Join Scott Pagano for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of the Houdini paradigm, part of Learning Houdini.
- First off, we're going to open Houdini and just discuss the basic paradigm and why Houdini is different than other 3D applications. Here's our interface and to some degree this looks like a lot of other 3D applications. And there's a lot of special things about, obviously, different kinds of windows and how this works under the hood. So, the main thing about Houdini is that it's a procedural 3D application. And basically, what that means is that we work in this much more malleable, non-linear way. Where instead of working just towards building specific assets, we're actually building systems and networks to be able to generate results.
And one of the really cool things about this, and one of the really powerful things about this is that not only can we make things that we can obviously then reuse for other purposes, but we can build and quickly prototype systems, let's say, with really basic geometry and basic set ups that we can then continuously upgrade and improve as we work towards real production assets. In many 3D programs, it's difficult to move backwards. So, once you've done x, y, or z, if you have a construction history or stack, you actually even have to delete that just for everything to work properly and to be efficient.
The whole nature of Houdini is all that stuff is constantly live and living and working. And so, if you want to go up the chain to make a fundamental change, that could then propagate down the line. In the next video, we'll look at the overall interface and then in the subsequent videos, we'll look at how to start building systems. But, really quickly, without telling you every little thing that I'm doing, I just kind of want to show you how we put nodes together that are the fundamental building blocks of these procedural networks. And that'll just start to give you a little glimpse of what we're doing in here.
So first, I'm going to close some windows just to give us a little bit more space on our screen and I'm going to make an object and I'm going to put it down. And you can see that we have an object on our screen and then this on the right side of the screen is our network view. And this is one of the main views you're going to be working in to build all your systems in Houdini. You don't just have a list of objects or there may be this Tree style view that you're used to from some other programs where you can kind of see an outline view of the scene. But, really the main way we work with everything in Houdini is looking at the network.
If you're familiar with NUKE or other node-based programs like that, it's the same concept and then Houdini obviously implements that in their unique way. So, I'm going to go inside of this box and we can see now we're actually in a little geometry world and I can look at parameters and I can start adding other nodes to change things. So for example, right here, I just scaled up this box with a transform node. But, let's say "Oh, we've gotten to the end. "We have this hugely complex crazy system". And all of a sudden, we don't want to have boxes, we want to have spheres or, let's say that's an orc instead of a giant, whatever that is.
So, I'm going to make a sphere and I'm going to wire that into our transform instead of our box. And now, that transformation is applied to that sphere instead of that box. So, we've changed things upstream, but everything downstream is still working. And so this is the probably the most absolute, basic example of how this kind of stuff works. But, the cool thing you can see is that we can build systems that we can constantly edit going up as well as going down. So, that is the quickest, fastest glimpse into the paradigm of Houdini that I can think of.
And then this basically just shows you the fact that we're dealing with things visually, not only in our actual 3D environment, but in a network of nodes that move from top down to build complex 3D systems.
These tutorials introduce the fundamental 3D concepts (modeling, animation, texturing, lighting, and rendering) as they apply in Houdini. Instructor Scott Pagano shows how to manipulate geometry; apply materials; add lights and cameras to a scene; render work with Houdini's internal renderer, Mantra; and even create simple particle systems. The course will start new users on a path to more advanced 3D work and show experienced users of other 3D packages how to transfer their skills to the world of Houdini.
- Setting Houdini preferences
- Modifying geometry
- Copy stamping
- Setting keyframes
- Manipulating animation channels
- Shading and texture mapping
- Lighting scenes
- Rendering with Mantra
- Creating particle emitters