Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Eye candy: SideFX’s 2020 Houdini Film & TV Reel

SideFX has released its 2020 Houdini Film & TV 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 three-minute showreel, with links to making-of videos showing how the effects were created.

The best recent movies, animated features, commercials and motion graphics created with Houdini
Although the reel features Western blockbusters – the biggest being Frozen 2 – arguably the best breakdown is for a Russian movie, the sci-fi action film Invasion.

You can see a VFX breakdown of Main Road Post’s amazing fluid and destruction simulations here.

One of last year’s biggest Chinese-language movies, The Wandering Earth, also features: you can see a breakdown of Pixomondo’s effects, along with its VFX breakdown for Roland Emmerich thriller Midway.

Highlights of the broadcast work include DNEG’s Emmy Award-winning effects for Chernobyl. The studio has a whole series of breakdown videos on its Vimeo channel, but this one is a good introduction.

The reel also features HBO’s recent adaptation of Watchmen, notably the surreal ‘squid rain’ sequences, which feature in Hybride’s VFX breakdown of its work on the show.

Of the commercials, two of the best feature photorealistic CG birds: in the case of Alt.vfx’s amazing 2019 ad for the Toyota Corolla, a robin getting a free shower inside a car wash.

You can see a VFX breakdown of Framestore’s ‘Hummmingbird’ spot for Purdey’s energy drinks here.

Prague’s Universal Production Partners also contributes two commercials with nice breakdowns: this one shows its crowd simulation for Vodafone Egypt, and this one an ad for Columbia outdoor clothing.

Other highlights include Panoply’s amazing motion graphics and Cantina Creative’s movie UI designs. Both studios have nice tech reels on their respective Vimeo channels.

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