The Houdini HIVE Japan brought together artists from the growing Houdini community in Japan. With some presentations being delivered in Japanese, (with English captions coming at a later date) and some being delivered in English with Japanese captions, there is lots to learn from these industry experts

Note: Presentations in Japanese will have English subtitles added some time after the event.

Dec 10 JST

9:35 AM JST

Junichiro Horikawa | Freelance

10:06 AM JST

Sunny Teich | Victoria Uni. of Wellington

10:37 AM JST

Akira Saito | Polyphony Digital Inc.

11:15 AM JST

Akira Saito | Polyphony Digital Inc.

12:02 PM JST

Shigeomi Kitagawa | Freelance

12:36 PM JST

Pavel Smirnov | Polygon Pictures

1:12 PM JST

Naoya Takahashi & Shuai Hu| KLAB

1:30 PM JST

Junichi Akimoto | Transistor Studio

2:10 PM JST

Ryusuke Ota | Freelance


Recordings of each talk are available below.

9:35 AM JST
Knowledge Sharing for Algorithmic Design 

Recently I've been uploading several tutorial videos on Youtube for Houdini to teach the basics and advanced topics of algorithmic design, and I would like to explain why am I doing it, what motivates me to create these tutorials, and why I'm choosing Houdini as a tool to teach this very topic.

Junichiro Horikawa is a freelance architectural programmer / algorithmic designer based in Japan and a part-time teacher in Tokyo University of the Arts, Waseda University, and UCL teaching computational design. He has published a book for Houdini and Grasshopper. He is currently uploading various algorithmic design topics on Youtube on a weekly basis using mostly Houdini as a design tool.


10:06 AM JST
VFX in VR: Designing MINIMUM MASS with Houdini and Unreal Engine 

Effects Artist Sunny Teich talks about her experience of bringing a film sensibility to real-time as the VFX Designer for MINIMUM MASS (2020), a short cinematic VR experience developed in UE4 for the Oculus Rift-S. MINIMUM MASS was selected for the 2020 Tribeca/Cannes XR Showcase, was in competition at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, and won the 2020 Annecy Cristal for Best VR Work.

Sunny Teich is a Senior Effects Artist and teaching fellow for the Master of Design Technology program at Victoria University of Wellington. Over the course of her career in the film industry, she developed an expertise in simulation, while working on feature films at major international studios including Disney Animation, Sony Imageworks and Weta Digital. In 2011, she was Weta’s Lead Technical Director in the development of a revolutionary facial simulation technique first seen in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. From 2014 to 2018, Sunny worked as a Lead Effects Technical Director for Framestore London, where she spearheaded an effort to move the fire workflow towards a more physically based model of simulation. Her current research surrounds the interplay between the limitations of real-time effects simulation and narrative design.


Part 1 - 10:37 AM JST | Part 2 - 11:15 AM EST
Procedural Hard Surface Design 

Akira Saito  will introduce the method and concept of frequency-decomposing hard surface designs for robots and aircraft, and generating them in a procedural workflow using Houdini. He will then breaks down Hard surface Design into frequencies and describes the automatic generation algorithms that are valid for each frequency.

Akira Saito joined Namco Corporation (now Namco Bandai Entertainment Inc..) in 1995, mainly involved in arcade game development, technical direction, art direction, and design work. In 2003, he joined Polyphony Digital Inc. in the landscape design team. Working on mainly technical direction and tool development he is involved in all aspects of the course production of the Gran Turismo series.


12:02 PM JST
What's new in PyroFX in about 30 minutes  

Shigeomi Kitagawa will condense the new Pyro FX features of Houdini 18.5 into a single 30 minute presentation.

Shigeomi Kitagawa  is a freelance Houdini FX Artist. he is active mainly in TV and movies and released "Houdini Visual Effects Textbook (MdN Corporation)" in 2018. He is also the operator of the Tips & Reference site " No More Retake " for 3DCG shops .


12:36 PM JST
Introducing PilotPDG into a Pipeline    

In this talk, we are going to explore how PilotPDG is being introduced into Polygon Pictures pipeline.

Pavel Smirnov is a Houdini artist and educator based in Tokyo with twelve years of experience. He started his career in Moscow, Russia as a Renderman lighting TD working on commercials and feature films. After moving to Japan in 2011, he created and led a team of Houdini artists, while developing pipeline tools at Griot Groove, a Tokyo-based VFX studio. In 2014-2017 he taught a Houdini course at Digital Hollywood Tokyo School. Since 2019 has been working as a technical director at Polygon Pictures (Tokyo, Japan).

Polygon Pictures, established in 1983, is one of the oldest and most recognized digital animation studios in the world. Our production studio brings together over 300 creators from around the world, who devote their days to producing cutting-edge digital content. In addition to long-form, fully CG television series such as the Emmy Award-winning Transformers Prime and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, PPI creates digital animation for films, video games, VR experiences and more.

1:12 PM JST
Game Map From Single PSD
& Character Reduction with KineFX    

 In this presentation, our presenters will talk about game map generation with multi platform optimization in mind and how to scale down skinned character models. To optimize game assets for various platforms,  Mr. Takahashi will tell us how he customized the map generation for a top-down third person action game, using the scale-down method of Fortnite as a reference.For character reduction , Hu takes the brand new KineFX out for a spin and tries to achieve a more simplified and improved workflow.

Naoya Takahashi was inspired by a screw model shown in a technical book and taught himself 3DCG while working at a design office. Later on, he entered a vocational school run by a major video game company and eventually got a job as a modeler. He created various background models for sports games.In 2016, he moved to KLab Inc. and participated as a background modeler in several projects. Currently, he is a member of RRR (Realtime Rendering Research), aka Triple R. The company is promoting operations such as reducing the number of production man-hours.

Hu Shuai is a Sr. Technical Artist from KLab Inc. in Japan. He started his career as 3DCG Generist in the TV/Film anime industry in Tokyo, and eventually became a technical rigger. He later moved to KLab Inc. and joined the corporation’s RRR(Realtime Rendering Research) group. Since then he has been involved in research and development related to rigging and animation.

1:30 PM JST
Comparing Various Renderers  

Comparing various renderers including those from SideFX: Mantra and Karma, and those from the third parties, and illustrate usability, speed, features and the costs.

Junichi Akimoto  is a Vice president at Transistor Studio. Junichi's encounter to Houdini was when he was at a college in 2004 and he has been using it ever since. He also writes Houdini articles called Houdini Cook Book monthly to, an online media.


2:10 PM JST
Cartoon Character Control  

You will learn about the principles of the hierarchy in KineFX and how to apply them to the animation control process.

Ryusuke Ota  works on mobile apps and cloud technologies at a broadcasting technology firm. Ryusuke has been a Houdini enthusiast for over 10 years, and has written a book called "Houdini Practice handbook Wrangle X Python." He has been organizing an annual community event every December called Houdini Advent Calendar, where various Houdini users post their tips and tricks.