May's Maker of the Month is a highly skilled and creative 3D character artist by the name of Ola Sundberg. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Ola has created some of the more well known character pieces used by ColorFabb to promote their awesome filament. His professional career spans 15 years in the game industry, where he has worked on AAA, online and indie games. An esteemed digital and 3D artist, we are proud to show off some of Ola's amazing work. We asked him some questions about his career, growth and voyage into 3d printing. Read on!
Us: What inspired you to start 3d modeling and eventually 3d printing?
Ola: When I went to art school I really felt that sculpture was my strong point and something I wanted to pursue. I tried learning Maya on my own and did learn modelling good enough. But I got frustrated with the limitations and the technical difficulties with 3d softwares. When I started using Zbrush 2.0 that all changed. "Wow, now it’s digital sculpting!" I thought. 3d-printing is something I’ve been interested in for several years, I love new tech. This made it full circle for me: to be able to hold my sculptures in my hands. It’s back to where I started from!
Us: Are you classically trained? You clearly have a very strong grasp of anatomy and character design.
Ola: I’ve always been interested in anatomy. I started out doing life drawing even before art school. I’ve had the opportunity to attend online classes when I have spare time at my work. I’ve taken a couple of Scott Eaton’s courses. He’s brilliant when it comes to anatomy and sculpting. He works in Zbrush as well as with traditional sculpting which makes him a great teacher.
Us: What programs do you mostly use?
Ola: Zbrush, Zbrush, Zbrush. And Photoshop, of course.
Us: You're making sick models for ColorFabb, how did that all happen?
Ola: They make so many excellent filaments so I really wanted to collaborate with them. I made the ColorFabb mascot. It was a fun project! The other models are actually available on my Thingiverse page :)
Us: Can you describe your professional experience?
Ola: 15 y+. I started out as a freelance illustrator/motion designer/3d-modeller for five years working with ad agencies and game companies. Then I worked at EA DICE with the Battlefield-series for a couple of years. For the last seven years I’ve been working as a 3D Character Artist at an online game company. I’m also doing freelance 3d-print work in my spare time and plan to do so full time in the future.
Us: Favorite materials and 3d printer?
Ola: I have a Replicator 2 at home that holds up fine. I love Colorfabb’s wood filament! It’s perfect for characters: barely no visible layers and easy to sand down imperfections. I’m also really eager to try out some of the new filaments out there. We have a Replicator z18 at work, it has been a lot of work to make it run smoothly but the size of the prints is impressive!
Us: Where is 3d printing heading?
Ola: I think it will become much more easy to print. Today it still requires you to know the printer and learn why it failed for the 12th time in a row. The printers in the future have to work as regular paper printers with no hassle. Materials will keep evolving. The Carbon 3d printer video that appeared a couple of weeks ago shows that the speed will increase. Printers will be so much faster and more reliable in the future! Oh, and size will increase of course. Hopefully there is room for people like me to make a living out of making models for print.
Us: Any advice for newbies?
Ola: If you’re in to making characters and want to make your own designs you should learn the fundamentals. Traditional stuff, like life drawing and anatomy, but also character design and software. It takes time; be patient and remember to have fun!
Us: Favorite thing you've printed?
Ola: Always my latest print :) Right now a robot I designed that is in 67 pieces. Haven’t seen the result yet though, but I think it’ll be pretty cool! It will be sold as a collectible 12" piece later on. Keep an eye on my website if you want to know more :)
Us: Thanks for sharing Ola, it's been a treat! Do you have any links you'd like me to share?
Ola: Thanks for having me!
My portfolio page for upcoming models I’ll be giving away:
And my Thingiverse page:
Scott Eaton’s courses:
Carbon 3D printer that I mentioned:
If you'd like to featured as our Maker of the Month, please contact us!