Alexander Weide

Houdini User Groups bring together artists to talk about their experiences working with Houdini's node-based workflow in production.
Now HUGS from around the world are coming together to create a series of online presentations.

Here is a schedule of upcoming presentations. This list will grow as more HUGs join in.


CHIHUG   | Chicago

October 1 | 6PM CDT/7PM EDT

Todd Dufour

October 15 | 6PM CDT/7PM EDT

Todd Dufour

LONHUG   | London

Oct 21 | 5pm BST/12PM EDT

Paul Richards   

CHIHUG   | Chicago

October 29 | 6PM CDT/7PM EDT

Todd Dufour


SINGHUG   | Singapore

SFHUG   | San Francisco

August 20 | 8pm PDT/11PM EDT

Han Han Xue   

LAHUG | Los Angeles

August 6 | 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT

Delano Athias  

MEXHUG | Mexico City 

July 30 | 12 PM CDT/1 PM EDT

Alberto Juarez 

Carlos Anaya

SPHUG | São Paulo

July 15 | 7 PM BRT/6 PM EDT

Guilherme Casagrandi & Fabricio Chamon  

LAHUG | Los Angeles

July 8 | 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT

Arnold Song 

THUG | Toronto

June 26 | 1 PM EDT

Anatolii Iudanov | XAPKOHHEH & Alexey Vanzhula  

VHUG | Vancouver

June 24 | 7 PM PST

Franco Pizzani


Recordings of each talk will be posted here soon after the presentation date.


LONHUG | London

Imaginary Colour, Clinical Hypnosis and Quasi-Monte Carlo 

Paul Simon Richards will present how he has used Houdini to produce award winning experimental films. The discussion will be as much aboutideas as it will be about technique, asking philosophical questions of familiar visual effects tools and processes. We will sense our way through the psychedelic world of 'imaginary' or 'impossible' colour using L*a*b colour and how Paul worked with a clinical hypnotist to build a 'solver' to produce images and text. The presentation will include discussion of Paul's ongoing work Looking at the historical context of Monte Carlo and Quasi-Monte Carlo methods in visual effects. 

Paul Simon Richards is a Visual Artist and FX Technical Director based in London. His work has been presented internationallyin museums and art galleries and film festivals. Quasi-Monte Carlo is an ongoing project which receivedinitial seed funding from Film London in 2017 and has subsequently been supported by Arts Council England, Nvidia, British Airways, GridMarketsand Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer.


CHIHUG | Chicago

Mighty Metaball 

This 3 part series will take an in depth look at the often overlooked features and uses for the metaball tools in Houdini.

Part 1 | Basics | Oct 1 -  The focus will be on the fundamentals of the meta field, including turning metaballs into geometry, the use of the magnet sop, and the meta force sop. 

Part 2 | Building Tools | Oct 15 - This presentation is dedicated to appropriating the code supplied in the pop meta force to build new tools. We will create a sop meta deformer and a sop meta interpolate sop. 

Part 3 | Gas Meta Force | Oct 29 - Take a deep dive into creating a Gas Meta Force that will include noisy temperature sourcing to create the beginnings of a cool nuke blast. 

Todd Dufour is the Fx Supervisor at the Mill Chicago.  He has over 17 years of Houdini experience. Before the Mill Chicago, Todd was the Fx Supervisor at Atomic Fiction. He has also worked at Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Mirada, Asylum, the Mill LA, and ILM. 


SINGHUG | Singapore

Retiming Ocean Spectra & The Pragmatic Approach to Solving Technical Problems in VFX

When you have complex ocean spectra layered together using masks with varying speeds, and even animated timescales, retiming them while keeping the same approved look becomes a technical challenge. In this lesson you will see how to achieve this as a procedural post retime operation, without having to modify any ocean spectra individually. We will also look at how to approach solving technical problems in VFX production using Houdini.

Yunus Balcioglu is a Senior FX Technical Director with experience from studios such as Industrial Light & Magic and MPC. Feature film credits include Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Aquaman, Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and many more. He previously worked in Silicon Valley building an interactive lidar, radar, camera analyzation and visualization tool for Lyft's Level 5 Autonomous Vehicle Division in Palo Alto. Before working in feature-film visual effects, he worked in the game industry as a Technical Artist at EA.

SFHUG | San Francisco

Transformation, abstraction, repetition, and how to think like a chef 

Working through some example projects to discuss a few foundational principles in generative design, and reflections on how to break through the staleness felt in the current digital content creation environment.

Han Han Xue is a Designer and FX Technical Director from Montreal, Canada. He is currently working on autonomous vehicles as a Product Designer at Lyft in San Francisco.


LAHUG | Los Angeles

Character Animation in Houdini 

For this presentation we’ll focus on taking a glimpse into Houdini’s animation tools. We’ll learn how to setup our f-curve interpolation for Pose-to-Pose animation blocking, how to polish animation, and we’ll also learn how quick and convenient it is to simulate a handheld camera with Motion FX.

Delano Athias has over 15 years of experience, he has worked as an animator and character TD on a variety of projects, ranging from blockbuster films, commercials, episodics, and games, for companies like Digital Domain, Method, Zoic, The Mill, and Psyop. He's been apart of such works as Ready Player One, Deadpool, The Good Place, The Walking Dead, and Future Man.


MEXHUG | Mexico City

Set Dressing with Eggs in Houdini: 
Artistic and Procedural Focus

In this presentation, I'll talk about the tools created for the set dressing team used in the movie "Un Rescate de Huevitos". I'll cover the creation of straw props to create the farm-like environment; how they work, as well as a bit of VEX, what you can do with it and a quick example. I'll also show two tools created for grass generation and stylized trees, and go over why it was better to create them instead of using existing tools. After each tool, I'll show how they were used and show an example. 

Alberto Juarez has 15 years of experience in CG and has used Houdini since 2008. He is currently a freelance VFX/CG Supervisor at Huevo cartoon. He has worked in advertisement as a generalist and TD, and in animation as a CG and FX Supervisor. In 2015, he worked on the animated TV series "King Julien" and "Mac an Moxy" as an FX artist.

Lighting in Houdini

Lighting in HoudiniIn this presentation, Ill talk about the benefits of using Houdini as a lighting package and how the tools in Houdini helped improve it.

Carlos Anaya is a lighting artist. First starting out in VFX with almost 10 years of experience using Houdini, it became his favourite software to use. He has held multiple positions such as CG Supervisor, Lighting artist and FX artist.


SPHUG | São Paulo

7 PM BRT  / 6 PM EDT | July 15

 In this presentation we will show some uses of CHOPs in the areas of music, MIDI and constraints and how It can improve workflows.

Guilherme Casagrandi is a Mathematician and Technical Director who has been working for more than 10 years with Houdini. Founder of the 3d FX Studio HardcoreFX and teacher at Brave CG School.


Fabricio Chamon is a 3D Artist and Technical Director with more than 15 years of experience, currently working as a freelancer for companies worldwide.

LAHUG | Los Angeles

5 PM PDT  / 8 PM EDT | July 8

 This presentation will cover the entire workflow of a Houdini cinematic project, titled "Escape", under a tight production schedule. It will include planning, modeling, FX, and final rendering in Solaris.

Recording Link:

Arnold Song is currently an FX intern at SideFX and a teaching fellow at New York Film Academy - Los Angeles. He specializes in making cool effects and procedural models in Houdini.


THUG | Toronto

1 PM  EDT | June 26

Come hang with us next Friday, as we talk with XAPKOHHEH (otherwise known as Anatolii Iudanov) and Alexey Vanzhula. There will be excessive laughter, talking about 3D, stories from the past, and also there will be a presentation from XAPKOHHEH, revolving pyro and vellum. What about those two things? Well you have will to join in to find out :)!  

Anatolii Iudanov In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. He was Xapkohheh, a mighty princess forged in the heat of deadlines. The power...the passion...the danger. Xapkohheh possessed a strength the world had never seen – a strength surpassed only by the power of his heart. He journeyed the Earth – fixing pipelines and battling the tasks of his wicked stepmother, Hera, the all-powerful queen of bad clients. But wherever there was evil, wherever an innocent FX artist would suffer, there would be Xapkohheh.

Alexey Vanzhula is the creator of the modeling toolset "Modeler", which is a collection of specialized tools geared towards interactive modelers, in Houdini. Alexey has designed a UI and menus for accessing these tools and offers a workflow that blends both Houdini non-destructive environment, with high interactivity (more common amongst traditional 3D modeling packages apps). Prior to Houdini, Alexey was using Maya for 13 years. 

VHUG | Vancouver

Franco Pizzani | 7:00  PM PST | June 24

We will take a look at a simple traffic simulation system built in a popnet using VEX. We will start by quickly going over a reynolds boids setup showcasing some of the principles of crowds simulation, and we will learn about some useful VEX functions and ways to interact with other particles in the simulation. Then we will move into the traffic simulation itself and we will see how making use of modular functionality snippets make for a versatile and scalable setup.    

Franco Pizzani is a 3D artist working on games for several years. Transitioned into Houdini a little over a year ago by going to school in Vancouver. Recently worked as a VFX artist at Method and just started a new job as a Technical Artist at Applied Intuition.

Ivan deWolf | 7:40 PM PST | June 24

After buying a toy drawing machine, I could not find a good system to build gcode for it from an SVG file, so I made a system that generates gcode for a drawing machine directly from a python SOP, and have generated several ballpoint pen plots from Houdini using the system. The presentation will touch on CNC software toolchains and file formats, Houdini python coding, and a running machine and sample generated drawings will be shown, and source code will be provided.

Ivan DeWolf started his career in 1994 working on films using Side Effects software tools. He taught himself how to code, and started a software and visual effects production company called Martian Labs. Martian Labs sold ocean surface simulation tools and other systems to DD, R&H, Asylum, and other companies. He now works at Sony as a software engineer.