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Rock Modelling

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I've tried to go as procedural as possible while modelling an arc shaped rock structure using metaball, a base primitive, some displacement nodes and a rig to shape and bend the structure to my liking (credits to Mr Douglas for coming up with the bone idea and file). A problem which I'm facing now is that the edges of the model are not as sharp as it should be since it's using metaball which serves a more organic purpose. According to one of my lecturers it's pretty bubbly and round and real rocks are supposed to be sharp and rough.

I've also modelled a couple of rocks in Maya and found it's much easier to direct the look I want with all the sharp edges needed. However it's not as procedural as when it's done in Houdini using the metaball method.

So does anyone know a way to "sharpen" metaball generated models in Houdini? Any help would be much appreciated! (:

Here's the hipc file I'm working on.


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Maybe this could be useful to you:

Other than that you could try and play with the metaball exponents to sharpen your metaballs. Theres also a LOT that can be done in rendering.

As I don't know what exactly you are after I also created an example for you using a voronoi based displacement in SOPs. There has also been a thread about this if my memory serves me correctly.


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Here's a simple test adding a bit of voronoi noise to add a bit of sharpness to the rock. The thread on procedural stones and rocks is a good one. Study the VOP network in one of the attached files. I kept it simple with just one layer of voronoi noise. Layer more noises for effect.

Best to do this at render time as displacements. Just use the VOP network pretty much as is in a displacement shader. Use rest attributes in place of P if you do use displacements at render time.


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Thanks everyone!

The links to the threads you guys put up are very helpful. I'll try adding cracks and more details to the geometry. I always find vopsop complicated since I seldom use it and end up getting lost inside.

Anyone know any tutorials out there that teaches you how to use vopsop?

Edited by Crapbox
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