with some more recent work, unless my current employer decides to hang onto me after the end of the project I'm on. That'd be nice. I'm not looking forward to figuring out how to present all of the stereo work I've been doing.