Eye candy: SideFX’s 2019 Houdini customer reel
As usual in the run up to Siggraph, SideFX has released its new Houdini customer reel, its annual round-up of the best new visual effects and animation projects to have been created using the software.
Below, we’ve picked out some of our own personal highlights from the 2019 reel: where possible, with links to making-of videos showing how the effects were created.
The best recent movies, animated features, commercials and cinematics created with Houdini
As with last year’s reel, DNEG is responsible for many of the standout movie effects, including its Oscar-winning work on First Man: you can find a series of making-of videos on the studio’s YouTube channel.
There’s also a memorable shot of a car trying to outrun the ash cloud from a volcanic eruption from Netflix disaster thriller How It Ends, deconstructed in Mr. X’s VFX breakdown video.
For feature animation, the reel features one of last year’s big hits, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – you can find VFX breakdowns on Sony Pictures Imageworks’ YouTube channel – and this year’s Toy Story 4.
As usual, there are so many striking commercials that it’s hard to pick favourites, but The Mill has a particularly nice breakdown of ‘It’s a Wonderful Flight’, its Christmas ad for Heathrow Airport.
RealtimeUK contributes this year’s thumbnail image for the video, courtesy of its trailer for racing title GRID – although there isn’t a breakdown video for the project, you can find Houdini breakdowns for its other game cinematics on the studio’s Vimeo channel.
JAMM also contributes a tongue-in-cheek live action trailer for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, for which you can find the VFX breakdown online here.
Finally, from the world of indie film-making, the reel features Rebirth, Quixel’s striking photorealistic CG short. Epic Games has a new technical breakdown discussing how Houdini and UE4 were used in its creation.