When it comes to creating captivating 3D motion graphics that seem to jump off the screen, Jaco van Loggerenberg knows how to bring digital art to life. He puts in the hard work, driven by his passion for his craft and unrelenting pursuit of perfection. The result is nothing short of magic; we’re lucky to have him on our team.
Meet the MAG Team: Interview with 3D Motion Graphics Designer Jaco van Loggerenberg
Join us on a mini-quest to explore the origins of his artistic journey and the twists and turns that led him to become one of the Mag creators. Learn more about what he does outside of work, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process that drives him.
What inspired you to become a 2D and 3D motion graphics designer?
It all started with making home videos and learning the ins and outs of various editing tools. I was immediately drawn to the world of animation and motion graphics after following the online tutorials of Andrew Kramer, a renowned name in the industry during the 2000s. I love the process of creating something from scratch and using After Effects to make surreal animations. The endless creative possibilities of motion graphics keep me inspired and motivated.
Can you walk me through your creative process?
I love working with other people. My first step is going to the Art Director or Creative Director. Brainstorming, bouncing ideas off each other, and getting excited is where the magic happens for me. Once we are sure we’re all on the same page, we can create something truly cool.
Any specific design style?
I want to bring the idea to life, the true vision of the Creative and Art Directors. I value creating what is best for the concept or brand and seeing it come alive.
Can you tell me about a particularly challenging 3D motion project you’ve worked on and how you overcame any obstacles?
One of the most challenging projects I worked on was transitioning from using Blender, a free 3D software, to industry-standard software such as Redshift and Houdini. This change came while creating a brand video for Digimune, adding an extra complexity layer.
The learning curve was steep, and we had to adapt quickly to meet the project’s timeline. We created abstract animations for the campaign, which was cool, but I prefer our current direction, which is more focused on clear messaging and less abstraction. Despite the challenges, we overcame the obstacles and created additional fantastic animations, such as the Amajoya toffee tech. It was a challenging process, but we persevered and came out on the other side with valuable experience and a new skill set that we can now use to create even more cool animations.
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How do you stay current with the latest 3D Motion design trends and technologies, and do you have any go-to resources?
As a team, we prioritize staying in the loop with the latest design trends and technologies by constantly scouring social media platforms like Pinterest, Dribbble, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Behance. We are always looking for what top agencies are doing and what industry breakthroughs are happening.
Behance is a personal favorite because it offers a case study-based approach, and we can see the behind-the-scenes of projects. LinkedIn is also a great resource, as people usually link to their Behance projects. By staying in this world and keeping up with the latest trends and technologies, we ensure that we are constantly creating innovative and fresh designs that push boundaries.
You’re not from around here. Please share a bit about your career development and how you ended up at MAGNETIC
I initially studied IT, a three-year degree, but after my second year, I became interested in pursuing a career in the video field to enhance my skills. I took a full-time job at a video production company in Bloemfontein, where I learned a lot of skills and gained valuable experience. They did a lot for me, but I still had to split my final year of studies over two years, studying part-time and working full-time.
After I graduated, I stayed with them for another year but became drawn to motion graphics and wanted to specialize in that field. That’s when I joined MAGNETIC, which allowed me to further myself in this career direction and develop my skills as a 3D motion graphics designer.
Do you have any role models within the industry besides Andrew Kramer you mentioned before?
Regarding role models within the industry, Andrew Kramer was a big inspiration for me when I started. However, now I look up to Dan Darling, who previously worked for MAGNETIC and produced some amazing creative pieces for Microsoft.
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I admire Man Versus Machine as a collective role model because their quality of work is on another level, and they are industry leaders. I also appreciate Already Been Chewed and ABC for their impressive work.
Recently, I discovered Six N Five, whose work is very realistic yet surreal. Finally, Simon Holmedal’s journey from working at Man Versus Machine to starting his own company, Panel Play, inspires me.
Anyone at Mag?
I don’t want to sound like I’m brown-nosing, but I obviously (like I mentioned before) look up to our Art and Creative Directors. I love working with them and learning from them. I’ve learned so much already, and I know I will learn so much more.
Can you tell me about a 3D project you’re particularly proud of?
I really like how far we’ve come using Houdini and Redshift. I’m proud of what I’ve helped build collectively at MAG. We’ve created an incredible infrastructure of content. I’m proud of all our small renders and our 3D asset library. It’s not one specific project; it’s a collection of the smaller ones that filter into a bigger picture.
What do you hope the future holds for your career? Anything, in particular, you’d like to achieve?
In an ideal world, with our current plans, I would say building a bigger 3D motion graphics team at MAG. Making the infrastructure of content bigger and stronger, and always learning and improving my skills.
"I value creating what is best for the concept or brand and seeing it come alive."
Complete the sentence. When I am not a 3D motion graphics wizard at Mag, I am…
Super cringe. I am… loving what Knysna has to offer and being outdoors.
How do you really feel?
It may sound strange, but I am truly passionate about my work and often find myself continuing it in my free time. Otherwise, in Bloemfontein, I enjoyed exploring the specialty coffee scene. The World Barista Champion has a coffee cafe featuring the only frozen coffee bar in South Africa. They offer an impressive selection of the best coffees from around the world, including the UK, the US, and Australia. You can ask for unique flavors like orange or something chocolatey, and they’ll make their expert suggestions. Unfortunately, coffee isn’t as prominent in the Garden Route.
As for my original cliché answer, I believe Knysna has a lot to offer. I enjoy trail running, spending time in the water, and even learning to surf. Living and working in such a beautiful place is a true blessing.
Last question: what keeps you up at night?
Mosquitoes. [He says with a dead-pan face.]
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