Artwork by Moeen Sayed | Day 25 | Buzz

The MARDINI Daily Art Challenge gave the Houdini community the chance to compete for cool prizes by creating a new image or animation every day during the month of March 2021. Each week had a theme and each day had a prompt which is meant to inspire the submitted artwork.

The Mardini HIVE brings together a handful of daily challenge winners to share the techniques used to create their winning entries. 


Individual Recordings of each talk are posted below.

Thursday | April 22

9:00 AM EDT

Brisbane | Australia

9:20 AM EDT

Beijing | China

9:44 AM EST


10:00 AM EST


10:20 AM EST

Russian Federation

10:30 AM EST

Budapest | Hungary

10:50 AM EST

Stuttgart | Germany

11:00 AM EST

Syros | Greece

11:15 AM EST

Berlin| Germany

11:30 AM EST


11:45 AM EST

Utah| United States

12:05 PM EST

Philadelphia| United States

12:25 PM EST

South Africa

Recording Now Available

Tokyo | Japan

Recording Now Available

Tokyo | Japan

9:00 AM EDT
Day 14 | Ancients
Ancient Mummies 

This presentation is an overview of the winning entry for Day 14 “Ancients” for the 2021 Houdini Mardini Daily Challenge. In this presentation we explore how to create a crowd of mummies using the biped03 character that comes with Houdini as a base, creating a setup that generates bandages, how to transfer or generate new capture data, so we can use the existing animation clips of the biped03 with our new bandage setup. We setup a basic crowd system with animation variation, self-collision and obstacle avoidance to get the agents to funnel through a hole in the wall, as well as prepare a few strands of bandages for a vellum cloth simulation that happens post crowd simulation.Lastly, we look at how setup and prepare the scene objects, lights and textures, as well as the viewport settings for a nice-looking output using reflections, AO, Depth of field and volume fog all within Houdini’s OpenGL viewport.

Thomas Klyhn Christensen [Thomas Klyhn Christensen] is an Australian based Houdini Generalist. He started his career in Denmark more than 14 years ago, at an architectural visualisation firm in Aarhus, creating photo-realistic imagery and animations for the high-end architectural industry, after which he has worked in a range of areas within 3D, Animation and Visualisation including the art industry, the medical industry as well as training material for the Australian defence force. In recent years he has also worked on projects within advertising, AR/VR and visual effects, and since learning Houdini, Crowd systems and Dynamic simulation has been a big part of the work as well.

9:20 AM EDT
Day 18 | Modern
My Philosophy of Houdini

Combined with Chinese traditional philosophy Taoism, this session will present a very special point of view of houdini by focusing on the core, original concept and principle. Use the most concise phase and human-language to explain most popular ideas and basic structures as well as sharing a very "stupid" yet most solid and efficient method of learning houdini.

Carldrifter [carldrifter] is a freelancer and VFX artist based in China, mainly focusing on simulation,procedural modeling,shading and rendering. With different experiences in film,motion design and game industries, he taught himself houdini 4 years ago and adapts it to various projects. Besides, He is a famous CG Blogger and houdini teacher who continue to promote and share houdini news and techniques in China.

9:40 AM EDT
Day 13 | Grass
A Brief Overview of my Scene 

In this presentation I'll talk aboutmy ingredients for this simple but effective grass setup,how not to instance animated flowersand finally a quick run over my material(s), light and comp.

Heiko Schneck [beezle] is a designer and CG generalist based near Stuttgart, Germany. He studied animation at the Filmakademie Ludwigsburg. Since then he has been working as a freelancer on a variety of projects from children television, movie titles and feature films to commercials. Coming from a software called Softimage, Heiko fully transitioned to Houdini about 4 years ago and is diving deeper into proceduralism every day.

10:00 AM EDT
Day 13 | Grass
Rapid creation of simple environments and velum simulation 

Breakdown of creating medieval scene with simple castle on the hill and vellum flag simulation

Dariusz Lacheta [Destroyer] is a 3D Generalist with over 10 years of experience mainly for tv advertisement, press and game art. 


10:20 AM EDT
Day 4 | Escape
"I want to believe”: A Car-Chasing Project   

Review of the process of creating an animation of a UFO chasing a car that was made in one day for the Mardini art challenge.

Alexandra Ushakova [Desturberrr] is a Russian student living in Moscow. She is 20  years old and has been learning Houdini for 1.5 years now and loves it. Alex dreams about being a professional VFX Artist and to make her own movies and games. She has a background with other 3D software, but for now Houdini is her favourite and the most powerful tool.


10:40 AM EDT
Day 6 | Flow
Making of the Flow   

Bence will show you how he created his flowing-glowing tubes for Mardini challenge day six. He will guide you through the SOP network and show the material setup for 3Delight renderer.

Bence Czanik [Bencze] is a Technical Artist at AImotive, Budapest. He started using Houdini about four years ago for optimizing the modelling process of road networks.He likes to discover new ways of procedural modelling and to experiment with particle effects.


11:00 AM EDT
Day 20 | Hidden
Mouse In The House: Realize Ideas Quickly    

 In this presentation, Nico will go over his entry for Mardini day 20: Hidden. He will share what he has learned over the course of Mardini, especially how to save time when realizing an idea in Houdini and how to approach things you wouldn't usually do in Houdini (like modelling a creature).

Nico Klein [NicoKlein] is 19 years old and graduated from a technical high school with a focus on design and media technology last year. Since then he worked on a variety of small freelance modelling jobs and learned a lot about Houdini in his freetime. Since about half a year he is collecting his first experiences as an Effects artist, working on two shortfilms. He is also really looking forward to start an apprenticeship at Mackevision in Stuttgart this summer.


11:20 AM EDT
Day 7 | Stone
VEX of the Ancients: A Mardini Breakdown    

In this presentation we'll go throught a brief breakdown of my submission for Day 7 of the Houdini Mardini challenge: STONE. (warning! contains copious VEX and a blatant disregard for syntax...)

Gareth McFarlane [gt3d2019] began using 3D software on the Amiga around 1993, progressing to Softimage on Silicon Graphics during his time at Belfast Art College '93-'97. After graduating with a B.A. Hons Visual Communication he briefly worked in local TV post production before joining EA Sports for a Playstation 2 title (F1 2000). After leaving EA, he focused more on interior visualization, primarily in Irish Bar/Nightlcub/Restaurant design. After a stint in Dubai, he began remote working around 2006, and ended up in Thailand for a total of 8 years, where, in Chiang Mai, he collaborated with a German/Thai company (Interactive Asia) on realtime projects using Ventuz as the engine. Returning to Ireland in 2018, he decided to learn Unreal, this then led to him downloading a copy of Houdini and his only regret is not getting into this wonderful environment earlier. He moved to the Greek Island of Syros in October 2020 and continues on his Houdini learning path which he hopes will lead back into game development sometime in the near future.


11:40 AM EDT
Day 10 | River
River, A Short Making Of  

In the presentation, I will go over the making of the Animation for Day 10 of the Mardini Challenge. I will quickly go over the scene setup and the modeling of the easier props. Then I will cover the mashed potatoes, the scattering of the pees and the simulation of the gravy in more detail. In the end I will give some lighting tipps and the setup of the shader in Redshift.The scene is not super complicated because of the short amount of time. But I hope that there are some helpful workflow tips for some people there.

Carl Krause [CarlKrause] is a CG-Artist from Berlin with a dedication to film and animation and a strong technological background. During his studies at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, he developed a fascination for computer graphics and its experimental use for telling compelling stories. He gathered experience as an artist at several companies including Psyop NY. He currently works at Sehsucht Berlin as a CG Generalist with a focus on FX and LookDev.


12:00 PM EDT
Day 17 | SCI-FI
First of all, Priorities!    

Oskar explains his view on learning, gives an analysis of the early Mardini contest and his personal consequences. Followed by an overview of the work done for Day 17 - Sci-Fi - Worlds. He shares his experience as a creative freelancer coming up with ideas and concepts for cgi based content.

Oskar Fülöp [oooskar] studied communication-design in Mannheim, Germany. Now he’s working as a freelance art director in advertising and the art installation world for almost a decade. His clients are agencies and studios from all around the world, working for global brands. In 2020 he started to learn Houdini.


12:20 PM EDT
Day 12 | Valley
Reviving Archival Maps with Heightfields in Houdini 

This presentation will give a brief overview of Luke’s first place Mardini entry for Valley. Luke will outline his workflow for processing a real-world heightmap using the Terrain tools within Houdini to reclaim detail and quickly produce a convincing result. Additional topics will briefly cover large scale camera techniques as well as layering archival maps onto heightfields. 

Luke Kantola  [Luke Kantola] is a Freelance Motion Designer and Editor living in Moab, Utah. His clients have included National Geographic, REI, Sender Films, and Patagonia among others. Luke’s work is greatly inspired by the outdoors and he can often be found exploring the cracks and crags of the desert when he is not working. 


12:40 PM EDT
Day 19 | RURAL
Making a Little go a Long Way     

Learn how to create a small detailed scene quickly and efficiently, while adding variation by using Houdini’s procedural modeling and scattering tools.

Jason Harmon [Jason Harmon] is a Freelance 3d generalist and motion graphics artist, based in Philadelphia, USA. With 18 years of broadcast and post production experience, he’s worked on a wide range of projects, from network promos, show packages, national and regional commercials, to large scale public art installations, and VR experiences.


1:00 PM EDT
Top 3 Artworks of Mardini      

Mardini, we take a look at the top 3 artworks as decided on by the judging panel at SideFX. Moeen Sayed reviews each artwork and explains what makes them memorable and worthy of the title of 'Best Artwork'. 

Moeen Sayed [Em-] is a 23 year old visual effects artist and the co-founder of Nine Between - a South African Visual Effects Studio. He is also a Houdini content creator creating tutorials on YouTube. As the winner of last year's Houly art challenge, he started a review series for this year's Mardini art challenge where he would talk about the various community artworks submitted during the competition.


English Captions now available.

Day 3 | Leap
Skeleton SOP

This presentation will cover the making of Mardini Day 3 Leap and the use of skeleton nodes from several Mardini examples. Rigging and animating a test geometry tommy using minimal KineFX features. We will show how to convert skeleton nodes to curves and use them for modeling and other purposes.

Takuya Okada graduated from Trident Computer College. He then joined Shirogumi and participated in the production of movies, commercials and game trailers as a CG generalist. Recently he has become a freelancer and produced CG for animation companies, etc.

English Captions now available.

Day 16 | Fantasy
The Creation Process  

This time I will talk about the creation of my animation for Day16 Fantasy. First, I modelled the aircraft, then built the background, then created the transition gate. I rendered the final sequence with RedShift. Almost everything is self-taught, so it is executed in a very unique way.

Takumi Furuya [Furuya Takumi] graduated from Japan Electronics College in 2020. He is currently working at Studio Bros.