If these tutorials are completed in order they can be used by an experienced 3D artist who is new to Houdini to teach the fundamental building blocks of procedural geometry creation. More experienced Houdini users may find it useful to dip into individual tutorials to learn about specific nodes.

There are easier ways to use Houdini – commonly used nodes can be set up automatically using shelf tools, and useful networks are now embedded in higher level nodes – but I believe that to be able to fully harness the power of Houdini it is important to understand the basics.

Each tutorial focuses on a single node or concept, and will usually finish with a demonstration of how that tool might be used in asset creation. As we progress I will add tutorials that build on previous lessons and demonstrate some classic applications of procedural geometry.

Tutorials

Networks & Nodes

Networks & Nodes

This first tutorial takes an overview of a scene in Houdini and explains how its elements relate to other 3D software. It looks at some of the ways geometry can be manipulated and how a basic Digital Asset is set up and used in a scene. (13:51)
Transform Node

Transform Node

This tutorial look at the Transform node, which is relatively simple, then uses this interface to demonstrate some of the power of Houdini to drive parameters with expressions. It shows how just this one node can be transformed into a useful tool called a Houdini Digital Asset, and how to set this up. (20:10)
Geometry Primitives

Geometry Primitives

An in depth look at the Geometry Primitives that can be used as basic building blocks in Houdini. This is a very practical tutorial that will tell you everything you need to know about the different types of geometry you can create and when you might want to use them. (23:58)
Introduction to VOPs

Introduction to VOPs

This tutorial is an introduction to the VOP network which is too large a subject to cover in a single tutorial. We look at the attribute VOP and explain how it is used to manipulate and create point attributes, focusing on maths and noise. These are used to create a low polygon little planet. (43:18)
Merge Node

Merge Node

A short tutorial on how and when to use the merge node, and how you can use groups to access individual sources after they have been merged. (10:04)
Scatter Node

Scatter Node

A look at the Scatter Node which is used to place random points on a surface. It covers different ways of driving point placement (point counts, textures, density attribute) and dives deeper into working with attribute VOPs. It demonstrates how this node can be used to create a realistic distribution of vegetation. (35:58)
Group Nodes

Group Nodes

This tutorial looks at how to create and use groups in Houdini. It covers the group node, the group range node, the group transfer node and the group combine node. These are demonstrated by the creation of a chessboard which is controlled by chess notation. (30:19)
All About Houdini Digital Assets

All About Houdini Digital Assets

Houdini Digital Assets (HDAs) are networks of nodes that can be packaged up to simplify commonly used tasks in Houdini or to create tools that can be used in external software. This tutorial shows you how to set them up for different uses and to create correctly formatted geometry. (51:55)
Attribute Transfer Node

Attribute Transfer Node

This tutorial looks at the Attribute Transfer Node which passes information from one object to another based on their position in space. It uses a network that places tree roots on a hillside to demonstrate various ways in which attribute transfer can be used to create realistic procedural scenes. (54:00)
Introducing Volumes and VDBs

Introducing Volumes and VDBs

An introduction to the different types of volumes Houdini can create, and some examples of their use in procedural geometry creation. (61:27 minutes)
Lines and Curves

Lines and Curves

Back to basics, with an explanation of how curves are used in Houdini, covering the Line, Curve, Ends, Curvedraw and add nodes. The these are shown in action when we create a procedural racing track generator (64:25)
Copy Stamping and the Foreach Loop

Copy Stamping and the Foreach Loop

This tutorial describes how to use point attributes to influence upstream input nodes, first using the traditional Copy Stamp Node then again using the Foreach Loop nodes as recommended by sidefx. Then it takes an in depth look at the other uses of a Foreach loop: Looping groups of components, or connected pieces, looping a…

Cheat Sheets

Setting Up Digital Assets

Setting Up Digital Assets

Steps to create a Digital Asset Select the nodes you want to include in your Digital AssetRight click on a selected node and go to Actions -> Collapse to SubnetRight click on the subnet and go to Create Digital AssetName your asset and click AcceptThis opens the Edit Operator Type Properties dialogue where you can…
Volumes and VDBs

Volumes and VDBs

A guide to the different types of volumes in Houdini, and some basic networks for common uses of volumes in procedural modelling

Downloads

Tutorial Scene Files

Houdini Digital Assets

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