bool hello_world() {

/* My name is Dennis and I’m a Technical Director / Developer from Germany. I love to mix art, science and coding and try to improve in all those fields equally. My self motivation is very high and I love working in a great team with talented people that give their best to achieve awesome results.

I have almost 10 years of experience working as a Technical Director focused on lighting, shading and rendering mainly with Houdini, Mantra, Katana and Arnold.

In my spare time I am playing with open source renderers such as Mitsuba, Appleseed or Tungsten and applications like Gaffer. I also started writing my own little renderer using Peter Shirley’s “In One Weekend” books as well as the excellent “PBRT” by Matt Pharr and Greg Humphreys. */


return true;
}

Knowledge

Programming

Python, C/C++, Lua, Vex, Git

 APIs

PyQt/PySide, Houdini Python API/SOHO, Katana Python/C++ API, Arnold Python/C++ API, Alembic C++ API

Software

Houdini, Katana, Mantra, Arnold

 Languages

German, English

Professional Experience

08/2016 – now

Render / FX Pipeline TD

  • Shaders
  • Render Procedurals
  • Farm Submission
  • Lighting / Lookdev Tools
  • Customizing KtoA and HtoA
  • Houdini Digital Assets
  • FX Caching mechanism
  • FX Workflow Tools
  • etc.

07/2015 – 07/2016

Shading / Rendering TD

  • Transitioned the Rendering Pipeline from Renderman to Arnold
  • Maintain and Improve the Katana / Arnold Pipeline
  • Maintain the Houdini VFX Pipeline

01/2014 – 06/2015

Houdini TD

  • Setting up a Layout / Lighting / Shading / Rendering Pipeline for Houdini / Mantra
  • Developing custom shaders for Mantra
  • Lighting / Shading / Rendering Shots
  • Procedural FX and Motion Elements
  • Creating workflow tools for automated asset baking and preparation
  • Mentoring Beginner to Advanced Houdini Artists

02/2009 -12/2013

Co-Owner / Houdini TD

  • Technical Direction
  • CG Supervision
  • Pipeline Development
  • Lighting, Shading and Rendering Artist
  • Managing Projects and staff
  • Mentoring
  • IT Infrastructure and Renderfarm

06/2013 – 08/2013

Houdini Instructor

  • Motion Graphics in Houdini

03/2008 – 01/2009

3D Generalist

  • Modeling
  • Texturing
  • Lighting

02/2003 – 02/2008

Graphic / Motion Designer

  • Web and Print Design
  • 3D Animation
  • Motion Graphics

Presentations / Talks

2017

Flexing the Rendering Muscles
Arnold in Production

This workshop explains workflows, tools and customizations that Trixter uses to improve their rendering efficiency and output a large amount of shots on a moderately sized renderfarm.

It will contain a slew of technical information for you to take home, including how to support multiple host applications, working with open source shaders, cryptomattes, instancing and more.

There will of course also be some pretty renderings from recent productions to look at.

2016

Brute Force VFX
with Katana and Arnold

In 2015 Trixter switched its complete rendering pipeline to Arnold while keeping Katana at the core of their lookdev and lighting workflow. Since then they have worked on projects such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. Why they did it, how they did it and how everything turned out are just some of the questions that will be answered in this workshop. Get an insight into some simple but effective tools they built to enhance their workflow and why they chose Anders Langlands’ opensource shader library.

2015

Mantra
A look under the hood

Houdini is well known for its capabilities to create stunning VFX for blockbuster movies. But it is not only a VFX and simulation tool. More and more studios are evaluating it for their lighting, shading and rendering needs. One reason for this is Mantra, Houdini’s fully integrated renderer. It is an underestimated powerhouse that can compete with any commercially available renderer on the market. This talk is not about drooling over beautiful images and animations. Any renderer can produce those. This is a look under the hood into the inner workings and workflows of lighting, shading and rendering in Houdini/Mantra and the benefits it has compared to third party solutions.

2015

Simplicity is complexity resolved
Building complex effects from simple components one node at a time

Houdini is too complicated.
Houdini is hard to learn.
Houdini can only be used by a TD.
Houdini is too technical for the average artist.
Houdini is not for creative projects.
Houdini can only do FX.

These are some of the statements I keep hearing about Houdini over and over again. However most of these are simply a result of misunderstanding the complexity that Houdini is able to produce.

In the lecture I will try to show that a complex result is not necessarily a product of  an overly complicated creation process. I will demonstrate that it is actually really simple once you break it down into the most essential building blocks.  I will hopefully ignite your curiosity about Houdini and convince you that it is a great tool for exploration and creativity and can definitely do much more than just Simulations and FX.

Education

2005 – 2009

Student

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Media Production, 1st Class Honours