FX Reel 2022 | Ricardo Barillas Flores

FX Reel 2022 | Ricardo Barillas Flores

Ricardo Barillas Flores
by ricardobarillas on 1 Jun 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

This is my student FX reel for 2022. I've been learning Houdini for about 14 months now and here's the result. I'm really interested in more abstract, sci-fi or magical FX but Im looking forward to do more realistic FX in the future such as flip simulations or more complex rbd simulations.

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FX Reel 2022 | Ricardo Barillas Flores

United States Of Smash

For this project I wanted to pay tribute to My Hero Academia by remaking in full cg the iconic Unites States of Smash. My main challenge was keeping the manga style motion and final look while doing a cg render. This was the first project I rendered in Vray.

This Fx was composed of multiple layer, primarily RBD, POP and Pyro. Compositing was done using Nuke.

Abstract Growth

This effect was made for the test project of my graduation short-film Clocker Square.  My main challenge was trying to find the specific shapes and patterns asked by my Artistic director to match what he wanted.

The base of the setup is completely procedural. Using a bounding box expression I can take any kind of geometry and apply the same effect. I added some extra layers such as particles and custom AOVS for compositing in order to push the magical aspect.


This project was made with the talented Clémence Debit, hard surface modeler and texture artist. We wanted to make the reveal of the spaceship  elegant and cool. For this vellum simulation I started by doing a quick smoke sim and then advected the cloth to make flow more naturally. 

I also did the compositing for this shot and added some small smoke sims to embellish the final shot.

Western Windstorm

This shot I did in collaboration with Jean Gervais an environment artist. This shot is composed of multiple layers of smoke simulations, the tornado, the dust and the swirling clouds on top as well as some debris copied to points to add extra details.

Space Portal

This project is inspired by the concept art of Tobias Roetsch. I loved the concept and wanted to challenge myself by bring it to live, having motion and a nice final cg render.  

For this shot I identified 4 main components, the Earth, some Nebulas, the Space Station and at last the Portal. 

Nebulas are a combination of scattered point into different shapes which are then rasterised to give the dusty look.

Earth was rendered by Mathis Alexandre.

Space Station is modelled 100% procedurally which gave me full control over eventual iterations to find the best result. My main challenge was to orient the scattered elements in the right direction. In order to do that I used vex coding to create the necessary attributes to orient the scattered elements.

As for the Portal, I used mainly POP simulations and then some post sim FX as well as SOP techniques to create extra layers.

All of this was assembled and composited in Nuke.

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