(November 22nd, 2011) cmiVFX releases a brand new Houdini training video with a bit of a twist. Take particle animation to a new level by integrating proven mathematical formulas to better simulate nature. Imagine thousands of birds in the air, an army of orcs marching on the ground or a school of fish fleeing from a predator. This training will teach the viewer the basic principles of a multi-agent system and how to create crowd simulations in Houdini.
This training video introduces how steering behaviors work and how one can create complex simulations just by combining simple behaviors. The algorithms created by Craig Reynolds can be used to simulate the movements seen in flocks of birds or fish. The viewer will also learn the common behaviors like "separation" or "cohesion" and how they interact with the agent’s mind.
As a bonus this tutorial comes with a powerful library of a multi-agent system which you can use to create flocking and crowd simulations.
Training BreakdownChapter 1
Chapter 1 shows some examples of what can be achieved with steering behaviors. It demonstrates simulations that will be able to be replicated by the end user after viewing this video.
This chapter will introduce the main concept of steering behaviors and it explains the basic terms and definitions.
Very important step, in this chapter you will learn how to plan flocking implementation. It will describe some common practices used in software development: requirements and feasibility. Sounds dry but is something that will help keep things organized. Learn to create a basic simulation setup using a SOP Solver within a dynamics network. You´ll get an overview how a single simulation step is working in general. Based on this new knowledge, they implement their own simulation solver in VEX.
In this part of the training they will start with the implementation of our first behaviors. We show you how simple behaviors can be combined to create more complex simulations and how point clouds play their role to look up an agents neighborhood to create interactions between our agents. BONUS: They will implement the "mind" - the brain for our autonomous characters.
In this chapter you already know the base principles of a flocking system and how to implement a modular steering behaviors system. They switch to a fully implemented system which is included as training material of this tutorial. It is a base implementation, a digital asset and toolkit which you can use to create flocking and crowd simulations. Or building on it with your own ideas and improvements… and finally, this chapter demonstrates how fast a bird flocking system can be created just by connecting a few nodes of this asset.
About the Instructor
Christian Schnellhammer is a VFX TD and Software Developer in Munich, Germany. He graduated with his diploma in computer science in 2001.After working several years as software developer and technical project manager at Siemens and BenQ, he launched his VFX carrier in 2007. He is now part of a freelance collaboration that offers a wide range of solutions for the VFX and design industry. This team is handling complete shows with shot counts in the hundreds as well as R&D and consulting services for VFX companies. Christian and his team were working on movies like Captain America, Avatar, King Kong, 2012, The Raven, John Rabe, We Are The Night, Krabat as well as critically acclaimed commercial projects such as “Skoda - Curriculum Vitae” and “Lamborghini - A Relentless Force”.
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