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copernicusmuffin

Suggestions for Gnomon Lectures on Houdini

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So i guess its about that time of year where Gnomon is "wrangling" some of the best in the Biz. We (the dynamics students) were asked to pitch suggestions as to who we'd like to see this year. so i thought id ask here on the forums to see who the lineup should consist of given this is probably the first time in a long time a Houdini artist has shared some knowledge at Gnomon. Of course many of these guys Im sure are booked on projects so its not definitive that we'll get to see them, but its worth a shot. If you have any suggestions or a sort of "Wishlist" on who you'd like to see do a lecture, feel free to post a short list of Artists who you think we should try getting in here. 

 

cheers.

Edited by copernicusmuffin
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some ideas:

-using the HDK for newbs
-Vex for newbs

-Vops shaders for newbs
 

-OpenCL Hooks for HDK (enabling gpu compute in your sims)

 

-Rigging in Houdini.

-advanced rigging, creating custom deformers.

-Muscle, skin sliding,fat sims in Houdini.

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some ideas:

-using the HDK for newbs

-Vex for newbs

-Vops shaders for newbs

 

-OpenCL Hooks for HDK (enabling gpu compute in your sims)

 

-Rigging in Houdini.

-advanced rigging, creating custom deformers.

-Muscle, skin sliding,fat sims in Houdini.

 

 

I'd say the HDK already has some fairly good starting points in their docs:

 

http://www.sidefx.com/docs/hdk13.0/

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I'm currently in LA (at least till the end of summer) and I could try to arrange some time to teach a class.

 

Things I would want juniors to understand and get comfortable with that are not covered as much in school are:

*) data management for fx  (clustering, instance rendering, render dependency trees)

-- applies almost everywhere

*) triggers for secondary effects

-- leads into automating destruction setups and dependency trees

-- covers emission patterns, sopsolvers

*) vector math, pointclouds and interpolation techniques, transformation matrices

-- leads into flocking, procedural modeling, plant modeling/growing,...

*) shaders:

-- creating custom aovs that you can use for any kind of fx pass in your fx comps.

 

On the less technical side:

*) balancing fully procedural setups against "one-off" setups against semi-procedural setups. And how to create setups that are able to transition between these types fairly painlessly.

*) developing your artistic eye and taking ownership of your effects, this includes working with production coordinators and being proactive towards managing your own time.

 

I think a lot depends also on what level of understanding people already have of houdini and what the target level of the class should be. It could get advanced quickly and if it goes over peoples head then they don't benefit a lot from it. That said, there is plenty of basic material out there on houdini so I would suggest a basic understanding of houdini would be a requirement.

 

It might also be good to do a panel type talk/discussion. I could ask some of my colleagues if they are interested in this.

In terms of time, it might have to happen on a weekend as Method is quite busy at the moment and will be quite busy for the next year.

 

If there is interest for this send me a pm so we can exchange contact details.

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In no particular order :)

 

Symek, petz, Peter Claes (pclaes), Ian Farnsworth (Solitude), John Lynch (johner), eetu, CeeGee (Igor Zanic).

 

I think these guys are the kings on Houdini forums. There are probably other H masters hidden at studios, and not posting on the forums, whom I don't know.

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Guest tar

Additionally some of the best things to teach is:

 

Using the 'search' functionality on forums to find answers

 

Using the Documentation/Manual 

 

Iterative trial and error to solve problems

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thanks Guys. I will definitely let the Director of Education at Gnomon know. im Gonna be lookin forward to this once it gets Green-lit. again thanks for the feedback and feel free to share your thoughts.

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at pClaes:

a firm yes to these:

*) vector math, pointclouds and interpolation techniques, transformation matrices

-- leads into flocking, procedural modeling, plant modeling/growing,...

*) shaders:

-- creating custom aovs that you can use for any kind of fx pass in your fx comps.

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Ill go yell at Ian to make an online class

 

Been thinking about that more lately...  ;)

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A class with John Lynch digging deep in DOPs would open my wallet instantly. :)

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I've currently taught 3 classes.

1) flocking: sopsolving and vector math, pointcloud lookups, dot product

2) rain system: pops in dops, replicator, sdf sampling for better collisions and cling force, wetmap creation, wetmap in shader

3) Quick solution for interacting pyro sims, -advect by low res, advect by helper force, advect by previous frame velocity of alternate container. Fracturing setup with packed primitives, bullet, building the transformation matrix from the transforming points from dops. Building high resolution pieces that get transformed by the pointcloud. Creating high resolution volumetrically fractured pieces with adaptive detail through vdb. Setting up instancing for the high res pieces. Setting up triggers on scattered points for small scale debris. Setting up delayed load for rendering debris.

 

Still to go:

4) Building a microtool digital asset. Cluster setup, trigger setup, optimizing volume sims. Optimizing volume baking and rendering.

5) Aovs and compositing for fx. This will include changing spaces (camera to world), understanding uv's and spherical coordinates.
Building procedural shader patterns. Probably I will build some kind of energy shield for this.

6) - not sure yet, depends a bit on what the students want as well, might spend some time helping them with their projects. Otherwise, could be an example of a typical effect shot - projectile impact, minigun turret, plasma shields,... perhaps some flip fluids, or some cloth/disintegration stuff.

 

I also got confirmation I will be staying in the US a while longer, so perhaps I can turn some of these lectures into proper video tutorials. Shouldn't be that hard to do. Just not right now as I'm slammed at work. So far I've enjoyed teaching the classes and the students seem to like the material too. The level is intermediate to advanced. Each class is about 3 to 3:5 hours.

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Alright, the semester is over for them and this is what I ended up teaching:

 

 

Week 1: Flocking system, sopsolving, substepping, vector math, pointcloud lookups, dot product, fuzzy logic, blending behaviors, controlling animation caches.

Week 2: Rain system: pops in dops, replicator, modifying digital assets, sdf sampling for better collisions and cling force, wetmap creation, pointclouds, wetmap in shader.

Week 3: Solution for interacting pyro sims. Fracturing setup with classic rbd objects versus packed primitives, understanding bullet, building the transformation matrix from the transforming points and attributes from dops. Activating and manipulating attributes during the rbd sim. Creating high resolution volumetrically fractured pieces with adaptive detail through vdb. Instancing for rendering high res pieces. Trigger setup for small scale debris. Delayed load for rendering debris.

Week 4: Cluster fluid setup, concepts of parallel processing, data management, trigger setup for emission, optimizing volume sims and shaping smoke, optimizing volume baking and rendering. Explaining pixel samples, volume quality, stochastic samples, raymarching.

Week 5: Aovs and compositing for fx. Explaining coordinate systems, uv's and spherical coordinates, creep sop, building procedural shader patterns, noise and voronoi patterns in the shader, custom attributes, aovs and per light passes. Bringing it together in Nuke.

Week 6: Digital asset design, microtool workflow, anatomy of an effects shot, layering details and complexity. Tips for getting a job, interviews, demoreels and networking.

 

Bonus (30 min): managing personal finances and investments as a houdini vfx artist in the US and expected career paths.

 

 

For those considering Houdini classes at Gnomon:

 

I've had a quick chat with the students yesterday about the progression.
And they call it 'Houdini 1', 'Houdini 2', 'Houdini 3' and so on.
Since this is all fairly new, they only had Houdini 1 and Houdini 2 so far.

 

Houdini 1 was taught by Yacov Baytler and was well received by the students. Houdini 2 was taught by Debra, a different teacher and was a good class too, but covered a few things that were already taught in Houdini 1, so Debra got me on board to teach the last half of the semester. So effectively I was teaching the second half of Houdini 2 -- but this was at a much more advanced level than some of the students were at, because students were eager to get to more advanced material.

 

Anyway, this course is 'Houdini 3' :

https://gno.empower-xl.com/community/index.cfm?action=course.details&course_id=%2524%2528P%255BX%255BP%2520%2520%250A&loc=HOL

 

And there is demand building for a 'Houdini 4'. 'Houdini 3' is taught by Yacov as well and they might want to get me for 'Houdini 4', which would start around the beginning of October if that would go through. Yacov is a smart guy, with quite a bit of industry experience in Houdini, so Houdini 3 will probably be a good course. I've worked with Yacov here at Method when he was rigging the Iron Man 3 suit.

 

Looking back on it, I really crammed a lot of concepts, data management techniques and setups in the 6 sessions that I did, considering this was only 'Houdini 2'. But the students were happy and they could spend a couple of days going over the files I built and get back to me the week after with questions if they did not understand some parts. It was a headrush for them, but they liked it and so did I. I am not going to waste my time or theirs - and I have little interest teaching basic Houdini.

 

So if I were to do another course, it would most likely be Houdini 4, covering a range of advanced concepts. I will probably have a chat with Yacov to see what he is sort of planning on teaching and I will teach other stuff. Houdini is really deep and there is a lot to learn. Either way it should be fun. I enjoy teaching it. So perhaps in the fall I could do Houdini 4, we'll see.

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Alright, the semester is over for them and this is what I ended up teaching:

 

 

Week 1: Flocking system, sopsolving, substepping, vector math, pointcloud lookups, dot product, fuzzy logic, blending behaviors, controlling animation caches.

Week 2: Rain system: pops in dops, replicator, modifying digital assets, sdf sampling for better collisions and cling force, wetmap creation, pointclouds, wetmap in shader.

Week 3: Solution for interacting pyro sims. Fracturing setup with classic rbd objects versus packed primitives, understanding bullet, building the transformation matrix from the transforming points and attributes from dops. Activating and manipulating attributes during the rbd sim. Creating high resolution volumetrically fractured pieces with adaptive detail through vdb. Instancing for rendering high res pieces. Trigger setup for small scale debris. Delayed load for rendering debris.

Week 4: Cluster fluid setup, concepts of parallel processing, data management, trigger setup for emission, optimizing volume sims and shaping smoke, optimizing volume baking and rendering. Explaining pixel samples, volume quality, stochastic samples, raymarching.

Week 5: Aovs and compositing for fx. Explaining coordinate systems, uv's and spherical coordinates, creep sop, building procedural shader patterns, noise and voronoi patterns in the shader, custom attributes, aovs and per light passes. Bringing it together in Nuke.

Week 6: Digital asset design, microtool workflow, anatomy of an effects shot, layering details and complexity. Tips for getting a job, interviews, demoreels and networking.

 

Bonus (30 min): managing personal finances and investments as a houdini vfx artist in the US and expected career paths.

 

 

For those considering Houdini classes at Gnomon:

 

I've had a quick chat with the students yesterday about the progression.

And they call it 'Houdini 1', 'Houdini 2', 'Houdini 3' and so on.

Since this is all fairly new, they only had Houdini 1 and Houdini 2 so far.

 

Houdini 1 was taught by Yacov Baytler and was well received by the students. Houdini 2 was taught by Debra, a different teacher and was a good class too, but covered a few things that were already taught in Houdini 1, so Debra got me on board to teach the last half of the semester. So effectively I was teaching the second half of Houdini 2 -- but this was at a much more advanced level than some of the students were at, because students were eager to get to more advanced material.

 

Anyway, this course is 'Houdini 3' :

https://gno.empower-xl.com/community/index.cfm?action=course.details&course_id=%2524%2528P%255BX%255BP%2520%2520%250A&loc=HOL

 

And there is demand building for a 'Houdini 4'. 'Houdini 3' is taught by Yacov as well and they might want to get me for 'Houdini 4', which would start around the beginning of October if that would go through. Yacov is a smart guy, with quite a bit of industry experience in Houdini, so Houdini 3 will probably be a good course. I've worked with Yacov here at Method when he was rigging the Iron Man 3 suit.

 

Looking back on it, I really crammed a lot of concepts, data management techniques and setups in the 6 sessions that I did, considering this was only 'Houdini 2'. But the students were happy and they could spend a couple of days going over the files I built and get back to me the week after with questions if they did not understand some parts. It was a headrush for them, but they liked it and so did I. I am not going to waste my time or theirs - and I have little interest teaching basic Houdini.

 

So if I were to do another course, it would most likely be Houdini 4, covering a range of advanced concepts. I will probably have a chat with Yacov to see what he is sort of planning on teaching and I will teach other stuff. Houdini is really deep and there is a lot to learn. Either way it should be fun. I enjoy teaching it. So perhaps in the fall I could do Houdini 4, we'll see.

very excited about those courses, but if there are online courses about houdini.

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Alright, the semester is over for them and this is what I ended up teaching:

 

 

Week 1: Flocking system, sopsolving, substepping, vector math, pointcloud lookups, dot product, fuzzy logic, blending behaviors, controlling animation caches.

Week 2: Rain system: pops in dops, replicator, modifying digital assets, sdf sampling for better collisions and cling force, wetmap creation, pointclouds, wetmap in shader.

Week 3: Solution for interacting pyro sims. Fracturing setup with classic rbd objects versus packed primitives, understanding bullet, building the transformation matrix from the transforming points and attributes from dops. Activating and manipulating attributes during the rbd sim. Creating high resolution volumetrically fractured pieces with adaptive detail through vdb. Instancing for rendering high res pieces. Trigger setup for small scale debris. Delayed load for rendering debris.

Week 4: Cluster fluid setup, concepts of parallel processing, data management, trigger setup for emission, optimizing volume sims and shaping smoke, optimizing volume baking and rendering. Explaining pixel samples, volume quality, stochastic samples, raymarching.

Week 5: Aovs and compositing for fx. Explaining coordinate systems, uv's and spherical coordinates, creep sop, building procedural shader patterns, noise and voronoi patterns in the shader, custom attributes, aovs and per light passes. Bringing it together in Nuke.

Week 6: Digital asset design, microtool workflow, anatomy of an effects shot, layering details and complexity. Tips for getting a job, interviews, demoreels and networking.

 

Bonus (30 min): managing personal finances and investments as a houdini vfx artist in the US and expected career paths.

 

 

For those considering Houdini classes at Gnomon:

 

I've had a quick chat with the students yesterday about the progression.

And they call it 'Houdini 1', 'Houdini 2', 'Houdini 3' and so on.

Since this is all fairly new, they only had Houdini 1 and Houdini 2 so far.

 

Houdini 1 was taught by Yacov Baytler and was well received by the students. Houdini 2 was taught by Debra, a different teacher and was a good class too, but covered a few things that were already taught in Houdini 1, so Debra got me on board to teach the last half of the semester. So effectively I was teaching the second half of Houdini 2 -- but this was at a much more advanced level than some of the students were at, because students were eager to get to more advanced material.

 

Anyway, this course is 'Houdini 3' :

https://gno.empower-xl.com/community/index.cfm?action=course.details&course_id=%2524%2528P%255BX%255BP%2520%2520%250A&loc=HOL

 

And there is demand building for a 'Houdini 4'. 'Houdini 3' is taught by Yacov as well and they might want to get me for 'Houdini 4', which would start around the beginning of October if that would go through. Yacov is a smart guy, with quite a bit of industry experience in Houdini, so Houdini 3 will probably be a good course. I've worked with Yacov here at Method when he was rigging the Iron Man 3 suit.

 

Looking back on it, I really crammed a lot of concepts, data management techniques and setups in the 6 sessions that I did, considering this was only 'Houdini 2'. But the students were happy and they could spend a couple of days going over the files I built and get back to me the week after with questions if they did not understand some parts. It was a headrush for them, but they liked it and so did I. I am not going to waste my time or theirs - and I have little interest teaching basic Houdini.

 

So if I were to do another course, it would most likely be Houdini 4, covering a range of advanced concepts. I will probably have a chat with Yacov to see what he is sort of planning on teaching and I will teach other stuff. Houdini is really deep and there is a lot to learn. Either way it should be fun. I enjoy teaching it. So perhaps in the fall I could do Houdini 4, we'll see.

very excited about those courses, but if there are online courses about houdini.

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Hey Peter, when and where have you taught those courses? At Gnomon?

 

yes, this was at Gnomon - in May and June 2014. It was supposed to be only 1 session, but it turned into the rest of the semester which was 6 classes.

 

No rigging?

sadface.jpg

 

No rigging in this one, because I only had 6 sessions and let's face it, if you had only 6 topics you could teach to a future fx td, would rigging be one of those 6?

That said... :) There are some amazing things you can do with houdini rigging. 

It would be quite a cool project perhaps for the next course to rig up some procedural ants and have them walk over a 3d terrain (not a 2d grid, but a full 3d collision detection and climbing over and around objects). That would be a good one for a next class. That is not easy to do.

 

Edited by pclaes

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Hey Peter, I'm really happy you were able to teach at Gnomon this past semester, I unfortunately was in the last batch of graduates that got to miss out on some more advanced houdini classes, but as soon as I heard you were teaching, I immediately informed my lower term classmates to take your class in a heart beat. There was a huge push during my time at Gnomon to get more and more houdini classes because of its current rise in the industry, myself being one of those advocates. 

 

Is there any chance you'll be teaching more classes at Gnomon? and if not, possibly some online class?

 

Shout out to Michael Tello, for getting the ball rolling on this :) 

 

-A

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