I’ve been trying to put together a Tron-like effect in Houdini, and so far it’s coming along great… other than it being REALLY REALLY SLOW.
However, it turn out that there’s some SOPs in Houdini that I’m using that aren’t very efficient, plus instancing of shaders has some issues as well. On top of this, I’m not using ODE rigid body dynamics, which are supposed to be pretty fast. This video from the opening credits of film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button demonstrates someone using ODE in Houdini… with some pretty nice results, like this…
Although, with a little more research, it looks like Bullet is the way to go. Oh… oh yes, this slightly more powerful.
We’ve pulled our RV off the road for a nutritious meal at McDonalds, somewhere in Oregon, and now I’m uploading my entry to the Houdini Cook-Off contest. Although my submission could be better, I don’t have the CPU horsepower, nor the time to re-sim or re-render. Oh yeah… and I’ll be in the middle of the desert in a few hours.
The brain pulsing will be slowed down and I would like to have roto-scoped her fingers, it looked like it was IN her hand, not around it.
All visual elements created by myself.
SynthEyes used for 3D camera tracking.
Modeling, shaders, animation and compositing done in Houdini.
Sound recorded and edited using Audacity.
This is what I got, so far.
Modeling a brain sounds like a pain.
Pulling points in the wrinkles is driving me insane.
So I’m trying to puff it up with some baking.
Step 1. Rebuild this from scratch. The gyrus need to be smaller and the sulcus (wrinkles) need to be more frequent.
Step 2. Use this popping accident to my advantage.
Real quick, I wanted to point out the many recent uses of voxels demonstrated at Siggraph. I can’t help it, but I get pretty excited every time I hear about voxels. Even the developer at Atomontage states that we need a voxel “revolution”, and I couldn’t agree more.
Apparently Blue Sky’s “Rio” used Voxels for terrain and the rendering of large crowds. I hope the talk is released soon so I can see the details, first hand.
I was made aware of a game engine called Atomontage, which uses voxels [thx Ruslan]. In the video below, you can see the potentials of (for example) truly destructible terrain, as the user unearths rocks from the sand or strips the plaster from the walls, revealing the bricks underneath.
I’m going and I have a ticket. Some travel details need to be worked out and I still have some equipment prep that needs to be planned and executed.
I’m still working on my SideFX Cook-Off challenge entry.
I also just purchased the new turn-based strategy, “Frozen Synapse”. Some would say this will kill my productivity… and they would be right. The point is to use my computer for something completely not work related between little successes.
I just about gave up on this MRI cloud thing, when I discovered this blog post by a fellow Houdini user, where he mentions a Volume from Attrib node that will allow me to alter a volume using point attributes. I think this may be the answer I have been looking for in order to avoid using metaballs. We shall see.
On top of that, he mentions a major performance issue in Houdini 11 when dealing with instanced shaders. Specifically, it’s an issue with the displacement being calculated, even when it’s not needed. And he posted a link to a fix in the SideFX forums.
And on top of that… through his Vimeo profile, I found this slick MRI plugin for Lightwave.
I also have the opportunity of getting my own brain scanned. How creepy is that?