Members of the KitBash3D team have told us about the company's working culture, explained how they support employee growth and development, and discussed their most memorable projects.
KitBash3D was founded in 2017 by Maxx Burman and Banks Boutté when they set out on a mission to enable and inspire creators of the virtual frontier. Believing in the importance of technology and human connectivity, they recognized artists' impact on what happens next in a rapidly evolving world. With KitBash3D, they began building a community of world builders based on enthusiasm, inclusion, and a shared calling to build the next wave of the internet better than the generation before us.
Beyond inspiring the artistic community, the Co-Founders wanted to implement their mission internally with their team. Six years later, they have successfully provided an environment of meaningful, fulfilling work while emphasizing the critical balance between achievement, excellence, and both mental and physical health. Today, the KitBash3D library has over 10K assets, enabling and inspiring over 500 film and game studios and more than 100K artists worldwide.
Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, KitBash3D has grown a mix of hybrid and fully remote global teams with members in more than ten countries. Organized into four departments: Kit Production, Marketing, Operations, and Engineering, leadership emphasizes collaboration across all areas of the company.
In this article, you’ll hear from members of the KitBash3D team and learn more about their involvement in the company, achievements, and how they feel about belonging to such an inclusive and mission-centric company.
The Company Culture
80.lv: What do you enjoy most about working at KitBash3D?
Emily Amick, Senior Graphic Designer: The fluidity of moving from cyberpunk to medieval castles to warfare means you are always challenged by new styles and never bored of the work you do. When there is no limit to your imagination or the imagination of everyone around you, every day at work is an exciting day.
Fabio Fernandes, Concept Designer: The amount of freedom to tackle and explore a variety of interesting projects. Being surrounded by a group of talented and high-achieving teammates that support each other on a daily basis just makes working here a delight.
Gabs Herrera, Material Artist: The work environment with my coworkers. Even though we are all over the world, it feels like there is no barrier to getting to know each other and collaborating successfully.
Anderson Araujo, Material Artist: The team, it's amazing to work with such talented people and most importantly, with people that are willing to share knowledge and help others to grow.
80.lv: Can you describe the company culture?
Fabio Fernandes: We all share a growth mindset and trust each other to deliver the best possible results. Our communication is transparent and always taken into account.
Gabs Herrera: A sincere concern for the well-being of its professionals, promoting rest so as not to reach a point of stress and encouraging personal and professional development.
JD Havenga, 3D Modeler: There is a lot of collaboration that goes on. We share knowledge, techniques, and even Kit ideas.
Lienny Ruiz, 3D Modeler: Inspiring! Every Friday, we have a meeting where everyone in the office participates in talking about what we have all accomplished throughout the week and give insight as to what each department works on or has learned. It brings a smile to everyone's face when we highlight each other's milestones and really encourages us to keep pushing through the hard days because, in the end, we all appreciate the hard work that we collectively put in.
80.lv: What do you think sets KB3D apart from other companies in the industry?
Anderson Araujo: Actually, KB3D is my first experience in the industry and is my first experience working in a company that is not from my birth country. There is no better place I could have experienced both – the company has some of the best artists in the world, and everyone wants to see each other succeed. Everyone in the company helps to make new members feel welcome and feel that they are really a part of the team.
Lienny Ruiz: The level of kindness, encouragement, and yearning to make others on the team better is something I have not seen before. Something that has been ingrained in all of us is the saying, "Stress + Rest = Growth" so having a team that ensures we take our rest days and not overwork ourselves is refreshing to see in a company.
Luis Tornel, 3D Asset Supervisor: We really are a global team, and that makes the working experience so much richer because we have a lot of diversity culturally and ideology-wise.
Brandon Acree, Vehicle Modeler: Everything is structured to put the team first. Even when everyone is pushed to do their best work, it always comes from a place of growth and what we can learn. There is even an option to take some courses to push our skills courtesy of a Development Fund.
Supporting Team Members
80.lv: How does the company support employee growth and development?
Katie Ferris, Director of HR: We emphasize growth, and specifically seek out team members who will add to our culture of positivity, self-improvement, knowledge sharing, and curiosity.
Individual growth is also something we encourage and invest in. Programs like our Professional Development Fund allow our team to drive their own growth through external courses, books, professional organizations, certifications, etc. It has been inspiring to see how our team uses this benefit. It has even opened up opportunities for increased collaboration, such as a Customer Support Specialist learning software like Unreal Engine to support our community better. One of the best parts of this program is that team members bring back what they’ve learned and share it with the rest of the team.
Another team favorite is our exclusive Guest Speaker Series. This initiative, started by our Head of Kit Production, Mike Reese, has brought in unique industry guest speakers who share their knowledge and expertise with the KB3D team.
80.lv: Can artists suggest new strategies and workflows? Can they affect strategic decisions?
Mike Reese, Head of Kit Production: Not only can artists suggest new strategies and workflows, we encourage it. If there is a new tool that can help us develop our Kits more effectively, we want to hear about it. Sometimes, if the idea is big enough, it could affect strategic decisions such as which Kits get built or how a team is structured.
Luis Tornel: We are always looking for ways to improve our workflows to be more efficient and be able to spend more time on the creative side of things. We are software agnostic – artists work in different software at all stages of development – so we need every team member to share their thoughts to make sure data transfer between teammates is not disruptive, which requires a lot of communication.
Most Memorable Projects
80.lv: Can you please describe a project you worked on that you are particularly proud of and why?
Luis Tornel: Hong Kong! The scale of this Kit is massive, and we could not have done it if we were not constantly looking for ways of making our pipeline more efficient. This Kit works at all scales. You can just zoom into the entry of one of the buildings and find a story to tell, go to the back alleys and have bigger space, or arrange the different blocks and build a whole city super fast.
Mike Reese: Americana! We tried a different type of workflow with that Kit, and it worked out well! Ultimately, it changed the structure of our teams and increased our level of collaboration.
Anderson Araujo: DieselPunk Kit was the job of my life – it was the first time I had to plan the color composition, and the textures all by myself – it was a turning point in my career. With the support from my team, I gained confidence, and it was important because I could believe more in myself. It was a really fun Kit to work with, and I'm really proud of the final result. If I am a better artist today, a lot came from that Kit.
Gabs Herrera: Neo NYC! It was the first Kit I had the honor to work on, where I learned the KitBash workflow, both technical and artistic. But the part that always excites me the most with each Kit is seeing the artists' creations and the stories they tell using our Kits.
JD Havenga: Mission to Minerva. We had sublime concepts to work with, and even during the concepting phase, ideas were shared to nail down the final look of the structures, vehicles, and props. It was such an awesome experience to see the Kit being used by the community to create such epic stills and animations.
Lienny Ruiz: Warfare turned out so amazing. It was the first time we had more than 2 modelers on at the same time, and the collaboration in each weekly meeting - giving each other feedback or advice on how to make certain things were really cool to see.
Joining the KitBash3D Team
80.lv: How can new artists join you? What advice would you give? What skills (including soft) are you looking for?
Luis Tornel: We are constantly growing! Our website has the most up-to-date open positions, BUT it is not the only way to be part of the team. We offer an Ambassador Program where artists help us test and improve every Kit we put out. You can also follow us on our social media platforms by sharing your work with our Kits for the opportunity to be featured and maybe even selected to be a new Kit’s cover artist!
Mike Reese: Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date and geared towards the position you are applying for. If you are applying for an environment modeling position, having a lot of characters in your portfolio will not get you in the door as quickly as someone with a few strong, dedicated environment pieces. Also, quality over quantity. When it comes to skills, being highly organized, efficient, and having a good sense of design and material construction will make you highly successful at KitBash3D. We have artists who use Maya, 3ds Max, and Blender, so the software is really secondary to the underlying fundamentals. With that said, really know the software and the ways to be efficient.