HOULY Daily Challenge

Posted Aug. 07, 2020

SideFX is proud to announce the winners of the HOULY Daily Challenge where Houdini artists competed for cool prizes by creating a new image or animation everyday during the month of July. Each week had a theme and each day had a topic to help inspire the artists on their journey. 







phoehsl | Day 27 | Translucent


Moeen | Day 16 | Feathers


Stephen Bester | Day 10 | Slo Mo


ChristopherRutledge | Day 9 | Growth


Week 1:  Elements

Moeen | Day 3 | Water

Week 2: Motion

NabilJ | Day 10 | Slo Mo

Week 3: Animals

Moeen | Day 16 | Feathers

Week 4: Worlds

PaulEsteves | Day 20 | Space

Week 5: Materials

phoehsl | Day 27 | Translucent



How to Enter

On July 1, a HOULY Daily challenge forum will be made available and a thread for each of the topics will appear. Create your artwork using Houdini products, including Indie and Apprentice, and render using Karma, Mantra or third party renderers working from within the Houdini environment. Any compositing work should be done using COPS.

Submit your work to these forums in order for your artwork to be considered. To win the daily prize, you must have your entry posted before Midnight EDT on each day. You may submit art to any of the topics throughout the month but your work will only be eligible for the daily prizes if you submit before the daily deadline. You will still be eligible for an entry point and the Iron Man prize if you submit after the topic date. The whole forum will be closed on July 31 at Midnight EDT so the judges can review all the completed work.

You are also encouraged to post your work on Instagram with the hashtags #houly2020 and #hl<topic_name>.  These will be used to repost your work to the SideFX account to help choose the Best Weekly/People's Choice award.

How to Win

There are a number of different ways to win with the HOULY Daily Challenge:

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of Judges and on a daily basis the top 3 entries will be rewarded points. 
Daily winners will be awarded Houdini T-shirts.

Daily Points: 
1st PLACE: 5 pts
2nd PLACE:  4 pts
3rd PLACE:  3 pts
ENTRY:  1 pts

The artist with the most points after 31 days.

UPDATE: Based on the number of entries coming in, we're making a change to how we handle this award category:

At the end of the week, we will take the three winners from each day and post them in a FORUM POLL thread where everyone can vote. The voting will be open for 5 days and then we will  award a winner for that week. Links to the weekly vote will be available at the top of this page.

[Old Rules: The best for each category/week will be chosen based on social media likes.]

From the winning entries for each day, our panel of judges will pick the top three overall.

Everyone who submits entries for all 31 challenges will win a HOUDINI SWAG PACK.

To win the Iron Man, you must set up a contact sheet of all your entries:
         LEARN MORE


  • First Place: Skull Canyon NCU  [Intel] + Houdini FX [SideFX]
  • Second Place: Houdini FX [SideFX]
  • Third Place: Houdini CORE [SideFX] 
  • Skull Canyon NUC  [Intel] + Houdini FX [SideFX]
  • Houdini T-Shirt [SideFX]
  • Houdini Indie [SideFX]
  • Houdini Swag Pack


This contest is open to any 3D artist anywhere in the world.  All entries must be received on or before the closing date.

  • This contest is void where prohibited.
  • Employees of SideFX or any of their agents may participate in the contest but are not eligible to win.
  • The judges' decision is final.
  • SideFX is not responsible for submissions that arrive late, or are lost or damaged during submission.
  • If the prize cannot be awarded due to unforeseen circumstances, no cash alternatives are available.
  • Artwork created for these challenges must be created using Houdini products. Winners will be asked to submit .hip files to verify that Houdini was used for all aspects of the designs. If you do not submit the files then you will be disqualified.
  • External texture maps may be used as part of your submission but geometry and motion must be created in Houdini.
  • All content must be the property of the submitter. If you are running Houdini on an employer or school computer make sure that this does not compromise your ownership rights.
  • Entries that clearly infringe on the copyrights of another company will be disqualified. 
  • Your entry in the contest constitutes an agreement to allow SideFX unrestricted use and distribution of the artwork submitted.


Q. Can third party render engines such as Redshift be used? 

 A. Yes as long as they are set up to render inside Houdini.

Q. Are Indie and Apprentice users eligible?
A. Yes. 

Q. Are we allowed to use SideFX Labs, MOPs and or QLibs?
A. Yes plug-ins and third party tools are also allowed.

Q. Are multiple submissions allowed?
A. Only one submission per day per artist is allowed.

Q. Can I output the animation using flipbooks?
A. Yes. You can use the Viewport OpenGL to output your entry.

Q. Can Megascans/Substance be used?
A. Megascan and other 3rd party models models are not allowed in the contest. Megascan and Substance textures are allowed.

Q. How will the Best Weekly/People's Choice really calculated? 
A. [Updated] At the end of the week, we will take the three winners from each day and post them in a FORUM thread where everyone can vote with a thumbs up. We will count the number of likes over the next seven days and award a winner for that week.

Q. Do I need to enter every day to win?
A. Not necessarily. There are four ways to win - see the rules above for more details.

Q. Are groups allowed?
A. No, this contest is designed for individual artists.

Q. If I win multiple daily challenges do I get multiple T-shirts?
A. Artists will only get one T-shirt no matter how many daily challenges they win.



  • markfancher 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Can third party render engines be used?

  • vusta 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    does hip file mean Apprentice and Indie are allowed ?

  • cybernetix 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Yeah pls let us know if u can use 3d party render engines...

  • DASD 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Are we allowed to use SideFX Labs, MOPs and or QLibs?

    • Fred Eric 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      this would be great to know. also when i am using the "font" node. i am allowed to use my commercial bought font types? anyway cool idea sidefx

  • Mielwen 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    are multiple submissions allowed ?

  • mmatkuliak 3 years, 9 months ago  | 


  • bubblepins 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Can I output the animation using flipbooks?

  • TwinSnakes007 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Man, wow, that require that all Geo must be created within Houdini is...gonna really stretch peoples skills. But, I think I have an idea of how to compete everyday.

  • SlimyMoonMan 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    All compositing should be done in COPS or must be done in COPS?

    • rmagee 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      If you are going to use compositing it must be done in COPS.

  • OrganicComputer 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Hi there, bumping the comments to say there is now a forum post to collect questions in now https://www.sidefx.com/forum/topic/74431/

    • rmagee 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      Please leave comments here rather than the forum.

      • OrganicComputer 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

        Understood. I live in constant confusion it seems, glad I was consistent today. :) Thanks for clearing all of that up.

  • rmagee 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    There is an FAQ above has answers to many of these questions.

    • OrganicComputer 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      Thank you!

  • KeithDigital 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Q. Can Megascans/Substance be used?
    A. Megascan and other 3rd party models models are not allowed in the contest. Megascan and Substance textures are allowed.

    Ah, too bad, I would really like to do some cool procedural modeling/simulation on top of an externally sourced human or animal base model.

    Seems explicitly not allowed based on the above, but if it's ok to utilize external models like this as long as they're sufficiently changed, or if they're just used as a source for some cool proceduralism, def let me know! :-)

  • Partikel 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    No love for rendering in a game engine then? Bummer.

  • dyne 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Hello! If my side fx account is from my design studio I need to create a personal side fx account to submit my work? I have this doubt after read the groups question on the FAQs.


  • ballogram 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    And if you just accidently deleted a post what happens? Tried to upload a visible image and hit the wrong button.

  • Ryan Fitzgerald 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Was the 9pm EDT time listed as a requirement on the first day? Hoping to do this daily, but I didn't see an FAQ there and submitted my first day later than that time.

    • Ryan Fitzgerald 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      Sorry, I see now that you can still be eligible for the Iron Man portion even if a day's submission is late.

  • arvidurs 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Would be great if everyone would get a full 24 hours on this... Living in PST - it's super hard to submit before deadline.

  • Pixel Sharma 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Can we model in Maya or use mixamo animation and then use Houdini for the main effect?

    • rmagee 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      Maya models - NO
      Mixamo - YES if applying motion to a Houdini built character NO to the use of Mixamo models.

  • OmidRG 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    I have a criticism. Why didn't you announce this challenge on Instagram, or YouTube, or as far as I know, anywhere? I just found out about it and it's already too late; Because I've started a project and can't abandon it right now. If I had known, I wouldn't have started that project. And I'm sure so many people don't know about it but they would love to take part. This kind of challenge is amazing for Houdini's reputation and will attract new artists. But it's practically useless because there is no proper announcement for it anywhere! It's not like everyone opens Sidefx side daily to see what's new.
    Please do more of these challenges in the future, and PLEASE have a better announcement for them!

    • rmagee 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      This was a VERY last minute idea and since we wanted to use HOULY in place of JULY we couldn't postpone by a month. The announcements were mostly on Facebook and Twitter. Sorry you missed out. We will plan things out a little earlier for next time.

      Please note that you could enter only one day of the month and be eligible for one of the top prizes for Best Artwork.

  • shavethebees 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Is it a requirement that videos be on youtube and vimeo and not uploaded mov's?

    • rmagee 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      No - videos can be posted as mp4s but youtube or vimeo would be easier.

  • ResilientPictureCompany 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Can I please ask, how are the winners chosen? Is it aesthetics or techniques or something else?

    • rmagee 3 years, 9 months ago  | 

      Aesthetics are the main criteria although an interesting technique might give an entry an edge. There are always lots of entries each day we would like to recognize but there are only three slots so hard decisions have to be made. There is a panel of judges to make it easier to make those decisions.

  • FFD 3 years, 8 months ago  | 

    Is photogrammetry allowed if we use the Labs Alicevision nodes?

  • Polar7Star 3 years, 8 months ago  | 

    I submitted an entry for the Houly Challenge Day 31 Incandescent onto the relevant forum - Day 31 | Materials: Incandescent.

    It is my first post, so I it not yet viewable on the forum and waiting for approval from the moderator. Just wanted to make sure it has been uploaded successfully.


  • Motionaut 3 years, 8 months ago  | 

    Holy Smokers, South Africans representing! Well done dudes.

  • lavrenovlad 3 years, 7 months ago  | 

    Will Side FX be holding such an event next year, just wondering ?

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