Saturday, January 22nd, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Discover how to create an FX production shot in Houdini

The Gnomon Workshop has released Creating an FX Production Shot in Houdini, a complete guide to creating a sci-fi/horror effect in Houdini and Nuke, recorded by Zoic Studios FX Supervisor Simon Littlejohn.

The workshop comprises four hours of video training, and comes with downloadable Houdini project files.

Create a complete FX shot for animation or visual effects work in Houdini and Nuke
In the workshop, Littlejohn reveals how to create a complete FX shot, showing an unfortunate animated character being covered in living slime, which then forms tendrils that shoot out into his surroundings.

He begins by exploring how to generate curves using for-loops, attach the curves to any animated character using VEX expressions, grow them into visually interesting patterns, then create 3D geometry from them.

Littlejohn also demonstrates how to create the slime trail left behind as the tendrils take over the character’s body without the need for FLIP simulation, which can be unpredictable and computationally expensive.

For the tendrils shooting from the character’s body to the walls around, he explains how to create constraints using simple VEX expressions, and how to run animated curves through a Vellum simulation.

The final effect combines the techniques used previously to create a tentacle that bursts from the character’s hand, firing directly into the camera. Littlejohn also discusses how to shade and render the completed shot.

The workflows shown in the workshop have all been proven in production, and can be repurposed for a range of other effects. As well as the tutorial videos, viewers can download Littlejohn’s Houdini project files.

About the artist
Simon Littlejohn is FX supervisor at Zoic Studios, having previously worked as a Houdini artist at visual effects facilities including Electric Theatre Collective, Method Studios and Aaron Sims Creative.

He has over a decade of experience in visual effects, having also previously worked as a compositor on movies including Avengers: Age of Ultron

Pricing and availability
Creating an FX Production Shot in Houdini is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year, and provide over 300 tutorials. Free trials are available.

Read more about Creating an FX Production Shot in Houdini on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.