First commercial done in Houdini

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Hi guys.

Just wanted to share our first Houdini commercial.

Don't go to hard on us. This was a good learning experience, and we had so much fun doing it.

We had the characters from previous commercials, but everything else was done in Houdini. Fire away if you have any questions. Rendering done in Mantra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD2eClnM60U [youtube.com]

Edited by Werner Ziemerink - 2016年6月16日 05:52:58
Werner Ziemerink
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www.luma.co.za
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Can anyone see the video in the post?
Werner Ziemerink
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Hey Werner,

congrats on getting it done in Houdini. Looks great.
The video plays fine.

Cheers,
Andy
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It looks great. I stopped it several times to examine those snow renderings.
What was your final render size? 1920x1080?
How long did each frame take to render, and I guess I am interested in what Mantra settings you used to achieve such a clean look. There is very little noise.
Using Houdini Indie 20.0
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Hi Werner,

Really nice! I'd love to include this in this year's reel. Please drop me a line if it is available - thanks!

- Bill (bill@sidefx.com)
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fantastic, congratulations to you and your team! I love to see such great results from Mantra! Proves the critics wrong!
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The rendering looks great! I really like the snow sims and Cowbell balloon at the end of the sequence. Congratulations!
Glen
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Distinctive! Love all the details flapping around in the wind. The crinkly folds and ripples in the inflated balloon look great.

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Nice one Werner and the team, great to see other studios in SA using the power of Houdini!
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Sweet!
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Werner - Correct me if I'm wrong but your team didn't know how to rig in Houdini, how did you understand the foundation of rigging to get your feet wet ?
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Distinctive! Love all the details flapping around in the wind. The crinkly folds and ripples in the inflated balloon look great.

Looks authentic
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Nicely done - congrats
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Nice work! I'm also curious what your render times were, looks great love the powder coming up as they board down the slope
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Thanks again for all the words of encouragement.

-Bill. That would be awesome. I will send you an email shortly.

Render times ranged from 1 to 2 hours on 1280x720. We have a renderfarm of 40 machines but used workstations after hours as well.
Pixel samples 8x8
Min Rays 1
Max Rays 9
Noise Level 0.005
Other setting all on default.
Volume limit 1

-Christopher R No we did not, but we did allot of rigging in Softimage before moving over to Houdini. We bought the 3dbuzz rigging tutorials and had to connect the dots from there. Building rigs in Houdini works fine, but skinning and weight painting feels old.
I hope to see massive improvements in this area by H16.


Thanks again.


Werner Ziemerink
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Enivob
It looks great. I stopped it several times to examine those snow renderings.
What was your final render size? 1920x1080?
How long did each frame take to render, and I guess I am interested in what Mantra settings you used to achieve such a clean look. There is very little noise.

It was actually surprisingly easy to get the noise away compared to renderers we've previously used. The only real issue we had was fireflies in certain specular passes. There was a few tricks we did to get rid of them, but in some cases we had to turn reflections off entirely to just get rid of them. (If anyone has tips on how to minimize fireflies please swing them!). We separated our passes with Mantra nodes, and only used takes when it was really needed (Just to keep things simpler). It wasn't really necessary to use takes much, but there were cases where we didn't have a choice. Strangely though in terms of render times, it sometimes took longer to write out IFD's for the farm than to render the actual images, although I do think it was a fault in our pipeline that caused this rather than Houdini itself, which we seemed to have resolved.

Mantra is an amazing renderer, I've come to really enjoy how flexible and stable it actually is. We've learned a lot from this project and we are already doing quite a few things differently pipeline wise (That I REALLY wish we did for this job), but hey we all have to start somewhere There are obviously going to be things I miss from what we used previously (Like per material bounce contributions and float values for light contributions), but these are just minor little things that I'm sure Mantra will eventually get itself. It's insane how much Houdini can actually help a smaller studio like ours when you start to get to know it. I was honestly really intimidated by it at first, but I'm in love with this software now! Softimage seems strangely archaic now…

Thank you SideFX
-Christophe
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Christophe Leyder
There was a few tricks we did to get rid of them, but in some cases we had to turn reflections off entirely to just get rid of them. (If anyone has tips on how to minimize fireflies please swing them!).

Presuming you used GGX as the spec model, it does produce more fireflies than Blinn, for example. We always try to keep fireflies to a minimum by clamping, using the color limit values and see with how much latitude we get away with in comp.
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Christophe Leyder
I'm in love with this software now! Softimage seems strangely archaic now…

+1

About the noise, i personaly found that the noise pattern produced by Mantra isn't really pretty compared to the Arnold one and is a good starting point for fireflies… Setting more than the default min 1 max 9 helps a lot (like min 3 max 9) but still..
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NNois
Christophe Leyder
I'm in love with this software now! Softimage seems strangely archaic now…

+1

About the noise, i personaly found that the noise pattern produced by Mantra isn't really pretty compared to the Arnold one and is a good starting point for fireflies… Setting more than the default min 1 max 9 helps a lot (like min 3 max 9) but still..

Oh yeah definitely I agree. I do think we got away with a lot due to the fact it was outdoors mostly. So even when things were in shadows they were still getting samples from the skydome or fill lights (The white environments made it easy to make light bounce around too).

In another job we just finished now we had it on around min -4 max -8. We're still kinda getting the feel for Mantra, using one renderer for so long and then moving to another is always tedious. I knew exactly what would happen when I changed a value in Arnold, but that was after years of using it, it was my home. So I'm trying to get to the same point with Mantra, a plus for that though is they're both path tracers, so its not like the jump I had to endure previously. So we're going to keep experimenting with things, we've come a long way already since we finished this ad we're showing here. I look foward to whats in store!
Edited by Christophe Leyder - 2016年6月21日 03:49:07
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if anyone is feeling generous it would help us a great deal I think to have some real production scenes that exhibit unwanted behaviour - have real scenes would help us track these things down.
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