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

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: 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? // //

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. Again, you can find him at

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