Houdini Resources

Updated on Dec 13  2017

copyright  Deborah R. Fowler

Houdini Tips and Tricks

Deborah R. Fowler

Houdini Tips and Tricks (general topic then alphabetical order):

Click on Picture for sample hipnc file

Posted 2013
Updated on Dec 14  2017

See my Houdini overview for more explanations.

Files created by Deborah R. Fowler unless otherwise noted.  Sections below relate to:

***New student/alumni contributions at the bottom of the page
***New modeling guidelines (see below)

Current odd behavior: Making your window a floating pane on the dual monitors can sometimes cause difficulties, ie. error of copying nodes, or network nodes forcing you to enter them in the scene view - simply close the floating pane and try it in the regular network view.

Click here for interface tips. For example, hover over a function name and press F1 for documentation or use ?
Click here for command line tips.  Learn how to do command line rendering - follow the link for rendering and caching command line
Click here for hscript common symbols. (also useful * is wild card and ^ is not, so * ^P in an attribute delete node would delete all but P)

Related to modeling/procedural modeling/procedural animation:

TIP: MODEL AT THE ORIGIN, there is no delete history, transformation order matters, where you put your node in the network matters.

Related to complex scenes/layout:

TIP: in dynamics scale matters.
Related to lighting and rendering:

H16_5 TIP: check out this excellent Mantra User's Guide in downloadable pdf from Scott Keating on the Mantra Node in Houdini 16!


Sample Files:
  • Ambient Occlusion   (There are other methods - please ask). Note there is an example on the documentation for the mantra node - simply use an env light with ambient occlusion option.
  • Fog http://forums.odforce.net/topic/10791-how-to-make-fog-effect/  also see example below
  • GodRaysZZH13.hipnc is an example file updated for H13 (original file from Zach Zhao - Houdini User's Group talks). This example uses the atmosphere node with the litfog shader (note that diffuse is set to 0 and that fog is expensive to render generally speaking). There is also an excellent example in the documentation for the atmosphere node.
  • MISSING IMAGELinear Workflow- as of H13 linear settings are default. Additional articles.
  • Motion Blur - check the box allow motion blur in the mantra node. Also change your geometry object to have geometry velocity blur on. To add motion_vector as an extra image plane you must modify the shader on your object to include this information using the vop node getblurP and turn off Allow Image Motion Blur
  • MISSING IMAGEQuality and Speed
  • Rendering using Takes.
  • MISSING IMAGEReflections - how to blur
  • MISSING IMAGERotating a Camera : - wire it to a null node and rotate the null node instead
  • MISSING TEXTTexture Override - zip file containing hipnc and sample textures varied with instance or copy packed or unpacked
  • MISSING TEXTTextures - click icon for a brief introduction to simple uv-ing
  • MISSING TEXTTextures - click icon for using groups and uv-ing separate faces.
    • Grouping is an extremely versatile method. 
    • Tip: Use a single material node with multiple groups

Student/Alumni  (remember to look at the example breakdowns as well)