The Secret To Solid Muscle

August 2006

During my work term at Side Effects Software (makers of the Houdini package) from May to August 2006, I created this image for their summer image contest. I modeled this alien from scratch using Houdini Master, basically starting out with a box that was subdivided, point edited and then poly-splitted to get the right topology (standard subdivision surfaces modeling technique using the highly procedural node-based work flow of Houdini). Textures were procedural: there's a Marble shader for veins and a Skin shader for the other colour. There are two spherical area lights that light the scene up. All of the text was added using COPs (compositing operators) in Houdini. I must say, working in Houdini is quite refreshing from my experience in LightWave because revisions can be carried out very easily using the nodal work flow.

The idea for this image was originally for the alien to be lifting weights but because I didn't know how to rig a character in Houdini, I couldn't pose him properly. So instead, he gets to break an I-beam, which was an easier pose to achieve. The muscle theme was chosen because I worked on Houdini's muscle system while I was there. This model might show up later in another image that I am thinking of creating, although I'd likely create a new model since this one was built without thinking about what I want it to look like.

The Secret To Solid Muscle

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Production Info

RendererHoudini Mantra
ComputerDevelopment workstation at Side Effects
Render timeLess than 30 minutes
Original resolution480 x 640

About Peter Yu I am a research and development professional with expertise in the areas of image processing, remote sensing and computer vision. I received BASc and MASc degrees in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. My working experience covers industries ranging from district energy to medical imaging to cinematic visual effects. I like to dabble in 3D artwork, I enjoy cycling recreationally and I am interested in sustainable technology. More about me...

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