Michael Bolnick - Houdini FX Artist
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Michael Bolnick - Houdini FX Artist

by mbolnick on 26 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

I am excited to present my Houdini showreel. I have compiled several pieces of work I have accomplish with my time at CG Spectrum. I hope you enjoy! Thanks :)

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A Little About Me

I'm excited to showcase my current skills to the Rookies this year. I am currently an accountant and decided that I wanted to make a career change. As I was progressing in my profession, I realized that I did not want this career. I felt unmotivated, bored, and no desire to expand my knowledge. I wanted my career to be fulfilling, passionate, and fun! Long and behold I decided to pursue Visual effects! I love movies and television and the stories they tell us. I wanted to contribute and be a part of these stories we all love and cherish. And so my journey begun. I hope you enjoy!


This simulation was my favorite project to work on. When my curriculum was studying Pryo, I knew I wanted to create shot where I blow something up! I wanted to replicate a shot you would see in an action movie. But I also wanted to explore destroying a more complex model. I wanted to push my RBD and Pyro workflows to incorporate multiple simulations in a shot. 


Here I wanted to use one of my simple animations to drive the effect. I used two different vellum sources, one being grains and the other cloth.  

In this shot I wanted to keep pushing my RBD workflows and continue learning to use RBDs with an animated character. I wanted to make this stylized shot that was changing from a RBD to a FLIP simulation. I also wanted to use different camera angles to add a more cinematic sequence. 

This shot was my most challenging, but not because the overall effects are complicating. My difficulty lied with the presentation. How can I make this shot interesting and more cinematic? There were a lot of moving pieces. At one end there is my wizard creating all this magic and then on the other is a tree exploding. I wanted to show all aspects and not sacrifice any of the effects. 


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