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About Tronotrond

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    Trond Hille
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    Houston, TX

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  1. Hi all! I have very long string of different, fairly poly heavy, CAD models put together. I'm animating these along a curved path, and the path itself also has some animation on it. I've been using the Path Deform SOP from the GameDev toolkit, and it works, but is dreadly slow on such a long and complex object and millions of points. And dealing with adjusting from client feedback, it makes it really hard to iterate on. So.. just looking to see if anyone could think of some optimizations techniques? I was thinking to use a low poly string. Animate and adjust, having some workable feedback, then transfer that animation on to the high poly string - but not sure how to approach that. Edit: I can of course replace the low poly with the high poly at the end, but it takes 4-5 minutes to calculate per frame. So just looking to see if there are other approaches. Point deform is close. It really fast transfers the high poly to the low poly mesh, but it deforms the source too much besides just following the spline. Still tweaking on this to see if I can get acceptable results. Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Procedurally reverse objects

    Ahh! Perfect, thanks for both suggestions! I'll give it a shot when I'm back in the office! The measure trick sounds really easy and perfect. Simplicity! And I was trying to convert the pieces to volumes, move the points along the normal and do volume samples, but didn't work out very well due to the massive size differences. As usual, I over-complicate things
  3. Hi all, wondering if anyone can think of a good, hopefully procedural solution for this. I'm importing a CAD model. 12 000 objects and 20 million polygons. About 50% of the parts comes in inverted. See attachment below. Not very ideal, and a pita to fix manually. Logically speaking, it should be "easy" to see if a closed object has the faces facing inwards or outwards, right? If any of you have any good advice here, I'd appreciate any feedback to get things moving in the right direction.
  4. Solver inside loop and caching

    Thanks, that's a good idea! Didn't think of that, and it gives me a kick in the butt to actually dive into TOPs.
  5. Hi all! Just a general question here. Having a solver inside a for-loop, looping through objects. I realize I need to turn off caching, or else it doesn't read in every new piece correctly. This seems to be extremely slow though, so I'm just wondering if there's a way to optimize this? What I'm doing is having an RBD sim, and having the pieces erode away. So I cached the sim, eroding the fracture elements in a for-loop and transfer the new pieces back to the simulation points. I hope and think this is a decent way to do it, except it'd be nice if I could cache out and iterate on the solver loop faster. Having 150 pieces, it's cooked 35 frames in 25 minutes now, and that's with a low-res VDB conversion, and naturally getting slower for each frame.
  6. Houdini 18 Wishlist

    In general very happy in the direction everything is going. As a generalist that moved 100% over to Houdini I would love to see working in the viewport keep being improved. Shift drag to clone/instance objects. Same with modelling. Select edges, shift click drag to pull out new polys etc. Thumbnails on all nodes in the material networks would be great, especially on composite, color corrects etc.
  7. Parent local axis constraint?

    And no.. I thought it was fixed, but it wasn't.. I recreated my setup in a simplified scene. Would any experts mind taking a look? I would be forever grateful I should think this is a very simple setup, but I'm definitively having some problems wrapping my head around CHOPS still. The rig is fine as long as the "engine object" itself is not rotated in any way. But once rotated things explode. I believe my problem is that I cannot link the piston to the piston arm directly without getting a dependency loop from the LookAt constraint. And then in CHOPS having the piston itself just follow the Local Y-axis of the piston arm. Works fine in world space, but once things are rotated things are not so happy anymore.. engine_rig.hip
  8. Parent local axis constraint?

    Was able to solve this in the end. Had to modify the constraint CHOP a bit; Use constraint get local space, blend the parent movement, then add in world space position at the end. Seems to be working!
  9. Hi, I'm currently rigging the internals of a traditional engine, and I'm a bit stuck. I have the main crank rotating, the connecting rod attached with a look-at constraint towards the piston. The piston only moves up and down in the Y-axis. So far I've done a Parent Blend constraint from the Piston to the connecting rod, masking everything but TY. But it's using world Y axis. If I go and rotate the engine at the object level, the rig breaks. The piston does not translate to the new local Y axis. I'm very new to Houdini rigging, so I'm just wondering either how I can set it to use local axis constraints, or what other ways I can/should solve this? Thanks!
  10. Houdini 18 Wishlist

    I think I'd be handy if you had like a viewport equivalent to the CTRL+Left click in the render view. Basically to click a primitive to see it's groups, attributes, materials etc. Further improving viewport interactivity would be nice in general. Still would like to see some easier ways to display textures in the viewport across different render engines, and preview thumbnails in the material networks.
  11. Hi all, I hope this is not a dumb question, but I'm trying to find out if it's possible to preserve object pivot points on models exported from other packages. I work a lot with high poly CAD models, mechanical moving parts. Often including parts with offset rotation etc. I'm exporting these from 3dsMax. Are there any ways to preserve the pivot point location and rotation per (packed) object so I can animate them correctly in Houdini? Also, I'm trying to avoid animating inside SOP since it's a real performance hog and not really ideal if I need to use the models for simulation collisions etc. Moving the pivot transform out on to the object level would be ideal. I recorded a video, trying to show exactly my workflow issue here. Just curious if there are any good workflows to handle these kinds of scenarios? https://vimeo.com/294855489
  12. Bubble particles from mesh

    If I understand you correctly, you just want to map the distance from the surface, right? This can be accomplished easily with VEX, even outside the pop net. I'd try a wrangle on all the particles, using the minpos function. It'll give you the closest position to the input geometry. Won't be perfect in all scenarios, but in the same way you can mix it with the particle age for more control etc. I attached a quick demonstrating driving the pscale and the color from the distance. Using a ramp gives you even more control. Regarding Q2 you can probably use similar functions to add more or less velocities. I.e. you can multiply a force by the distance. MinposDistance.hiplc
  13. Placing objects on a surface

    One other way you can do this is setting normals on the instance points (attribute transfer from the mountain geo). It doesn't give you full control, but your scatter objects Z-direction will always point in the direction of the normal - so you can achieve this by giving your scatter object the right orientation first. To have full control of all three axes you need to combine three vectors into an orient attribute matrix. You can do this with playing around with cross products, but might be overkill for what you're trying to achieve
  14. Geometry particles PopSpin

    Great! Thanks a lot! I didn't know the primitive node could be used like this. I was on to the idea of copying the transform back to the pieces, but wasn't sure how to approach it and match it up piece by piece. Reason I'm staying away from RBDs is the main scene I'm working on have massive amounts of pieces set up. I needed something that gives quick feedback, and collisions isn't an issue. Thanks again!
  15. Geometry particles PopSpin

    Hi all! I hope this isn't a dumb question, but I'm stuck getting my particle shapes to spin. I might be approaching this wrong... I've fractured and packed an object. I bring the pieces into the POP network, instancing each piece with source emission type set to All Geometry - each particle is a piece from the fractured geo. Now I just want these pieces to spin. I do get the w attribute set, but, the pieces themselves are just translating with the particles, not rotating. A simple scene with the setup is attached. Can anyone point me in the right direction here, and perhaps explain why this approach doesn't seem to be working? Thanks! popSpin.hip