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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Remember our last #QuickTip? Seems so long ago. Anyways, maybe you don’t want to make a copy. Maybe you want to create a reference copy. This is great because you can have multiple copies of the same node and have a master node update all the copies. Let me show you how to quickly create reference nodes in Houdini. By the way, the reason I’m repeating the title is because the cool kids say it’s good for SEO. Go figure. Quickly Create Reference Nodes in Houdini Reference copies are nice. When you create a reference copy, Houdini creates a copy […]
Remember copy and paste? Yeah, no need to do that anymore. Here is an alternate way to quickly duplicate nodes in Houdini Quickly Duplicate Nodes in Houdini Everyone should know this one by now but here it is again. Hold down alt and drag on an operator to quickly duplicate the node. Works on multiple node selection as well. Tasty!
You may not know this but there are many operators in Houdini that are just digital assets created from existing operators. Some that come to mind are the Mountain SOP and the Assemble SOP. There are plenty more. Ok, so? Well, a nice way to learn how some of these assets are created or learn more about working with Houdini is to dive right into a network and poke around. The nice thing about it is when you extract Houdini digital asset contents, you are not messing with the original HDA so you can break things to your heart’s content. […]
If you are looking to match transformations similar to Cinema 4D’s Transfer tool, Houdini also has this ability tucked away in the parameters pane. Not sure when this was introduced but it quickly allows you to match one object’s transformations to another one. Match Transformations I completely missed this or just never noticed them. Right next to the transform parameters on your geometry node, you will see on the right side some icons. Just click on one of them, select you target geometry and you are good to go.
Sometimes jumping back and forth between nodes to change certain parameters gets tiring. If you are a Cinema 4D user, you might be familiar with how to add HUD sliders or various HUD elements to the C4D viewport. It’s a really nice way to create a UI for yourself or other users. Houdini offers the same functionality. Add HUD Sliders in Houdini Adding a hud slider to the Houdini viewport is just a matter of dragging the parameter name to the viewport. If you right click on the slider, you have several options such as displaying the HUD element, making […]