Saturday, May 16, 2015

Kim Goossen's Procedural Modeling Youtube channel

Ok so the theme this week is plugs. I really wanted to share Kim's work. If you're interested in learning great fundamentals in procedural modeling and general Houdini fundamentals, this is an incredible resource. I've worked a little bit with Kim at EA a few years ago and gained a mountain of knowledge from him and other incredible talents in this discipline. If you want to build sustainable, scalable, and dynamic cities, props, characters, etc. This is an awesome place to start.

Here's a link to Kim's channel:

NVIDIA Hairworks Maya and 3DS Max Plugin available!

NVIDIA recently put out their Hairworks Maya and Max plugins for public use and I definitely encourage people to try it. No word on an engine side implementation yet but if you're interested in testing the performance of Hairworks in Maya, here's your chance. I've played with it a little bit but haven't gotten too far. Still very impressive toolset so give it a shot if you get the chance :)

Hit the jump for a video demo and useful links to try Hairworks for yourself...

Maya to Unreal Plugin

Shameless plug alert! I actually had a chance to play around with this plugin that allows you to sort of live link Maya to Unreal. You can hook up the camera from Maya to the UE4 editor and send object from your Maya scene directly to UE4 and back using serial ports and good timing :)

Hit the jump for links to the source and a demo video...

Alex Forsythe Motionbuilder Python Tutorials

Another shameless plug!

So this set of tutorials is absolutely HUGE if you need to work in Motionbuilder and write python scripts like you would in other DCC applications. Alex does a phenomenal job teaching scripting in Motionbuilder and Python in general. This helped me a ton at work and I wanted to share it here.

Here's a link to Alex's website with his suite of tutorials. The production value is great and the pacing is awesome if you're learning for the first time.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

YEBIS 3 Engine

(Real Time in Engine)

Silicon Studio over in Japan is putting out their new YEBIS 3 game engine. They plan to use this engine to develop their new Final Fantasy XV title along with other future titles. Kingdom Hearts 3 was also developed in this engine for a while before the team switched to UE4. This engine seems to do a really nice job with ooooh shiny objects so I look forward to how Final Fantasy will look on this platform.

Hit the jump for more screen shots and video demos of YEBIS 2 and 3...

Project Cars is getting prettier and prettier

I was introduced to this clip at work and I thought you might get a kick out of this. This picture doesn't really do it justice so you need to see the source video: (Make sure that you're using a browser that supports HTML5, not Internet Explorer!)

Project cars is coming out soon and if you want to play a gorgeous racing sim, this may be the game to play. I'm really excited to see if they can pull these visuals off in their final product. I'm really impressed by how well done the graphics hold up in overcast lighting settings too.

Here's a link to their official site:

Hit the jump for more screenshots from Project Cars development...

Unreal 4 Massive Collection of tutorials!

A friend from work found this really neat page that is a great collection of fantastic free official and unofficial tutorials for UE4.

Here's a link:

Total Moving Face Reconstruction

So this is a really cool abstract from the University of Washington that I think some companies might find really interesting. Basically you can take a video of someone talking and reconstruct a 3D representation from the video. This would be really great if you're trying to accurately simulate a real person's likeness in an interview or broadcast setting in a 3D environment.

The really big takeaway is that the source material is not environment controlled. These are just videos gathered from interviews. This is huge when you need to gather lots of source data to generate content! Right now this is still an abstract but I look forward to it developing further at a production capacity!

Hit the jump for a video demo of this in action and a link to the abstract...

Houdini 14

Houdini 14 is out! Well it's been out but I wanted to talk about some of the interesting features that caught my eye.

One really nice thing was the improved user experience. With speed improvement made to the animation editor, you can see performances much faster which is nice for rig playback. UV Flatten and layout tools now have UDIM support! Massive win if you're working with high fidelity assets in the hopes of optimizing for games.

Other great features include their new position-based dynamics which can run on the CPU or GPU using OpenCL. Pretty nice in case you need to switch from individual tests to pushing simulations over a farm. Their crowd system is now more user friendly and robust in Houdini 14. Their hair grooming feature is now based on OpenVDB and include a new Stroke SOP which I'll need to play with. The results seem pretty promising too!

All in all, these are some pretty nice improvements to an already powerful tool. It's definitely worth a look over.

Hit the jump for some links and a video demo of Houdini 14...


Here's a really impressive real time WebGL demo that you can play on your browser or phone. It's pretty intense so you may need to use your PC to see all features at full framerate. I tried it on my Galaxy S4 at full resolution and I was getting about 10 fps which wasn't too bad considering how much was going on in the demo. It's fun to interact with and the visuals are impressive.

Try it on your desktop and your mobile device!

Here's a link to the demo:

Maya Plugin Goodness

I wanted to share a few Maya plugin resources that I've stumbled upon recently. Most of these have been around and you've probably seen them already but in case you haven't, here are some that I've found useful recently:

Feel free to add to this list in the comments. I appreciate all the resources I can get! :)


Along with sites like CgSociety, CgCircuit, Digital Tutors, etc. I stumbled upon a cool site that has really neat VFX tutorials and classes that you can take to advance your skillset. It's called fxphd and focuses on VFX. I like it because it has some nice stuff for pipelines and production.

Here's a link:

Fusion 7 Free!

This isn't news anymore but still worth a mention. Fusion 7 is out and there is a powerful free version available for download. Fusion is a nice VFX tool suite that's comparable to software from the Foundry like Nuke. The big takeaway is that it's free so if you can't afford Nuke, you can still develop high quality shots for you film.

Here's a link to Black Magic's site where you can get Fusion 7: