Introducing Houdini to a new games studio

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Hi Guys,

I have just started at a new games studio and I am currently the only VFX artist and the only artist with any Houdini industry experience in the company.

There is alot of interest and buzz about Houdini and I have been asked to give a lunchtime intro talk on Monday to a full room of people from the company. Artists through to founders, and i'm missing some examples for some specialties.

I have good examples of artist driven roles, VFX, environment, layout and prototyping but there has been ALOT of interest from engineers and I dont know how to showcase how including Houdini into the pipe will make their lives easier.

I saw a GDC talk from Insomniac about Spiderman which mentioned using Houdini to help put tags into the game which could relate to character intractable like edge grips/pullups and surfaces to swing off.

Has anyone got any other examples? Its a none affiliated studio, using many different games engines and for an artist is mainly maya/adobe centric although they believe in the right tool for the job

Its going to be about a 45 mins talk after pizza and settling in and i'm not going to do any live demos, just lots of videos and slides

Thanks for the help in advance

Ed
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Ed,

We have found that often the advantage for Engineers is expressed by showing the work they no longer need to do. Technical Artists are often building tools that used to require an engineer - or if nothing else The TAs are making very effective prototypes that do a better job of specifying and communicating the requirements for a production quality tool so that the engineer's time is applied more efficiently.

David Santiago's “Spiderman” talk is great, but you might also want to look at his earlier “Sunset Overdrive” Talk (also on the GDC Vault) in which he procedurally places spawn points and other gameplay elements.

There are a couple of interesting examples in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MgUEbfrjXA [www.youtube.com] (Gameloft - “Modern Combat Versus”. Look at the video description for time markers. Both the Vegetation Tool and the Vertex Heatmap Tool are good examples of Tools that might once have required an engineer.

Feel free to message me if you want your studio to have a conversation with one of our Tech Art team.
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Hi Judith,

Thanks for video links, I'll go have a look.

I know an engineers time is precious but have you had any engineers worried that too much work is going to TA's. This studio has quite a few engineers
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Under-utilization of engineers is not a complaint I've heard Mostly there is so much custom engine work to be done (especially if as you say your studio uses multiple game engines) that the artist tools take time to rise to the top of the queue–and that's where Houdini can take away some of the stress and provide solutions in a more timely way. But please do be sensitive to your studio's specific character!

In studios with proprietary engines and an interest in writing a custom Houdini Engine plug-in the biggest concern from the engineers is the size of that development effort. It's a bit like asking the length of a piece of string…but depending on the current engine editor environment and what the requirements are, that piece of string can be surprisingly short. Best to have your team talk directly with us if that's of interest. Typically though you'd want to get some experience working with Houdini Engine for Max/Maya and perhaps Unity/Unreal before taking that next step.
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