Learning Houdini Journal 20: Procedural Modeling Tutorial 02

May 05, 2016 at 09:32 pm by -gToon

This is the twentieth entry of what will be a year-long journal on learning the 3D application, Houdini, created by Side Effects Software. Houdini is a sophisticated application that is widely used in the production of visual effects for Hollywood films such as Big Hero 6, Mad Max: Fury Road and many others.

In my previous Learning Houdini Journal 19, I began a short series of tutorials by Jose Sanchez from his Vimeo page. The 4-part series is called "Introduction to Procedural Modeling". It's much simpler than the previous modeling tutorial series I was working on. This journal entry covers the second tutorial in the series.

Introduction to Procedural Modeling in Houdini - Tutorial 02

Work on the second part of Mr. Sanchez's tutorial series was very enjoyable. He has a casual style that is still informative and clear. In the previous (01) tutorial, he took me through the basics of setting up an object node then creating a grid and finally merging the two together with a transform node in between. He used a text/font node to create text for the model/object.

Now, in the second part of the series he adds a copy node which allows us to use any object to copy to points on our grid. We then connect the font node to the copy node on one side and the grid node to the copy node on the other side (see picture below).


After fixing the orientation and scale of the fonts now attached to the copy node, we have a whole series of fonts spelling out Renderosity attached to the points of the grid. Sweet! Keep in mind that that this process can be done with any object element.

Next, we added a point node which gave us the ability to add color to the objects attached to the points. Gave an orange color to our text and it looks good!

Finally, Mr. Sanchez used the same technique, but this time using a line/curve node. That means we can set up a specific line (using nurbs instead of polygons since the curve very nicely) and then attach our font to the points on that line.

Houdini curve

I like how the tutorial gives you not only the process of setting up the nodes, but the idea that you can use the same process to create more elaborate node structures and scenes. I've already got an idea to animate a series of Renderosity texts so that they fly in to a central position. Once I am able to texture and light the scene, I'll export it as a video (or .png series) and use it as the new opening for several Renderosity videos I create each week.

But that's down the road a bit...

You can visit Mr. Sanchez's Vimeo page (where these tutorials are located) and stop by his main website for more information about this talented artist and teacher. Be sure to view the embedded tutorial 02 below.

Introduction to Procedural Modeling in Houdini - Tutorial 02 from jomasan on Vimeo.

Next: Intro to Procedural Modeling Tutorial 03

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