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Κυριακή, 7 Απριλίου 2013

Interview with Psy-Fi (translation)


This is an Interview with Antony Riakiotakis known in blender world as Psy-Fi who happens to be a talented Greek programmer helping blender by programming various thinks like UV-stitching, UV sculpt mode, and lately  the new painting mode which we will enjoy in the next blender release. Enjoy.


GREEKX:
Good evening and welcome Antony.
PSY-FI:
Good evening, nice to be here Kostas.
GREEKX:
So Antony you have been a blender programmer working with the blender developers’ team for some time now… tell us a few things about yourself.
PSY-FI:
Well first of all nice to meet u all. About me … I had an early interest in cg graphics and programming, then I fell onto blender and I started coding for it and here I am …
GREEKX:
For how long have you been working with blender?
PSY-FI:
About 3 years now. I was working on game engines and OpenGL programming before that and as a matter of fact I was going to write my own program for 3d modelling but when I found blender I decided that I could use that instead. So I started writing code for blender and finally on the summer of 2011 summer I applied for GSOC and they accepted me
GREEKX:
We ll talk about GSOC later. So tell us have you studied programming or what?
PSY-FI:
I’ve studied physics but there were programming courses offered in the university. But like all programmers I had to read and learn by myself a lot. 3D graphics shares a lot of math with physics so this was also helpful.
GREEKX:
Tell as now about blender. What’s your work with it?
PSY-FI:
I wrote uv stitching and UV sculpting, now I m working on blender’s painting system, mainly trying to gather tools that are only exist for some paint modes and making them available for all modes. Also other minor things such as the gradient in the background of 3D-viewport.
GREEKX:
So you are officially in the team of blender programmers. How is it working with people there?
PSY-FI:
It’s a unique experience. That is because it’s a universal community and we are using a dedicated irc channel. So everyday we meet there with the developers and other programmers sharing thoughts, answering questions, helping each other. Decisions are being taken from the group and if you get in charge of a specific part of the code then you have enough control on the design and features that can go in.
GREEKX:
So to sum up you and the programmers’ team discuss about something to work on and then u need approval from the official developer team.
PSY-FI:
Well something like that. Blender code is open source so you don’t really need permissions to add or change something but there are rules that need to be followed. Code needs to follow the blender architecture/design and be formatted in the proper way to fit with blender’s code standards.
GREEKX: Is there a place where a programmer can find those standards?
PSY-FI:
Sure, the best place is blender wiki where you can find all the documentation needed wiki.blender.org.
GREEKX:
Are there other Greeks working with Blender like you?
PSY-FI:
Yes there are other Greek people involved with the program occasionally.
GREEKX:
Tell us about GSOC. What is it?
PSY-FI:
Well GSOC (Google summer of code) is like a scholarship/subsidy from Google. Google finances open source organizations to hire students for various related projects. It’s a great for programmers because it gives you great experience and you also get a monetary compensation for the work done. Getting involved is really easy. Every spring Google announces the projects and all you have to do is fill in an application. But it’s good if you have made contact with the organizations you are interested in beforehand and submitting a patch.
GREEKX:
I see. So tell as about the painting mode features you are working on for blender 2.67. I ve already seen some of it by downloading daily blender builds and I m really impressed with your work.
PSY-FI:
I wouldn’t know where to begin. The idea is to take tools from various blender modes and make them available for every mode. For example during last summer’s GSOC I decided that my work wasn’t good enough because I worked on texture paint code in isolation, duplicating code. So I am rewriting it by unifying the way strokes works on the rest of the painting modes and the way textures are being sampled by other brushes. It was really important and you can already see the results in vertex paint mode where you can now use textures. I also added stencil style mapping for brush textures.
GREEKX:
Yes I saw that and I must admit it’s working really great and it’s an innovation for blender.
PSY-FI:
Yes it’s new to blender though it already exists in every other 3d software. Its only the beginning of course because I have to make it support anchored strokes, mirror painting, give it a better performance and much more. A challenging part of the was separating 2d from 3d painting and while this did not involve any new features for the end user, it did make performance a bit better.
GREEKX:
Well yes, for us users, performance is a must.
PSY-FI:
I know that and I m hoping to work more on that before the release. I just hope to make it in time because blender releases are scheduled every 3 months and its hard to always make it in time.
GREEKX:
So the time for interview is taken from your coding…
PSY-FI:
That’s true but it’s a pleasant break from work so…
GREEKX:
Ok. I happen to know that you have been to a blender conference in the past. Tell us about your experience.
PSY-FI:
Yes every October blender conference is taking place in Amsterdam. It was a unique experience. I had the chance to meet the team behind Tears of Steel from blender foundation and many others. They where nice, open people with humour, sharing the same interests, very kind and helpful.
GREEKX:
So how it works? Do people get to make presentations etc?
PSY-FI:
Yes, if one wants to make a presentation he can apply for it and it all ends up with a variety of subjects from around the world, lets say from blender codebase/features to art history and so on.
GREEKX:
Its nice to have something like this. And from what I know you can find those presentations over the net.
PSY-FI:
That’s true. They can be found on blender foundation’s page on youtube.
GREEKX:
Tell us something about blender’s future from your side of view. What are your feelings about it?
PSY-FI:
What I feel is that blender is an open source free program and it belongs to everyone so the more people get involved the better it gets. The good thing about blender is that it already has enough tools which you can find in other non-free 3D software so i encourage all users to start using it even if by just using specific tools in their pipeline. Using blender is like democracy ... meaning the more people are concerned with it the better it will become and vice versa .
GREEKX:
And blender gives the chance to users to stop being slaves of various commercial software giving theme the freedom of choice.
PSY-FI:
This is a big discussion, but I encourage people to be a part of this. and it’s a fact that blender is on its way to the industry, making small steps. I can say that some of its tools are already on the same level or even better than ones in other 3D software.
GREEKX:
Like blenders unwrapping system or the new addition of dyntopo.
PSY-FI:
And lets not forget dynamic painting which I haven't found in other software and yes for sure dyntopo has brought many users in blender.
GREEKX:
Tell us about your experience with the blender community from the inside.
PSY-FI:
Well as i said programmers are very helpful and communicative and there is no competition among us. There is a lot of love in it and that is all its needed.
GREEKX:
Anything you wish to add?
PSY-FI:
Well I would like to inform readers-listeners that there is a lot of work to be done and many requests so for every programmer-user out there that would like to help in any way in his/her free time like I do, there is enough space. Unfortunately there is no salary but for a few core coders because of blender foundation’s low budget but its nice to be able to work with something by adding to it and making it available to everyone in the world.
GREEKX:
Lets not forget that working in a project like this will give the programmer a lot of experience that can be added to their portfolio.
PSY-FI:
Yes, and people thanking you for your work can sometimes be as rewarding as a salary.
GREEKX:
Well Antony I’d like to thank you for this interview and I wish you good luck with your work
PSY-FI:
I also thank you Kostas.
GREEKX:
Bye.

Original video interview in Greek:
http://greekxfreelancer.blogspot.gr/2013/04/interview-with-psy-fi-blender-3d.html




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