Jake Allen


Sticky Textures
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2k followers on Instagram! Thanks again to everyone who enjoys these experiments and animations, and thanks to the amazing artists on Instagram who have provided inspiration every day. You all are the best.

Technical deets:

Thanks to the awesome Vellum intros from Entagma, I got a setup working to emit Houdini grain objects every few frames. This “sticky texture” technique is something I saw originally in the Processing community years ago, and then in 3D on GreyscaleGorilla with rigid bodies. The setup works by saving the simulation out to a sequence, UV-ing the last frame, then applying those UVs to all the other frames in the sequence. That way when played back again, it “settles” and the textures line up. I’ll clean up and post a .hip file in the next few days.

Jake Allen
Softbody Jump

Some more fun with Houdini’s Grain solver, and letting it control a motion captured jumping guy. Basically, the runners turn into a jello-dude at a particular frame and Houdini takes their velocity and applies it to the models. This was my first time bringing the animation into Cinema 4D and Octane, and I’m happy to say it supported things like motion blur right out of the box. Pretty dope!

I may post the file soon but it’s real messy, and I’m sure there’s a more “procedural” way to do it. For the curious, the technique is based on the “Keyframed Grains” file in Houdini’s help, and this awesome example from Matt Estela.

Jake Allen
Happy Vibes

Feeling pretty good this week - just wrapped up a big project with everyone here at Odd Machine (shout out to Jesse Randall, Chris Hooker, and Dmitry Fedorov), went to see two lovely people get married, caught up with friends far and wide, and spent some QT with the lady. ❤️ On a technical note: working more with Octane/Cinema 4D and enjoying it a lot so far! Expect to see more renders coming soon.

Jake Allen
Skull Sphere
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Another fun experiment with the spherical mirror deformer and a free 3D skull scan, this time in a sort-of Dutch still life style. Spooky! 💀

You can grab the asset here.

Jake Allen
Spherical Mirror Deformer HDA

This fun little skater dude was created using a spherical mirror deformer I made in Houdini, then traced over in Photoshop to get that cartoon-y look. The deformer is based on Armin Halac's awesome tutorial for Fabric Engine - a software package that sadly no longer exists - but he gives you the math basics to recreate it. It takes your model and deforms it the same way an object is reflected in a sphere, giving you really interesting and unexpected results. The second loop above is what the animation looked like straight out of Houdini's viewport. I wrapped the whole thing up as a Houdini Digital Asset, so feel free to download the deformer and play around with it yourself!

You can download the HDA from here on Orbolt.

Jake Allen
Boolean Tube

A wavy experiment with the boolean techinques from the previous post - this time extended to 3D instead of just a 2D effect. It was a little tricky getting the pieces not to 'pop' back and forth, but I think I settled on the right settings.

Check out the .hip file here.

Jake Allen

Wow - 1k followers on Instagram! A big thank you to everybody who finds interest in the stuff I post here. For this little celebratory animation I was inspired by a paperback I found at the thrift store - a "medical thriller" called Flashback by Michael Palmer (it has four stars on Goodreads, so maybe it's decent? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). It would probably have been a good idea to use AE for this effect, but I was stubborn and wanted to see if I could replicate it in Houdini. After some playing around with booleans and packed primitives, I got a working example and rendered it out, piping it through Permanent Press to give that halftone look. I couldn't decide on a color scheme so I ended up uploading both.

I'll be posting more of these experiments (and some requested tutorials) very soon. Thanks everybody!

.hip file is available here.

Jake Allen

Another experiment with floppy stuff in Houdini - this time using the Granular Solid tools instead of FEM. It's harder to control but is super duper fast and gives really bouncy motion. I tried it out on this free model of a 70's Volkswagen Golf from CGTrader and got some funny results. 🚗 Vroom vroom 🚗

Jake Allen
Couch Potato

Experimenting with soft bodies using Houdini's finite element solver and a bunch of free models from CGTrader. I had a several versions where the pillows stuck through the couch when it hit the ground, but after a couple iterations I was able to fix it by increasing the resolution of the models (the "tetrahedron" count) and raising the collision iterations to 7 or 8. Comfy!

Jake Allen
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Another experiment with high surface tension fluids in Houdini, this time using a skull scan from Artec3d. A few things needed to be done to make this simulation a little more stable, namely upping the particle count, but I kept getting mysterious holes and "pops" in the mesh. After some google searching I stumbled upon this thread where the poster talked about changing the meshing parameter from "Average Position" to "Spherical":


It definitely made the mesh more blobby, but with some extra smoothing iterations it came out with a nice result (and no flickering!). Here's the corresponding link to the docs about it.

Jake Allen
Houdini FLIP Surface Tension
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Something a little different - I’ve been experimenting with Houdini’s surface tension settings to simulate small scale droplets, and cranking the values way up resulted in some interesting shapes. Kinda oily, kinda tendril-y. 💧 Rendered in Maya and V-Ray.

Jake Allen
Vitamins and Minerals
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One of the things I've been checking out is the viscous fluid settings for Houdini's FLIP solver, especially their "Lava" setups. One of the first things I did as practice was emit fluid into a bowl, and the scene kind of built itself around that. I was really interested in the fact that the result looked really appetizing and unappetizing at the same time. I can't tell if it's one big liquid Cheeto, or an indigestible pile of goo. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Your choice!

Jake Allen
Lil' Buds


These little characters started as an experiment with soft bodies using Houdini's FEM solver. The tricky part was getting their facial expressions to change at the end without breaking the sim - so instead of simulating the characters themselves, low resolution geometry was simulated in their place and then used to deform the high resolution characters. That way their mouths could move without going all wacky. I like to image they can't control where they go, but travel wherever forces take them. 😮 Rendered in Maya and V-Ray.

Jake Allen
Truchet Tiling in Houdini

I saw a bunch of really cool examples of Truchet tiling recently and thought I'd try to implement it in Houdini. To create Truchet tiles, you start with a couple of shapes and randomly copy them to a grid. When arranged this way, they produce connected lines and unusual patterns, and you can make a bunch of variations with different "random seed" values. This may be fun to package into an asset one day - check out the .hip file here.

Jake Allen
Happy Family LLC NYE 2017 Countdown

First post of 2018! Here’s a fun little countdown I put together for Happy Family LLC’s amazing NYE Party. Made using AE, Filterforge, and the awesome textures from SetMatte and Ray Dynamic Texture.

Jake Allen