GDC 2017 Houdini Presentations

Posted March 22, 2017

Check out some of the great presentations from the SideFX booth and the Houdini SkillDev day at GDC 2017. We will be adding more as they become available.

Volume to Mesh Workflows in Battlefield 1 | Andreas Glad

A recording of the presentation Andreas Glad gave at the SideFX booth during GDC. It shows off some of the workflows used in Battlefield 1 to create some historically very tricky effects. 

The talk will include a walkthrough of how to create the meshes needed for goopy, shiny, nasty, volumetric looking liquid effects. It also explains how they took some Houdini clouds and turned them into a dogfighting paradise in a game level taking place in the skies over London. The talk is tailored to beginners so even people who haven't used Houdini will be able to follow along and perhaps apply the techniques to their own game.

Andres' main presentation is up on the GDC Vault! It contains some more Houdini tricks for games. Go check it out! Please note that a login may be required.

Mafia III | Ewan Croft

Ewan Croft is a video-game artist at Hangar 13 Games, a 2K Games studio north of San Francisco where he works as Technical Art Director on story driven, open-world games such as Mafia 3. Ewan's talk will explore how Hangar 13’s use of Houdini evolved from a content production tool for simulations and dynamics, to an integrated - via Houdini Engine - tool-building development solution,  supported by a dedicated team of procedural content artists and engineers focusing on delivering life and variety to our large, open-worlds through proceduralism.

Houdini 16 Terrain Tools |  Alex Dracott

In his Houdini Day class, Alex takes an intermediate-level look at the H16 heightfield Terrain tools including a basic demonstration of a simple terrain being exported to Unreal Engine 4. Afterward, he shows off a finished project he created to demonstrate the potential use of heightfields in game production environments. In the end, he shares some tips and tricks he learned along the way.

Hair FX in Houdini | Saber Jlassi

This is a recording of the presentation by Saber Jlassi from the SideFX booth at GDC 2017 The topic is Creating a custom grooming system in Houdini for VFX and Games. Topics covered include, hair grooming for VFX, auto generating cards with texture for Real-time rendering and exporting the hair for real-time rendering using Nvidia Hairworks. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Saber at

Herding Rocks - Procedural Animation | Michael Lyndon

Michael Lyndon is a visual effects artist, teacher, mentor and team leader. He has a broad range of experience creating computer graphics for commercials, films and video games.Michael's talk will be Herding Rocks: Procedural animation in Shape Of The World. Discover how a mix of art directed simulation and procedural animation techniques helped create the construction of a monument from hundreds of rocks in the exploration game Shape of the World.

Procedural Art for Indies | Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia, also known as “Lune” is an indie game developer working on the project “Suki & the Shadow Klaw” for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation Vita and PC platforms. In this talk you will learn the importance of knowing your target platforms and how to speed up your pipeline by creating procedural assets with Houdini and Houdini Engine for Unity in order to achieve greater art quality with less time. Lune will also share his art workflow and the steps to follow to create the art for his project “Suki & the Shadow Klaw” and how the game is being optimized for different platforms while maintaining the highest possible quality.

Houdini 16 Game Shelf | Luiz Kruel

In this presentation, Luiz teaches how to use the new Games Tool Shelf that is included with Houdini 16. He will go over the new normal map nodes for COPs, Flowmap Tools, Make Loop SOP, RBD to FBX exporter, and the new Vertex Animation Texture workflows to get meshes with changing topology from Houdini into Unreal.

Procedural Assets for UE4 | Robert Magee

In this presentation, Robert will show how you can create procedural assets in Houdini that can be loaded into Unreal Engine 4 using the Houdini Engine plug-in. He will talk about how assets can be built in Houdini's node-based environment and then how to best deploy them into the game engine.

Houdini 16 for Games | Scott Keating

Scott will be talking about all the new features found in Houdini 16 that will help game developers create procedural game art. 

Castle Defender VR

Gabriel is a Game Intern at SideFX. He graduated from Drexel University with a B.S. in Digital Media and an interest in Houdini for game development. In his presentation, Gabriel talks about the Castle Defender VR project. He walks through the creation of the Houdini Digital Assets used to build the cartoony environment, along with how they were implemented using Houdini Engine. He also talks about the process of creating the game characters in Houdini from modeling to rigging to animation.