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Demo Reel Breakdown

1: Procedural Fire Escape (0:10-0:34)
This procedural fire escape system was created using Houdini. The system exposes parameters to the user to allow the editing of nearly all major aspects of the fire escape. Systems like this can be used to build many dynamic and varied set models, such as buildings or entire cities. All work by Kevin McNamara.

2: City and Stars (0:34-0:1:14)
This city was modeled, shaded, and lit in Maya. The stars, atmospherics, particle animation, and compositing were all completed in Houdini. These clips were created as animated backgrounds for a live-action short film. The most interesting challenge was creating a digital asset for easily controlling the flow of stars through the sky, as the director of the film changed his mind about how the stars should flow many times throughout production. The swirls are meant to resemble Van Gogh’s Starry Night. All work by Kevin McNamara.

3: Poisson Scattering Node (1:14-1:47)
This system consists of a custom Houdini node programmed in C++ using the HDK. The Poisson Sampling algorithm allows for points to be tightly scattered according to a minimum distance that can vary throughout space. This means that the points will never be closer than their given distance and thus this algorithm is ideal for scattering non-intersecting items for set dressing, grooming, etc. All work by Kevin McNamara.

4: Path Tracer (1:47-2:01)
This renderer was programmed in C++ using the Mitsuba framework. This was completed as a Harvard Computer Science Independent Study during 2010. The renderer computes direct, indirect, and subsurface illumination.

5: Ray Tracer (2:05-2:12)
This renderer was programmed in C++ by Kevin McNamara and Thomas Buckley for a Harvard Computer Science 175 final project. Features included glossy reflection, refraction, depth of field, area lights, texturing, and more.

6: Procedural Snow System (2:142:37)
This procedural snow system simulates the occlusion, accumulation, and drifting of snow on arbitrary geometry. It was created using Houdini in 2010 as a final project for the Pixar Undergraduate Program. It allows the user to set parameters that control the amount of snow, occlusion factors, wind direction, and wind speed.

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