[Sidefx-houdini-list] A Request

CraigLeeHoffman at aol.com CraigLeeHoffman at aol.com
Tue Dec 20 22:50:17 EST 2005

In a message dated 12/20/2005 2:22:41 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
ivan at martian-labs.com writes:

> There was also Hookah, a proprietary (Disney/Secret Lab) particle
> animation/rendering system that would animate and render tens of billions of
> particles. I heard that most of it was written in perl, although most of the
> computation time was taken by the C code. Minimum system requirement was a 4
> proc challenge system with 4 gigs of ram, pretty heavy for 1999. Rev 
> Lebaredian
> worked on it, it was deserted after Rev came out with Jig, and simple 
> houdini
> particles rendered in Jig looked just as good (in a day on a desktop 
> machine).

I think the last thing that we (back when I was with Disney) used Hookah for 
was "Treasure Planet", which we also used Jig for, by the way.

Hookah was a CFD particle system that used brute force and a ton of particles 
to do it's magic.  It was basically a "type in some parameters and check the 
results in the morning" sort of thing- not very controllable and fairly slow.  
It gave some nice complex fluid motion though (it was used on the Black Hole 
effect in "Treasure Planet" and lots of space dust on "Armeggadon" before 
that), but needed Post Effects in a Compositor like blurring, etc. to get the 
final look.  I didn't work with Hookah on "Treasure Planet", (those shots were 
done by Kee Suong who came from the "Secret Lab") but I did work with Jig on 
"Treasure Planet".  I am pretty sure Kee was running Hookah on a dual proc Linux 
PC on "Treasure Planet", and I know RAM was a problem but I doubt he had more 
than 2 Gigs (but then again it may have been run on some other machine in a 
computer room somewhere instead of his workstation- I could find out if 

Jig is a Volumetric renderer that deals with particles generated in an 
outside package- quite different than Hookah which is a particle system but simply 
renders small points (but gazillions of them to get a "Volumetric" look).   I 
believe it was also used for fur for other later projects.  Jig was a pain to 
use at the time compared to Houdini's built in Volumetrics due to the outside 
scripting necessary, but it gave some really beautiful results without a lot of 
work that I have not been able to match with Houdini's native Volumetrics.

-Craig Hoffman

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