Piotr Kosiński is a 3D artist and owner of pk3d studio,who has worked with TBWA, W+K, Ars Thanea, F-i, Stink Digital (among others). He specializes in cars, although he is also known for creating presentations of products, technical and scientific processes through computer-aided visualization and animation. He works for agencies, film studios and individual clients from a wide range of industries.
CGW met up with him in a casual setting during lunch for a quick interview before Piotr headed back Warsaw, where his office is located.
We’d also like to encourage everyone to visit his website: pk3d
CGW: You have been showing off greatly detailed designs of planes, machinery and most often cars. Could you tell us how you got started?
Piotr: It was 1999 when I got my first Computer Arts and the first car catalogues. Meanwhile a friend introduced me to one of the first versions of 3ds max (then still known as 3d Studio Max) which quickly grabbed my interest. After about a year of playing around in the program someone asked me if I’d be able to create a model of a car. With the limitations of hardware at the time it was a bit trying, but it was a challenge. I stubbornly sat down and created my first model…
CGW: So this was what inspired you to start?
CGW: And what inspires you now?
Piotr: What inspires me now? Life. :) But seriously, a lot of artists, of which I’d like to mention Daniel Simon, a phenomenal designer of all sorts of vehicles, among others, for movies like TRON: Legacy, Oblivion. Photographers like Thomas Strogalski, Steffen Schrägle and a lot of artists from services like Behance.net.
CGW: How have you developed over the time you’ve been working in this field?
Piotr: My first step was to specialize, create a brand so as to be recognized for making models of cars. There are many great CG artists in the market, who will do every type of visualization – from A to Z – looking through their portfolios you get the feeling that they are one of many. If you have – like in my case – a portfolio that’s strictly cars, that’s something that draws attention and there’s a greater chance of being remembered. But I will admit that my portfolio is always evolving.
CGW: Can you share some insight into how your average work day looks like?
Piotr: My typical work day: 8 am omelette, morning press; 9 am – go. Throughout the day I take a 1,5-2 hours break for lunch and training. My work day ends at various times, usually it’s around 7 or 8 pm. So most of my day is spent in front of the computer. ;) But I try to have weekends all to myself.
CGW: And how do you go about working on commissions for your clients?
Piotr: Whether it’s an agency or an individual client, we always hold a sort of briefing. There are talks, appraisals, it’s also good to meet with a client if they’re on the spot, if not we try to come to an understanding by e-mails, through correspondence.
CGW: Do clients come to you with a specific vision, or do they simply outline what they’d like you to do?
Piotr: That varies. When working for an agency, I’m usually assigned to a specific job consequent to the briefing. I must admit that this is the most effective form of cooperation – work on the projects is efficient, the completion of commissions don’t get unnecessarily prolonged as is the case when a client doesn’t have a precise ‚vision’ and doesn’t give me a specified deadline.
CGW: Are there any tricks to start working in this field?
Piotr: Tough question. A lot of people ask me this, they e-mail me and they’re usually very young. Though I’ve had e-mails from people aged 40 and over asking me if they can still start working in 3D. The answer is always the same: if the eyesight is still good, the computer mouse doesn’t tremble and the person’s determined… why not! Age isn’t a restriction here.Another frequently asked question is which software to choose at the beginning? Should they start with free software or relatively new programs like Blender and Modo, or should they work on reliable, popular programs like 3ds Max and Maya. Unfortunately, I cannot be objective since I’ve been working in one program for years. Regardless, a choice has to be made, so the best option is to start with getting to know the interface of a given software. To check which one works the best for us. And most of all, to start with defining whether we want to try our hand at animation, modeling or rendering.
Later, it’s just a matter of challenging yourself by doing harder and tougher tutorials than the last ones.
CGW: What media/software do you use?
Piotr: I’m going to be a bit unusual here because I don’t use things like a tablet. In this case I have a rather traditional approach, I basically use only a mouse. Although, when looking at Paweł’s (Paweł Podwojewski) workflow, I’m thinking of changing my mind.
When it comes to my current hardware configuration, I have two sturdy graphics stations – one for everyday work, the second for rendering. And three monitors, you can’t have too many monitors ;)
CGW: What’s one of the newer commissions you’ve worked on?
Piotr: One of the last interesting commissions that I’ve had the pleasure of working on was a visualization of a Mini Cooper, in collaboration with the agency Ars Thanea. In total, we created 6 different takes of a blue Cooper in a rather climatic scenery. This commission was recognized and singled out on Behance, and that is always a reason to be proud and motivated to work even harder.
CGW: And what are your impressions about working on this commission?
Piotr: I won’t lie that an important aspect of a project is the model of the car you’re working on. Mini Cooper is legendary, a car with a soul, even if not everyone likes the new version. Regardless, I love this car, so in my case, working on this car was a pleasure. In the future I hope to work on commissions for my favorite brands like Porsche and BMW.
CGW: We hope you get to do that. How long do you usually take to complete a commission?
Piotr: If I were to estimate and average time for car projects, I’d say around 2 weeks. And when I say that, I mean preparing the model or adjusting an existing model, creating a few takes, and corrections if such are necessary.
CGW: After finishing work, is there any time left for your personal projects?
Piotr: Yes, like I mentioned in the beginning of the interview, I try to keep weekends open for myself.
That’s when I avoid the computer and spend time with my family, friends.
However, during the week, if I’m not weighed down by a lot of commercial projects, I try to develop my skills and learn new things. Recently, I got interested in the topic of the so-called Rig shots, which generally means, for example, capturing a car in motion. I’ve managed to create a few shots like that, which are currently in my portfolio, and I’m working on the next ones. ;)
CGW: Will you share those with us?
Piotr: Of course.
CGW: Do you have any words for aspiring artists?
Piotr: The trade is always evolving, demand for specialists is increasing. One shouldn’t give up and complete each project in 150%. Hard work and a sturdy portfolio will sooner or later be appreciated!
Thank you to Piotr for the interview and for sharing some insight into his work!