Hello There! My name is Nick Benke, and I’m a 3D Character Animator.
At my core, I’m an animator and I feel like I’ve always been. If you are on this page then you are probably looking to know more about me than what is on my demo reel or resume. As daunting of a task that it is, I’ll try to give you an idea of who I am.
My mother tells me, I started drawing before I could even walk. As silly as that may sound I can’t remember a time I wasn’t expressing myself creatively. I’ve always been fascinated with motion, more specifically how humans and different characters move. Even beyond the real, I love studying the motions of different fantasy creatures and superhero characters in film and cartoons. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to take my action figures of Spiderman and pretend they were web-slinging around the room, thinking about how his body would move to propel him through the air. Little did I know that playing with action figures and thinking about how they would move and fight with each other would have anything to do with a career path someday.
In high school, I was lucky enough to get my hands into a 3D program for the first time. As soon as I started to get my hands dirty I fell in love with it immediately and knew I had to pursue a career in it. More specifically, character animation and virtual motion. Having complete control over a character, acting as a puppet master to tell a story just with the characters motions is exhilarating. I find it such a fascinating way to express myself creatively.
I have recently received my master’s degree where I focused on Character Animation, but still grabbing on to anything else I could beyond that. I’ve always tried to learn and grow as much as I could, refusing to stay stagnate. I always want to try and improve myself, whether that is by going to church, practicing my tennis game, improving my cooking, improving and expanding my skills as an animator, teaching myself new software to learn, furthering improving my personal computer at home, teaching myself new things about technology and the different intricacies of how a computer works, or trying to improve my K/D in the current game I’m playing. If I’m not spending time with my beautiful wife Virginia and our cute four-legged fur-baby, Milo the Corgi, then I’m either doing something creative or playing games with friends online.
I feel like I have learned so much going through seven years of college and working constantly on different contacts and projects but I know I’m just scratching the surface. The idea that there is still so much for me to learn to continue to grow, improve, and expand my skills is so exhilarating that it makes me want to jump out into the field an just start going. I know it can be a bumpy ride, but I’m hopeful it’s going to be a fun one nonetheless.