Interview: Dalai Felinto
19 June, 2013

In our second interview, we are glad to introduce you Dalai Felinto. He is an active Blender developer and has recently co-authored the Game Development with Blender manual, together with Mike Pan. He is currently working on stereoscopic workflow implementation in Blender. He also sings and plays the ukulele.

Dalai is a Freelance member of the Blender Network, you can find more information about him at his profile page.

What is your current activity and what is your background? Any specific projects you are working on?

I have a bachelor in architecture and urban planning, but I’m also a self-taught programmer. Due to this fortuit mix, I've been working in the past with science communication through visual outreach. I like the chance of working in a storyboard, but also to dive into software development when it comes to that.

Right now I’m working in the implementation of a complete 3D pipeline in Blender. The original proposal was written with the 3D stereo artist and author Francesco Siddi.

The multiview branch already supports multiple cameras per scene, Cycles, the internal renderer and the compositing system. Cheap anaglyph (red-cyan) glasses or expensive 3D stereo displays can be used both for the final render and the viewport work.

The plan is to have this read for the Blender 2.69 release. Follow this project in:

What led you to work with Blender and choose it as a (real time) visualization tool?

When I started my degree I went back to my old open source bookmarks to see which tools I could adopt in my learning process. By a matter of luck, Blender Brasil had an ads for an upcoming Blender crash course that was at 20 minutes walking distance from home. Four weekends later I was already in love with the tool and the rest is history.

As for real-time it was only natural. It’s really convenient as an architect to be able to present your work interactively. When I first came to Vancouver, in 2008, I had done some small academic projects with the blender game engine. That helped to land a job in the University of British Columbia where I met Mike Pan and started working in the Ocean Viz project. Since the project depended on the game engine, I got myself into Python, and slowly into blender development (some may say, to step up for the challenge of working under the shadows of Mike ;) - with whom I formed a long lasting friendship and work relationship)

Where do you see Blender in 2014?

In Hollywood, in the Playstation 4, in Nintento Wii U! Not directly, but via the work of studios around the world whenever they are giving the freedom of picking their own tools and try new pipelines. Making long short, I see Blender paving its way towards the 2.7 and 2.8 series, where users are to expect an even better integration between its different tools (if you haven’t read Ton Roosendaal’s post about the bright future of the Blender game engine as a tool tailored towards integration with different pipelines and focused on prototyping and serious gaming, check it out.

Could you share some information about the book "Game development with Blender" you co-authored with Mike Pan?

Mike and I were invited to work in the book in late 2009. The way I see it, this would be the book I would like to read when I was starting with Blender. We were both motivated by a chance to improve the quality of the game engine by providing proper tutoring in the subject. It’s worth noting that even during the make of the book, numerous times I used the book as a consulting/reference book. So I see even professionals already familiar with the tools benefiting from this project.

Apart from that, I found it quite unique to write about a “moving-changeable” target. As a coder I had a chance to decide between documenting some old functionalities Mike and I were not happy with, or to re-design it, implement it in Blender, and then write about it. some examples are the support for unicode and ttf fonts, the removal of texface properties in favour of per-material settings, the game debug graph bars, and sorted bug fixes.

The book can be ordered from Amazon:

Any other remarks?

I’m moving back to Brazil soon and I’ll be looking for new opportunities. If you have any interesting projects that you think may be fit, I’m all ears.

And follow the on-going manifestations in Brazil. There is more to see than our soccer juggling and the flip-flops. I hope the positive vibe there can help other parts of the world to reconnect the people with the possibilities of transforming the world we all share.

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