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  1. File SOP - automating FBX export for games

    Thanks, it's just the kind of thing I was looking for. Unfortunately, I don't think I know enough about rop networks to make this work - using a single fbx node to export over a frame range just writes out all the objects I'm after into a single fbx with a vertex cache, which isn't quite what I was hoping for. Trying a more laborious set up of having a separate fbx node for every frame and setting it to render across a specific frame range (of one specific frame per node) kind of works if I trigger them individually, but where I would expect to be able to wire them up to a Merge node and have them all render at once, they do, but they all only render the final frame for some reason.
  2. I've found myself using the File SOP a lot to export series of meshes for import into a game engine - in this case mostly Unreal Engine 4. It tends to be really useful to have a File sop at the end of your network, so Houdini updates a series of assets every time you change something in your SOP network and cook it out again, especially as game engines tend to automatically pick up on the changes and reimport those assets. However, while this tends to work okay with .obj files it's a lot more awkward with .fbx ones. Unreal tends to be quite picky about the .fbx formats it will read and if I go through the File > Export > Filmbox FBX route then I get a dialogue that allows me to specify the .fbx export settings and set it up to be a format compatible with Unreal. That works fine! But if I want to automate mass exporting within my sop network using File sops, then there doesn't seem to be any way of actually configuring the FBX export options. I thought perhaps they defaults you set up in the FBX export dialog would be used, but they're not. So I can either laboriously go through and export every FBX file by hand, or I can get fbx files spat out by the sop network automatically, but they are not readable by Unreal. There's got to be a way around this, surely?
  3. Still fairly new to Houdini and can't quite escape the feeling I might be going about this completely the wrong way, so I'm curious what ideas the good people of odForce might recommend. Strangely, I've not found much in the way of discussion of this sort of problem for Houdini - though perhaps I have not been looking for the right terms? What I'm attempting to do is shrink-wrap a generic mesh (e.g. a high-density geosphere) onto a mesh of arbitrary shape under it, while retaining the geosphere's original topology, preserving as much detail of the source mesh as I can, maintaining as even a distribution of points as possible, and - preferably - doing it fairly quickly. The arch reason for doing it this way (rather than, say, doing a polyReduce on the source mesh or something) is that ultimately feeding in several different source meshes should produce different shapes with the same topology, which can then be smoothly interpolated between. For instance, several frames of a Pyro sim could be meshed, shrink-wrapped and then turned into a vertex animation to create a sort of a 'smoke-in-a-bag' effect. Primarily for real-time rendering purposes where importing a separate mesh per frame would not be a practical solution. The best I've come up with myself is the method I've attached below along with this post. Using a ray sop by itself tends to produce very messy results, so I use the ray sop to cast to minimum distance, then lerp back to 15% of a blend between the original position and the ray sop, relax the points on the result in order to even out the topology and then use a smooth sop to even out the jitters introduced by the relax sop. Iterating this around 20-50 times (depending on the mesh), getting a little closer to the source mesh every time, tends to result in a cautious and slow shrink-wrap that accommodates most meshes without too much artefacting and keeps the geosphere quite nicely and evenly stretched out across the whole mesh. However, it's proven to be very, very slow to run the iteration and I feel like surface detail could be better preserved. As such, would quite like to hear if anyone can suggest other approaches to this problem! iterativeShrinkWrap.hip