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School of Motion Podcast

School of Motion Podcast

A show for MoGraph artists by MoGraph artists. We interview Designers, Animators, Producers, and other folks related to our industry. We get deep into the geeky world of Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D, Photoshop and Illustrator. We talk about the business and art of Motion Design. Dig in.


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Episode 86: Sharpening The Battle Axe w/Adam Plouff

Do you have a favorite plugin that you can't live without? Have you ever thought about who the person was that created that plugin that has saved you countless hours of work? This special episode of the School of Motion Podcast has been pulled from our Expression Session vault. It features instructors Zack Lovatt and Nol Honig interviewing Adam Plouff who you may know as the mad genius behind Battleaxe;  which, may we add, is responsible for the massively popular and useful plugins Rubberhose and Overlord.

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Episode 85: The Road to Buck and Beyond w/ Joe Donaldson

Starting a motion design career is hard and leaves you with a lot of questions. There are so many hurdles that new artists stumble into; it can feel like there is no clear path forward. Joe Donaldson joins us on the podcast and breaks down how he balances work and life, all while riding a wave of continual success.

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Episode 84: The History of VFX with Stu Maschwitz

Today's podcast is pulled directly from VFX for Motion, hosted by course instructor and Stu's former colleague, Mark Christiansen. When it comes to pulling knowledge directly from the source, this podcast is the holy grail.

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Episode 83: From MK12 to the Spider-Verse w/ James Ramirez

James Ramirez joins Joey in a one-on-one nostalgic trip back to the early 2000s. From a small Texas town to Los Angeles, James unpacks his career between his time at the legendary MK12 Studio to directing the Spider-verse titles and much more.

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Episode 82: The Year In Review - 2019

It was a heck of a year for the MoGraph industry, and for School of Motion.

SOM's 2019 Motion Design Industry Survey revealed greater participation, enthusiasm, opportunity and income than ever before; and SOM's business, course curriculum, core team, enrollment and online reach and engagement grew at exceptional rates.

Not to mention SOM's rebrand with Chris Do and The Futur, the brand manifesto video with JR Canest and Ordinary Folk, and the completely redesigned website coming soon.

On the 2019 End of Year Podcast episode, SOM founder, CEO and Podcast host Joey Korenman is joined by EJ Hassenfratz, 3D Creative Director, and Ryan Summers, 2D Creative Director, to talk about the artists, studios, tools, trends and events that made MoGraph news in 2019 ? plus all the exciting plans (and bold predictions) for the coming year.

This one's long, but it's a must listen.

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Episode 81: Allen Laseter, Animator and Director, on Defining Your Style

Allen Laseter Talks Productivity, Passion Projects, People Management, Motion Design, Direction, and Developing Your Own Style

Nashville-based animator, illustrator and director Allen Laseter didn't 'study' motion design; the famed creative, known for his bold, striking scenes and uniquely stylized characters, transitioned from live action with trial and error and online tutorials.

One day, after graduating with a BFA in Film, he was offered an animation project from a friend of a friend ? and the rest, as they say, is history. Allen's since completed projects for the likes of Lagunitas, TED, Coke, Disney and School of Motion.

How does he do it? Almost exclusively in After Effects.

And now, with a new baby at home, how does he juggle his creative work, commercial direction and family life?

On Episode 81 of the School of Motion Podcast, our founder and CEO Joey Korenman and his guest Allen Laseter discuss the road to renown; developing your own style; After Effects animation; coordinating paid client and personal passion projects; billing for your services; working freelance versus studio employment; project and people management best practices; and Stanley Kubrick, School House Rock! and The Beatles's Yellow Submarine.

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Episode 80: Expression Session with Zack Lovatt and Nol Honig

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Episode 79: VFX for Motion with Mark Christiansen

Some of the coolest work in the industry blurs the line between motion design and visual effects. School of Motion's VFX for Motion course teaches you to move in and out of these worlds with ease.

On Episode 79 of the SOM Podcast, we go behind the scenes of VFX for Motion, discussing in depth what went into the course's creation with the creator himself, Mark Christiansen.

The developer of the After Effects Studio Techniques series of books that helped launch a generation of visual effects artists, Mark has spent his career dedicated to creativity and mentorship ? ideal for an instructor, online or off.

During his conversation with School of Motion founder, CEO and Podcast host Joey Korenman, Mark covers his work with LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic, shares tons of tips on compositing in After Effects, and answers a variety of questions SOM tallied from its audience.

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Episode 78: Gentleman Scholar, Will Johnson on Controversy and Creativity

Will Johnson, creative innovator, co-founder, director and partner of industry-leading motion design studio Gentleman Scholar speaks with School of Motion founder, CEO and Podcast host Joey Korenman about the importance of passion and work ethic; the naming, creation, development, key differentiators and success of Gentleman Scholar; and much more.

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Episode 77: Liz Blazer Talks Animated Storytelling

Liz Blazer was a successful fine artist, but the fine art world wasn't for her. She chose to blaze her own path, telling stories through animation ? like Ozzy Osbourne fighting Elton John to the death.

Now a famed filmmaker, art director, designer and animator, Liz has worked as development artist for Disney, director for Cartoon Network, special effects designer for MTV, and art director for Sesame Street in Israel. Her award-winning animated documentary Backseat Bingo was shown at 180 film festivals across 15 countries. But that's not all.

Liz is the authority on animated storytelling. She wrote the appropriately entitled Animated Storytelling, now in its second edition, and currently teaches visual arts at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she emphasizes the art of storytelling in pitching and delivering successful animation projects.

School of Motion founder, CEO and Podcast host Joey Korenman raves about Animated Storytelling (and its illustration, by Ariel Costa), and makes the most of his opportunity speaking with "Blaze" on Episode 77.

During her hour-long appearance, Liz speaks with Joey about her transition from fine art to animation; the importance of movement, breath and soul in art; animation's ability to "charm" and "suspend belief;" the creation of her award-winning animated documentary; how she ended up writing a book by accident; the differences between animation and motion design; the keys to compelling storytelling; and more.

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Episode 76: Handel Eugene: Innovative Motion Design Artist, Teacher and Mentor

Haitian American multidisciplinary artist and animator Handel Eugene personifies the very best of the superheroes he's maneuvered on behalf of Marvel films: like Black Panther, Handel is a master of advanced technologies; and, like Spiderman, he has that "Spidey sense" ? for what works and what doesn't.

On episode 76 of the School of Motion Podcast Handel talks about how his tireless work ethic and precise work flow have enabled him to succeed in the increasingly competitive motion design industry.

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Episode 75: GMUNK on Long-Term Success

To commemorate the 75th episode of the world's number-one motion design podcast, we speak with none other than Bradley G. Munkowitz, popularly known as GMUNK, a prolific Berkley-based director, designer and artist who's worked not only in motion design and animation, but also in graphic design, UI/UX, experiential design, live action direction, installation art, robotics, projection mapping, LED, and more.

In his conversation with our podcast host (and founder and CEO) Joey Korenman, the genius GMUNK discusses the tempestuous world of commercial direction, his experimentations with psymunk (psychedelic art), inframunk (infrared photography) and other art forms, his use of hallucinogens, why and when he may move to Europe with his family, the key characteristics necessary for long-term success, and much more.

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Episode 74: Studio Ascended: Buck Co-Founder Ryan Honey on the SOM Podcast

Ryan Honey of premier motion design studio Buck talks landing a motion design job, creativity and collaboration in the workplace, and more.

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Episode 73: Illustration for Motion: Course Instructor Sarah Beth Morgan on the SOM Podcast

Portland-based art director, illustrator and designer Sarah Beth Morgan discusses her new SOM course, Illustration for Motion

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Episode 72: Illustration Mastery with Tuna Bora

An Illustration for Motion exclusive podcast made public featuring Illustrator and Director Tuna Bora.

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Episode 71: Sound in Motion with Sono Sanctus

Good sound design can set an animation apart from the rest of the pack. We may be pushing pixels left and right, but the audible experience needs just as much love. On today's podcast, Wes and Trevor of Sono Sanctus bust down doors and deliver a really unique podcast experience.
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Episode 70: The Secret Sauce with Jay Grandin

An insightful chat with Giant Ant's Co-Founder Jay Grandin.

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Episode 69: Art Directing Power-House Nidia Dias.

In today's podcast episode we chat with Designer and Art Director Nidia Dias.

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Episode 68: Vox Producer Estelle Caswell

An interview with Earworm storytelling genius at Vox, Estelle Caswell.

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Episode 67: Starting a High-End Studio w/ Ordinary Folk

We sat down with Ordinary Folk, a new studio led by JR Canest, to chat about their recent launch, pain points, how they create such beautiful work, and even how faith plays a role in their lives.

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Episode 66: Design Philosophy and Film: w/ Josh Norton at BigStar

Josh Norton shares his 15 years of operational experience at his New York studio BigStar.

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Episode 65: The Rise of Viewer Experience with Yann Lhomme

Yann Lhomme drops a ton of insight into the changing landscape of marketing that studios now operate in. When every brand in the world is a media company how can studios and agencies help their clients navigate the world of video and motion design?

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Episode 64: Animate UI/UX in Haiku w/ Zack Brown

There's a lot of buzz around motion design and how it fits into UI and UX. Zach Brown is leading the way with an app called Animator by Haiku.

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Episode 63: Beeple: The Everyday Champion

Beeple, the godfather of everydays, digs deep into learning and where you should be spending your time and efforts to build your career.

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Episode 62: UX Design for Animators - A Chat with Issara Willenskomer

Issara Willenskomer from UX in Motion stops by the podcast to chat about the exciting possibilities of UX design for animators.

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Episode 61: Landing High-Profile Clients with Erin Sarofsky and Duarte Elvas

We are stunned to have our latest guest on the podcast. To say that Erin Sarofsky is a successful motion designer would be a severe understatement. As an Emmy Winner and Studio Owner, Erin is one of the most accomplished artists that we've ever talked to. If you've gone to the movies or turned on the television in the last 5 years there's a really dang good chance that you've come across her teams work.

As a woman-owned business, Sarofsky is on the cutting edge of social change and artistic achievement and we are thrilled to have Erin and Sarofsky Creative Lead Duarte Elvas on the podcast.

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Episode 60: Moving From After Effects to Flame with Adrian Winter

In this episode, Adrian and Joey reminisce a bit about what it was like to come up in the industry in the early 2000's. If you've been around the industry for a while, this one is going to make you nostalgic, and if you're just a few years in... you are going to learn a lot about the big changes that have shaped our industry over the past 2 decades.

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Episode 59: Small Shops Rule: A Chat with Wednesday Studio

Get ready to meet Iria Lopez and Daniela Negrin Ochoa. They are the two creative minds behind the studio and have established Wednesday as a shop that produces beautiful illustrated work with a strong mix of traditional animation, 2D after effects stuff, and even a little bit of 3D.

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Episode 58: Politics & Motion Design with Erica Gorochow

We live in strange times people... it's not always easy and frankly, sometimes it's a bit dangerous to be too honest about your politics. In this conversation Erica and Joey explore this topic and we talk about what effects she's seen on her own career and other artists when it comes to mixing work and politics. We also talk about Patriot Act, the effect of tech giants on our industry and many other things so sit back and say hello to Erica.

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Episode 57: What's It Like to Sell a Studio? A Chat with Joel Pilger

Joel Pilger started his own studio, Impossible Pictures, in 1994 and wore many, many hats over the years. 20 years later he sold the studio, and then found himself at a crossroads, not sure what to do next. And then, he found his current calling which, in our opinion, suits him PERFECTLY. He's currently a consultant and partner at RevThink a consultancy for creative entrepreneurs including owners of Motion Design studios. His day-to-day involves helping studio and agency owners figure out how to grow their business, how to position themselves in the market, how to handle operations and finances, and all of the business lessons he learned in two decades of running a successful studio. He also runs a Jumpstart Accelerator for owners who need some help getting things past the painful startup phase, and you can find out about that and all the other cool things they do over there at

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Episode 56: This Year in MoGraph 2018

The Motion Design industry is always changing and evolving, and 2018 was no exception. From new tools to emerging artists this was a big year for our industry. In fact, this year more than any other year, it really feels like motion design is beginning to define itself in the creative world.

As such, we thought it?d be fun to sit down with our good friend Ryan Summers to discuss some of the biggest news coming out of the mograph industry in 2018. In the podcast, we talk about everything? from incredible projects to #chartgate. No stone is left unturned.

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Episode 55: An Epic Q&A with Sander van Dijk

In this episode, Sander van Dijk answers questions from... YOU, the School of Motion community. We collected tons of great questions and tried to pull out the ones that Sander could really dig in to!

See the Show Notes:

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Episode 54: Learn Through Failure with Simon Fiedler

In this podcast episode we sit down with Simon Fielder, an advanced 3D artist who has made a name for himself in the Cinema 4D and Houdini community. On the episode, we chat about the value of learning difficult things, we hear how Simon has developed his Houdini skillset, and learn how he embraces the pain that often comes along with developing new skills. Simon lives in Mainz, Germany where he freelances for studios and clients around the world. Simon's understanding of 3D is impressive and it was no easy trek to get to where he's at today. So what advice does he have for artists looking to dive into the deep end of 3D?
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Episode 53: Get Weird & Get Paid: A Q&A with Nick DenBoer

Today we talk with Nick DenBoer about his unique entry point into the professional world of motion design, how he landed a dream gig working for Team Coco, and how his short passion project landed him at the Sundance Film Festival; and on the radar of gigantic brands and ad agencies. There is a lot for you to geek out on in this episode!

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Episode 52: Building a Motion Design Community with Hayley Akins

On today's podcast episode we sit down with Hayley Akins. Hayley is the founder of Motion Hatch, a very cool online community that focuses solely on the business side of things. She's the host of the wonderful Motion Hatch podcast, and has recently released a Freelance Contract Bundle.

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Episode 51: The Economics of Motion Design with TJ Kearney

TJ is currently an Executive Producer at Instrument, a VERY cool digital agency out in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that he was EP and co-founder at a studio called... Oddfellows, yes, THAT Oddfellows. Before that he worked in ad agencies, big post-houses, and everything in between. His experience in this industry has given him an incredible perspective on the economics of Motion Design. He's been on the client side, hiring studios, and he's also been on the vendor side, trying to woo and work with agencies and clients. In this conversation, TJ gets extremely specific with the economics involved at the studio level.

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Episode 50: Do You Have What it Takes? A Brutally Honest Q&A with Ash Thorp

50 friggin' podcast episodes. It's insane to think how many ridiculous Motion Designers have volunteered their time to appear on the podcast. Naturally, for episode 50 we wanted to make the podcast extra special, so we asked the talented Ash Thorp on to speak his mind. 

On that podcast, we talk about the work ethic required to operate at the level of the best in the business. We talk about the way he organizes his work so he can be super productive. We talk about motivation and how an artist can deal with those moments when you're stuck on a project. And we also talk a lot about the double-edged sword of being a public figure in this industry or in any industry, really.

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Episode 49: Invest in Yourself, w/ Ryan Connolly of Film Riot

Film Riot is a YouTube channel with, at the time of this recording, 1.3 MILLION subscribers. It's an incredible resource that teaches you the art and science of film-making in a very entertaining way, and the mastermind behind it is Ryan Connolly. Ryan's a filmmaker, and I really think that word fits him well because after talking with him it's clear that he is obsessed with filmmaking and has been pretty much his whole life.

In this interview we talk about the brilliant model behind Film Riot, that lets Ryan and his crew fund and produce short films with an insane amount of production value? all without a studio backing them.

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Episode 48: Animate Until it Hurts, an Interview with Ariel Costa

In this episode, we go into Ariel Costa's past and find out how he ended up finding his unique style, how he got on the radar of GIGANTIC bands, and what the economics behind animated music videos. He also drops TONS of wisdom about freelancing, balancing paid and unpaid work, and lots more. Seriously, this episode is PACKED, so get a notepad. Did we mention he's a Buck Alumni?...

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Episode 47: The Houdini Wizard, A Chat with Simon Holmedal

On today?s podcast episode, we sit down with Simon Holmedal, a Motion Designer and Technical Director who spent a big chunk of his career at the legendary studio, Man vs Machine. Simon?s work is insane and there?s a good chance that you?ve drooled over his work in the past few years. Simon recently transitioned from MvM to work with some friends at a studio called Panoply.

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Episode 46: Refugee to MoGraph Expert, An Interview with Sergei at Ukramedia

Our guest today is no stranger to determination. Sergei Prokhnevskiy is a Ukrainian born MoGraph artist who was forced to leave his home as a refugee at the age of 12 along with his twin brother Vladimir. After landing in the United States (and not speaking any English) he would go on to work on MoGraph projects including the Fox Sports Robot for the Super Bowl. 

Recently Sergei and Vladimir quit their full-time jobs to exclusively work on Ukramedia, an online Motion Design education site. On this episode, we?ll talk with Sergei about the transition to full-time MoGraph education and talk about his incredible life-story. This is a super inspiring episode.

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Episode 45: How Cinema 4D Became the Best 3D App w/ Maxon CEO Paul Babb

In this week?s podcast episode we sit down with Paul Babb to discuss his role as CEO of Maxon. Along the way we?ll get to know a little bit about Pauls background and talk about why Maxon is ?artist first? instead of ?feature first?. This is one of our favorite episodes ever.

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Episode 44: Cinema 4D Q&A w/ EJ Hassenfratz and David Ariew

We understand that learning Cinema 4D can be a challenge. So we asked EJ Hassenfratz and David Ariew to Answer common Cinema 4D questions from the School of Motion community.

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Episode 43: Perception is (Almost) Everything with Mitch Myers

Mitch Myers is an art director, Motion Designer, and artistic celebrity in the Motion Design world. Mitch has done work for Universal, GoPro, the NFL, and Southwest Airlines. 

On this podcast episode, Mitch talks about your worth and value as a Motion Designer, how to build a strong brand, and why consistency is important to aspiring MoGraph artists. Get your notepad out. You?re going to want to take a lot of notes.

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Episode 42: Crossing the Creative Gap with Carey Smith

In today's episode we sit down with Carey Smith the creative mastermind behind Division 05. Carey is arguably the best tutorial creator in the world and a huge advocate for learning Motion Design the 'right' way, with an emphasis on essential skills like composition, art-direction, and inspiration.

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Episode 41: Crafting a Creative Lifestyle with Monica Kim

Monica Kim left her home at age 14 to pursue her dreams without a clear career objective. Over time her hard-work and determination have led her to work in amazing places like Google in New York City.   Her incredible career has spanned two continents and her lifestyle crazy fascinating. In the podcast, we'll talk about everything from meditation to her love of birds. We're stoked for this one. Enjoy!

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Episode 40: Does It Matter Where You Live? An Interview with Terra Henderson

Today?s podcast guest is Terra Henderson. Terra is a freelance Motion Designer who has lived in Texas, New York, and Georgia. Despite growing up in a small Texas town, Terra pursued her dream of becoming a Motion Designer by moving away. After completing school at SCAD she took the ultimate professional leap and moved to New York City. Over time Terra has learned valuable lessons in networking, specializing, and the freedom of being freelance. 

Terra?s laid-back perspective on work and life is a cool reminder that you don?t have to live in the biggest cities to be a successful Motion Designer. So, grab some kava and say hello to Austin-based MoGraph artist Terra Henderson.

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Episode 39: Growing a MoGraph Studio with Michelle Ouellette

Yeah Haus's fun and colorful style is certainly a reflection of owners Michelle and Chad. In this podcast episode, Michelle Ouellette talks about the process of creating and maintaining the studio in Detroit. Along the way, we'll learn about Michelle's background in Graphic Design and Illustration. You're going to love this one.

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Episode 38: How Hobbies Impact Your Craft with Angie Feret

In today?s episode, we talk with Angie Feret, a pioneering MoGraph artist, who uses her hobbies to rejuvenate her 3D work. Angie? background in modeling (the real-life kind) and motorcycles led her to become a unique 3D artist and even a presenter for Maxon. Angie's first-hand experience with female discrimination is also a helpful reminder that our industry has a lot of room for improvement. We promise you?ve never met a 3D artist like Angie. This is a really fun episode.


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Episode 37: How to Be a Hand-Drawn Hero with Animator Rachel Reid

What's it take to be a master of hand-drawn animation? In this interview we sit down with Rachel Reid, one of the best animators in the Motion Design world.

Rachel's work at Gunner, one of the hottest Motion Design studios on the block, has been seen all over the world. Her animation work has been staff picked by Vimeo, picked-up on Motionographer, and we frequently talk about her work here on School of Motion.

Rachel was kind enough to sit down and chat with Joey about her experience in the industry. In the podcast Rachel get?s into all of the details about her equipment and process. It?s fantastic insight into one of the most challenging disciplines in art. Enjoy!

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