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Creating a Realistic Landscape and a Spaceship in Houdini

Stephane Quillet talked about making a landscape in Houdini, setting up a realistic river, and the information the artist learned at Rebelway.

Introduction

Hello, my name is Stephane Quillet, I'm a 2D/3D generalist, specialized in FX. I'm self-taught but Rebelway helped me a lot to improve my skills. I worked in several advertising companies in Reunion Island, then in Paris, I worked at Ellipse Studio for a few projects (Buddy & Bill/The Smurf/Yakari The Movie).

I've been passionate about software and technology since I was a kid. I began being interested in VFX in my 20's because I thought it was fun. I always wanted to take classes at Rebelway for a long time, and now I'm able to afford it. I woke up a morning with this project in my mind. And I did it!

Landscape and Vegetation

I created a Heightfield with Houdini. I separated differents parts of my Heightfield to focus on the parts that were useful for the simulations. There is the water part and the destruction part with 2 layers. About the scattering, I used a great tool developed by Adrien Lambert. He made several nodes to make it easier to work with.

Setting Up the Spaceship

I bought the spaceship on CGTrader. Then, I just created my collisions and my animations for my different sequences. Regarding the camera animation of my sequences, I was helped by a great video from Urban Bradesko. The main challenges were to create a lot of wedges simulations and wait patiently. The compositing makes the sequence looks believable.

Creating the Water Stream

For the river I simply created a setup for my river, with a force field on the bed of my river, that could go in the direction I wanted.

Thoughts on Houdini

Houdini is a war machine. Yes, it's complicated, I'm not sure life is enough to fully learn it. But, if you're passionate like me, and spend sleepless nights making H24 simulations, maybe you will come to the end of the software.

About the rendering engine, I use Redshift which helps me a lot. It allows me to go super fast with my renderings, being lucky to have 2 RTX 3090s on my computer.

The Impact of Rebelway

I took several courses at Rebelway (Advanced FX Rise, Advanced Shading in Redshift, Ocean Rendering using Redshift, WaterFX, Explosion FX). I learned so many things with Rebelway. It helped me a lot to have a workflow to be able to push my projects further.

Stéphane Quillet, 3D Generalist

Interview conducted by Theodore Nikitin

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