Student Spotlight: FIDM Digital Media Student Daniel Benhamo

Daniel BenhamoName: Daniel Benhamo
Major: Digital Media
Age: 18
Hometown: Los Angeles
High School: Valley Torah, North Hollywood
Dream Job: Cartoonist/Illustrator
Favorite Website: Vimeo’s “Best AfterEffects” Channel

From skateboarding to playing the guitar and practicing parkour (a form exercise also known as freestyle running), FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Student Daniel Benhamo has a wide range of interests similar to his 18-year-old peers. But unlike the average young adult, he spends most most of his time focused on his passion for design and video editing, as both a Digital Media Student at FIDM’s Los Angeles campus, and an in-house Graphic Artist at hair tool manufacturing company, Le Angelique.

“Some day I want to be a 3D Modeler, and I don’t care what I model whether it’s environments or vehicles or characters,” he says. “I want to be a part of a team that makes cartoons.”

Benhamo has been interested in art and illustration from a young age so a lot of the curriculum at FIDM comes naturally to him, from 3D animation and motion graphics, to editing and sound design.

Using programs such as AfterEffects and Maya, Benhamo says he loves learning how to animate his two-dimensional illustrations. “You can make abstract graphic shapes, make characters and bring them to life and animate them, and you can create photorealism (effects),” he says.

Benhamo then applies these skills to his job as a Graphic Artist for Le Angelique, a job that helps take him one step closer to becoming a 3D animator. He tackles projects such as making advertising posters for display in hair salons, redesigning the company’s catalog, editing short “how-to” product videos for the company’s Website, and animating the company’s logos.Cloudy-with-a-Chance-of-Meatballs-1 “I really love 3D, it’s really similar to fine art. It’s where my roots are,” he says.

When it comes to 3D animation, there are various types of jobs where designers are needed, Behnamo explains. While some people are focused on modeling– someone who ‘molds’ a character out of a basic circle, square, pyramid or helix much like a sculptor would out of clay- or rigging, someone who ‘builds’ the joints and skeletons of a character, others help to create the perfect lighting or texture to make a two-dimensional image come to life.

“In this program, it’s really great because they teach you how to be a generalist,” Benhamo explains. Which means that FIDM Students are trained in all of these areas, not just one aspect of 3D animation.

In addition to learning 3D animation and motion graphics, Benhamo also gets to study sound design, which suits his interest as a keyboard/pianist, guitarist and banjo player. Using programs such as Protools and Reason, FIDM Digital Media Students learn how to compose music and create sound effects.

Hoping to one day work for a company like Sony Pictures Animation (who produced the animated movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs shown above), or Dreamworks Animation, Benhamo is enjoying studying a subject he is passionate about, and with small class sizes, his ability to learn in such an intense program is enhanced.

“It’s cool because you get lots of individual attention,” he says. “We’re like a little family.”

Check out some of the work that Daniel Benhamo has created as a student in FIDM’s Digital Media program below:

Don’t miss these stunning videos from Daniel’s favorite Vimeo’s “Best AfterEffects” Channel:


Coca-Cola – Night Visuals 2010 from binalogue on Vimeo.

Learn how to create work like this! Check out FIDM’s Digital Media program where you can learn editing, digital composition, motion graphics, 3-D modeling & animation, and sound design.

Visit our main site, to view multiple galleries of breathtaking graphic design and digital media, created by FIDM Alumni.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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