Posted Feb. 26, 2019
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SideFX is looking forward to meeting you at GDC this year! 

SideFX is bringing the Houdini HIVE to GDC on March 20-22 with educational and inspiring presentations by both SideFX technical experts and industry professionals. Join us at the HIVE to discover how game studios use Houdini's procedural software to create content for games, virtual worlds and more.


HOUDINI HIVE LOCATION:

Room 110

Moscone Convention Center, North Hall Lobby

730 Howard Street 

San Francisco

CA 94103


MAP 




JOIN US FOR A BEVERAGE!

We're hosting a Houdini Social Mixer on Tuesday, March 19 - 6pm - at 46 MINNA. More info and registration here!


MEET WITH SIDEFX:

Studios looking to meet with SideFX during GDC can make arrangements directly with your SideFX Account Executive or contact us at sales@sidefx.com.


HIVE PRESENTATION SCHEDULE:


 

WEDNESDAY

March 20

THURSDAY

March 21

FRIDAY

March 22

9:30 AM

Sea of Thieves | Tech Art

Valentine Kozin | Rare

10:00 AM

Procedural Race Tracks 

for Mobile Games

Stoyan Dimitrov | Space Ape Games

Creating Functional Prefabs 

using Houdini Engine

Paul Ambrosiussen | SideFX

10:30 AM

Intro to Procedural Modeling:

Not Just Another Rock Generator

John Moncrief | SideFX

Building Worlds in Unity

Elvar Orn Unnporsson | Flashbulb

On the Origin of Darwin Project's
Geometry by Means of Houdini

Stephen Tucker | Allegro Digital

11:00 AM

Size Matters. The New Measure SOP

Fianna Wong | SideFX

11:30 PM

Bladerunner 2049 & Coco VR

Cosku Turhan | Magnopus

Building a Large Scale 

Environment PDG Pipeline | Part 2

Kenny Lammers | Indie-Pixel

Marvel's Spider-Man, meet Houdini

David Santiago | Insomniac Games

12:00 PM

Rapid Level Creation for Unity Mobile

Paul Ambrosiussen | SideFX

How to Not make an Explosion

Mike Lyndon | SideFX

12:30 PM

Houdini Tools for Unity VFX Graph

Thomas Iche | Unity VFX

H17.5 Game Tools Update

Mike Lyndon | SideFX

OPEN DISCUSSIONS

1:00 PM

Under the Hood | Houdini Engine
& Pipeline Tools [PDG]

Robert Magee | SideFX 

Marrying Scan Data 

and Procedural Workflows

Galen Davis | Quixel  
Luiz Kruel | SideFX

Session 1 :

How to Learn Houdini

1:30 PM

Session 2 :

Proceduralism in Practice: The Promise and the Pitfalls

2:00 PM

Building a Large Scale 

Environment PDG Pipeline | Part 1

Kenny Lammers | Indie-Pixel

Simplifying Indie 

GameDev Workflows

Luis Garcia | Feline Arts

2:30 PM

Photogrammetry & Volumetric Video Techniques With Houdini

Will Driscoll &
Danilo Moura Silva | Volumetrica

Automation Pipeline: 

Make More Assets

Rob Stauffer | SideFX

Session 3 : 

Machine Learning and Procedural Systems

3:00 PM

Terrain Generation

Ari Danesh | SideFX 

3:30 PM

Creating Assets and Crowds
for Unity VR

Danicka Oglesby| SideFX

4:00 PM

Houdini as a Comprehensive 

Game Dev Tool

Ben House | Blue Point Games

4:30 PM

5:00 PM

Photoshop Level Design in Unity 

using Houdini Engine

Luiz Kruel | SideFX




WEDNESDAY MARCH 20


10:00 AM | Wednesday | March 20 >> Procedural Race Tracks for Mobile Games
This talk will cover how Space Ape Games evolved their tech from in-house procedural tools in Unity to using Houdini Engine. Some of the main challenges in mobile games are performance and file size. Find out how we leveraged Houdini to develop a track generation tool that automatically populates road markings, apexes and walls depending on curvature while maintaining good vertex counts and lightmap resolution.


Stoyan Dimitrov | Space Ape Games

Stoyan Dimitrov joined Space Ape Games in 2014 initially as a 3D Artist and then transitioned to Lead Artist on Samurai Siege, Rival Kingdoms and Transformers. He previously worked as a Character Artist at Frontier and Rare on Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Sports Rivals. Today, he is working on redefining what great graphics and art tools should look like for mobile games. 


10:30 AM | Wednesday | March 20 >> Intro to Procedural Modeling: Not Just Another Rock Generator
This session is an introduction to procedural modeling for Games that starts with a general understanding of what is proceduralism in Houdini and then demonstrates how to harness it when making artistic decisions as you generate models. This session is meant to introduce you to the idea of using Houdini as a “Tool Building Tool” and no previous Houdini experience is required. 


John Moncrief | SideFX

John Moncrief is the Education Training Lead at SideFX. Previously, he was the Resident Dynamics Instructor and Dynamics Curriculum Manager at Pluralsight Creative. John has been teaching various visual effects software packages to creative industry professionals for more than 15 years. He lives for the rush of seeing his pupils experience "light bulb" moments. His latest passion is making sure that no software or tools can get in the way of an artist expressing their creative vision.


11:00 AM | Wednesday | March 20 >> Size Matters. The New Measure SOP
A sneak peek at an upcoming Houdini feature , we will explore the brand spanking new Measure SOP that can be used to calculate your surface curvature, perimeter, gradient (no, not the blending between colours but the angle of a slope) and boundary integrals (what's that, right?).  All this measuring...what can you do with it? Come to find out! 


Fianna Wong | SideFX

Fianna Wong is a Technical Marketing Specialist at SideFX and is most known as the robot voice of the Houdini Quickstart videos. She loves hardsurface modeling pr0n and still cannot believe that after so many years (since starting out with Infini-D and Bryce), the CG industry continues to innovate!


11:30 AM | Wednesday | March 20 >> Bladerunner 2049 & Coco VR
Cosku will talk about how we used Houdini to edit, add FX to and relight Holocapture volumetric data to use in the Blade Runner 2049 VR project. He will also talk about how his team used Houdini to optimize, process and export really big scenes that they got from Pixar to render the COCO VR experience. 


Cosku Turhan | Magnopus

Cosku Turhan studied graphic design at Bilkent University where he studied both basic design and jazz composition as a minor. Upon graduating with honors, he moved to Los Angeles to study film and digital arts at the University of Southern California. During his master's studies, he produced two thesis films, one of which (“The Bioturk”) got him international accolade by being shown at more than 20 festivals worldwide. After graduating, Cosku got offered a job at Sony Pictures Imageworks as an associate technical director.  He is a three-time VES awards nominee for the work he did for “Eagle Eye”, “The Amazing Spiderman” and “Alice: Through the Looking Glass”. 

After winning the grand prize for the “Rendering the Metaverse” VR competition held by Otoy with this startup group he decided to resume his career in VR which lead to his rendering/lighting supervisor role at Magnopus. Here he supervised VR projects such as “COCO VR” and “Blade Runner 2046: Memory Lab” which was one of the first VR experiences ever to use Holocapture. He got nominated for an Emmy both for “COCO VR” and “Blade Runner 2046: Memory Lab”. Aside from Supervising projects, he is currently using Houdini to create FX, procedural cities, and expansive environments for VR and AR projects.


12:30 PM | Wednesday | March 20  >> Houdini Tools for Unity VFX Graph
How we (the Visual Effects Team) designed simple exporters in order to bake high-definition volumes and point caches from Houdini to be imported in Unity for use in Visual Effect Graph.


Thomas Iché  | Unity VFX

Thomas Iché has 10 years experience in real time visual effects for Games (I Am Alive, Remember Me, Life is Strange). Halfway between artist and programmer, with strong experience in shaders, scripting and optimizing pipeline tools.


1:00 PM | Wednesday | March 20  >> Under the Hood | Houdini Engine & Pipeline Tools [PDG]
With Houdini's procedural node-based workflow, it can be thought of as a pipeline-in-a-box. The Houdini Engine plug-ins for Unity and UE4 let you bring that pipeline into your game engine for increased flexibility as you build digital environments and design levels. These techniques will be explored along with the new PDG [Procedural Dependency Graph] tools that make it easier to scale up and create more content faster than ever before.


Robert Magee | SideFX

Robert Magee is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at SideFX who has been working with Houdini for over 15 years. He has created lots of learning material and demos designed to help artists understand how going procedural with Houdini can benefit their work. He is the author of the Houdini Foundations book which is available on SideFX.com for artists learning Houdini for the first time.


2:00 PM | Wednesday | March 20  >> Building a Large Scale Environment PDG Pipeline | Part 1
In this presentation we are going to walk through the fundamentals of using Houdini technology to create procedural systems that empowers the generation of Large Scale Environments rapidly within the Houdini Engine. Throughout this talk we are going to learn how to optimize Houdini Engine and PDG [Procedural Dependency Graph ] workflows into your game environment creation pipelines!

Kenny Lammers | Indie Pixel

Kenny Lammers is a freelance Technical Artist / C# Programmer working for various clients, from the medical industry to the game industry, creating interactive content with Houdini, Unity, and Substance.  He has over 19 years of experience working in the game industry and has worked for studios such as Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Games Studios.  Kenny’s skills range from C# programing in Unity 3D to creating procedural art content in Houdini and Substance Painter and Designer.  You can find out more about Kenny at www.indie-pixel.com.


2:30 PM | Wednesday | March 20  >> Photogrammetry & Volumetric Video Techniques With Houdini
Wilfred and Danilo will share their expertise and tips on photogrammetry and volumetric video, capturing several rare artifacts and tombs from Ancient Egypt from Experius VR's interactive King Tut experience, then sharing the volumetric production of '7 Miracles', and lastly diving into the development of volumetric tools for VR and AR.

Danilo Moura Silva takes us through the best practices for yielding great results and tips within Reality Capture, while Wilfred Driscoll demonstrates how Houdini is used to clean up and optimize photogrammetry assets for game.  We’ll also explore volumetric video and how Houdini provides the solutions needed to manage this content in today’s production world.  You’ll walk away from this session feeling confident and inspired by the ways you can incorporate photogrammetry into your pipeline and work with volumetric video content in an interactive way.

Will Driscoll | Volumetrica

Will Driscoll is a content creator and technical artist working with Experius to develop photorealistic interactive experiences across many industries.  He is an early adopter of new technologies in performance capture and real world reconstruction, using a wide range of software, Sidefx Houdini as his favorite.  Will worked on projection mapping projects for Disney Theme Parks, Worked with Intel Sports/Studios on the Wild West volumetric presentation, and stereo compositing and fx work on films and tv.  

Danilo Moura Silva | Volumetrica

Danilo Moura Silva has created volumetric virtual reality experiences that take users on virtual trips to the Moon, Mars, Old Jerusalem and even a museum in his hometown in Brazil. He has personally digitized environments using photogrammetry and laser scanning and has a passion for creating pipelines that perfectly preserve the source quality. He has built multiple teams, from the ground up, to build games and interactive narratives in Hollywood for the last 10 years, since he started as an R&D engineer for Sony Pictures. He believes we are marching towards a revolution in the way content is created for the new generation of VR/AR/MR devices. The perfect storm is coming. It's time to focus on volumetric solutions for an amazing simulated reality, where we can feel like we can be anywhere we want.


3:30 PM | Wednesday | March 20  >> Creating Assets and Crowds for Unity
Danicka will be going over the different Houdini tools and techniques that she used to create a stylized VR environment in Unity. She will also be discussing how she processes crowd data in Houdini to be imported and used at runtime to transform agents in-engine.


Danicka Oglesby | SideFX

Danicka Oglesby is a recent SideFX Games Intern. She is based in Austin, Texas and is currently a technical artist at Moontower VFX. With a background in math and a strong interest in art, she found her way into computer graphics through Texas A&M's graduate program in Visualization. She focuses on gameplay mechanics, physical simulations and tool creation for pipeline efficiency. She has developed multiple VR experiences, from independent games to her work with Moontower VFX. She enjoys combining her artistic and technical interests to experiment with the new territory of VR.


5:00 PM | Wednesday | March 20  >> Photoshop Level Design in Unity using Houdini Engine
Using the Unity Houdini Engine plugin, we will demonstrate a pipeline that takes PSD files from Photoshop and convert them into full playable levels in Unity. This in depth talk will go through the process of building this asset and explaining the different methods used for converting images into scatter zones, spawn point placements, terrain and more.


Luiz Kruel | SideFX

Luiz Kruel is a Sr. Technical Artist at SideFX Software. With a decade of production experience in games, he has worked on several of the largest franchises in the industry, including Halo, Call of Duty, Doom, Madden and Just Cause. He is a part of our games team and responsible for developing tools to bridge the gap between Houdini and Game Engines.




THURSDAY | MARCH 21


9:30 AM | Thursday | March 21  >> Sea of Thieves – Tech Art and Shader Development
A comprehensive look at the adoption of Houdini by Tech Art while working on Sea of Thieves. Although we only began to learn and apply Houdini mid-way through production, it proved an invaluable tool in the Tech Art toolbelt. This talk explores the deepening link in our workflow between shader development and Houdini tooling with detailed breakdowns of specific use-cases, including lightning strikes, kraken tentacles, vomit and clouds.


Valentine Kozin | Rare

Valentine Kozin is a Principal Technical Artist at Rare, having started his career as a graphics programmer on independent games while studying for a Philosophy degree. After graduating, he entered the AAA industry as a technical artist, working on Kinect Sports Rivals and later helping drive some of the most notable visual features of Sea of Thieves.


10:30 AM | Thursday | March 21  >> Building Worlds in Unity  
When tight level design is king, Houdini is a Swiss Army knife for smaller teams. Get an overview of the process Flashbulb Games uses to create the large open world environments found in the open-world vehicle building game, Trailmakers.

Elvar Örn Unnþórsson | Flashbulb

Elvar Örn Unnþórsson joined Flashbulb Games in 2017 as a Graphics Programmer and is responsible for helping the designers create the world of Trailmakers as well as improving overall performance thus making the game run smoothly on PC and XBox. Elvar is tasked with creating necessary tools for the designers, shader programming and hunting down and eliminating performance bottlenecks. Elvar has a BSc in Computer Science from Reykjavík University and MSc in Digital Media Engineering from Denmarks Technical University and before joining Flashbulb worked as a freelancer programmer for several notable indie games such as The Silent Age and Keyboard Sports.


11:30 AM | Thursday | March 21  >> Building a Large Scale Environment PDG Pipeline | Part 2 
In this presentation we are going to dive a bit deeper and take a look at how to create procedural systems using PDG [Procedural Dependency Graph ]in Houdini and Houdini Engine. This will give you a more hands on look at how to construct a pipeline for Large Scale Environments in Unity. By the end we will have built up a procedural tiled terrain system, complete with erosion, a smart foliage scattering system, and implemented a basic road to demonstrate how all these elements interact with each other.

Kenny Lammers | Indie Pixel

Kenny Lammers is a freelance Technical Artist / C# Programmer working for various clients, from the medical industry to the game industry, creating interactive content with Houdini, Unity, and Substance.  He has over 19 years of experience working in the game industry and has worked for studios such as Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Games Studios.  Kenny’s skills range from C# programing in Unity 3D to creating procedural art content in Houdini and Substance Painter and Designer.  You can find out more about Kenny at www.indie-pixel.com.


12:00 PM | Thursday | March 21  >> Rapid Level Creation for Unity Mobile
In this presentation, Paul will give you a high-level overview of the Houdini tools that have been developed to create a rapidly iterative workflow for using sketches, created in a paint application, to generate 3D game levels in multiple styles for mobile games. This workflow is in support of an in-house mobile game created in Unity called "Army of One".


Paul Ambrosiussen | SideFX

Paul Ambrosiussen is currently a Technical Artist and Game Tools Developer at SideFX Software. He finished his BASc in International Game Architecture and Design at NHTV University of Applied Sciences in Breda. Paul enjoys writing tools to support effective art-pipelines, and maintaining tool / workflow quality for the artists he is assisting. His goal is to help others create amazing things in a better, faster and more flexible way. He creates tutorials, gives live lectures, attends events, and presents custom workshops to customers.


12:30 PM | Thursday | March 21  >> GameDev Tools Update for 17.5
This presentation will give a quick overview of the various tools the game dev team has been working on recently. We’ll be looking at an updated game res pipeline with Alice Vision (photogrammetry) and LOD generation, a building generator, and some procedural vfx tools. We’ll cover our development cycle and how you contribute to that as well as our roadmap for the year ahead.


Mike Lyndon | SideFX

Mike Lyndon is a Sr. Technical Artist at SideFX. He has a broad range of experience creating computer graphics for commercials, films and video games. His fascination with the world around us and the desire to blend art with his technical tinkering has led to his work making rolling cloudscapes in Ender's Game, generating raging fires in Gears of War 4 and trapping penguins in an avalanche of snow for Happy Feet 2. He is a part of our games team and responsible for developing tools to bridge the gap between Houdini and realtime applications.


1:00 PM | Thursday | March 21  >> Marrying Scan Data and Procedural Workflows
Using a film quality approach in a real-time setting is made easy in Unreal Engine using high quality scan data. Leveraging the power of Houdini under the hood, coupled with Megascans and LIDAR on top, we proved that small team of artists can achieve insanely high quality results in a short amount of time.


Galen Davis | Quixel

Galen Davis is the Head of Evangelism for Quixel. Before working for the Sweden based company, he worked as an Environment Artist in the games industry contributing to franchises like Bioshock, Borderlands, and the most recent God of War title.


Luiz Kruel | SideFX

Luiz Kruel is a Sr. Technical Artist at SideFX Software. With a decade of production experience in games, he has worked on several of the largest franchises in the industry, including Halo, Call of Duty, Doom, Madden and Just Cause. He is a part of our games team and responsible for developing tools to bridge the gap between Houdini and Game Engines.


2:00 PM | Thursday | March 21  >> Simplifying Indie GameDev Workflows
This session is for indie developers or teams looking to speed up their 3d workflow while maintaining asset quality or for those who require to build large scenes or a high number of asset variations. In this session, you will learn how to get the most of Houdini Engine in your game development and how to speed up repetitive tasks by creating Digital Assets that integrate directly into the game engine as fully functional assets.


Luis Garcia | Feline Arts

Luis Garcia started his career as an artist then evolved into a generalist Indie Game Developer working on Suki & the Shadow Klaw with knowledge going from 3D Modeling to animation, C#, and shader scripting, counting with two unity certifications. Founder of Feline Arts, an indie game studio based in Mexico, a 3D adventure/platformer for PS4, Xbox One, and PC where Houdini has been one of the core tools used for the development of this project.


2:30 PM | Thursday | March 21  >> Automation Pipeline: Make More Assets
Discover ways to rapidly create variants of game assets using Houdini's procedural workflow.  Explore methods for generating textures and geometry by iterating over value ranges using wedging. Learn how to using Houdini Engine and Houdini's pipeline tools for efficient batch processing, and see the resulting assets in Unreal Engine.


Rob Stauffer | SideFX

Rob Stauffer is a Senior Production Consultant at SideFX. He has over 20 years experience in computer graphics and visual effects. Rob started his career at Digital Domain and has worked at Sony Imageworks, Weta Digital, Asylum FX and most recently was an FX Supervisor at Rhythm and Hues. He has contributed to the FX of over 20 feature films including, "Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King", "Spiderman 2", "X-Men:First Class", "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Seventh Son”. Rob joined SideFX in 2013 where he educates new and existing clients on the features of Houdini. Consults with studios on their pipelines and where Houdini may fit in and explores new and future technologies within VFX,Games and VR.


3:00 PM | Thursday | March 21  >> Terrain Generation
Ari explores Houdini's terrain tools with a focus on new erosion models for higher quality results and hierarchical scattering for populating the terrain. He will also look at ways that Machine Learning can be utilized to take terrain generation to the next level. 


Ari Danesh | SideFX

Ari Danesh is the Lead Instructor at SideFX. Before working at SideFX he taught Interactive Design at the university level for 12 years. He started his career working as a Software Engineer in the defense industry designing displays and then leading a VR research department for real time Command and Control systems during the first generation of VR applications. His current focus is on Generative Art, Natural Environments, Procedural and Object Based Systems. At SideFX besides teaching clients, he dabbles in designing terrain tools.


4:00 PM | Thursday | March 21  >> Houdini as a Comprehensive Game Dev Tool
This presentation will cover the wide range of benefits of using Houdini as a studio-wide pipeline tool in video game development. We will demonstrate some powerful terrain and vfx tools and then explore multiple ways that Houdini and Houdini Engine can be used to increase studio efficiency by reducing the boring or repetitive tasks that frequently take time away from artists such as processing kit-bashed assets and procedural asset placement.Bluepoint has led the remastering process for years, releasing many iconic titles, including the God of War Collection, Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection, and most recently, Shadow of the Colossus on PS4.

Ben House | Blue Point Games

Ben House is a Technical Artist at Bluepoint Games where he develops procedural tools and workflows to support the production team. Ben is very passionate about using procedural tools to reduce repetitive tasks and is deeply devoted to education. He has taught courses on game development and procedural content creation at Texas A&M University, where he co-founded the Chillennium Student Game Jam and is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Visualization.


FRIDAY | MARCH 22


10:00 AM | Friday | March 22  >> Creating Functional Prefabs using Houdini Engine
Have you wondered if it is possible to create gameplay ready prefabs using nothing but Houdini Engine? Then this presentation is a must see. It will show how you can generate materials, set parameters with values from Houdini, create collision, attach scripts and more!


Paul Ambrosiussen | SideFX

Paul Ambrosiussen is currently a Technical Artist and Game Tools Developer at SideFX Software. He finished his BASc in International Game Architecture and Design at NHTV University of Applied Sciences in Breda. Paul enjoys writing tools to support effective art-pipelines, and maintaining tool / workflow quality for the artists he is assisting. His goal is to help others create amazing things in a better, faster and more flexible way. He creates tutorials, gives live lectures, attends events, and presents custom workshops to customers.


10:30 AM | Friday | March 22  >> On the Origin of Darwin Project's Geometry by Means of Houdini
While Houdini is often thought of as a power house for simulation, the low level access it offers when constructing geometry is without a doubt one of its most attractive features for game development. Come take a look at some of the ways in which Houdini has been used to create and manipulate geometry in Darwin Project for static meshes of lavafalls / splashes / rivers, rendered meshes as textures for Unreal Engine particles, collision meshes and vertex animated meshes


Stephen Tucker | Allegro Digital

Stephen Tucker began his career as an intern with SideFX and later worked as a Houdini Product Specialist, Stephen now has 14 years of experience using Houdini and is Scavengers Studio's Senior VFX Artist. He has worked in the film industry where he worked as both an effects artist and effects technical director at studios including Starz Animation in Toronto, Dr. D in Sydney, and Digital Domain in Vancouver. A gamer at heart, Stephen eventually transitioned into the video games industry and has worked as a visual effects artist in AAA games at The Coalition in Vancouver as well as EA Motive in Montréal. With what was originally a largely artistic background including a Bachelors of Applied Arts in Animation, over the years Stephen has grown his technical prowess and is often seen as a mentor. Stephen has taught both online and at the post-secondary level at places such as sidefx.com, fxphd.com, Lost Boys, VanArts, Udemy and MIX Training.


11:30 AM | Friday | March 22  >> Marvel’s Spider-Man, meet Houdini
This talk gives an overview of the how Houdini helped us author the Ground, Buildings, Traffic, Vignettes and Crimes, Props, and Impostors, Audio, Lighting and more for Marvel's Spider-Man.


David Santiago | Insomniac

David Santiago joined Insomniac Games in 2012 to implement several Procedural Systems for Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One). On other platforms his credits include Ratchet and Clankfor PS4, and Edge of Nowhere for Oculus Rift. Production of Marvel Spider-Man relied on the largest number of procedural systems to date. Previously, David was a visual effects and animation Supervisor and Consultant for over ten years. His 2004 book "Creating 3D Effects for Film, TV and Games" provides a thorough introduction to the world of digital effects. David’s first career was developing ultra-stable fiber optic distribution systems, cryogenic microwave oscillators, and ionic frequency standards at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. David entered the visual effects industry working on Dante's Peak, The Fifth Element, Titanic, and Armageddon at Digital Domain. He has supervised and created visual effects for feature films, music videos and commercials, and continues to concentrate on pipeline design, and process integration and optimization in support of creative needs. Other notable film projects include The Ant Bully, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Master and Commander: Far Side of the World, and Black Hawk Down.


12:00 AM | Friday | March 22  >> How to not make an explosion
Looking to give stylized vfx some love, Mike attempts to create a mesh based explosion. And fails many times. In this talk we look at the countless ways that didn’t work before settling on a workflow that gives the artist simple but directable animation controls and a set of tools to generate the final mesh. Powerful simulation tools are great but they take time to master and time to iterate. Instead we go back to basics by providing simple shapes and animation controls to block out the animation and then convert that to something more interesting for the final effect in the game.


Mike Lyndon | SideFX

Michael Lyndon is a Sr. Technical Artist at SideFX. He has a broad range of experience creating computer graphics for commercials, films and video games. His fascination with the world around us and the desire to blend art with his technical tinkering has led to his work making rolling cloudscapes in Ender's Game, generating raging fires in Gears of War 4 and trapping penguins in an avalanche of snow for Happy Feet 2. He is a part of our games team and responsible for developing tools to bridge the gap between Houdini and realtime applications.


1:00 PM | Friday | March 22  >> OPEN DISCUSSION |  How to Learn Houdini
How did you learn Houdini? Share your thoughts on the best approaches, learning materials and resources. Or, if you haven’t yet learned Houdini but would like to, this is your chance to get some tips and tricks on how to get moving in the right direction.


1:30 PM | Friday | March 22  >> OPEN DISCUSSION |  Proceduralism in Practice: The Promise and the Pitfalls
Games like “Far Cry 5” and “Spiderman” are compelling examples of the benefits of making content procedurally. Sometimes the approach is via automation of well-defined workflows which have been encapsulated into procedural systems. Other times the underlying (non-destructible) procedural techniques enhance traditional workflows by balancing the ability to make low risk changes with highly specific art direction.  The reality is that it can be challenging to choose the right problems to solve procedurally, especially in the heat of production. Using examples, both successful and unsuccessful, from the recent collaboration between SideFX and Quixel, let’s discuss the up-front cost to “go procedural”, which kinds of problems to address, and most importantly how we at SideFX can help mitigate the perceived risks.


2:30 PM | Friday | March 22  >> OPEN DISCUSSION |  Machine Learning and Procedural Systems
Are you currently or thinking of using Machine Learning in any part of your development process?What use cases are most relevant to you? As we at SideFX explore what it means to provide a platform for Machine Learning from within Houdini we’d like to know what problems you’d most like to solve.