Vehicle modeling master Karol Miklas: "Blender is the best software to learn and work in"

How long have you been using Blender? Did you transition to Blender from another 3D package?

It’s been 10 years this year since I started using it. I started with Zanoza Modeler, a pretty old software that couldn’t even extrude faces. It makes me shiver to even think about working with it back in the day!

What do your colleagues and clients think of you using Blender?

5 years ago, Blender was a pretty good joke material to some. Today it’s considered the best software to learn and to work in - by the same people who used to joke about it! And it’s not because it’s open source and you don’t have to pay for it. It’s because it actually proves to be a very efficient software, even though it lacks some crucial game development tools.

Ascent: Infinite Realm Airship

In your experience, where is Blender lacking? What would you most like to see improved.

As I said - game development! Things like editing normals, proper baking tools (Tex Tools is something that was missing for years for Blender), maybe something for faster and more precise modeling. I’d totally appreciate tools that let me model perfect (class A) surfaces like in CAD tools, that produce reflections exactly as intended. It is possible in Blender now, to a degree, but it's very time consuming.

Do you primarily freelance or work on-site at studios?

I used to work as a freelancer for a few years, also in 2013 I got into game development industry, at Techland. After all these years I specialized in vehicles and this year I eventually decided to move to full time freelance and outsourcing.

1975 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo

What are the main challenges of working as a creative freelancer? Any tips on overcoming these challenges? 

Oh my. People. The broadest area to learn about is how to communicate and interact with people, understand their needs and make sure I can deliver exactly what they want. It’s always a challenge with every new customer, but the more people I meet, the more I know about it. I specifically didn’t say it gets easier, as every person, every single customer and company is different. Sounds like a cliché, but it’s bad communication that complicates the work more than it need to be.

What advice would you give to others who want to take their 3D hobby to a professional level?

I’d say specialize. Focus on poor industry standards that you can improve using your strongest skills. It's about finding your niche that you are good at and putting it to work: is it asset quality? Is it visuals? Maybe you’re a great architect but also know how to make use of it for games, or movies? 

PUBG: Truck

You clearly know what you're doing when it comes to vehicle modeling and realtime rendering. What is it about vehicles that motivates you and your creative passion?

Vehicles are a reflection of our needs, desires, progress, design trends…everything that people are. Look how well they are correlated to the era they appeared in!

I am also fascinated with mechanics and how they work, how cars are designed and what designers refer to, no matter if it’s in the automotive industry or in movie production. I try to understand principles, to experiment, materialize my own ideas and see how they are received.

Another thing is, I am a little obsessed in delivering a high quality product. The time is always the biggest enemy, but I  still strive for quality every time I create something. 

PUBG: Pick-Up Truck

With PUBG being such a huge success, how does it feel knowing so many people are playing with models you built?

I’m happy that people enjoy them. I already saw some fan-art and it just melts my heart. And I chuckle a little every time I see people fighting with the 3-wheeled motorcycle’s physics.

Follow Karol on CG Cookie and check his Artstation profile.

Newsletter Signup

Get fresh Blender content, training and offers straight to your inbox. Change your mind, unsubscribe at any time.

CG Cookie

Learn Art. Make Dough.

Enroll in to our digital arts program and choose from four different disciplines; each with quick paths to measured success baked just for you.

Get StartedorLearn More