I started a serious dive into procedural almost three years ago now, learning everything I could about Houdini, substance designer, and use my generalist background to make some art out of it.
I shared some of my discoveries on YouTube, Artstation, Gumroad and I have been blessed with an incredible community of artists, eager to learn and grow new skills.
I thank everyone of you for your support along the way, it always means the world to me.
Here is a compilation of the procedural projects I had the pleasure to create on my free time over the past years... Except the last one in my reel, it's SW9, not exactly free time. It was my last collaboration with Environment supervisor Jeffrey Deguzman and I'm so grateful he gave me the opportunity to put into practice my procedural knowledge on an actual ILM project. It was for sure one of the most fun show I had the chance to work on at ILM and it will always have a special place in my hurt... YES, even though the movie sucks. Hahaha
Some of those work are still future tutorial material, so stay tune if you don't wanna miss some in-depth breakdowns. ;)
Since I often receive the same questions I thought would be more productive to answer once and for all through a video more in a podcast form. Thanks to Sagar Bhatt for taking the time to write down all the predominant questions that every student or CG hobbyist wonder about getting into the industry.
In detail you can find your answer here :
- 0:30 / A brief introduction about you? Who are you? What do you currently do?
- 3:52 / Why did you start learning a 3d software, what was the incentive to you then?
- 6:23 / According to you what makes an ideal 3d artist and what do most artists lack in general ?
- 7:22 / When and Why did you start learning Houdini ? what was the most difficult thing to pick up while you were learnign Houdini yourself? -
- 10:42 / Do you think learning something like Houdini is purely an information's game? is gathering a certain specific set of data all there is to learning?
- 14:09 / What are your takes on a studio job? small scale studio, large one or maybe freelance ?
- 14:56 / Is it the financial aspects of a job or career that define its glory and success? or is the achievements made in the form of work? or is it simply defined to be the content of one's own self?
- 20:03 / What are some usual but uncommonly heard ways of getting your name out to the industry or the studios in general?
- 22:43 / According to your experience in the VFX industry do you think there are many opportunities around the world for an innovative artist? Does it seem sensible to you to move to a different country which has a fair paying job ?
- 25:56 / How do you see the VFX industries growth in suppose 20-30 years down the line, how do you see the industry evolve in the coming decade?
- 31:19 / What do you plan on doing for the majority of the year 2021? And what are your goals for the life ahead?
To celebrate the end of this crazy weird year, making public one of the most popular tutorial that was exclusively released for my patreons.
this tutorial covers a lot of tips about Heightfield in sidefx houdini.
So let's see how to make some cool looking terrain while having a look at the basics and most common Heightfields technics within Houdini.
My patreon is on Hold at the moment, too many projects and things to catch up on top of my work. But you can expect it to come back some time next year with some fresh content ! Big thanks to everyone who joined and participated, in the meantime keep up the learning and stay tuned to my youtube channel !
Only time of the year where I do some massive 50% off everything, definitely check out my artstation store and my gumroad. Some exclusive product either on gumroad or artstation so defintely check out both !
Having fun with vellum and procedural modeling to sim a cape for our character. Most importantly we go through some vellum tricks so the cape react properly with the crazy animation we setup in part01.
Of course still a lot to learn about this solver but nothing more rewarding than training on a practical example. :)
Taking a quick break with procedural to share some tips about environment sculpting. Sharing here a part of my workflow to upres models within zbrush.
Usually any base mesh require an extra pass of sculpting to get approved in production.
It helps you reach that last 10% of realism that you couldn't reach to get the foreground fully works. S
howing here how I detailed the architectural ornament in the foreground of my illustration "mystic tower" Also covering some ZBrush Basics by sculpting the base shape, so hopefully it should be fairly understandable for beginners.
Otherwise could import the base mesh from any other app.
Constantly been upgrading my houdini tools for environment creation over the past months.
Thanks guys for your feedbacks and patience, it helped me a lot pushing my skills to improve tools and finally dig into Python modules for HDAs. Still a lot to learn, and for sure more things to improve but since the tools already changed so much since my first tutorial with v1.0, I think it's about time to see how things evolved !
Those who already bought them, AL-Tools v5 is available for free in your gumroad or artstation library.
What's new ?
AL-MaskBuilder update :
- Map UDIM / Bug fix
- Paint Attribute Button in Attribute01 TAB
AL-TerrainExporter update :
- Simplified export of heightfield mesh and maps.
AL-AdvancedScatter update :
-Ability to paint attributes for scattering from the AttributeDistribution TAB : button "Paint Mask"
-Motion TAB to control animation cache of the scattered objects
- object to scatter : ID1 is the default geometry if "Enable Variations" is off. ID distributions is now control from red to blue / first ID to last ID.
- New node input to connect the surface to scatter. (still keeping the option to objectmerge into the tool, if input is used objectmerge is off)
- Map UDIM / bug fixing
I did a presentation for sidefx "Houdini Hive" last May, I am showing how I made the illustration "Unexpected path", was made with the previous version of the tools but can still give some good insights about scattering :
Developed a workflow and a tool to Unwrap very tricky and heavy geometries, maybe for baking or painting textures. When you got no time to clean and you have no last resort... This might just to the trick. Available on my gumroad !
How different is it from "Labs Auto UV" ?
SideFX Labs AutoUV is a great free add-on that let you unfold and pack UVs on multiple UDIMs. Which works perfectly fine if your geometry got a reasonable polycount and is mostly composed of quadrilateral topology. Would advise to try this out first ! If this fails or is getting insanely slow your geometry is probably too messed up for it and using this tool/workflow may get you out of trouble... That's why I call it "UVs Last Hope !" Haha
Basically what I am offering on gumroad for a very fair price (only 5$ !) is a more complete setup based on this principle.
I am offering here more controls and an organized HDA that you can use not only in Houdini but also 3dsmax or Maya using Houdini Engine. (Free plugin with Houdini Indie !)
Using this heavy mesh as an example to unfold (700K Polygons) :
Visualize UVs / Tiles:
Allows to check out the UV and tile distribution.
TILE SPLIT / BOX BASED :
Control tile distribution based on object's bounding box divisions. Using this feature to slice the tiles by height in this example :
TILE SPLIT / VORONOI BASED :
Control tile distribution based on Voronoi pattern. Useful to get a more uniform distribution on intricate objects like this one.
UV MAPPING / Fast And Messy :
This mode is a good way to test real quick the different distributions but generate a lot of small islands. Just have a simple control to limit the amount of UDIM columns
UV MAPPING / Slow and Clean :
This mode is a cleaner way to unfold UVs but takes longer to cook. (1min30 in this case) Based on UV flatten node, offers Spectral or Angle Based uv flattening. Most often get better results using Angle Based flattening. To give an example tried unfolding with Labs AutoUVs and was still cooking after 10 minutes.
CACHE GEO :
Final TAB to export or cache the geometry with UVs. A custom menu for extension (bgeo.sc, abc, obj... can add more if requested)
Once the geometry is Saved, use load geometry to load it.