Pierre Magnol

In the motion graphics world there is a wealth of inspiring work being created every day, but every so often you discover artists who take the art of motion to the next level. Pierre Magnol is one such artist, consistently producing breathtaking graphics that most of us can only dream of. In this, his first ever English language interview, Pierre discusses his influences, his tools, his inspiration, and reveals his surprisingly simple approach to motion graphic design. An interview not to be missed.


GkasterPierre’s Flicker pagePaul SwendsenRed Giant SoftwareFrischluftGenArts

  1. Neekoe

    Truely amazing interview… Well done.

    Love the way you can see&hear his heart and love to what he does when he speaks about his profession…

    thank you for this John.
    keep it up!!!

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Neekoe, glad you enjoyed the chat! Best wishes, John.

  2. Bilal KHETTAB

    Interesting Interview !
    Thanx John And Pierre Magnol ! I Also Start Working On Graphics Design Since 14 Years Old And I Didn’t Know That I Can Reach That Far With That Like Magnol Did ! Thanx 4 Givin’ Me Hope Guys.

    But I Guess I Didn’t Heard Well The Schools That Mr. Pierre Mentioned Maybe Someday I Can Go To It!
    And John U Have “géniale” Header Design !

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Bilal, keep striving forward and you’re sure to reach your goal! Best, John.

  3. mauro

    Wow. He’s the coolest guy. Great interview, very inspiring. Also it’s really interesting to me try to analyze the different approaches to work into the different countries, as I’m from Italy. I can recognize some aspects are similar here to France then, it’s probably a European thing (excluding UK I must say).

    Thank you Pierre and John.

  4. illd

    That was fun – thanks guys!

  5. hello, i'm flo


    very interesting interview !
    And very inspiring !

    I’m french, and it’s good to know some other french motion designers !

    Hope to see some news about this depth pass !

    A bientôt !


  6. chris

    Great share. That strengthened my conviction that you can do excellent motion graphics without having to be a designer or an art graduate like some people or institutions always try to make you believe…

    • John Dickinson

      Practice, persistence, passion and patience is all it takes Chris! Best, John.

  7. Nash_nas


    Really interesting interview, it’s amazing how we can feel his passion when he talks about art and motion. By the way, I’m French too and thank you Pierre for proving than we can be a genius outside Paris.

    Merci Pierre, thanks john.

    Tchuss !!

  8. pierre

    Thank you all.. and also a great thanks to John who give so much informations and tips about our job to the community… the revolution come from that attitude ….

    • John Dickinson

      Thank you too Pierre for sharing your work and being such wonderful inspiration for so many of us. Best wishes, John.

  9. Regis

    Hi There,

    Thanks to John and Pierre who is really a (at least mine) reference in motion graphic using cinema 4D and After effects with a particular organic look and mood.
    I do agree with him and “Paris” issues when it comes to work from out… Anyway, let’s move forward with some talents like both you, you are. Thanks again.

    Merci Pierre pour tes quelques conseils, excellent!


  10. Morten

    Was really looking forward to this interview when I first saw that you advertised about it on Twitter.

    I really enjoyed watching this!

    Thanks Pierre & John.


    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Morten, good to know my tweets are read! Best, John.

  11. Patricia Cano

    Good that the website was not required…lol…quite an amazing interview, although some parts were hard to get…specially when Pierre was explaining which tool he uses while achieving depth of field…and here is where my question rises…depth of field on which workflow?…AE, C4D, FCP, ??????

    I’d seen a few of GKaster’s videos in vimeo and hope tha this website comes back soon.

    Though there is no way to contradict your stating John that Pierre’s work is quite good (and I presume you might think that I am coming short on this description) well, quite good and or beyond.

    Very nice of you to interview him, moreover we will be waiting anxiously for the next interview.

    Thanks for your effort in bringing this to all of us watchers located on this site of the monitor.


    • Regis

      Hi Patricia,

      As far as I understood, the DOF settings are made in Cinema 4D with a volumetric light (technic uses by Pixar). Then exported in a separate pass (only the light) and get it back in AE to use it with a plugin like Frischluft I presume. However, John mentioned another plugin which could be interesting also.
      Another way in Cinema 4D could be setting up you camera with DOF, and export the vector motion blur or DOF passes and then composite them in AE. Frischluft plugin in AE will get the information exported to provide nice DOF.

      Best Regards

      • Patricia Cano

        hey there Regis….I think they were referring to the DOF settings within AE using perhaps the frischluft plug..though it would be good if John can clear this for us ’cause I am pretty sure he understood exactly what tools Pierre uses to “get DOF” the way he does.

        On the other hand, exporting from C4d unto AE well that is totally another ball and I cannot depict exactly the technique used to truly transfer the DOF info into AE…my idea in this specific topic is quite cloudy…wish someone could give us a better hint as to how this is done..


        • Regis


          Yeah, I think you are right maybe John could clear it.

          However with regards to DOF set in Cinema 4D (camera) and export the data (render pass) to AE, I suggest you check out the greyscalegorilla’s website as there a nice tutorial on it (the one with camera projection). You will definitly understand how it works ;o)

          I hope it will help you.


    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Patricia, Pierre uses the Frischluft plug-in “LensCare” for his DOF effects. He also mentioned the use of volumetric light, which is something many of us would like to know more about. Best wishes, John.

  12. Teddy


    Very cool interview, i’m french and i’m hapy to see that’s there some very famous motion designer in france :)

    Thanks John, merci Pierre.


  13. Pedro

    Great interview! Sure like to see a tutorial on the volumetric light technique for a better DOF!

    Truly inspiring! I thought i was the only one that just meshed things together out of experiment to create something unique!



    • Menek

      Hello, can you please upload the scene file again? it has expired. Many Thanks!

  14. cheekylilbasterd

    So Cool

    Maybe the next MLG will be with Pierre
    The last time John was this excited was the
    interview with Chris and Trish.

    You inspired us just the same.
    Keep it Up
    Bless you Man

  15. Throck

    One light in a scene, incredible.

    I love the way he learned from the old paintings of people by candle light.

  16. Udit Goenka

    Such Interview always inspires you to work harder and explore the world of creativity which has no limits. One of the best interviews I have ever seen. Hoping to see more such interviews so we can learn and get more such inspiration.

    • John Dickinson

      Hi Udit, that’s very kind of you to say. I’ll be interviewing more industry pros soon. Best, John.

  17. John Dickinson

    Thanks Manny, we’ll explore that technique further and keep you posted. Best, John.

  18. A3

    Great interview!! Very inspiring!! I am starting to learn and practice C4D. I am very interesting on what kind of render setup Pierre uses to get those wonderful renders. I was very surprised when he said he only uses 1 light on his scenes! Would be great if he could tell us about his setups!

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Andres, we’ll be sharing more of Pierre’s workflow soon. Best, John.

  19. adrian

    very nice, love his abstract style and the mood they give. alot of stuff these days are really hard to focus on and there is to much crap going on. his work is real easy on the eye and bold and beautiful. very inspiring.

  20. Sergio

    My English is bad.
    So I do not understand some things about the interview
    Pierre said he first worked in AE and then in C4D?
    Or first C4D and After AE?

    • pierre

      Hi.. first i started in Ae and then in C4D…

  21. lucado

    Great interview!! Thanks John and Thanks Pierre.

  22. Kola

    So cool ! It’s a great interview. I’m a french motion designer, and the number one fan of Gkaster.
    I have a blog dedicated to motion graphics, if you agree I’ll made a post about this interview.

    Thank’s a lot John, for all your work ! I follow motionwork for a long time ago now and it’s always better and better.

  23. Neks

    Great guy and some of the most amazing work. Thanks John.

  24. ffa

    that’s brilliant

  25. Kraphik3D


    That was really interesting review and I got
    new information of Cinema 4D
    and After Effects motion graphics styles.

    Especially my problem is that I am new
    to motion graphics even if I ´ve worked
    with 3d-modeling in Cinema 4D and stills for years.
    The rendering techniques including grayscale
    passes and workflows for fast DOF are important.
    Especially the DOF creation with volumetric light
    pass sounds interesting artistic techique.

  26. coyote37

    most intersting interview so far!
    not because i’m french too
    not beacause i’m called Pierre too
    but because i was so interested by Gkaster and Pierre Magnol works!

    i’m also agree with the “PARIS mind” analysis! 😀

    As a beginner this type of interview really motivate me and in the same time scary!
    THx John!

    • John Dickinson

      That’s terrific, I’m really appreciate your feedback Pierre… er coyote37. Best, John.

  27. aidan

    His work is amazing, thanks for interviewing him John. I liked hearing how he approaches projects. such a beautiful style of work.

    I’ve noticed Kim Deluney’s work is equally as amazing. have you seen much of hers?

    Hope this years of to a great start John!


  28. akalaurel

    John, thank you for inviting us into the mind of GKaster. Very kind of Pierre to be so humble in his accomplishments, and your perceptions were beautifully placed to intrigue the conversation… such sympatico! Interesting that you both began in editing.

    My best take away was the “art of the accident”, I love to experiment, once I’ve gotten my sea legs with a software program and know what’s what, then I tend to go “rogue”… no time like the present!

    Your tutorials are great, and I always look forward to them, but this was inspiration on steroids, and for that I really thank you both for the pleasure of listening to your thoughts being revealed, layer by layer. – and shooting my own videos too!

    Tomorrow I will get a video camera, CannonD7 or what ever is comparable in today’s market. This was such an up …
    Best regards, Laurel

    • John Dickinson

      Hi Akalaurel, thanks for the considered comment. Be sure to show us your projects with the new camera. Best, John.

  29. Brian Thuok

    Wow! Great Interview John! You are doing a great service to the mo-graph community by sharing all these different perspectives. Love your site keep it up. You are doing an amazing thing.

  30. Fab

    Oups ! Error on my website adress !

  31. Pedro Ferreira

    Really nice interview, i’ve been following his work for a long time, just had the free time to watch the full interview now, was surprised to know he started with 30 years old, i started with 25/26, and tought it was a bit late to start… lol… anyway nice to know i’m on the right track, software wise, plugins etc… are mutch the same, everyone here seems to be using either 3dstudiomax or maya and look at cinema4d like a inferior 3d software, gkaster’s work proofs otherwise. Ah by the way, good editing really makes a lot of difference, it’s not just about the look, but how the story is told and all comes together. Hoping to see more interviews like this.

  32. Jonathan Tay

    Hey John,

    I have been a long time fan of your work. I was watching with much curiosity and interest when your guest mentioned about the technique of using volumetric light to create Z-depth pass for compositing. That’s a really good one… Well, anyway, it works really well. I have tested it myself using Maya and After Effects.
    Actually, I think it’s so good that offers so much better control of the Z-depth, besides using procedural methods available in Maya and other 3D applications.

    Anyway, Gonna post this up tomorrow in my website with regards to the results of using this PIXAR’s technique.

  33. Binu

    this guy is so cool yaaa.. i mean we can relate ourselves to his way.. things like push button… n having taugh time knowing how we did that or this… Thanks John!

  34. Priscila

    great interview!!! I really wanna start motion graphics, but I find lots of information online that I dont know where to beging!
    By the guy he is hot!

  35. DeepMotions

    oooh His Work looks Legendary!!!!!!!!
    And great Interview!!!!!!!!!!!

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