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Pixel Lab Blog

An Interview I did with Toolfarm

I was recently interviewed on Toolfarm’s blog and newsletter. If you’re interested, here it is!

What is your background, are you self-taught or did you receive formal training for 3D design? Do you have any influences or mentors, or favorite artists and designers?

My background is actually in video production. I have a Video Production BA from Cedarville University. My background in video definitely has helped me with motion design and being able to tell a good story. The narrative aspect of motion graphics is so important and is sometimes overlooked in favor of flashy graphics. Having that background in fundamental storytelling has been invaluable. Towards the end of my college years I started to dabble in After Effects and really fell in love with it. I remember the first tutorial I watched was Andrew Kramer showing z-depth and parallax effects, and it was a whole new world that started to consume me. I essentially am self-taught when it comes to motion graphics. Out of college I spent a few years learning on my own before transitioning from a video editing job to a motion design job. People who have helped me on my journey are Tim Clapham, Rob Redman, Robert Leger, Nick Campbell, John Dickinson, Andrew Kramer, Aharon Rabinowitz and Maltaannon. I consider all of these to be legends in my field, and I’m very grateful for all the resources, knowledge and time they have shared with me and our community!

How did you decide on Cinema 4D as your program of choice, and what was your learning process?

Six or seven years ago it was very obvious that including 3D elements into my motion design was no longer a novelty, but a required skill if I was serious about motion design. It was a pretty tangible moment of realization that After Effects chops were not enough to keep me relevant. I spent some time researching different 3D packages and talked to a lot of studios and found that the up and coming star of motion design was Cinema 4D. I took a gamble and bought it, since I thought the trend to C4D was permanent. Years later I’m incredibly thankful I made that choice. Other 3D packages are fantastic for certain niches in VFX etc. For motion design, though, C4D is hard to beat and is trending as the top dog. I spent quite a bit of time going through online courses such as Lynda.com, and then watched all the online tutorials I could find. There weren’t nearly as many back then, but I learned a lot from greyscalegorilla.com, pariahstudios.co.uk, robertleger.net and c4dcafe.com. I’m a visual learner, so video tutorials, and lots of them, were the ticket to gaining a strong understanding of the program.

Do you have any advice can you give to people starting fresh with the program?

It can be daunting since it’s such a complex program. The main thing is just to be consistent in learning. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. He’s not joking. There are no shortcuts, you simply have to put your head down and do the work. My suggestion would be to consume as many tutorials as you can but be very intentional about how you consume them. Find out what works for you. I wasted a lot of time watching tutorials on one screen while toggling through twitter, Facebook, news etc. on the other screen. The information went in one ear and out the other and was a total waste of time. I would recommend having C4D open on one screen and the tutorial playing on the other. Follow along with the tutorial and create the scene or effect. You will learn so much more and will actually retain the information. Don’t watch tutorials, engage with them.

Your model packs are fantastic- our customers love them!

The model packs came to be through my friendship with Remco, who is a tremendous modeler. We became friends online and conspired to create our first model pack together half a year ago. After that pack sold quite well, we decided to continue cranking them out. The model packs have been received very well and I’m excited that so many people have found them useful! We’re trying to cover a wide variety of subjects, so that when people have a specific project need they can look at our lineup of model packs and find one that fits that project. The prices are very low so instead of getting one or two models on a 3D model site, you can buy our pack with 15-20 models for the same price, and have a full lineup of models in your library for that subject.

What goals do you have for your site?

I love the Cinema 4D community because it is so generous and friendly. Helping out other people, spreading free resources, training and engaging with everybody in the community is a ton of fun. I’m quickly finding that I am learning more personally from running the blog than I ever have! It’s forcing me to research trends, plugins, resources and techniques so I can help everybody continue to learn. It has been a very rewarding experience for sure! My goals are to continue to give back to the community as well as create affordable products that help people with their projects.

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

Motion Design Interview WithAlexanderDavidson

Interview with Motion Designer Alexander Davidson

I had a chance to interview Alexander Davidson, a freelance motion designer over at zombie-robot.tv. Thanks Alexander for taking the time to share with us!

Did you go to school for motion graphics?

Yes, SCAD.

What did you study at school?

Motion Graphics was the major.

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

I’d been a regular graphic designer for 6.5 years prior so I was used to jumping into the freelance world.  All it takes is a basic clean website with great work and an email sent to all of the companies stating who you are and what you can do for them.  Also you need to set a decent rate to coincide with your abilities, ex. Junior = 350/day.

I am a freelance designer shuffling around different studios making styleframes for them to get jobs.

How long have you been in the industry?

10 years as a designer total but 3.5 years in Television and Features.

What software do you use?

The regular Adobe stuff and then C4D and Nuke for design purposes.

How would you describe your style?

The goal in this industry is to have no style and be able to do any style asked of you, so that is what I try to do.

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

Every job or project you do should be the best one you’ve done to date. And don’t be an arrogant tool. Studios like someone who knows what they are doing but doesn’t need to advertise it and make it a competition. Your work should speak for itself.

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

How to force companies to pay on time, I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Are there any fantastic plug ins, third party tools or books that you have found recently that you would recommend?

Newton – it is a gravity particle plugin for AE

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

Passionate about the type of work you are doing (not the job itself). You have to love it.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

Doing exactly what I’m doing!

Thanks Alexander! To see his work go to zombie-robot.tv.

Interviw Motion Designer Julien Nantiec Main

Interview with Motion Designer Julien Nantiec

I had a chance to interview Julien Nantiec, a freelance motion designer based in France. Thanks Julien for taking the time to share with us!

Did you go to school for motion graphics?

I studied in a French school specialized in graphic design in Lyon.

What did you study at school?

At the time (2000-2001) the motion design was unknown, I studied graphic design for advertising and publishing, typography, semantics, illustration, layout, storyboard and how to use color.

After this, I studied two years in a faculty with cinema option, where I discovered After Effects and the existence of motion.

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

I worked quickly in a graphic studio where I realized I did not want to be just a graphic designer. After this I got into TV channel Euronews as a freelancer. I worked on open title, animated data, animated map etc.

Along with this work, I started working with various advertising agency in compositing and motion.

Tell me a bit about where you work and what they specialize in. Are you at a studio? Freelance?

I work at home as a freelance, for several French and American studios, with clients directly and some independent directors as Sugrue.

How long have you been in the industry?

A little over seven years.

What software do you use?

Adobe Creative Suite, After Effects, Final Cut Pro

How would you describe your style?

I like to work with details, the work of color, creating a sensitive universe.

I love the relationship that exists between the animation and sound design.

If I can lead the viewer into my world, even a little bit, I’m happy.

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

I think it must come from a strong desire to develop your own universe,

be curious, show your work, accept criticism (not always easy) 🙂

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

I think we must have a good foundation. I learned After Effects by myself and even now I lose time on simple things.

Are there any fantastic plug ins, third party tools or books that you have found recently that you would recommend?

1. Motionographer 2. Videocopilot 3. Fubiz.

Do you have any websites or books that you turn to regularly for inspiration and training?

This is not new, but the book of the making of Fantastic Mr. Fox is just amazing. If you like stop motion, beautiful books and small details, it’s for you. Also Mdn Designersfile.

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

Be versatile.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

Directing and working on feature film and television main titles, find the right typeface, place the viewer in the mood even before the movie starts.

To see more of Julien’s work go to http://www.jnantiec.com/

Intervew WithHugCodinach

Interview with Motion Designer Hug Codinach

I had a chance to interview Hug Codinach, a freelance motion designer who does a lot of work with King and Country and Charlie Company, two of my favorite studios out there. He is unbelievably talented and has lots of great advice and tips for us. Thanks Hug for taking the time to share!

Did you go to school for motion graphics?

I studied media and film at EMAV school in my hometown of Barcelona back in 1995.  I specialized in graphic design “in motion” the concept of “motion graphics” didn’t exist yet so there were no motion graphics schools back then. Now you can kick a rock and find hundreds of schools specialized in motion graphics.  I really had to work hard to navigate my way through this developing, abstract field however I was so fortunate to meet and work with incredibly talented designers, who always had a strong idea on how to approach projects.

What did you study at school?

I studied film and video production, focusing on graphics for TV. I remember doing some work at school with a Comodore Amiga computer and using the first versions of After effects 1.5 on old Macs. Back then you had to think a lot before starting a project in order to make it work, because with the old software and computers it could be incredibly frustrating. But I knew from the beginning of my studies that this is was my passion and I wanted to make a career out of it.

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

I was lucky that a teacher at the same school was also a director and asked me to work with him. My first job was to put graphics on a tv lotto show for Catalunya, nothing exciting but it gave me a start. After that I bounced around between different local tv stations creating and supervising the network branding.

I remember working a lot and doing a lot of things at the same time, even supervising the technical department for one of the networks. Although it was stressful at times, it was worth it because it gave me a lot of experience and exposure.

After that I started working for El Terrat, which is a Spanish production company, and I worked for them for almost 5 years mainly creating graphics for their popular late night show Buenafuente. Later on I worked in Spain as a freelancer directing, designing and/or animating with my friend and amazing artist Frankie de Leonardis who has been already featured twice in Motionographer.

In 2007 I decided to take a big risk and moved to Los Angeles working freelance for various studios. The risk paid off and I am now living happily in LA with my beautiful wife. I have found LA to be a perfect place for me as I am passionate about film and hope to further expand my career into the realm of directing.

Tell me a bit about where you work right now

I am working freelance and right now there are two studios I mainly work with : King and Country and Charlie Company. They are both in Santa Monica and specialize in commercials, network branding, promos and visual effects. I am also working on a few personal projects, which I am very excited about. One of them is a teaser trailer for the amazing illustrated book Pincel de Zorro, so be sure to check back soon on my website.  I am extremely passionate and borderline obsessed with film and photography so I am continually shooting on my Super 8 and trying to figure out a way to successfully blend the old with the new.

How long have you been in the industry?

More than 15 years, wow I feel old saying that…

What software do you use?

I use Cinema 4D, After Effects, Final Cut, Photoshop and Illustrator as my main tools. Also Mocha for 2D tracking and Boujou for 3D tracking.

How would you describe your style?

Even after 15 years I wouldn’t say that I have a specific style, I guess people like to put a label on everything so its easier to identify you. However if I had to choose I would say that I have a tendency for retro and vintage style. I try to approach every project in a different way and I always try to escape from cliches. I appreciate the studios that have the ability to adapt to different kind of styles and projects rather than the ones that keep doing the same thing over and over…

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

Create as many personal projects as possible and experiment. Design a website or create a blog and put all your projects on it and then send it to the studios that you would like to work with. Be persistent and try to “educate” your eye as much as you can, refine your taste. And most important of all is be passionate about what you are doing.  If you are not loving what you are doing then that will show through in your work.

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

When I first started I insisted on doing everything on my own, I felt I needed to prove myself. Over time I realized how important it is to share experiences and ideas with other artists and working together is actually the best schooling you can have.

Are there any fantastic plug ins, third party tools or books that you have found recently that you would recommend?

I will mention Turbulence from Jawset both 2D and 3D versions still in beta process but amazing for fluid and smoke simulation: Jawset.

Do you have any websites or books that you turn to regularly for inspiration and training?

I think that motion graphics is so open that you can learn from anything. I sometimes just prefer to spend time browsing through various art and design books. There are too many to name, but the Los Logos series is a great source for logo inspiration with a unique selection of designs. I also love classic paintings and Illustrations and I truly believe they are a great source of inspiration for me.

In terms of websites I would mention Motionographer, Stash, Behance or Art of the Title between many others.

I also love to wander the streets and take photographs. Another great source of inspiration comes from old films that I watch regularly,  I am a huge fan of Sergio Leone, Bertolucci, Terry Gilliam, Michel Gondry, Jean Pierre Jeunet between others.

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

Challenge yourself over and over and remain inspired.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

My dream job is to direct my own projects, hopefully film, in the future.  I love directing in that it allows me to collaborate with others in a creative way and tell a cohesive story by putting together different pieces, I find the whole process very exciting.

Big thanks to Hug for sharing some tips he has learned during his amazing career. Check out his website here: hugcodinach.com

With Motion Designer Sergio Saleh

Interview with Motion Designer Sergio Saleh

I had a chance to interview Sergio Saleh who is a motion designer and co-founder of Lumbre. The work Lumbre does, for clients such as Fox and National Geographic, is really inspiring so make sure to check out their work. Big thanks to Sergio for taking the time to share with us!

Did you go to school for motion graphics?

Not exactly. My degree is Audiovisual Designer from the School of Design and Planning at the University of Buenos Aires. It is the film career of the UBA and is separated from the Graphic Design career.
There wasn’t a specific career in motion graphics in Argentina. Everything I know about motion graphics I learned it in my career, but also taking specialized courses, classes in graphic design in the same university and mostly working.

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

My first job was as electric at a film company best known here in Argentina as POL-KA. Along with 4 other students, we were summoned by a teacher who worked there. I work only a few months there, but it was an important experience and made my CV somehow appealing.
A few months later I sent my CV (in fact my grandfather sent it!) to the sports channel TyCSports and I was called for an interview. I was thinking that I would be hired as an electric or as an assistant cameraman or as a replacement, but they were actually looking for videographer operators at the in-house graphic department.
That was in 1997 and I could hardly turn on a computer! I worked there for 3 years, one and a half as videographer and one and a half in the promotion department. In 2000 I started to work at Medialuna Studio where I started as an animator in After Effects and Jaleo and end up working 7 years and became creative director.

Tell me a bit about where you work and what they specialize in. Are you at a studio? Freelance?

After my 7 years at Medialuna Studio I worked 3 years as a freelancer, particularly providing creative direction services for TyCSports and Fox International Channels and NatGeo. (www.sergiosaleh.com, vimeo.com/sergiosaleh)
In 2010, along with my partner and executive producer Paul Encabo, we founded Lumbre (www.lumbre.tv, vimeo.com/lumbre, facebook.com/lumbre.tv). I am currently the creative director and owner of Lumbre, working for clients like Fox and NatGeo International, Zee Channels in India, Carburando Argentina, Endemol Argentina, Canal Encuentro Argentina, etc..

How long have you been in the industry?

Since 1996.

What software do you use?

First: MY HEAD.
Second: Mail from Mac. :S
My team: After effects, Maya, 3D Max, Cinema 4D, Final Cut, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

How would you describe your style?

Classic. Excentric. Smart. Versatile. Functional. Risky.

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

That the design process always involves anxiety and a great effort and never ever will I get to finish a project idealistically.

Do you have any websites or books that you turn to regularly for inspiration and training?

Motionographer.com
Vimeo.com
Universaleverything.com

What are the most important things you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

Patience, perseverance, humility and learning to listen.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

To be hired to solve any creative need and to be able to choose the team for each project.

Make sure to check out lumbre.tv if you want to get some serious inspiration! Thanks again to Sergio. I’ll leave you with the Lumbre Reel 2011:

Motion Graphic Designer Jake Mathew1

Interview with Motion Designer Jake Mathew

I had a chance to interview Jake Mathew who is a motion designer freelancing in the Chicago area. He had a lot of great tips for creating a portfolio and getting into the industry. Big thanks to Jake for taking the time to share with us!

Motion-graphic-designer-Interview-7

Did you go to school for motion graphics?

When I entered college, I didn’t even know the term “motion graphics”.

What did you study at school?

I went to the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.). I got a B.S. in New Media Information Technology, which covered a wide range of disciplines. (Video editing, audio design, animation, web design, print design, typography, web programming, interactive media).

When I finished, I felt like I was decent at a whole bunch of things, but I really wanted to be great at just ONE thing. I have always loved animation and wanted to improve my design aesthetic. I went back to R.I.T. for a Masters in Computer Graphic Design. It was during graduate school where I really got into motion graphics design. (I didn’t even know such a job existed until then).

The design part took a while to get good at (and I’m still learning). But, the motion aspect was much easier for me as I have been animating in one form or another since I was a kid. (Ranging from flip books to very crude animation software from the mid 1990s).

Motion-graphic-designer-Interview-3

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

Landing my very first motion graphics job was difficult. A lot of students want to become motion graphic designers so there was a lot of competition. It is hard to get a job without a demo reel. But, it is hard to have a demo reel without working any jobs. It was a Catch-22 situation.

So in order to start building up a portfolio of work,  I treated every class project and assignment as a potential spot for my reel. After about a year of grad school, I had enough work to create a 30 second demo reel that I could send to companies. Thirty seconds may sound really short, but I made sure to include only my BEST work.

I landed a job as a motion graphic designer at a local post production company. I spent my final year of grad school working there between classes. The types of projects I worked on at that company were just local and regional TV commercials.

Motion-graphic-designer-Interview-2

Tell me a bit about where you work and what they specialize in. Are you at a studio? Freelance?

After I finished grad school, I got a job as a motion designer for the TV channel, Current TV. While a lot of people are not familiar with Current, they have a really talented in-house graphics department and I learned a lot during the 2 years I worked there. After Current TV, I moved to Chicago and have been freelancing at post-houses around the city.

How long have you been in the industry?

About 6 years.

What software do you use?

I use the Adobe Creative Suite and Maxon Cinema 4D for everything I do.

Motion-graphic-designer-Interview-6

How would you describe your style?

I prefer to create designs that are surreal, love using bold bright colors, creating quirky/weird animations. It is a very graphic style. I prefer that to photographic-based designs. I try to constantly create things that are outside my comfort zone just so be a more well-rounded designer.

When creating my reel, I tried to place a mix of different styles, but everyone tells me that I have a very distinct style.

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

I’ve noticed a lot of students and people just starting out in the industry very focused on the technical aspects of the field (such as what software to use, which plug-ins to use to create such an effect). Plug-ins that may be very popular today may look cheesy and dated a few years from now.

While you are in school, take courses that will improve your design-sense. Learn about typography, color theory, composition. Good design never goes out of style.

Build a solid demo reel. Take your best class work and place a few seconds into it. If you have any freelance projects or personal projects that you are proud of, use that. Get a nice web portfolio together. Sending a web link to your demo reel to companies is going to be the way you get a job. Don’t worry about creating a DVD as most companies prefer viewing it on the web so they can easily email it around or bookmark it if they like it. Quicktime files are preferred.

Some web portfolios have crazy Flash interfaces with animated menus and buttons and transitions. I would stay away from this unless you want a job working in Flash. Otherwise, make a clean website where the demo reel and other select projects can be viewed in the least amount of mouse clicks.

Motion-graphic-designer-Interview-5

Are there any fantastic plug ins, third party tools or books that you have found recently that you would recommend?

There are so many more free sources of information on the web now than there was when I was starting out.

As far as some of my fav plugins, I’d have to say the Trapcode suite (mainly Particular) can be very handy.

Andrew Kramer over at VideoCopilot.net has several free and paid plugins and presets for After Effects that are very helpful. I recently used it VC Reflect plugin that is a huge time-saver when working on a project that requires a lot of floor reflections.

Also, for 3D animators who bring their work into animation for further tweaking/compositing, Re:Vision’s Reel Smart Motion Blur is a must-have to get realistic motion blur that renders in the fraction of the time as using motion blur that is built into your 3D program.

Do you have any websites or books that you turn to regularly for inspiration and training?

I think that motionographer.com is one of the best place to see some of the best motion graphic spots currently out there.

Motion-graphic-designer-Interview-4

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

Always be animating/designing things that you love and try to evaluate your own portfolio/reel every few months and pick out your weaknesses and figure out a way to improve them.

Sometimes you may have a staff job or a freelance project that does not inspire you or challenge you. If that is the case, try to find a job that will. And if you can’t, create personal projects. Some of the best pieces I’ve worked on were just fun experiments I did in my spare time without any clients involved.

Each year, you should be a better designer than you were the year before. If you stop improving, change something.

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If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

Chicago doesn’t get a ton of this type of work, but I would love to just work on graphics-heavy music videos and animated title sequences for films. But for the most part, being a freelance motion graphic designer is a very satisfying job. (It depends a lot on the project/client).

Special thanks to Jake for taking the time to share some advice with us. You can find him at jakemathew.com.


Interview Banner

Interview with Motion Designer Ian Wilmoth

I had a chance to interview Ian Wilmoth, who is a Maya character animator as well as an After Effects artist. He freelances in New York for studios like Psyop, Hornet, Superfad and Brand New School. He is also part of a collective called Dirt Empire.

What did you study at school?

Traditional animation, 3d animation

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

Through a friend of a friend from school looking for an animator, and having a demo reel ready to show

Tell me a bit about where you work and what they specialize in. Are you at a studio? Freelance?

I freelance mainly in the NYC motion graphics/short form VFX scene at shops such as Psyop, Hornet, Superfad, Brand New School, etc. I am also part of a collective studio called Dirt Empire (dirtempire.tv) where I work on personal projects or commercial gigs that for whatever reason aren’t being run through an established post shop, which usually turn out to be music industry related. We recently worked on the onscreen graphics for the Beyonce performance at the billboard awards, for example.

How long have you been in the industry?

Full time since 2006. Prior to that I worked in the games industry from the time i graduated the Rhode Island School of Design animation department in 1999.

What software do you use?

Maya, Photoshop, After Effects

How would you describe your style?

It varies from extremely hand made looking to completely invisible. I would say I tend to shy away from more clean and simple flat design oriented things in favor of something with an element of more coherent 3d space.

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

Go to school for it. If you can’t do that, you’ll have to learn everything and put together a reel in your spare time, which makes a hard task harder. You will get much better face to face networking opportunities in school. Go to the best school you can get into. It can’t hurt.

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

How important it is to network and do your best to not antagonize anyone who may later be in a position to recommend you. How unimportant it is to know every single piece of software. Learn a few things really well.

Are there any plug ins, tools or books that you have found recently that you would recommend?

I know its not that new but I’ve been having a lot of fun with particular and 3d space in After Effects lately. Its new to me.

Do you have any websites or books that you turn to regularly for inspiration and training?

Videocopilot.net for After Effects tutorials, highend 3d forums or just google in general for maya questions.

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

A talented artist. if you suck then the rest of it doesn’t matter. you can learn how to act professionally later on but if you have no innate talent you wont even get in the door. It’s very competitive.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

Getting paid to create my own personal animations 🙂

Special thanks to Ian for taking the time to share some advice with us. You can find him at Ianwilmoth.tv. Here is his reel:


MotionGraphicsInterviewwithCarlosFlorez

Interview with Motion Designer Carlos Florez

I recently had the honor of interviewing Carlos Florez and I’m really excited to share it with you. Carlos is an amazing freelance motion designer/art director and has worked on many high level pieces, including a lot of work for MTV. You can see his reel and more of his work at carlosflorez.com.

1. Did you go to school for motion graphics?

I studied Graphic Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. My college did not have a Motion Graphic Design Curriculum at the time. Motion graphics is still a new profession.  So I added more classes concentrating in Interactive Media, Video and also Animation. A friend visiting college showed me his motion graphics that looked really cool and told me about after effects, He told me that 99% of the commercials on TV are done with that program. My eyes lit up. As soon as I found out about Motion Graphics my enthusiasm for print design fully shifted to motion graphic design and animation as it is closer to telling stories, which is something I always had a huge admiration for after watching Steven Spielberg movies like E.T and Jurassic Park, etc. So after my friend introduced me to motion graphics I did an experimental short film and my teachers loved it. In classes where I would otherwise just work on designing a logo or static brochure, my teachers let me do motion graphic pieces involving Animation, Graphic Design and Video all together. I have to say, Graphic Design taught me something huge: concept/Idea is KING. Like in a feature film, the most important thing is the story. If you can tell a story in one frame, that’s a great success and telling a story with multiple frames in motion is even more rewarding.

What did you study at school?

I majored in Graphic Design with a concentrations in Animation, Video, Photography and Interactive Media.

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

MTV New York offered me a full time job before I have graduated, after 3 years of college I found out I had enough credits to graduate. Off I went driving a huge U-Haul truck to New York City. The truck was so big I could barely see the windshield. All of my internships helped me build my portfolio that MTV New York liked. One of the internships was at MTV Latin America in Miami, FL, which led to a few freelance jobs for mun2, and MTV during college. Internships were a great way to earn portfolio pieces.

Tell me a bit about where you work. Are you at a studio? Freelance?

I freelance for some for the best studios in the Los Angeles area. I am now dedicating time to direct my own projects.

How long have you been in the industry?

A little over eight years.

What software do you use?

After Effects, Maya, C4D, Mocha, Final Cut pro, Premiere, Adobe Creative Suite.

How would you describe your style?

Magical realism. Everything for me started with drawing and painting since I was a kid. I grew to discover I could use Photoshop and Illustrator to create art using the computer as my brush and this was an amazing revelation. My influences were fine arts and movies. I have always been a big admirer of Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Steven Spielberg. Then I found out about the work of directors: Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, and Chris Cunningham and I was blown away. I came to the conclusion that directing is the best job for me. Since then I’ve directed several projects, even while freelancing doing motion graphics for a variety of companies. Directing my own projects is at the forefront of my work, as I want to get signed as a director by a reputable production company like Anonymous Content.

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

Work on personal projects, show your skills and only do it if your heart is in it.

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

It’s not finished until its finished.

Is there a fantastic plug in, or tool that you have found recently that you would recommend?

I like the Reeper X Rope Generator plugin by Codeworkers you posted on your site on May 6th:

https://www.thepixellab.net/c4d-reeperx-rope-generator-plugin

After years of using Maya, I started using C4D, which I really like and I would like to find out more about C4D plugins.

What are some websites you visit every day for inspiration or training?

I love motionographer.com and http://www.stashmedia.tv, I’m grateful my work has been featured on both sites.

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

Focus.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

Directing. No doubt about it. I constantly wear different hats as a writer, producer, motion graphic designer, editor, colorist, etc., but I’m a happy man when I’m on set directing actors, getting the shots I need to tell a story. I’m constantly looking for talented interns, and professional artists who would like to collaborate to make great work for the reel, there’s no money on personal projects but there’s more creativity. If you are a 3d artists, compositor, rotoscoping, storyboard artists looking to enhance your reel on original creative pieces and you have the time and the passion to put your best on a project, please email me at: [email protected]

Many thanks to Carlos for taking the time to share some tips and experience with us. Please go to carlosflorez.com and check out his reel. Be inspired!

Motion Graphics Interview With Ed Rhine

Interview with Motion Designer Ed Rhine

I had the privilege of interviewing Ed Rhine and I’m really excited to share it with you. Ed has worked for clients like Discovery Channel, Starz, Military Channel and the Science Channel. I had a chance to talk to him about his background, experiences and advice. He gave some really great insights into the industry which I think will be helpful for you. You can find Ed at freed-motion.com.

Motion Designer Ed Rhine

Did you go to school for motion graphics?

I attended the Art Institute of Colorado

What did you study at school?

My program was visual effect and motion graphics and I tried to study as much of the design basics as possible.

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

Ha… Honestly my first job was a full time gig at Giant Interactive creating DVD menu loops and I found it on a Craigslist post.

Tell me a bit about where you work. Are you at a studio? Freelance?

I have pretty much run the whole range of jobs in motion graphics. I started with a staff job at a small shop, then moved to staff at a larger corporate agency and then back to a small design and vfx shop. After that I went freelance and worked on-site in Denver and LA and remotely across the country. Currently I have started my own boutique motion design shop, Freed-Motion, with a partner in Denver.

How long have you been in the industry?

I have been in the industry for a little over 5 years

What software do you use?

I primarily use AE, Cinema 4D, Mocha, Syntheyes, Photoshop and Illustrator

How would you describe your style?

Kind of hard to say as I don’t really feel that I have latched onto one specific style. However, I try to blend creative concepts and story telling to meet the needs of clients and problem solve the needs of the commercial world.

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

One of the best ideas in my opinion is to study, not copy or emulate, but study the work that inspires you. Is it simple and clean typography, flashy 2D motion work, detailed 3D visual effects or amazing transitions?  When examining those pieces think not only about how they were created, but why. Does it lead the viewer to a message, does it tell somethings about the brand, does it make you question something? Design and motion design is all about communication.

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

Try to focus on a good blend of the technical side of the software and creative side of design. The more well rounded you are, the more you will be in demand. This is not to say that you need to learn every program or technique out there, but rather the more well rounded you are coming out of school the more opportunities will come your way. Wait until you have some career experience before you begin to specialize.

Is there a fantastic plug in, or tool that you have found recently that you would recommend?

Not really a tool or plugin, but rather a resource: Mograph.net Some of the top talent can be found on this forum on any given day and topics range from movies to software specifics.

What are 3 websites you visit every day for inspiration or training?

Unmask.tv // Ventilate.ca // Mograph.net

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

By far the most important thing is to be easy to work with and reliable. You may be the most talented person in your field, but if you have an ego that gets in the way, others will pass you by.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

Pretty much what I have just started out creating, which is running my own shop and working with my own clients to collaborate and create fun work.

Many thanks to Ed for taking the time to share some tips and experience with us. I’ll leave you with his demo reel. Again, you can find him at freedmotion.com.