August 10, 2021

The Houdini HIVE SIGGRAPH was held on August 10, 2021 for a full day of educational presentations. 

The HIVE presentations cover a range of topics including creature FX, USD and fractals. Recordings for all the presentations are available below. 

HIVE Presentations

9:30 AM EDT

Philipp Buschauer | Axis Studios

10:00 AM EDT

Carl Fairweather | Cinesite

10:45 AM EDT

Alex Veaux | Tendril

11:15 AM EDT

Grant Miller | Ingenuity Studios

11:45 AM EDT

Paul Ambrosiussen  & Mai Ao | SideFX

Recordings of the HIVE presentations have been posted below:

9:00 AM EDT
Firehawk PDG Tools:
Orchestrating VFX assets at scale

Including major contributions by RSP and previously Stormborn Studios during “The Man in the High Castle”.  Firehawk PDG is an open source Houdini package for production being built since PDG became generally available.                              We consider: 

  • Orchestrating many versioned assets across shots with minimal resources
  • Reproducing output: immutability and idempotence
  • Integration with asset databases
  • Multiple schedulers

Major contributions by RSP & previously Stormborn Studios during “The Man in the High Castle”.  Firehawk PDG Tools is a Houdini package for production.      

Andrew Graham has a deep interest in the convergence of automation and tools that allow beautiful images to be realised with efficiency.  He is the founder of Open Firehawk and a senior FX TD at Rising Sun Pictures.  Over 22 years in computer graphics he has contributed to Hollywood film, motion graphics and architectural visualisation. He previously worked for ILM, Weta Digital, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Image Engine.  He has contributed to films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Dr Strange, Only The Brave, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and The Hunger Games.

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9:30 AM EDT
Building An Artist Friendly CFX Pipeline 

The talk describes the journey of developing a CFX pipeline from scratch - leveraging Vellum, PDG and USD inside of Houdini.  The focus will lie on some of the core concepts, their implementation and how to satisfy experienced users and newcomers alike. 

Philipp Buschauer brings a versatile arsenal of skills to his role as Houdini generalist & TD at Axis Studios.  Originally joining the studio as an FX artist Philipp’s role quickly developed due to his creative approach to solving problems.  Now working across the  FX, CFX and Lighting teams, helping artists coming from other dcc packages to get started using the dynamics tools in Houdini as well as designing and implementing new pipeline approaches.

Some of Philipp’s projects include leading AAA game trailers for Gears 5, Outriders and Deathloop and most recently the hugely successful music video for Riot’s virtual girl group sensation, K/DA.

10:00 AM EDT
FATE / Flipbook To Final  

A peek into the Cinesite VFX workflow. Carl Fairweather (FX Supervisor) presents the various stages of presenting, QCing, and rendering content in an FX pipeline.

Carl Fairweather had a slightly unconventional journey into VFX. Graduating in 2002 as an illustrator, and with a passion for animation and motion, he started as an artworker for a motion graphics studio, Mainframe. There he had the opportunity to teach himself After Effects and Maya. Discovering a love of problem solving he ventured into Houdini and never looked back. In 2010, Carl surrounded himself with some of the best Houdini minds at DNeg and absorbed as much knowledge as possible. In 2017 he joined Cinesite London to oversee the FX on both Avengers Infinity War and Endgame. He was promoted to FX Supervisor in 2019 and now heads up the FX department.

10:15 AM EDT
Fractals & other Procedural Madness
in 3D 360°VR

Adrian Meyer talks about the Houdini Pipeline developed for his awarded Cinematic 360°VR Experience STRANDS OF MIND. Covering his unique approach to bringing fractals to Houdini, custom PDG toolsets, automated Megascans and Speedtree workflows, the challenges arising with stereo 360°VR and more. 

Adrian Meyer is a multidisciplinary Digital Artist and Director from Germany.His work is focused on moving images to inspire, and spark emotional experiences;often using a surreal and dark visual language.He graduated in Computer Animation & Visual Effects at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg.

10:45 AM EDT
Why do I keep coming back to Houdini?   

In this talk, I will present a range of projects that demonstrate why I keep coming back to Houdini, whether that is for personal or professional work at Tendril. We'll go over a few different techniques that can be used for character work, and then we'll dive into practical tips and tricks for working in a studio with a diversified toolset.

Alex Veaux was born in France and is now living in Toronto, Canada, Alex is a core team member ofTendril Studio in his current role as CG Supervisor. As a generalist with a passionfor character work he has cultivated a diverse of skills from technical to creative.

11:15 AM EDT
Worldbuilding with USD at Ingenuity Studios 

Using recent work with Spotify as a case study, we'll cover USD at a variety of levels. From an artist-friendly intro to a behind-the-scenes look at production files, you'll walk away with a great overview of how USD has transformed our pipeline at Ingenuity Studios.

Grant Miller brings a deep level of technical and artistic acumen to his role as Partner and Visual Effects Supervisor at Ingenuity Studios. He oversees the studio's 3D, FX, and Pipeline teams, ensuring that final results meet the exacting demands of sophisticated clients. As such, Grant works closely with directors and creative decision-makers, including during the preproduction phase and for on-set supervision, to ensure a seamless collaboration, and the quickest path to the highest quality results.

Over the years, Grant has provided visual effects supervision for a long list of notable clients, including music videos for such iconic artists as Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Lady Gaga; films such as Get Out and A Star is Born; episodic television shows such as Penny Dreadful, Runaways, and Away; and two Super Bowl commercials for Fox Sports. Grant got his start working in video games in 2007, a background that he pulls from as the industry moves toward real-time VFX.

Based in Los Angeles, Grant is a member of the Visual Effects Society. He received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Promotional in 2017. He is frequently called upon to share insights at industry events and conferences.

11:45 AM EDT
SideFX Labs 2021
New and improved Workflows for Artists

Paul and Mai will be talking about several enhancements that have been made with a focus on improved UX and functionality, as well as some new additions to the toolset.

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.

Mai Ao is a new member of SideFX Labs team and a technical artist who previously worked in game productions creating procedural pipelines, FX simulations, and shaders. He's here to drink coffee and develop tools, and he's all out of coffee at the moment.

12:32 AM EDT
In the Eye of the Storm |
Large scale fluid and Volume Simulations

We will hear about the creation of photo realistic oceans and ships that sail directly into a water-tornado and the sinking of an incredibly high island into foaming waters, focusing on large scale fluid simulations and volumetric effects.

Andreas Giesen works as VFX/FX Supervisor at RISE | Visual Effects Studios with his latest work being Jim Button and the Wild 13. 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 are of course FX simulations - no matter if it’s fluids, crowds, rigid body sims or pipeline tools that help facilitate standard tasks for other artists. His previous work includes the complex crowd simulations for Babylon Berlin, FX Supervision for Reminiscence and VFX Supervision for Jim Button and the Wild 13.

12:47 AM EDT
Building and Tearing a Flesh Portal for
Diablo IV: By Three They Come 

This presentation covers the "Blood Drum" effect from the Diablo IV cinematic "By Three They Come". We'll dig into how we took advantage of Houdini's flexible simulation tools, and VDB surfaces to efficiently create a complex formation effect. Then onto how Vellum enabled us to create dynamic stretching and tearing effects.

Nema Safvati is a Senior FX artist at Blizzard Entertainment within the Story and Franchise Development Division. He started out in advertising at studios such as The Mill and Moving Pictures Company. Before working at Blizzard Nema worked on feature films at Digital Domain in Los Angeles. Such as Spider-man: Homecoming, Thor Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War.