Volumes and VDBs

Houdini supports two types of volume primitive:

Standard Houdini volumes

A standard Houdini volume is a box with a position, size, and orientation, subdivided into a 3D grid of voxels, with a value stored in each voxel. This type is used in modeling (SOPs) and simulation (DOPs).

OpenVDB volumes

An OpenVDB volume uses the OpenVDB library to represent a sparse volume very efficiently. A VDB volume uses essentially no memory for “empty” voxels (technically, voxels equal to the “background value”).

For more information see https://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/model/volumes.html

Different types of volumes store different types of information in the voxels:

Fog Volume

has a density attribute which can represent the thickness of the fog but can be any value with any name, and can be a float or a vector. Vectors can be used to store direction/velocity of gases. Designed for gases.

Signed Distance Field

Voxels inside the volume negative value that represents the distance inside the surface. Voxels outside have a positive value that represents the distance outside the surface. Designed for liquids.

Common uses for Volumes in procedural geometry, and how to achieve them

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