Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Um... Is this thing on?

Hi everyone, sorry it's been a while. Here in the LA office, we've been busy assimilating Houdini 12 before release. So much new, awesome stuff coming up in 12, I won't list it all here, but you're going to love it. Aside from that, we've had an awesome summer and a brilliant SIGGRAPH, and it's really good to see Houdini being noticed for its strengths beyond being "that particle package." Meeting with lots of different people during SIGGRAPH was a huge stoke, because the things they want to use Houdini for are so varied and amazing, it gave me project envy almost on a daily basis. So if you're always the one stuck doing dust puffs for the whole show, or debris, or sparks, or missile trails, take heart, because there's some really exciting work out there ready to challenge your skills, your intellect, and your artistic sense. And noobs, remember that the current crop of dust-puff people are looking to move up food chain, so I'm sure they'd be more than happy for you to take over that onerous task so you can get your feet wet.

 With that in mind, I can't stress this enough: Now is a REALLY good time to be a Houdini user. Remember that old government PSA for reading? "Each one teach one." So pick it up, learn it, and teach a friend.    In my perfect, blindingly nerdy world, we would have Houdini 'battles' at clubs, where users show off their skills, like a nerdcore version of 8 Mile or Step It Up.  OK, maybe I'm a little too into this, or I've been doing it too long, but on a scale of 1 to awesome, it sure wouldn't be 1.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Houdini Day

There are lots of stories about how Houdini (the software) got the name. But we won’t get into that here today.

It is however, the 137th birthday of the man, and Google paid tribute. Here’s a neat little video about the life of a great magician:

By the way, CGTalk is now picking up a Houdini Forum if any of you are interested. We know there have been some in the past, but this one is going to stick!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

cmiVFX Houdini Fractal Clouds & Terrains

Our friends over at cmiVFX recently released another Houdini tutorial!

cmiVFX Releases New Houdini Fractals Clouds & Terrain Training Video from Chris Maynard on Vimeo.

cmiVFX Releases New Houdini Fractals Clouds & Terrain Training Video
High Definition Training Videos for the Visual Effects Industry

Princeton, NJ (february 23, 2011) – cmiVFX launches its latest full feature training video for Houdini based on highly advanced fractals for the creation of volumetric clouds and natural terrains. This video covers a detailed workflow within VEX nodes to allow the viewer to have a deep understanding on creating professional shots for such natural effects. The educational structure for this video, gears all users up to be able to follow its contents from beginning to end. This in-depth introduction to Fractals will add an essential knowledge to all Houdini artists wanting to move to the next level. The results produced by this video are truly superb, and near impossible to achieve any other way. With this revolutionary blend of artistry and technology, every user can have the ability to understand the roots and principles of constructing solid multi-fractal networks . At this same time, you will learn how to seamlessly create a digital asset to make your fractals accessible on any shot that you are working on. When you're finished with the video, you will have the opportunity to create very complicated cloud system, in very difficult scenarios like multilayering effects with complex design and anything else you can dream up.

Short Description:
In this course we will investigate all the details on creating a robust fractal network, so we can learn how to fix any issue that may arise or even prevent them from happening.

Here at cmiVFX we maintain a current training library for the latest versions of popular software titles. When it comes to high end CG and VFX training, there is only once choice… cmiVFX!

Don’t forget about the cmiSubscription plan! Get one today. cmiVFX launched the most affordable subscription plan in Visual FX Training History for only $299 USD, and if you were a subscriber, this New Training Release would already be in your account. This video is also available a-la-cart in our brand new HTML5 player system.

Houdini Fractals Clouds & Terrain Training Video

Introducing Fractal Networks
In this chapter we will navigate through core VEX nodes and network workflows to create basic fractal images and animations, building up a ground knowledge for mastering fractal color extraction and animation. We then set rules for interaction between external images and your fractals.

Procedural Terrains
One of the first areas that fractals were used was on creating digital terrains. In this section, we`ll look from start to finish how to build a node system that provide us the power to create interesting and unique terrains with VEX, how to control them and also how to comprehend the idea behind a multi-fractal terrain.

"For Loop " VEX Node
One of the greatest nodes in VEX is the "for loop" node, it allows you to repeat the same sequence of code many times. however it has a very specific condition it needs to meet to work properly. Continuing with the effort to evolve the fractal system , we will delve into how to take advantage of the "for loop" to implement richness and a more natural look. Along side the "for loop", we will introduce a method to securely change the input parameters of the network.

Multi-Fractal Workflow
Once we understand what is behind a good fractal system, its time to start bringing to life a complete multi-fractal OTL. In this section we`ll cover every information you need to achieve a great , clean and efficient system.

Introducing Volumetric Networks
Working with volumetric nodes in Houdini is a delicate thing. It can be an intensive process if you don't handle it right. Our goal here is to present the viewer with a unique way to manage the intricate details within the volumetric process. How to properly set your scene to receive volumetric elements, how to render them, shade, understand definitions and set specific rules to achieve a believable result.

Custom Volumetric Displacement
In this chapter we will introduce the epicenter of our product. Combining all the knowledge we acquired until here to build our own custom volumetric displacements. We will use a simple system to create a pyroclastic cloud to understand the technique behind control vectors and how they can help us to properly add displacements.

Object Volumetric Setup
One of the most required option in a good volumetric system is the ability to apply it to any kind of source object. This can be extremely helpful to draw unique designs and to style clouds in any way we desire. Here we will explain extensively all the necessary steps to accomplish ultimate control on where your volumes will be applied. The only limit is your imagination!

Cloud Systems Workflow
Everything we have learned so far culminates in this outstanding Cloud System workflow. Utilizing our custom multi-fractal OTL and all the knowledge acquired through all the lessons, we will demonstrate how you can create unbelievable natural cloud effect and how to control it in any form your production demands, thus optimizing visibility and rendering to have a great viewport feedback together with great rendering results.

About The Author
Andreu Lucio is a spanish cg professional with more than 10 years experience and is 32 years old. After studying visual communication, he started working in international cartoon series in 1999, "The triplets", "Juanito Jones" and "Tom" as a Cg Artist for a company called Cromosoma. He become the Lead Cg Artist so learned a lot about light, colors, compositing, fx and how important they are for improving the final result. During his carrier working in some of the top spanish studios he has deeply use softwares like 3d Max, Maya, Houdini, Modo, Combustion, Nuke. Stuff like dynamics, expressions, maya mel and python had been present almost always in his long r&d sessions. Never stopped learning neither working so how to fit developed techniques in the real production its been the key goal for him. For the last 3 years he is working in Torsion Animation, a small Houdini based studio that has co-founded, creating motion graphics and visual fx for commercials. The studio is really small, so it has to use his skills from modeling to compositing and Houdini´s power in order to get the job finished within the tight deadlines and the high quality demanded.

This video is available today at the cmiVFX Store: http://store.cmivfx.com/

About cmiVFX
cmiVFX is the leader in High Definition Video Training for the Visual Effects Community. Register for FREE and receive hours of FREE content at the cmiVFX Video-on-Demand Player. ( http://store.cmivfx.com/login ) For additional information about cmiVFX, visit http://www.cmivfx.com. © 2010 cmiVFX | cmiStudios. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 7, 2011

more Houdini fur

Our friends over at Method sent us a link to their recent work profiled on FXGuide. This commercial coveted some time during the Superbowl yesterday, so we’re happy to have Houdini artists showcased on such a stage!

Plus you have to love the beaver…

Friday, February 4, 2011

in dire need of Houdini artists

Hey everyone, and happy belated new year!

We’re currently in need of many, many Houdini artists in various regions such as Los Angeles, Vancouver, Australia, and London.

Many of you may have spoken to myself or other Side Effects staff regarding hiring, and right now we’re looking to help several of our clients find this talent.

Our website now boasts a full page of facilities looking to hire people using Houdini, so please check it out through the Community Tab HERE.

In the mean time, if you are a freelancer, and would like us to keep a copy of your CV and demo reel for consideration when speaking with clients, please email them to freelancer@sidefx.com.

Please also remember that you’re always encouraged to post about hiring gigs on our LinkedIn Group.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December roundup

Hello Houdini folks! We've had a very busy winter season. Early this month we held an LA Networking event with recruiters from Motion Theory and R&H. We had over 100 attendees, old and new users alike, gathering to meet and greet and enjoy an evening of Houdini talk and catching up.

And on another note, we've recently done loads of new customer stories. Definitely check out the new one on the Katy Perry video done at Radium Reel FX. 

Lastly, we're super excited about providing an all new user guide to Houdini. Lots of good stuff in there, and definitely worth a read even if you're an experienced user.

Best of luck and happy wishes to you till the new year!