FX Simulations - Malte Schabram

FX Simulations - Malte Schabram

Malte Schabram
by malteschabram on 31 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

My submission is focused on FX and its use in 3D, ranging from advertisements to film. All simulations are done with SideFX Houdini, rendered in Arnold / Redshift and final images are composited in Nuke.

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1) Ice Cream Advertisement 

This ice cream advertisement was inspired by Nestle Boss BEYOND TVC 30" (vimeo.com/168906173).

Simulations are done with SideFX Houdini, rendered in Arnold for Maya and composited in Nuke. All aspects are done by me, besides the modeling and texturing which were done by Leon Stürmer.


Since each shot included some sort of liquid sim, the setups in Houdini were all fairly similar. Please see below for a video showing the raw simulation data, as well as some screenshots for the Houdini node trees.

2) Alternate Realities Challenge Snowstorm

This was a fun little project which allowed me to re-use a previous asset I created. For more details on the challenge, please refer to this link: https://youtu.be/amCcYRfXZ1o

I was responsible for all aspects, besides the snowy background models (from Quixel) and the given character animation. 


The main simulation of the snowstorm was made in Houdini, using the "advect particles" workflow. In short, using a Pyro simulation to get the motion of the snowstorm correct and then using the velocities as a guide for standard particles.

In this case, I split up the snowstorm into three separate simulations: 1) Foreground 2) Midground 3) "Fill" / background. Simulations 1 and 2 provided the more erratic "gusts" of snow, whilst the third added an overall saturation of snow particles in the scene with a general noise field added to it. 

3) Flamethrower

A fun dive into Houdini's sparse pyro solver enabled this simulation. The character and its animation are from Mixamo, and the flamethrower model is from Leon Stuermer. 


I used a particle simulation for the initial sporadic movement of the flames. Converting the particles into a volume source allows for quick re-iterations within the pyro solver. 

4) Cypher Disk

Responsible for the sand simulation and rendering, models and textures by Tom Römer.


After generating a bunch of particles for my simulation, I optimize the amount to the final render camera's frustum. I also add customizable noise for my simulation.

To generate more sand which doesn't require more heavy computing, I add a point replicate: jumping from 300.000 to 1.5 million particles. The velocities are interpolated onto the new points. 

For further optimizations, I added a quick way to control the padding of the particles in relation to the camera.

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