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Houdini Playbar Basics

We are going to take it easy on this #QuickTip with some Houdini playbar basics. We last tackled a lengthy Python series so you may still be digesting those. It was also a tough week in my neck of the woods. We had Irma, a category 4 hurricane pay us a visit. Luckily, I just had a minor leak in one of the rooms from the rain and power was only out for a day. I was lucky. In a previous storm a few years back, I was without power for a month.   Key Selection The first thing you need […]

Inspecting The Houdini hou Module
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Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 3

We’re going to wrap up our Python and Houdini start up scripts series by addressing one last thing in our script. While our script worked upon launching Houdini, it did not appear to run when creating or opening an existing .hip file. We’ll address this issue in a couple of ways and introduce a few new concepts along the way. This is a bit dense so grab your Yoo-Hoo. If you need to catch up, here are the posts: Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 1 Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 2 Python and Houdini […]

Inspecting The Houdini hou Module
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Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 2

Previously on the Six Million Dollar Man we talked about Python and Houdini start up scripts and how to go about creating them. If you need to catch up, have a look at part 1 for details. In this second part we are going to focus on refactoring the code and working a bit with Python functions. If you need to catch up, here are the posts: Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 1 Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 2 Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 3 Refactoring Once you get your scripts […]

Inspecting The Houdini hou Module
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Python and Houdini Start Up Scripts – Part 1

Upon starting a new Houdini session, the first thing I do is put down a camera node along with a ROP node in my scene. After a while, this can get a bit tedious. Not a big deal but why not automate it with Python and Houdini start up scripts. Let’s create a Houdini start up script that creates these nodes for us when starting up and sets some parameter values. I’ll break this up into two #QuickTips. In the first one all we want to do is get the script working. In the second #QuickTip, we will clean up […]

Recreating Node Hierarchies with opscript in Houdini
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Recreating Node Hierarchies with opscript in Houdini

Since the beginning of time, Maya users have had the ability to echo all the commands that are executed by the application within the script editor. If you recall, Houdini provides similar functionality through the commandecho HScript command. That’s great for when you are just starting to place down nodes. However, what happens when you already have a node hierarchy done and would like to recreate the network with a script? Maybe you want to recreate the network at a future date, pass on the script to friends and family members at cocktail parties, or use with other pipeline scripts? […]

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Handy Houdini Viewport Attributes

Here are a couple of handy Houdini viewport attributes you can use for when scenes start to get a little complex or when you want to isolate certain geometry objects. It can also work as a debugging aid of sorts. Set Up In order to set up these attributes you need to place down an Attribute Wrangle. Simple enough. However, the key is making sure you set the class or the Run Over parameter to Detail. Remember Detail attributes run over your whole geometry as opposed to Points which runs over… POINTS! 🙂 gl_wireframe The gl_wireframe attribute sets your geometry […]

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VEX Attributes vs. Variables

I’ve been getting quite a few emails regarding VEX and what certain things mean in the language. The questions have to do more about programming fundamentals than VEX. I know VEX is all the rage right now and for many, VEX is probably the first time trying out any kind of scripting. As a result, I’m going to do some tips on programming basics and the things you might run across while working with VEX. First, it seems there is some confusion about the difference between attributes which use the @ symbol and regular old variables that don’t . I […]

Transitory Pivots in Houdini
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Transitory Pivots in Houdini

Having worked with Toon Boom’s Harmony software, one feature I really like is the ability to move the pivot of an object to scale or rotate without permanently moving the pivot point. We are in luck because Houdini gives you this ability. Transitory pivots allow you to just move the handles of an object to scale or rotate relative to that point and still have the original pivot in place. Basic but useful. Detaching Handles Moving the pivot in this way is very different than actually moving the pivot. In this scenario, we are just moving the pivot for a transitory period while […]

Select Scripts in Houdini
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Select Scripts in Houdini

Here is a nifty little nugget that came in handy while I was working on a scene with tons of geometry. The problem I had was constantly toggling the display of some geometry on and off to work on sections of the scene. Having to look through the network to find the node, turning off the display to do a few modifications, rinse and repeat. That got old rather quick. There are different ways to deal with this in Houdini but Select Scripts in Houdini object nodes offer a quick way to create some custom controls rather easily. Select Scripts Houdini object nodes, […]

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Houdini Light Contributions

So there you are ready to put out your sphere #everyday but one thing that would really kick that image out of the park is removing the specular reflection of the area lights on your spheres. In other words, you want the diffuse component of the lights but don’t want them to contribute to reflectance. If you are coming from a program like Cinema 4D, it’s just a matter of unchecking Specular. Maybe you want the light reflectance but not the diffuse. It’s a common thing to do in most 3D applications. In Houdini, this is handled through Light Contributions. Light Contributions […]