“Nine Inch Nails Ghosts 8” by Independent Artist

  • ©Shawn Faherty  Independent Artist



    Nine Inch Nails Ghosts 8


Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Independent Artist


    This video was originally created for the Nine Inch Nails Ghosts Video Contest on YouTube. Number 8 was selected from 36 numerically self-titled instrumental tracks, which gave thousands of artists clean visual slates to work with minus any symbols or conceptions that might influence creativity.

    The technique of taking a frame, bringing it into Houdini, copying boxes based on color, and creating multiples of them was acquired from Garman Herigstad’s Houdini 101 learning DVD (www.thegnomonworkshop.com). Some key lessons of that DVD are extensive use of the Point SOP, where you can look up each point’s attributes in a spreadsheet while you’re working. This helps me recognize movements when they are transformed individually based on their color values. A Render Output Driver node allowed me to save geometry sequences for faster work flow with realistic playback speeds, enhancing the flow of creativity.

    Another media reference was Peter Claes’ Houdini Technical Effects DVD
    (www.3dbuzz.com), which helped me understand creation of complex trails with the For Each SOP. This node let me loop through trails procedurally while adding creative power to the number of trails, direction, width, and color without having to recreate them. This is mostly done at a point or primitive level where I can classify attributes and groups, add values, or mathematically promote new ones based on arguments. What seems like a lot of scripting is merely an understanding of how Houdini’s variables and functions help channel information through the stream of node building.

    Finally, because my character is essentially flat, even in 3D, I wanted some depth from the waves being swung from the guitar. After my camera movements where finalized, I key-framed a bone that was attached to the guitar. The bone, with color trails attached, swings out toward the camera giving the illusion that the guitar is in fact doing the same. Also, particles that fly away from the character needed an arbitrary direction to fly to or from, so points in space were created for that purpose with special attention to object normal and world space.


    Sony, Canon, NVIDIA, lots of green paint


    Houdini, Adobe, CineGobs Keyer

Additional Contributors:

    Green Screen Studio: Glitch Loft Boston

    Cameraman: Travis Vautour

Animation / Video Overview: