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Houdini FX TD / Artist DemoReel Santiago Cabrera

Houdini FX TD / Artist DemoReel Santiago Cabrera

Santiago Tomás Cabrera Gavilán
by cabreras on 26 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

4 of my best projects made during the last year, each teaching me a new branch of FX

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Hi @everyone, it's been two years since my first rookies entry and three since i began my 3D journey, now after so many render hours, CGI podcasts, courses and countless Tokeru & Entagma tutorials, I'm finally reaching the next stage of my VFX career.

I present to you my 2022 Houdini DemoReel, enjoy!


Inspired by the "Reach" short film made by Orion terry.

I remember seeing the think tank webinar about his project, it inspired me a lot and loved the look he got, I wanted to make something similar but giving it my own twist, so I ended up doing a meteor entry with the second shot actually taking inspiration from the meteor scene on "Your name"

Extending the second shot on nuke to make it look like a cloudscape sure was a challenge to, also making the clouds was a really fun RnD into the pyro solver, I'm really happy with the result and what i learned about volumes and managing lots of layering simulations.

There's actually is a 3rd shot on the works (the explosion) but due to the deadlines from my school and The rookies not coinciding, you will have to follow me on Linkedin or Instagram to see it in a couple of weeks (wink wink)

Also i swear, this project was planned before the rebelway tutorial was released


Inspired by the spanish holy week processions and several cool coat designs (Thanks Elias Mendez)

This was a super fun project to work on, learning abouts sewing patterns and the inner workings of vellum constraints, it was as much an artistic project as a technical one, figuring out how to simulate 50 agents with full vellum layered coats on a laptop without burning my house sure was a challenge, but with the correct sim optimization, and a lot of dependent rop nodes, i managed to get this result relatively fast.

Some minor tools where created for this also, such as an intersection correction for the agents, and some procedural cache offsetter to get the most out of a single cache.

I leave you the moodboard, concept art for the cloth and some early layouts.

POP Procedural Ivy

Ever since learning about houdini, i don't know why, but it came natural to me to try and make a procedural ivy grower, something about the look of organic plants spreading just screams procedural, and i really like that word.

On my attempt, the first thing that seemed intuitive was to make a POP network guided by a custom force field around the object, I had to learn a lot about VOPs and vector math for this one, and it made me undestand houdini on a whole new level, and in the end I gained a really powerful iterative tool to make curves with recursive branching and great knowledge of vector fields and pop dynamics, thanks tokeru.

RBD Void ship

Continuing with procedural tools, the next thing was RBD, inspired by some shots of Lost in space and the Cowboy bebop live action, I decided to make this ship on a void avoiding two colliding rocks

A lot was learn about the displacement handling of Arnold and mantra, fracturing with custom tools, managing HDA's and my first contact with TOPs for iterations.

Rocks are fully procedural, made with a lot of noises and VDBs, texture also made with alot of noises and ramps, the final asset is a low poly asset with baked displacement, roughness and base color, perfect for quickly filling backgrounds.

Conclusion or rather, a little thanks

Hope you like my reel and it would help me a lot if you high-five me! :)

There is a couple of other projects that aren't included due to time, but are definitely coming to the next version of my reel, my houdini learning journey is far from over, but I hope you can watch me get better!

Special thanks to Ernest Monter, Enrique Zancajo and Francesc Bolló for tutoring me.

See you around!

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