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French animator is working on major Japanese anime projects

Regarding his upcoming projects, Benjamin will work as a lead animator at Illumination Macguff, and will continue to work mainly with MAPPA studio and Production I.G. (Supplied)
Regarding his upcoming projects, Benjamin will work as a lead animator at Illumination Macguff, and will continue to work mainly with MAPPA studio and Production I.G. (Supplied)
Regarding his upcoming projects, Benjamin will work as a lead animator at Illumination Macguff, and will continue to work mainly with MAPPA studio and Production I.G. (Supplied)
Regarding his upcoming projects, Benjamin will work as a lead animator at Illumination Macguff, and will continue to work mainly with MAPPA studio and Production I.G. (Supplied)
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12 Oct 2021 05:10:08 GMT9
12 Oct 2021 05:10:08 GMT9

Amin Abbas

Faure Benjamin, a French 2D/3D animator that worked on major Japanese anime series and movies discusses the inspiration behind his work and highlights the differences between the Japanese and French animation styles.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News Japan, Benjamin shared his inspiration for anime and manga.

“Like a lot of 90’s people, my first contact with Japan animation was Dragon ball Z, I’ve totally fell in love with everything in it, the designs, the stories and the fight scenes obviously! I was much more into anime than manga, because I’ve always been sensitive with the animation, and how they create epic scene with beautiful soundtrack/sound effects,” sharing that his favorite anime is Full Metal Alchemist.

Regarding his visit to Japan, Benjamin shared how he has visited Japan before establishing a career in Japanese animation. Benjamin visited major sites during his three week road trip, and enjoyed Miyajima because of the nature, which reminded him of Ghibli’s work. 

Benjamin admires many aspects of Japanese culture, including “the way they organize their work. It’s very methodical and it forces you to be very rigorous in the of drawing, animating.”

Benjamin started working in animation 10 years ago as a 3D animator, taking up videogame trailers and movie projects, and about 2 years ago he began working as a 2D animator. 

“To me, 3D or 2D have the same basics of animation. It’s not just moving things, but to make your animation believable, of course you can do something not realistic, but when it feels coherent and you give emotion to the audience, you nailed your animation!” he also added that “sometimes simple, gentle animation will be more efficient than something with big movement or else. Animation it’s to find the right balance between too little or too much and this is why animation is sometimes pretty hard. It’s a bit like baking, adjusting the right amount of each ingredient for a delicious cake!”

Benjamin’ s first project as a 3D animator was ‘Sing’ movie from Illumination Macguff, and his first 2D animation was My Hero Academia.

Benjamin faced many challenges while working as an animator, including how to animate unique characters using 3D animations, as “there are plenty characters, with their own personality, you have to find out how you will animate each. Because some are kinda shy, some are more eccentric, etc… But fortunately, like each studio, you are surrounded by amazing people like animators, directors, etc… that inspire you and push your work as far as you can!”

He also highlighted the differences between 2D and 3D, stating that “2D was a different medium so I needed to learn and experiment everything” and try to “understand and learn how the way Japanese animation works.”

Benjamin outlined how during his time animating for My Hero Academia, he anticipated only working on the character animation and some effects, but in reality he  “had to draw the backgrounds, because in Japan when you work on your layouts, you really have to do everything,” including having to manage the animation after its completion as “in Japan you have to create your timesheet with each layer, write down the camera movement, some effects if they are, etc… it’s one of the parts that took me time to understand! But fortunately to me, at this time, there is people who helped me on this!” he added.

Regarding the differences of animation style between 2D Japan and 3D Europe, Benjamin said: “The main difference for me between these two worlds is that in 2D Japanese animation, it’s going to focus on drawing, to fit to the character design:  while in 3D “as the model is already made, like a puppet, we will focus a lot more on the animation.”

Regarding his upcoming projects, benjamin will work as a lead animator at Illumination Macguff, and will continue to work mainly with MAPPA studio and Production I.G. 

About his recommendations for those who wants to be an animation artist or working in Japan for animation projects,  Benjamin advises “to work on Japanese projects, it’s true that it won’t be easy at first, but not impossible!” and to stay passionate, and “always love what you do, it is basic advice but it is true,” he said.

Aspiring animators should also keep an open-mind, and try to grapple with various types of animation styles. 

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