Interview: Mike Pan
10 July, 2013

In our third interview, we are introduce you to Mike Pan. He has recently co-authored the well-received Game Development with Blender manual, together with Dalai Felinto. 

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

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

I am currently working  on a molecular animation application called Molecular Flipbook with a team of scientists and coders from Harvard. It makes use of Blender’s game engine as well as my past experience gained from working on BioBlender, another molecular visualization plugin for Blender.

Outside of work, I occasionally do these short, 2 weeks long projects to keep myself entertained. The ubiquitous BMW model is the result from one of those.

Oh, I’ve been tinkering with a super-secret game engine project that I won’t talk about at this time. :)

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

Well it’s more luck than anything. I was already well versed in Blender and was simply hired to finish a project at my university. Before you know it, I was making a living doing it! 

I do believe communicating with visuals is a powerful tool. Combine that with my appreciation for real-time graphics, I really love what i do!

Where do you see Blender in 2014?

You mean apart from the official road map that was recently posted? :)

To be frank, the status quo will likely remain, with Autodesk products dominating the industry as it had been. I see Blender becoming more of a playground for the curious and the adventurous. Similar to what Arduino and 3D printing has done to the DIY demographic, having access to a free 3D application will open a lot of doors for the ‘tinkers’. Just look at how cheap it is to shoot, post, edit, score, and publish a movie now compare to 10 years ago. This democratization of technology has profound impact on the creative crowds.

Your book "Game development with Blender" has been recently published, could you share something about that?

When Dalai and I started, there wasn’t much material out there for teaching the way into the Blender game engine. This is getting better over time, but we still believe there was a gap from the available material and the current needs of the professional market. 

This book is the result of Dalai Felinto and me wanting to share what we know about the game engine. Dalai offers insights into the game engine from the unique perspective of a coder. While me, a long time Blender artist, will approach Blender from more of a practical perspective.

This book covers every aspect of the game creation process including logic brick, animation, graphics, physics, python, optimization and publishing.

However, as this is a book about the Blender game engine, topics such as advanced modeling and animation techniques are beyond the scope of this book. Likewise, Python programming in Blender will also be taught without assuming any prior Python knowledge; but this book is not a replacement for a full-fledged Python manual.

The book can be ordered from Amazon.

Any final remarks?

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