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Really cool videos, definitely looking forward to seeing it finished! You might want to check the tutorials of this guy

he has a lot of water and object colisions with hair. They might come in handy if your character is going to be drinking beer.

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I am glad that you guys like our stuff! That's really motivating :)

 

@Pelos: I did something wrong with my collision objects. Now it is working and geometric collisions are indeed much faster. Thanks!

 

@Camangren: Thank you for the tipp! I am actually already in contact with him, because he kindly offered to give us some mentoring for fur and cloth. (I agree that he videos look really cool :) )

Concerning the wet fur, we try to avoid showing fur-fluid interaction as much as we can, because our time schedule is really tough. But maybe we will have shots where we can't avoid it... we will see.

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Hey guys, a quick status update:

 

Our main hero Ulfbert in all his glory.

ulfbert_pose_01.jpg-

ulfbert_face_close_01.jpg

 

Rendered with the GGX materials from this thread and lots of Houdini Fur. Production is still operating under high pressure to meet the tight deadlines.

Edited by timmwagener
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That it is an ugly looking warrior.  Looks good.  I am looking forward to seeing the final project.

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Hi guys, some updates from the Helga Pipeline department.
 


 
I'd like to present a little tool, which helps us in production here, called renderthreads.
Originally developed within the helga pipeline to speed up local renderings, i moved it out into
its own repository since it didnt really need tight coupling and could be shared easier this way.
Feel free to download and try it :)
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
icn_renderthreads_in_nuke.jpg-icn_renderthreads_threads.jpg-icn_renderthreads_render_progress.jpg-icn_renderthreads_command_line.jpg
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
What is it ?
renderthreads is a Python package that enables easy per-frame command-line multithreaded rendering for the popular compositing
application Nuke. It does so by dividing your sequence into chunks of one frame each and spawns a render on the command line for
each. You can track the progress or abort the render anytime. Jobs that crashed are detected and added back to the queue to be rendered again.
By default each new command line render uses the same interactive license, as the Nuke you started the tool from.
 
For example the nuke comp you see in the introduction video (Full HD, 222 Frames) renders
with default Write node: 5 hours
with renderthreads (on 31 cores): 1 hour
 
What i's not ?
A replacement for your renderfarm or a full render manager. Its usefull when you want to speed up your local rendering.
 
Links
Download it here
Quickstart
Docs
Github
Report a bug?
Author Edited by timmwagener
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Hey guys,

 

an important update :) The working title Helga has been replaced with the final movie title "Skål". The Helga team is now officially the "Skål" team, and we are happy to present you a short teaser for the movie, featuring a staring contest with a medieval hamster that has some anger management issues.

helga_teaser.jpg

FX, Fur, Lighting, Shading & Rendering done in Houdini, Mantra

If you scroll down the credits list until "Special Thanks", you will find some names from this forum.Thanks guys!!

Edited by timmwagener
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Hi guys,

 

First, I just want to say what amazing job you guys have done! Keep posting the latest updates.

 

 

Hey guys,
 
here are some updates on the helga project, and some visual stuff.
 
Maya to Houdini Pipeline

 


 
On the Maya side:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

We use a PySide tool called Asset Manager, to export the needed content for a shot. Its features include:

- Multithreaded Alembic export
- Interface not just a UI to trigger commands, its always in sync with Maya
- Stable metadata system
- Interface to run custom control scripts in the export process (For example run scripts that enforce a restpose for simulation or re-assign attributes etc.)
 
 
On the Houdini side:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Custom Python HDAs for Alembic import
- Build Alembic hierarchies for our specific needs

- Rebuild based on Alembic Attributes within the assets
- Bypasses node types like Alembic XForm using entirely standard Houdini node types to be more compatible with standard shading workflows.

 

 

Lookdev with Houdini/Mantra

 

 

Rendertests of our photogrammetry assets with Houdinis renderer Mantra.
 
Engine: Raytracing (in pbr mode with compute lighting nodes)
Diffuse BRDF: Ashikhmin diffuse and pbrdiffuse (for rough surfaces)
Reflectance BRDF: GGX
Additional SSS for wood.
 
Energy conserving all the way. (except for adding the SSS on top)
Render as is, no comp on these.
We are using the ashikhmin diffuse and GGX shaders from the BRDF Bonanza thread at odforce, thanks to the authors!! :D
Thanks also to Dennis Albus from this forum for valuable Houdini/Mantra support!
 
One issue though: The renders do have a lot of noise!! It comes mostly from the indirect diffuse, but also the reflection component.
Any ideas on how to reduce this? Would it be an option to use another GI method and leave diffuse samples at 0? Is there something like Final Gathering
available in Raytracing mode (We use raytracing anyways and evaluate the BRDFs with compute_lighting nodes).....

 

 

For the noise issues, it depends on your lighting conditions. Since the lighting that you guys do are mostly interior lighting, noise are basically your biggest problem rather than exterior lighting. In exterior lighting, rays are easily finding light sources where as interior lighting depends on limited area of lightsource which somewhat need higher sampling to smooth the results. My suggestion is to use GI light for interior lighting to speed up secondary bounce calculation, in my experience it also give better bounce. The only thing to sacrifice is the accuracy and the flexibility because you have to tweak number of photons to be used in you GI light to simulate better conditions.

 

Other way, is to cheat your lighting shot by shot by adding more lights that act as fills with a very low intensity and they don't usually have physical falloff. I do this many times for interior shots for different path tracers and they work like charm.

 

Hopefully this will help.

 

Cheers!

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Hi guys,

 

it's time for a final status update. The movie is about 90% finished, currently sound and credits are being done.

It was a tough ride, but in the end we managed to be amongst the first teams to finish in our year at Filmakademie.

Apart from Modeling, Rigging and Animation all 3D was done in Houdini. We rendered with Mantra.

The Houdini crew from the show is already in holidays or will be so in the next days :D

 

The Houdini Dudes:

Timm Wagener - Lead TD, Pipeline, Lighting, Shading, Photogrammetry & Compositing (Website, Vimeo, Github)

Manuel Seifert - Lighting, Shading & Fur (Vimeo)

Johannes Franz - FX & Cloth (Website, Vimeo)

 

During the production we had great support from some members of the Houdini community.

Big shout out to: Dennis Albus!, Niko Wuttke! and Demian Kurejwowski!

Also a huge thanks to the odforce forum which we used a lot :)

 

Lets finish with some frames from the movie:

020_establisherstreet.png

-

030_establishertavern.png

-

220_fightoutside.png

-

340_shocked.png

-

040_mugsclink_transition.png

-

logo.png

Edited by timmwagener
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This looks gorgeous! Congrats to the team!

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It s look really cool !

congratZ, Cant wait to see the short, when you release it ?

Have fun

Thomas

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It s look really cool !

congratZ, Cant wait to see the short, when you release it ?

Thanks :) It's probably gonna be released in a year, after the festival run....

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It's been fun to follow this thread over the past year and observe the film's progress - very interesting insight into the production process for a project like this. Congratulations on making it to finish line!

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Hey guys, i have put together a Render & Comp breakdown, where you can see some of the stills from above in motion.

Sorry we cannot show more until the festival circuit is over, but this might give you a small taste of the madne ... magic ;)

Edited by timmwagener

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Hey guys, it's been a while since we wrapped up the work on Skål. However today happy news reached us which I want to share with you:

 

Skål has been nominated for a VES Award in the category Least Serious Most Violent Best Student Project!  ;)

 

We are happy about this recognition of technical craftmanship and think this is a good opportunity to once again thank the odforce gang for their help on exactly that aspect, general encouragement and those GGX shaders! 

Edited by timmwagener
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Congrats! Do you have any date for making it available for online viewing?

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Congrats! Do you have any date for making it available for online viewing?

I wrote our producer an email about that, he knows about contracts, dates etc. Will edit his answer in, once it arrives!

(However it feel like remembering a timespan of two years floating around from time to time.....that would mean 1 year to go)

Edited by timmwagener

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