This video was created to assist animators, teaching a series of different techniques and methods for building effects inside Houdini. Houdini, while being incredibly deep with a formidable learning curve, also happens to be one of the most (if not the most) versatile and powerful non-proprietary graphics package available. There is virtually nothing Houdini can't do, but this video will help teach fundamental concepts and provide focus and direction to a number of the incredibly powerful animation tools. cmiVFX breaks down each step one by one with fast and easy chapter references designed for even faster muscle memory. cmiVFX continues to deliver the training and content you need, quickly, efficient and affordably.
Controlled Animation of Multiple Objects
As you may already know, it is crucial to be able to control every aspect of a given shot; making changes quickly and easily to an entire scene with the ability to immediately see the effect of those changes results in an environment geared perfectly for art direction and decision making. With these techniques, we can animate a single object using dynamic VOPs, CHOPs, and keyframes and then procedurally duplicate the entire network, resulting in the ability to parametrically control an infinite number of objects. CHOPs allow us to import an already keyframed parameter, apply that animation to each object, and then modify each object's animation channels independently. This allows for gigantic animations controlled by only a few nodes. We'll also use VOP networks to control when and where the animations take place.
Procedural Lightning Effect
Here you will learn to easily create a complex-looking lightning effect. The trick is to combine nurds modeling with CHOPs and the "ForEach" node to get a completely procedural and controllable lightning rig that allows for an infinite number of lightning bolts. The goal here is to learn the importance of choosing the right method for achieving a given result, with the least complex networks possible.
Rigging a Procedural Tentacle
Using bones and CHOPs together, we will learn how to quickly rig, animate, and instance a tentacle procedurally, as well as modifying the animation for each copy without having to duplicate any networks. Traditional animation would take forever to achieve such a slick result. Combining more channels just increases the complexity of the look.
The Power of Recursive Animation
The SOP Solver gives us the opportunity to create recursive animations and modeling, where each frame, the geometry of the previous frame is passed forward and the whole network inside the solver is recalculated. This allows for effects using propagation, in this case, a growing area of points in a different group. We can then use this changing group data to animate things burning, melting, or simply changing in some way. Learn to calculate the distance from a given point and have each selected point add to its group based on the neighboring points, and then have the calculations repeat each frame to grow the group. This will be accomplished using the VOPSOP and the SOP Solver.
Creating Fully Dynamic Jellyfish Heads
Learn to create local forces for wire or cloth objects and combine them with keyframed geometry deformations to create dynamic soft-body objects mixed with sinusoidal animation. This technique will allow for incredibly versatile and interesting self-propelled soft bodies or cloth.
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.