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Dynamic Effects Animation for Games

Houdini, Photoshop & Unreal Workflow with Antonio Cappiello


Create an impressive dissolving character VFX sequence in Unreal Engine using Houdini and Photoshop. This 2-hour workshop by Principal VFX Artist Antonio Cappiello is ideal for beginner and mid-level real-time VFX artists who want to learn procedural low-poly modeling techniques, create RBD simulations, and pack flipbooks into a sprite sheet in Houdini. Those who want to go beyond basic Niagara particle systems functions will also find this a useful guide.

This step-by-step workshop offers a brief look at frame-by-frame animation in Photoshop, showing how to work with the Timeline, the Lasso tool, and how to apply filters and effects to the texture. You’ll see how to model and fracture assets in Houdini and learn how to import them into Unreal Engine and place them in a level. Antonio reveals his process for creating materials in Unreal and teaches how to create environment Niagara particle systems. He also demonstrates how to create dissolving materials and how to paint animated smoke using Photoshop.

The final stage of the workshop reveals how to import flipbooks into Unreal Engine and create materials and emitters before creating the final level sequence and placing and animating the material parameters and particle systems. As the last step, you’ll discover the final tweaks and see how to add an effective camera shake and grain effect.

Basic knowledge of Houdini, Photoshop, and Unreal Engine is ideal; however, the tutorial is designed to show basic shortcuts and functions so you can follow along with every step of the workshop. All of Antonio’s Houdini, Photoshop, and Unreal files shown in the workshop are included as downloadable files with this workshop.

Duration: 2h 15m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Antonio Cappiello

Principal VFX Artist at Yuga Labs

Antonio Cappiello is a real-time VFX artist who has been passionate about video games since his first Commodore 64. He worked at Reply Game Studios as a VFX artist, primarily using Houdini, Substance Designer, Photoshop, Animate, and Unreal Engine. His resume includes VR games such as Theseus as well as the hack-and-slash game Soulstice. He’s also worked for Riot Games on VALORANT as a Senior Character VFX Artist, as well as for Elodie Games. He is currently working for Yuga Labs as a Principal VFX Artist.

  • I've had the pleasure of working with Antonio for several years at both Riot Games and Elodie Games. Antonio is a real-time VFX artist who excels not only in technical aspects but also in artistic creativity. His outstanding technical knowledge, combined with artistic talent, greatly benefited our teams. Antonio consistently delivered exceptional results and proved to be a true professional to collaborate with.

    - Moonsoo Park
    Senior FX Artist at Epic Games

  • Having worked with Antonio across multiple studios, I've always been inspired by how seamlessly he's been able to blend classic stylized VFX with modern workflows and tools. His work always delivers something fresh and new in ways most artists wouldn't think to approach the problem. He has impacted the look and methods of the teams he's been a part of and was a big influence on games such as VALORANT.

    - Niles Tucker
    Associate Art Director at Riot Games