SideFX is pleased to announce HOUDINI HIVE at FMX 2024. These sessions bring together top artists from the Houdini community to go behind-the-scenes of recent projects. In each case, you will learn how procedural techniques in Houdini help artists consistently create high quality work.


RAUM MANNHEIM | Wednesday April 24

10:00 AM CEST

Michael Gottschalk & Manuel Bamberger | The Marmalade 

11:00 AM CEST

Fuat Yuksel | RISE | Visual Effects Studios

11:45 AM CEST

Nick Woord | Territory Studio

12:30 PM CEST

Moritz Schwind | Entagma 

1:30 PM CEST

LUNCH

2:30 PM CEST

Hristo Velev | Bottleship

3:30 PM CEST

Hudson Martins Ribeiro | Axis Studios

4:30 PM CEST

Magnus Pettersson | Storm Studios

5:30 PM CEST

Urban Bradesko & Corbin Mayne | DoubleJump & CGI Academy

RAUM MANNHEIM | Thursday April 25

10:00 AM CEST

Robin Perdén  | Stereocolor

10:45 AM CEST

Magnus Igland Møller  | Tumblehead

11:45 AM CEST

Jack Harris  | Untold Studios

12:45 PM CEST

Andreas Giesen  | RISE | Visual Effects Studios

1:30 PM CEST

LUNCH

2:30 PM CEST

Jose Ángel Moran & Jorge Trueba  | El Ranchito

3:30 PM CEST

Bogdan Lazar  | Wave VFX

4:15 PM CEST

Andrew Hopper  | Baked Creative

5:00 PM CEST

Leif Pedersen  | Pixar Animation Studios

5:45 PM CEST

Bertrand Cabrol  | DNEG

6:30 PM CEST

Marc Dubrois & Coline Mattei  | Superprod

Recordings of most of the HIVE presentations will be available following the event. 

RAUM MANNHEIM | Wednesday April 24


Wednesday April 24 | 10:00 AM CEST
Gone in 60 Frames - Condensed Storytelling using the power of Houdini 

Brands have to communicate to their consumer's increasingly short attention spans. With commercials getting less and less air time, The Demo Part has become more important. In turn, condensed storytelling and brand communication has become an art form. Manu - Creative Director & Head of CGI - and Michael - Technical Director & Lead Animation Artist - will guide through our unique pipeline with Houdini at its core. By using a combination of Motion Control Robotics, Live Action SFX, photogrammetry, CGI and our Procedural Animation driven workflow, we make it possible to fit a whole universe into a 60 frame range through a bunch of nodes.

Michael Gottschalk is a Hamburg, Germany based 3D Artist working mostly in Advertising since 2006. He joined The Marmalade in 2020 as Lead Animation Artist and Technical Director. His specialty is to build procedural systems in Houdini that provide maximum flexibility and fast turnarounds in a world where efficiency is key to client, consumers and production alike. 


Manuel Bamberger leads the CGI team at The M and has left his mark on what is known as The Marmalade’s quality. Thanks to his result driven work ethic, combined with over 15 years experience, he ensures seamless workflows and a clear visual translation of his client’s needs. As a creative director Manuel works at the intersection of live-action and digital filmmaking. In his work, he effortlessly connects the best out of both worlds to craft visually rich films that always get the point across.



Wednesday April 24 |  11:00 AM CEST
USD Rendertime Procedurals in Production  

RISE Visual Effects Studios’ Head of FX Fuat Yüksel provides an in-depth look at the techniques behind USD Rendertime-Procedurals in Karma. He will show how the CFX Team at RISE used Hair-Procedurals in Production for Character Asset Grooming in a USD-Pipeline. Fuat will also go over other Karma Procedurals like Ocean, which was introduced recently with Houdini 20, and give some insights on Invoke Graphs, Husk, and how to turn nodes into Code.

Fuat Yüksel is Head of FX at RISE | Visual Effects Studios. Together with the FX-Team, he lives his passion for physical phenomena such as large scale simulations, destruction, fluids and character-related CFX simulations. He loves the combination of art and technology in the realms of CG-Maths and Physics. And mostly enjoys finding technical as well as visual solutions and workflows together with the RISE Team in Pipeline, Supervision and Production on a daily basis.



Wednesday April 24 |  11:45 AM CEST
D is for Doodad - An ABC of solutions to problems 

Because every day is different, because Houdini is vast, and because the speaker struggles with indecision, in this talk we’ll attempt to crowbar a broad assortment of useful things into a format that we’ll probably live to regret. 

 As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll simultaneously try to encourage would-be Houdini artists to take the plunge. The water is warmer than they think it is.

Nick Wood is a senior designer at Territory Studios in London. Long motivated by computers and pictures, Nick trod a popular path through numerous tools, over a couple of decades, before eventually arriving at Houdini around eight years ago. He continues to enjoy Houdini for its capacity to solve a wide range of production problems, and he would be extremely happy to communicate a bit of that enjoyment.



Wednesday April 24 |  12:30 PM CEST
AIAIAI - Don't You Worry (Yet) 

This session will focus on real world workflows incorporating AI techniques and their application(s) within SideFX Houdini, covering recent developments and inspiring unconventional use cases for generative neural nets.

Moritz Schwind is gonna take part in it all - Be it pixels, hardware, code or cameras. And sometimes even reassemble it. In his spare time, he likes to dabble with code and create generative artwork. He claims his early exposure to QBasic is no help at all when working in Houdini, Blender, Processing or Arduino. But it might have been what started his fascination for the boundaries of code and art. When not wreaking havoc to any intriguing devices around him, he works as a freelance Technical and Art Director. His more recent areas of interest cover the use of scientific algorithms in generative design and the application of AI in creative fields


LUNCH


Wednesday April 24 |  2:30 PM CEST
Integrating Virtual and Post Production in 'Comandante'

On 'Comandante' the team of Bottleship VFX led by Hristo Velev in collaboration with EZTrack, Cooke Optics, Kevin Haug, David Stump ASC, and WOW Tapes created an innovative workflow that integrates virtual production and post, solving long standing challenges to reduce dramatically the time and uncertainty between shoot and finished film.

Hristo Velev is a founder and key player in Bottleship VFX since 2013.



Wednesday April 24 |  3:30 PM CEST
Creating Large-Scale Bespoke FXs at Volume for Destiny 2 Lightfall

Join Axis CG Supervisor, Hudson Martins as he dives into the different aspects of creating large-scale bespoke FX at volume for Destiny 2 Lightfall’s cinematic cutscenes.  Hudson Martins will reveal the processes, techniques, and strategies behind some of the fierce explosions, magical portals, mega laser beams and most ominous bad guy in the history of the game who is mostly made of FX!  This talk explores the creative and technical challenges faced by the team as they created the heavily art-directed FX, the workflows used across the project and the common pitfalls FX teams might face.

Hudson Martins is a CG supervisor at Axis Studios, an award-winning animation and VFX studio. Brazilian-born Hudson moved to Sweden to study industrial engineering where exposure to CAD and Autodesk Inventor inspired him to switch his degree to computer graphics. Starting his career at Axis leading the FX team as Head of FX, Hudson has a strong core in Houdini FX and leading teams.  As CG supervisor Hudson is now applying that knowledge project-wide, working with all sides of production to deliver explosive projects.



Wednesday April 24 |  4:30 PM CEST
Infected and Cordyceps - CFX for The Last Of Us 

This presentation offers an in-depth exploration of Storm Studios' creation of the infected and cordyceps for “The Last of Us, with an emphasis on the Creature FX executed in Houdini. Attendees will gain insights into the different techniques utilized to craft the infected forehead cut and the lifelike emergence of cordyceps in key scenes, such as Tess’s kiss from an infected. Furthermore, the session delves into the role of CFX in heightening the realism of the infected characters.

Magnus Pettersson is Head of FX at Storm Studios, Norway. My career at Storm Studios began as a CG Generalist in 2008. Early on I found a burning interest in FX work and decided that this is what I wanted to do. I then implemented Houdini at the studio, laying the foundation for the FX department's creation and pipeline development.I have a passion for finding simple solutions to complex problems and building tools that simplify an artist's work.As the Head of FX, apart from doing shot work, I am responsible for running the department, improving the pipeline, quality of work, and recruitment.



Wednesday April 24 | 5:30 PM CEST
DoubleJump VFX & CGI Academy Presents: Explosions emitter 2.0 & Directing Decay: Building Natural and Controllable Decay Maps 

Urban will present several available online workshops and explain how DoubleJump stands out. Next, we will dive into showcasing the Explosions Emitter 2.0, discussing its use cases and the future development plans. Corbin will present a deep dive into an incredibly useful and studio-tested setup, which spreads attribute values across geometry in a highly optimised and controllable way. This tool allows you to easily set in and out points, alter the decay post-sim and even spread decay values based on a procedural limb hierarchy, making sure the hand falls off before the shoulder does! 

Urban Bradesko is a multidisciplinary artist best known for his explosions. He has contributed to the cinematics of Destiny 2 and Deathloop, as well as projects like Gears of War 5 and Love, Death & Robots, among others. Currently, he works at DoubleJump VFX Academy, which he co-founded. Sharing knowledge and teaching others is his passion, as are CG explosions. Who doesn't like explosions?


Corbin Mayne is a FX Supervisor, VEX Wizard and total Houdini fanboy. For over a decade he has been building tools and custom setups in Houdini and trained hundreds of students on the most challenging and technical sides of FX.


RAUM MANNHEIM | Thursday April 25


Thursday April 25 | 10:00 AM CEST
Houdini Hustle: Delivering VFX shots as an Generalist Duo 

Houdini's versatility and depth makes it the CG generalists most powerful tool. Learn how Stereocolor built a nimble pipeline to allow the artist duo to deliver VFX shots with a quick turnaround. Join Robin as he presents past projects and shares the tools and techniques that allowed Stereocolor to maximize their productivity and use their artistic skills where it mattered most.

Robin Perdén is one of the co-founders of Stereocolor, a small studio with big ambitions that focus on delivering highly crafted visuals for animation and VFX. Robin has 11 years of experience as a generalist 3D artist creating effects large episodic, commercials and XR projects. His love for the craft makes him seek out new avenues to utilize his skillset be it in VFX, Games, XR, Web, Art or Automation.



Thursday April 25 | 10:45 AM CEST
KineFX | Rigging and Animation in Turbulence 

A look into the rigging and animation pipeline for the short film Turbulence, produced by Tumblehead and Christopher Rutledge, with support from SideFX. We will dive into different ways of going about rigging in KineFX -- from subgraphs, python and APEX script. This short film is being created using the latest alpha build of Houdini, so while this could be viewed as a sneak peek, we are really excited just to show you how we are making the short film we've always wanted, using only Houdini.

Magnus Igland Møller is a Creative Director, Rigger and Co-Founder of the Danish studio Tumblehead. He is working with Christopher Rutledge on the short film Turbulence.



Thursday April 25 | 11:45 AM CEST
Bending the Elements: The Making Of Avatar The Last Airbender 

Join Untold Studios VFX Lead Artist Jack Harris to uncover the making of Netflix’s hit show, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Untold’s work includes highly complex water simulation, epic fire effects, as well as a dynamic fight sequence, including large chunks of earth being lifted and thrown. Jack will delve into the process behind some of the most technical shots and the use of Houdini to bring them to life.

Jack Harris is a highly experienced artist and has led work on a range of award-winning, complex VFX projects, showcasing a diverse range of skills from supervising shoots, to cutting-edge R&D and overseeing large teams of artists. His recent credits include Netflix’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ and Buffalo Wild Wings, ‘Hank’, featuring a fully CGI buffalo with wings, hanging out in a sports bar. Jack also worked on the VES-winning Super Bowl Frito-Lay commercial which sees a group of photorealistic creatures singing and dancing to Salt-N-Pepa’s ‘Push It’. Other creative highlights include the much loved ‘Edgar’ for John Lewis, ‘The Crown’ and a series of commercials for AFK Arena featuring Elijah Wood. Prior to joining Untold Studios, Jack worked on titles such as ‘The Witcher’, ‘Fast & Furious’ and ‘Final Fantasy: A New Empire’.



Thursday April 25 | 12:45 PM CEST
Crafting the Wasteland: Adventures with USD in the Fallout series

Join us on a journey through the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Fallout TV series for an inside look at RISE Visual Effects Studios' innovative use of the Houdini USD pipeline to create large scale simulations and immersive environments. From massive explosions to intricate details, discover how SOPs and LOPs are bringing this iconic universe to the screen.

Andreas Giesen works as a VFX Supervisor at RISE | Visual Effects Studios. He is considered one of RISE’s swiss army knives who can take a shot, no matter how complex, from concept, through blocking, lighting, shading and rendering to final. However his focus is now on VFX supervision - mostly of FX intense shows as he worked many years as a FX Supervisor. His latest work includes Matrix Resurrections, The Last of Us Season 1 and NYAD.


LUNCH


Thursday April 25 | 2:30 PM CEST
Crossing the Andes 

Creating the accident sequence in "The Snow Society" was a technical and emotional challenge, aimed at capturing human drama under extreme conditions .

Jose Ángel Moran & Jorge Trueba have been pivotal to our VFX team for four years, merging artistic brilliance with technical innovation to push our projects to new heights and inspire our team's pursuit of excellence.



Thursday April 25 | 3:30 PM CEST
KineFX | APEX Rigging and Skinning with ML Deformer 

A case study of how to implement  SideFX Houdini's 20 new APEX  animation framework into quadruped rigging , and the use of machine learning deformation tools for skinning and deforming a humanoid character.

Bogdan Lazar has been in the industry for over 25 years, 8 of which are tied to Houdini's procedural universe.



Thursday April 25 | 4:15 PM CEST
Get Sh** Done :  How to nail Commercial Product Ads 

Explore the world of Baked, where we blend high end visuals with rapid turnaround. Dive into our use of Houdini to foster collaboration and achieve quick results, crucial in our small studio setup. This talk offers a peek into our project journeys and the techniques we use to stay agile under tight deadlines. Perfect for those looking to streamline their creative process and deliver impactful content swiftly

Andrew Hopper is the Creative Director and Co-founder of Baked, where he leverages his expertise in motion graphics and visual effects to enhance the realm of creative advertising. His journey reflects a consistent commitment to improving brand perceptions and bringing multi-disciplinary techniques to the table, positioning Baked as a key player in the creative marketing journey. Andrew's passion for Houdini lies in its ability to refine and innovate creative workflows, a sentiment that resonates with his efforts to cultivate an environment of fun, innovation, and excellence within Baked.



Thursday April 25 | 5:00 PM CEST
RenderMan: The Latest and Greatest from Pixar 

Join Pixar’s Leif Pedersen, for a dive into the latest advances in RenderMan, from RenderMan XPU, to denoising, to major upgrades for Stylized Looks. With the latest release of version 26, RenderMan delivers powerful enhancements to Houdini, with a focus on Solaris, with improved UX and outstanding performance gains. On top of that, learn about how to join the next RenderMan Art Challenge and its community of artists.

Leif Pedersen, a CG Generalist with over a decade of experience in VFX, joined the Pixar RenderMan team in 2016. At Pixar, he applies his diverse skills to improve Pixar’s core rendering technology, RenderMan, ensuring it meets the evolving needs of artists and studios globally. Additionally, Leif actively engages with the RenderMan Community through social media and the RenderMan Challenges, showcasing the most artistic and technical aspects of the renderer.



Thursday April 25 | 5:00 PM CEST
Houdini, an Ecosystem to Nurture Creativity and Knowledge  

When thinking of Houdini the first thing that should come to mind is its framework. It allows any studio to create a pipeline for a lot of different steps of production and interconnect workflows. What’s not always mentioned is how it also allows any artist to build a framework around their show needs in ways that can both fill a need while educating artists that would want to improve their skills. Being able to learn from what is being used at any time is how you can create a strong team working towards artistic perfection instead of technical limitations.

Bertrand Cabrol has been working in VFX for 8 years now jumping around Environment and FX and between studios like Framestore, Hybride and Dneg now, which might seem like a red flag already. The truth is he always thrived to learn new ways of doing the same things and improve workflows which is why he naturally ended up on the technical aspect of production. He has always been interested in how he could make tools that would allow the artists to express themselves with a delicate balance between ease and flexibility. Working though shows like Blade Runner, Welcome to Marwen or Moonfall he has found that there is as much creativity going through a good workflow as there is in the final render, making Houdini and Python his primary tool set.


Thursday April 25 | 6:30 PM CEST
Crowd Dynamics Unleashed: Behind the scenes of Asterix with USD

Join Coline Mattei, Head of FX Department, and Marc Dubrois, Head of Pipeline, for an overview of Superprod's pipeline based on USD, followed by a focus on the crowd workflow they used on the upcoming Asterix animation feature. They will go through every facet of the workflow, from the creation of agents to the meticulous crafting of final shots, demonstrating the power and flexibility of USD and Solaris for crowd simulations.

Marc Dubrois is the Head of Pipeline at Superprod. He started his career as a graphic artist, accumulating a decade of experience in roles ranging from graphic artist to Lead, Supervisor, and CG Supervisor for both Commercial and Feature films. Then, he transitioned to a developer role constructing pipelines to support his colleagues working on commercial and feature films for another ten years. Before being at Superprod, Marc was a TD Supervisor and Head of R&D at Mikros Animation, contributing to feature film projects. Over the past four years at Superprod, he has overseen the development and implementation of the USD-based pipeline called Flow.

Coline Mattei is the Head of Visual Effects at Superprod. She knew she wanted to dive into the world of glitter and explosions since she did her first internship at Folimage. Based in Paris, she began her career on several TV series, sometimes as an FX artist, sometimes as a compositor, or even both together. Then she acted as a lead at Haris Studio before joining Superprod five years ago. Time flies! She managed visual effects teams on a lot of different shows and now Asterix is her new challenge. Houdini is her favorite game, and playing with USD makes the game even funnier!