Course info
Mar 10, 2015
2h 49m

In this Houdini tutorial, we'll examine multiple methods for accomplishing high resolution object simulation in Houdini using lower resolution proxy objects. In practice, when designing effects for motion pictures, we're often given very hi-res geometry (cars, rocks, etc) and are expected to simulate them in high quantities, which can be prohibitively slow using the actual objects. By making lower resolution proxies to use as RBD objects (or from a particle sim-and-replace) and replacing them post-simulation, the process can be greatly sped up. Different methods can be utilized for simulating multiple objects, packed objects, and varying topologies (for example, we wouldn't want every rock to be identical, or a parking lot full of many copies of the exact same car). At many studios, custom software is used due to these problems. Specifically, we'll do two test cases to demonstrate all the details and trade-offs of using the various methods. In the first test case we'll make a volcano spewing out hi-res rocks and finally we'll create a 'Carnado' (a tornado hitting a parking lot of cars, throwing hi-res car models all over the place, simulated with low-res proxy cars). By the end of this Houdini training you'll have a firm grip on how to use Houdini 14 to overcome these hurdles and simulate with low res geometry but use high res geometry in the final result. Software required: Houdini 14.

About the author
About the author

Jeff Wolverton has been working on visual effects for major motion pictures for over 15 years, having created signature effects for Sony Pictures Imageworks, Digital Domain, Rythym & Hues, Framestore, MPC, Disney, and Dreamworks.

More from the author
Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Introduction and Project Overview
Hi everyone, my name is Jeff Wolverton, I'm a senior visual effects artist at Motion Picture Company in Vancouver; however, I've also spent years working at Disney, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Digital Domain, Method, Rhythm & Hues, you name it. Worked on movies such as Iron Man 3, Spiderman 3, Amazing Spiderman, original Spiderman, X-Men, Green Lantern, a lot of super hero movies, and plenty of others as well. You can look on my website: jeffwolverton. com, and see them. But in this course, we're going to learn what the difference is between Houdini, tests you may have already done, you probably are already good at, and what it actually takes to use them in practice in high-res with high geometry, things that'd be too difficult for a normal simulation to do. Houdini in practice, basically what we actually use for major motion pictures. So some of the key takeaways from watching this course include learning how to generate low-res geometry and low-res simulations that can then be applied to high-res simulations. We're going to make a tornado that hits a parking lot, we're going to make a volcano of cars, a volcano of rocks, and by the end of training, you will have learned how to do probably what the major most difficult thing that Rigid Body Dynamics needs, which is to be able to simulate on something doable, but have the final thing be this much higher resolution thing that probably wouldn't be doable with the amount of machines you have and the amount of power you have at a time. I'm excited to work with Digital Tutors and share these techniques with you. So let's get started with the first lesson.