Thursday, 13 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 502AB

The purpose of this course is twofold;

1. To introduce novice end-users and artists to the basics of the OpenVDB data structure and its Houdini integration.
2. To give developers a more in-depth description of the accompanying toolset, class structures, and various optimization techniques.

Since the previous presentation of the OpenVDB course, at SIGGRAPH 2013, the library has changed and expanded. It now includes many new tools and algorithms (for example, new modeling and level set tools and particle acceleration structures) and new features in existing tools and data structures (for example, support for out-of-core). This year's course is updated to reflect these changes while retaining the best parts from the earlier course. The course presenters provide several points of view, from practitioners and artists to developers in studios and third-party adopters.

Course Schedule

9 am
Introduction to OpenVDB
Ken Museth, DreamWorks Animation
Fundamentals of the underlying VDB data structure
Overview of the library and the toolset
Changes since version 1.0 covered in 2013 (currently version 3.1)

9:20 am
OpenVDB in Houdini
John Lynch, Side Effects
Using OpenVDB as an acceleration structure for fluid simulations in Houdini.
Smart management of active regions in VDB for FLIP compression / surfacing / whitewater sourcing and solving.

9:40 am
Fundamentals of OpenVDB in Production
Jeff Budsberg, DreamWorks Animation
Native Houdini nodes and OpenVDB nodes
Productions examples, including: cloud modeling, liquid surfacing, filtering, data analysis, volumetric fracturing and destruction, proxy geometry, modeling of velocity fields, and rendering

10:10 am
Advanced Applications of OpenVDB in Production
Dan Bailey, Double Negative
Using OpenVDB to spatially organize point sets
Tools and processes used for point-based simulations, particularly in a liquid solver
Using OpenVDB to achieve fast ray-tracing of billions of points and seamless integration into a third-party renderer.




A rudimentary knowledge of typical workflows for volumetric modeling and/or simulations (voxels, iso-surfaces, level sets, and voxelization). Knowledge of C++ is also advantageous but not required.

Intended Audience

Users of OpenVDB and software engineers who wish to use our library in their own software projects.


Ken Museth
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.

Dan Bailey
Double Negative

Jeff Budsberg
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.

John Lynch
Side Effects Software Inc.