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Quickly Jump to VOP Inputs and Outputs in Houdini

These days I find myself in Wrangles more than I do in VOPs. I also prefer seeing the code as opposed to using the visual “programming” in applications such as Houdini or Unreal Engine. However, sometimes it’s just easier to wire up some nodes or maybe you’ve received a file constructed with VOPs. Hopefully, that person was kind enough to label and name their operators. If not, it’s like diving into an unknown sea of nodes. If that’s the case, this #QuickTip will help you out and show you how to quickly Jump to VOP Inputs and Outputs in Houdini. […]

Automatically Create Redshift ROPs When Starting Houdini
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Automatically Create Redshift ROPs When Starting Houdini

Remember the 123 and 456 Python scripts that we talked about extensively here, here and here. Sure you do. Those scripts are quite handy since you can customize Houdini when starting up or when opening a scene. I make great use of them. I know when starting up Houdini I want a camera and a Mantra node so I have the scripts automatically create them for me with some default parameters already set up. However, what if you are one of the cool kids using these new fancy render engines such as Octane, Arnold or Redshift? What if you want […]

Creating Attributes with Python in Houdini
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Creating Attributes with Python in Houdini

A few questions have rolled in regarding the Mograph Multishader #QuickTip. Remember we were grabbing a bunch of images from a folder to randomly texture some geometry. One question in particular was how to have Houdini automatically determine the number of images in a folder? This would require we query the folder somehow and store the data in some variable or attribute. What better way to do this than with our friendly neighborhood programming language, Python. In this #QuickTip, we will be creating attributes with Python in Houdini to help us determine the number of objects in a folder and […]

Mograph Multishader Effect in Houdini
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Mograph Multishader Setup in Houdini Revisited

Mistakes. Mistakes are great. They help you learn and improve. As they say, if you are not failing, you are not progressing or something to that effect. In our Mograph Multishader Setup in Houdini #QuickTip, we looked at how to texture planes with random images from a folder similar to Cinema 4D’s Multishader. We are back to look at some of the things I goofed up on. Are you ready? Mistake One If you recall, our setup was rather simple. A network for our frame and a network copying our frame to a bunch of scattered points. We wrote some […]

Mograph Multishader Effect in Houdini
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Mograph Multishader Setup in Houdini

So if you run in the Mograph circles you most likely have come across the infamous random image to plane deal. You know the one. The one where you take a folder full of images and map them to individual planes. I know I’ve had my share of it. Sure enough, I was asked to do it again recently. Normally, I would reach for Cinema 4D and quickly set it up. However, I wanted to try it in Houdini since I figured this would be a piece of cake. There are probably multiple way of dealing with this setup in […]

A Few Words with James Owen
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A Few Words with James Owen

Several years back I developed a plugin for Cinema 4D called Hangover. Not only did it make me a few bucks, more importantly it was a great learning experience since it really pushed me out of my comfort zone with Python. I owe this to one person’s encouragement. That fellow is James Owen or also known as Chiny or as I had met him, Hypoly. I’m sure you have seen some of his work online. Maybe a few Vimeo Staff Picks or are even using some of his tools. James is an award winning designer and director within the motion graphics […]

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Setting up Bash/WSL for Houdini on Windows

If you are a UNIX nerd like me, you were probably jumping for joy the day Microsoft WSL was announced. Now you have access to lots of the UNIX goodies that your Mac and Linux friends have. I love myself a Bash shell and it’s one of the main reasons I prefer Mac and Linux or Windows. However, now I can make life easier for myself by using Bash on Windows. In this #QuickTip, we will be setting up Bash/WSL for Houdini on Windows. I’ll show you how to set up Windows to initialize the Houdini environment and have access to […]

Expand Hscript Global Variables & Expressions with Python
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Expand Hscript Global Variables & Expressions with Python

If you read that last #QuickTip, you may have asked yourself “How would I expand Hscript global variables & expressions with Python?”. That is, can you use Python to expand a global variable like $F or $HIP or even and Hscript expression? In this #QuickTip you will learn how to expand Hscript global variables & expressions with Python. Expand Global Variables Again, our trusty hou module has the function we need to accomplish this task. The hou.expandString(str) function takes a String and returns the value at the current frame. So for example, if we were at frame 41, I would […]

Speed Up Your Workflow with Quickmarks in Houdini
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Speed Up Your Workflow with Quickmarks in Houdini

Efficiency is the name of the game. The faster you can work, the quicker you can get to watching some Six Million dollar Man reruns. One complaint you hear from new Houdini users is the jumping back and forth between networks gets old fast. Houdini 16 introduced a new way to navigate your networks through a system called Quickmarks. In a nutshell, you are just setting bookmarks for each network view you are in and by calling a hotkey, you can quickly jump to it. I hadn’t been using them until recently but now I can’t stop using them. So […]

Convert OBJ Models to BGEO format in Houdini
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Convert OBJ Models to BGEO format in Houdini

If you have some 3d models in .obj format but for some reason Houdini is having a hard time reading them in, here is a #QuickTip that may help you out.  In the past, converting the troublesome file to another format that Houdini can import has resolved the issue for me. We don’t want to convert our .obj files to just any old format. Specifically, we want to convert obj models to bgeo format. Convert OBJ Models to BGEO format in Houdini The .bgeo file format is the standard format for storing Houdini geometry. However, how do you convert an .obj […]

Run HScript Commands from Python
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Run HScript Commands from Python

So you are writing some cool Python based tools but you find the need to use HScript. What are you to do? Give up and watch Three’s Company? No, watch Three’s Company after you learn how to run HScript commands from Python. Run HScript Commands from Python The Houdini hou module contains the hscript function that allows you to execute HScript commands from within Python scripts. You provide the HScript command as a String and the function will return a tuple of 2 strings. The first string contains the regular output of the executed command and the second string contains […]

Edit Your Keyframes with the Box Handle
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Edit Your Keyframes with the Box Handle

Cinema has a cool tool called the Region Tool that allows you to create a box around your keyframes and edit them in bulk. I believe Maya has a similar feature. If you’re looking for the same tool in Houdini, you’re in luck. Here is a quick way to edit your keyframes with the Box Handle.   Edit Your Keyframes with the Box Handle Select your keys in the Animation Editor and hit the keyboard key Y. Yes, really easy. You’ll get a nice box around your keys that allows you to manipulate them in a group. If you want […]