Course info
Jun 13, 2015
2h 40m

Throughout these lessons, we'll explore how to use Houdini's wire system along with soft body dynamic constraints to create a grappling hook wire that shoots out and retracts based on these constraints. The course will begin with a brief example discussing the essentials of wire simulations before we dive into the preparation, simulation, and capturing of the wire. We will also use Houdini's finite element solver to create a solid body simulated character that will be propelled by the wire. By the end of this course, you will have a very good understanding of how to use constraints to control your wire simulations, as well as learn additional methods to combine multiple simulations and elements into one final effect. Software required: Houdini FX 14.0.258.

About the author
About the author

Sam Rickles is a Lead FX Technical Director with Sony Pictures Imageworks. A six year veteran in the VFX industry, Sam works primarily with Houdini to achieve his effects. His work can be seen in seven feature films, including Hotel Transylvania 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Edge of Tomorrow.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Introduction and Project Overview
Hi everyone, my name is Sam Rickles, and I'm an FX Technical Director. Some of my latest projects include Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Hotel Transylvania 2. Houdini wire simulations are very powerful, but sometimes it's hard to control wires without fully appreciating the power of constraints to help control and manipulate your simulations. This is especially true in the case of a wire that releases or retracts throughout the effect, such as a grappling hook. To demonstrate this point, in this course we are going to learn how to create a grappling hook effect through proper use of wire attributes to create constraints that allow us to control the behavior of the wire. We will further learn how to capture the wire's dynamic motion and map custom-made rope geometry to make the final wire motion all the more impressive. Some of the key takeaways from watching this course include learning the fundamentals of wire simulations and constraints, setting up the wire's attributes properly to allow for an expanding and retracting wire, melding multiple wire simulations together into one effect, adding post-motion effects and capturing this motion to a custom-made piece of rope geometry, and finally, we will learn how to bring all of these elements together, shade them, and render them in Mantra. By then end of this training, you will have learned how to take advantage of Houdini's powerful wire solver, create your own impressive wire effects, and hopefully you'll learn some new tricks that you can apply to your other projects along the way. I'm excited to have the chance to work with Digital-Tutors so I can share these valuable tips and techniques with you. So, let's get started with the first lesson.