Jun 11, 2009

Interview with Mike Pan, learning more about the craft

I can't remember how I landed on Mike Pan's website but I probably did it during my search for inspiration to learn 3D modeling or more likely Blender, since Mike uses it and has always used it. I will probably keep searching because Mike is only the first one to strike my attention.

After visiting his site and seeing some of his work, I decided to contact him and ended up asking a lot of questions which seemed like an interview so after I got his answer, I asked him for permission to post it on my blog and he accepted. I only thought that it could help others.

I asked him some question like how old he is and for how long has he been learning the crafts, why he uses Blender and not something else, how he compares different tools, how much he loves what he's doing, mostly things I was interested to know since I am looking to learning the same crafts. Here's how he answered me and I hope it will become inspiration for others as I'm sure Mike does also:

I'll try my best to answer some of your questions:

I ventured into computer graphics 5 or 6 years ago and is now in my early twenties. My first introduction to CG is using Blender, so I just sort of stuck with it ever since. I never really systematically tried to learn Maya or Max. It's just a matter of personally preference I guess, Blender works well for what I want to do. Although I can not subjectively compare blender with anything else, since I have not used those. Sculpting is cool, and a very intuitive tool for certain modelers. Blender's sculpting, like all its other features, is relatively primitive compare to a specific tool like Zbrush. Blender, like a lot of open source softwares, has a bit of everything, but if one compares ZBrush with blender-sculpt, or RealFlow with blender-fluidsim, or a commercial game engine with the BGE, one will soon find it's still lacking in many areas. But its strength is it's integrated nature.

I am working my way through university, and I generally like what I do. CG had been an on/off thing for me, I dropped it for about a year or 2. I dropped it once I realize how time consuming it is to create something decent. But I picked it up once I realized even with moderate skill, there is a market for artists like me. Idealy, i would continue learning and better my self, if I don't get bored that is.

If you are freelancing, you are your own worst boss. Avoid working yourself to death :D Worse than freelancing is freelancing AND holding down a full time job doing the same thing, which is what I am doing.


I am really happy after learning about Mike's experience because I'm really not that far away from the same path (unless I decide to drift away), or I would like to think so (my first renders were nowhere near Mike's great compositions). I got interested in computer graphics around 3-4 years ago, I started with 3ds max thought and unlike Mike, I dropped CG for much longer, but I'm still in my early twenties myself so I think there's still time...

Thanks to Mike.