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You might have seen Houdini used for some of the biggest feature film effects recently, but the software is also at the centre of much smaller productions. That includes this recent ‘Chase It’ TVC for Honda with visual effects by Alt.vfx in Australia.
Why would a studio implement an end-to-end Houdini pipeline? Andreas Giesen and Simon Ohler from RISE | Visual Effects Studios outline the benefits. Germany's RISE has grown exponentially since opening in 2007, with studios in Berlin, Cologne, Stuttgart and Vienna - and has contributed VFX to some of the world's biggest movie franchises including Avengers - Age of Ultron, Captain America, Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy and Harry Potter.
More than ever before, animation and visual effects studios are seeking qualified Houdini artists. This special report explores the studio requirements for Houdini artists, what schools and studios can offer to help meet the high demand, and what the experience has been like for young artists as they transition into their first Houdini job.
Every now and then something in the visual effects, animation and design world comes along that manages to resonate with, well, pretty much everyone. Such was the impact of Method Studios’ motion captured dancers with multiple ‘coverings’ made of fur, feathers, particles and other effects for the 2016 AICP Sponsor Reel.
SideFX chats with Dynamics Artist Neilan Naicker and VFX TD Raymond Popka on rapid prototyping and creating textures for the dynamic water system in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, doing RBDs fracturing and destruction sequences and how to populate thousands of background chickens using a custom particle system with little graphical and computational overhead.
When upgrading their animation pipeline, Montreal's SHED Animation evaluated several software platforms. They selected Houdini based on its non-destructive workflow and integrated end-to-end pipeline feature set. SHED used the development of their animated short teaser "Outside" as the first project to transition to the new pipeline.
Cinematic game trailers can be some of the most challenging digital content to produce - in just three or four minutes the trailer must communicate the ‘spirit’ of the game, tell a compelling story with interesting characters, and impress with stunning graphics and effects.
Learn more about how Ingenuity Studios tackled may of the VFX challenges presented during the production of Taylor Swift's 'Out of the Woods' music video. In particular, Ingenuity tackled growing vines, avalanches, sand and ice simulations and computer generated wolves, leaning heavily on the capabilities of Houdini to turn 100 shots around in only three weeks.
For the Avengers: Age of Ultron, Australia’s Animal Logic was tasked with shots that leaned towards the visually abstract. From the VFX for the JARVIS hologram, the Ultron hologram, and a trip into cyberspace, they were faced with open-ended requests that would require experimentation and creative vision.
Skål!, the Swedish word for “Cheers,” is the title of an animated short film about a pair of boozing hamsters who have a score to settle. The film is the creation of a talented group of students from Germany’s Institute of Animation at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
Disney turned to Houdini’s procedural toolset to provide an efficient workflow, rapid iterations and high-quality VFX. Whether they were forming large swarms of microbots, adding smoke and contrails to Baymax’s rocket thrusters or bringing an alternate dimension to life, artists at Disney turned to Houdini’s procedural toolset to provide an efficient workflow, rapid iterations and high-quality VFX.
The Book of Life brings a spectacular vision of our world and the next to the big screen while telling a story about love, loss and redemption. Inspired by the Mexican holiday El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, director Jorge Gutierrez. Reel FX Animation studios used Houdini and Houdini Mantra to realize his fantastic vision with the vivid colors, ornate detail and spiritual symbolism typical of this holiday.
The cinematic adventures of our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man are well known for their groundbreaking VFX work. With The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) continues to bring audiences blockbuster movie effects as they introduce the villain Electro. To bring Electro to life and to create a variety of VFX shots ranging from destruction, water, explosions and more, Houdini played an integral role.
Frima Studios is a digital entertainment studio specializing in social and web games, virtual worlds, console games, mobile games, as well as animation and VFX. Art Director Kristofer Eggleston and his colleague Technical Artist Étienne Carrier have brought procedural generation of game content into Frima’s production pipeline by using Houdini to generate geometry, animation, game assets and game levels. Houdini’s node-based workflow has given Frima the tools to work through a wide range of game production challenges.
Main Road|Post, a Russian VFX studio added numerous effects to the film Stalingrad including numerous destruction and debris shots. One of their biggest challenges was to seamlessly integrate and match up VFX elements into shots where practical effects already existed. This included shots with existing smoke and fire footage. They had to generate CG crowds that could react realistically to explosions while choreographing a sequence of shots depicting a military aircraft’s fiery descent into Stalingrad’s town square.
This summer, the US president’s home took quite a beating in the action-packed film White House Down. With VFX work by the Prime Focus World teams in London, Vancouver and Mumbai, who combined to deliver a total of 326 shots, this movie featured two explosive sequences involving a high speed limo pursuit and an attack on the White House from a trio of attacking F22 Raptor jets.
Halo 4 Spartan Ops is an immersive animated series brought out in support of the Halo 4 in-game storyline. To bring this series to life, Axis worked on all 1200 beautifully rendered CG shots. At Axis, Houdini is a core production tool that they use for a wide variety of lighting and VFX work. Houdini’s Mantra renderer has become a key tool for Axis and Halo 4 Spartan Ops is just one of their many projects rendered in Mantra where unbelievable realism was the goal.
In Method Studios most recent Super Bowl spot for Kia, a son asks his father the age-old question of “where do babies come from?” The response leads Method to an epic CG project and Houdini made it possible to include a variety of visual effects elements for the spot including clouds, water, fur, smoke and fire.
For Skyfall, London’s Framestore worked on all of the digital effects needed for this impressive sequence. To learn more about how Houdini was used , Side Effects talked to Diarmid Harrison-Murray, Head of 3D commercials at Framestore and CG supervisor for the title sequence.