SIGGRAPH 2018

I was fortunate enough to attend my first SIGGRAPH ever this year. I have wanted to see the conference for more than five years and never had the chance to actually attend. Back in 2014, I won a ticket to attend the conference through a Twitter competition but I was doing my compulsory Finnish military service and couldn't go. 

This year, however, I got to go thanks to my fantastic internship at Adobe Research (if you don't follow me on Twitter that's also probably new to you). In addition to all of this, I was also able to present my intern project at NVIDIA's Limelight event highlighting different applications of their new RTX technology. This was a GPU path tracer prototype for Adobe Dimension (Adobe's 3D product) that I worked on with my mentor Dimitri Diakopoulos. 

 Me with my eyes closed standing by our table at the event. Cool. 

Me with my eyes closed standing by our table at the event. Cool. 

Anyways, that's all I wanted to say as I haven't updated this blog in a long time. I met a bunch of friendly people and saw many interesting rendering presentations. However, I think I spent a little bit too much time attending talks instead of exploring and making new friends. So, if there's a next time I'll relax and have a bit more fun. 

 A render created with my intern project. The scene was created in Dimension and not created by me. 

A render created with my intern project. The scene was created in Dimension and not created by me. 

Junction 2016

In late November last year I attended a Hackathon called Junction, which claims to be Europe's largest Hackathon. I had no idea what to expect when I joined, but the only reason I chose to attend was the virtual reality track they had. Some big companies were involved and sponsoring the event as well, so it couldn't really hurt to go see what was going on.

My initial plan was to just go hang around and not build anything serious. Maybe not even enter a competition. However, after walking around I met Eetu (another Houdini user, fairly well-known on Odforce) and we decided to work on a HoloLens project together. After some brainstorming we came up with a silly idea: Saving kittens using real-world objects in a Lemmings-style game. Because who doesn't love kittens? Everything was built using Unity and a little bit of Houdini. Some of the assets were found online. For example, the kitten rig was found on Unity's asset store. Whenever we tested our game in the open, an audience appeared and wanted to try it. As you can see from this video.

Our project was submitted to the VR track and to Unity's 'Unexpected Virtuality' challenge. We won the VR track and placed second in Unity's challenge. So because we won, we had to present our project on stage in front of approximately a hundred people. Well, as you can guess, wearing a bulky AR device on your head in front of an audience is no easy task. Unfortunately, we also had a little bit of a 'Demo Effect' while demoing and everything didn't work perfectly, but it was still fun. 

All in all, it was a very fun weekend and I loved working together with Eetu. I also really liked making a finished thing in just two days and it's something I will try to force myself to do more often on my own. 

Unfortunately, we don't have any good footage from the game itself because we forgot to transfer our recordings from the HoloLens. But, here's a video of an earlier version of the game:

Images from my Path Tracer

I decided to render out three 1080p images from a path tracer I wrote earlier this year as part of my spring graphics course. 

Features: SAH BVH, depth of field, textures, russian roulette path termination, diffuse BRDF. 

 Haunted hallway scene that I found online with some added ivy. 

Haunted hallway scene that I found online with some added ivy. 

 BB8 scene using assets from Videocopilot. This image showcases the depth of field. 

BB8 scene using assets from Videocopilot. This image showcases the depth of field. 

 Another scene to make the color bleeding more noticeable. 

Another scene to make the color bleeding more noticeable. 

Pluralsight Course

During the Spring this year I worked with Pluralsight on a Houdini course. The course has now been online for a couple of months on their site. The experience of learning to teach well and learning to make tutorials was very helpful. And, the feedback that I've received has been incredible. 

If you haven't seen it, it can be found here:

Designing VEX Driven Digital Assets in Houdini

And the trailer is here:

 

The course goes through creating a simple tree generator tool in Houdini. In order to accomplish this you learn about VEX and some mathematics. It is approximately four hours long and has scene files included that contain some additional information and tips.