Monday, February 15th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Get started with look development in Houdini

The Gnomon Workshop has released Getting Started With Look Development in Houdini, a crash course in VFX and feature animation workflows recorded by DreamWorks Animation artist Brent Le Blanc.

The workshop, which provides over two hours of video training, sets out essential texturing and shading skills in industry-standard tools like Maya, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, Redshift and Houdini itself.

A complete crash course in look dev, including texturing, scene assembly, lighting and rendering
In the workshop, Le Blanc explores how to texture a 3D model of a storage chest for use in an interior scene, then how to assemble the scene itself in Houdini for rendering.

He begins with creating a reusable look development kit that can be used across a range of projects to provide easy access to HDRIs, cameras and a Macbeth colour chart.

Le Blanc then sets out his workflows for UV unwrapping 3D assets in Maya, creating base materials for those assets in Substance Designer, and texturing in Substance Painter.

The approach demonstrated is non-destructive and is based on highly modular materials, making it possible to develop and refine looks for an asset quickly.

Le Blanc then moves on to Houdini, demonstrating how to use the software’s different contexts for scene assembly and lighting, before rendering using the Redshift renderer.

As well as the tutorial videos themselves, viewers can download project files including low and high-resolution versions of the chest model, and Substance Painter and Designer files.

About the artist
Brent Le Blanc is a surfacer at DreamWorks Animation, where he has worked on The Croods: A New Age.

He has over 10 years of experience in VFX and feature animation, and has previously worked at studios including Digtal Domain Media Group and Blue Sky Studios.

Pricing and availability
Getting Started With Look Development in Houdini is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.

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Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.