Punching Above Your Weight | Nick Angus | SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

Alt VFX’s Nick Angus covers transitioning a studio’s pipeline to Houdini-centric.

Alt started with 6 people and a couple of freelance artists. They burst out of the gate with an amazing commercial, then reality sunk in that they were limited by “off the shelf” tools, and when new jobs came along that had a huge variety of needs, they realized they needed to become far more innovative – and started to look at Houdini.

“One interesting piece of advice I received was to think of Houdini as more of a 3D operating system,” says Nick, “I tasked myself with learning as many aspects of Houdini as I could before I proposed rolling it out as a full solution, and we then moved our lighting, FX, and fur/feathers over to Houdini entirely. We realized that training was far less intimidating than we had thought, as people could just bite off small parts at a time. A lighter only needed a day or two to get up to their normal speed.”

Nick Angus is one of the founding members of the Alt VFX team, Nick has been an integral part of the company’s growth and continued success across the world. Starting his career in graphic design before moving into 3D and visual effects, Nick’s creative eye and technical knowledge has earned him a valued reputation in the industry. Today, he continues to play a major role in the majority of the work that passes through Alt’s studios in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo and LA. Nick has been one of the lead CG supervisors on almost every Alt project since inception, including countless award-winning TVCs. He is also one of the leading FX artists in the region and is perfectly-suited to the complicated simulations and photorealistic visual effects that clients have come to expect from Nick and the team at Alt.

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