This text explains the procedure I am planning to go through for planning, managing and preparing a solid vfx pipeline in Houdini.

Reusable FX (explosions and paint setups etc.)

  • Find global setting that will be applied across the board and make that the generic goes to settings.
  • Make a customizable input geo for either emission or paint bases.
  • Regarding texture files etc. that’s to be decided based on what R&D progresses to.
  • Build base effect > Create customizable node layout (with notes if needed) > pack together > create attribute interface with key attributes that will vary across shots > ensure its render ready > create Houdini digital asset.
  • Inside Houdini/projectRoot is where these assets will be saved to so that they are grabbable off server rather than one computer.

Effects List

  • Destruction (All in Houdini)
    • Breaking of objects (DA….but needs to be a detailed DA)
    • Walls cracking
    • Rigid bodies
    • Glass Shattering
    • Building destruction (church)
  • Volume Effects (Houdini)
    • Explosions (DA)
    • Rocket trails (DA)
    • Fire – small (DA)
    • Dust (DA)
  • Fluid/Oceans (Houdini and maybe Realflow)
    • Seaside waves
    • Ocean splashes
    • Rough seas (DA – single use rig)
    • Underwater
    • Rain (DA)
    • Water that characters use to wash bodies
  • Other (Houdini and Marvelous for cloth)
    • Sand
    • Thunder (DA)
    • Cloth (Marvelous alembic)
    • Particle instancing
      • Flowers
      • Petals
      • Leaves

Things to Consider Between Departments

  • Wetmaps
  • Paint textures
  • Animation colliders
  • Quality of geometry provided for FX
  • Optimisation obviously

Farm Caching and Rendering

  • We only have one computer that can run the Houdini deadline render client
  • FX Needs priority on that computer as well as understanding how to run a cache on deadline.
  • Other option would be to have the deadline tool installed on a few more computers and FX have takeover rights on that.
  • Test Renders need to happen for environments before we start going ham. Especially water.