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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

CAIROHUG   | Cairo


May 27 | 6 PM EET / 12 PM EDT

Mahmoud Ageena & Mohamed Krak

LAHUG   | Los Angeles


May 12 | 7 PM PST / 10 PM EST

Erhardian (Hardi) Siswadi

PAST EVENTS

STHUG   | Stuttgart


May 5 | 12 PM EST / 6PM CEST

Matthias Pichler

MadHUG   | Madrid


May 3 | Time TBD

Santiago Jiménez Francés

NYHUG   | New York


April 23 | 6:30 PM EST

Kate Xagoraris/David Ertsinian

NYHUG   | New York


March 18 | 5PM EST

Maria Mishurenko

LAHUG   | Los Angeles


February 18 | 7PM PST/10PM EST

Kate Xagoraris 

BRUHUG   | Brussels


January 21 | 5PM  CET/11 AM EST

Simon Verstraete

MHUG   | Montreal


November 26 | 6PM  EST

Sean Lewkiw

CHIHUG   | Chicago


October 29 | 6PM CDT/7PM EDT

Todd Dufour

LONHUG   | London


Oct 21 | 5pm BST/12PM EDT

Paul Richards   

CHIHUG   | Chicago


October 1 | 6PM CDT/7PM EDT

Todd Dufour

October 15 | 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


MORE TALKS WILL BE ADDED SOON!

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

CAIROHUG | Cairo




The VFX Industry in Cairo

This is the first gathering for CairoHUG community, we will have a discussion “in Arabic", with two great artists, Mahmoud Ageena, will talk about how Houdini hand to hand with Unreal engine have improved his creativity and productivity as a Flame / VFX artist working in broadcast branding field, and how this can make a great impact to other artists who have never tried before this workflow in Cairo. Mohamed Krak will then talk about Houdini in tv commercials and film industry, and how the demand on VFX works is rising in Cairo, and Houdini is changing the gameplay to a whole new level of flexibility of use and complexity of great FX.It will be a great inspiring discussion, showing the newbies / non-Houdini users where to start their career in these fields.

Mahmoud Ageena, is an award-winning Flame / VFX artist and designer from Egypt, He has 20 years of experience in tv commercials and broadcast branding.He is working at MBC Group in Dubai UAE, and before that he was working at Al Jazeera Media Network in Doha Qatar. His workflow between Flame, Houdini and Unreal engine is helping him do bigger projects, faster production with UE4 real time rendering.



Mohamed Krak, is a FX artist with 8 years of experience in film making and tv commercials in Egypt. Currently he is a freelancer, He was using many 3D softwares for FX, but for the last 4 years he switched his workflow to Houdini.

LAHUG | Los Angeles




Fun with Solaris and Renderman 

This is an overview of Hardi's first project as an intern at SideFX where he was tasked with making a small project of his own idea and had to use Solaris and Renderman; both of which he had barely touched before. The journey entails: prepping USD assets, getting FX into Solaris, and other Renderman Solaris quirks.

Erhardian (Hardi) Siswadi is an FX Artist who is currently a SideFX Intern. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the Academy Of Art University in San Francisco where he first learned about Houdini, FX, and the VFX pipeline in general. To view more of his work visit his website.


     



A Shot from Start to Finish 

Kenny Clark will present "A Shot from Start to Finish", a quick overview of how to plan and execute a shot for your own demo reel aimed towards Houdini students or newcomers who might be struggling with their first personal projects. Kenny will cover what to avoid, what to prioritize, and how to get a nice and clean final result that showcases your knowledge of Houdini.

 Kenny Clark is currently a CG Intern at SideFX LA, prior to that he was a Junior FX artist at MPC FIlm, and a graduate of Lost Boys FX Artist Program in Montreal. You can find more of his work on his website.


PAST EVENTS

STHUG | Stuttgart




USD in VEX 

VEX is the amazing programming language we all love, but have you ever used VEX snippets in combination with USD? This talk will go over the most important USD concepts and the VEX functions you need to know to be able to effectively edit your USD scene using VEX.

Matthias Pichler got his education in VFX at PixlVisn in Cologne then started working as an FX Artist at Pixomondo in Stuttgart, working on shots for movies and TV shows together with an amazing team. After 18 months of working at Pixomondo, he was able to shift his focus from working on shots to working as an FX & Pipeline TD. Together with Mariusz Wesierski, Tonio Freitag, and Yannic Schoof, they started Stuttgart's HUG (which has sadly been on a COVID-driven hiatus). To this day, you can find Matthias answering Shotgun Tickets, writing Python code, or debugging Deadline jobs - if he's not in a Microsoft Teams meeting right now.


     

MadHUG | Madrid


Event | May 3 | Time TBD

Note: This presentation will be in Spanish then translated when posted online



No todo es Vellum en la simulación de telas 

En esta presentación hablamos de la importancia que tiene el trabajo realizado antes y después de una simulación para conseguir el resultado deseado.

It's not all about Vellum in Cloth Simulation 

In this presentation we talk about the importance of the work done before and after a simulation in order to achieve the desired result.

Santiago Jiménez Francés is an FX artist and Houdini teacher at Trazos School (Madrid), freelance since 2008, working for TV series and advertising.

Santiago Jiménez Francés es un FX artist y Profesor de Houdini en Trazos School (Madrid), freelance desde 2008, trabajando para series de televisión y publicidad.


     


NYHUG | New York




Abstract Hydrodynamics with Houdini 

This talk will be about how to create Jupiter’s atmosphere in Houdini. Kate and David will go over how to produce these atmospheric effects by using some awesome hydrodynamic tools, particles, and ideas. As well how you can approach a project like this in an abstract way, while at the same time incorporating scientific ideas.

Kate Xagoraris is a VFX artist at Mr X in Toronto, Canada. She has a passion for researching science and its interaction with the world of visual effects. She also runs a VFX site (katexagoraris.com)  for artists to better understand Houdini and to think outside the box. Previously, she has worked on popular TV productions such as The Boys and Umbrella Academy. Kate taught herself Houdini while learning 3D Animation at Humber College. She has been passionately studying the software for three-plus years.  


David Ertsinian is a VFX artist  currently working as a visual effects artist at Pixomondo in Toronto, Canada. He started learning VFX back in 2016 at Seneca College and has worked for a couple companies in the industry such as SideFX and Soho VFX. Before Seneca, he studied animation at Mohawk College. During his time at SideFX, David was also responsible for testing and providing input for Houdini’s then new ocean tools such as the guided ocean layer and the spectrum/masking tools.


NYHUG | New York




MIDI in Houdini 

Using MIDI devices with Houdini is a great and easy way to supercharge creative workflows, whether it's modeling, animation, or getting better results from procedural generators. In this brief presentation, Maria will share some technics and approaches to setting up a convenient iterative workflow. 

Maria Mishurenko is an award-winning virtual and augmented reality developer, artist and game designer based in Brooklyn, New York. She is also a co-founder of the design studio Synesthetic Echo, which focuses on creating interactive experiences for emerging technology. Her recent virtual reality game Bizarre Barber was funded by Oculus and NYU Game Center Incubator.


 



LAHUG | Los Angeles




Blending VFX + Scientific Visualization

This live talk will be about how to incorporate scientific theories and ideas into your VFX productions. Kate will go over how to make scientific visualizations applicable to a production workflow, talk about how physics has already been used in film, and how we can push the boundaries further. As well as other possible uses for the software.

Kate Xagoraris is a VFX artist at Deluxe Entertainment in Toronto Canada. She has a passion for researching science and its interaction with the world of visual effects. She also runs a VFX site for artists to better understand Houdini and to think outside the box. Previously, she has worked on popular TV productions such as The Boys and Umbrella Academy. Kate taught herself Houdini while learning 3D Animation at Humber College. She has been passionately studying the software for three-plus years.


 



BRUHUG | Brussels




Python states: Take HDA to the next level

This talk will introduce you to the python viewerstates. Python viewerstates are powerful and take your HDA’s to the next level. With the viewerstates you can build and extra layer of interaction with HDA’s. The talk will go over some of the examples build-in Houdini. Like adding points based on mouse clicks, using keyboard to change parameters and more. At the end of the talk you will get an overall idea on how to create Python viewerstates and build custom tools.

Simon Verstraete is a Tech Artist at SideFX that is passionate about building procedural tools and assets. By exploring these procedural techniques, he is able to build 3D models with speed and flexibility. During his studies at Digital Arts and Entertainment, he taught himself Houdini then started working on Indie games such as “Ary and the Secret of Seasons.” by eXiin. 


 



MHUG | Montreal




Houdini Ocean Tools Quickstart  

Looking at the suite of tools available in the Houdini Ocean toolkit can be overwhelming.  Sean will look at some of the theory behind the Houdini Ocean tools, offer a broad overview, introduce the primary shelf tools individually, and then take a brief look at how and when to use each one of them.

Sean Lewkiw brings over 20 years of Visual Effects production experience as an artist, manager, and supervisor. He has an impressive list of credits on films such as Lord of the Rings, X-Men, The Golden Compass, Cloud Atlas, and Transformers to name a few.  Sean brings a strong knowledge of Houdini, having used it since inception in 1999, and has worked closely with SideFX over the years as a consultant and guest speaker and content creator.  He is currently Lead Houdini Instructor at Lost Boys School of VFX in Montreal, and Senior CG Supervisor at Cinesite VFX in Montreal.


 



CHIHUG | Chicago



Part 1 Recording
Part 2 Recording
Part 3 Recording

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. 

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.


 



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


CHOPs FOR MUSIC AND CONSTRAINTS  
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


"ESCAPE" PROJECT WORKFLOW  
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: https://vimeo.com/436493077

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


COFFEE TIME w/ ХАРКОННЕН 
+ ALEXEY VANZHULA 
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


VEX TRAFFIC SIMULATION
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.


GENERATING G-CODE
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.