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procedural Pagoda, help needed


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Hi there,

first post here, hoping to get some feedback/support for a current course project I am busy with.

I am quite experienced with 3D modeling in general (maya, zbrush etc) but haven't used Houdini a lot yet and could use some help on how to approach the project.

My goal is to create a (chinese) pagoda asset with procedural control over the number of sides of the building, number of stories and all sorts of aesthetical modifications.

For those of you who are not familiar with pagodas:


I thought the building's structure lends itself towards being build procedurally since all the stories are basically the same with the exception of the groundfloor which has a different fence and is a lot wider + the top most roof of the building which is unique.

For now I just want to generate the building with UVs, without the surrounding or any materials.

I have tried different approaches but I am still struggling with some major points and I was hoping to get some ideas here.

The biggest problem I currently have is the roof generation. Another

I am basing the whole building on a circle which allows me to chose the amount of sides, I then model one story based on this circle and copy this story any number of times to create the building.

One problem I get when scaling in the seperate stories is that the higher the story is placed the thinner all subparts of the story get. Like columns get squished because the height of each story should remain the same so people could actually walk even on the higher floors.

Is there anybody who knows a better approach to this in general? How would you create this structure?

What are some good methods to place roof tiles on the roof geometry regardles of the amount of sides of the building?

Are there any good threads/tutorials about this issue?

I simply dont know enough about houdini to confidently approach this. Any hints or tips are greatly appreciated :)

Attached you can find my .hip file, please feel free to take a look.

Thanks in advance,



Edited by FrederikP
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Sounds like you are creating a floor then scaling it, hence the pieces are getting thinner etc.

You want to make everything procedural, so in case of the columns, you'd want to vary their height, not their width.

For tiles you'd want to copy tiles onto a piece of geo that represent the roof, so could base it off a division of the width so the tiles remain the same and also take into account the orientation of the piece of geo etc, maybe with UVs? So you'd do something like get the width of the roof geo, divide by the width of the tile, that'd get you roughly how many tiles you could scatter etc...

It's an interesting design for procedural modeling, I might have a go at some point when I get time, it's not often I get to do any complex modeling in houdini :)

Good luck!


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hi, thanks for your replies. its much appreciated!

I checked out the elevator tutorial preview and it looks like I can get a lot out of it for this project, thank you.

Initiate, thanks for the tip, do you by any chance know any resources about this process or could you go into a bit more detail on how to orient the tiles to the geometry (as I mentioned I am a houdini beginner. I already thought about utilizing geometry normals to place the tiles but I wouldnt know how :D)


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Hi Christian, thanks for posting the file. I am wondeirng though, so far all it does is copying boxes to the grid or am I missing somethign? I tried pluggin in a different grid without the orient attribute and the facet node but it still works. What exactly are they doing in this scene? Also the box's scale attributes are all dialed in manually, right? The problem in my scene is, that to create the roof I use lines to generate the roof "outline" but I dont have a polygonal roof to place the tiles on. I dont have access to the file right now so i cant upload any sreenshots to clarify but how would I go about generating geometry to place the tiles on from lines that I have sampled?

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I didn't realise you wanted me to build a whole thing :)

I can't tell what level you are at, so you might have needed a bit of help pointing you towards a copySOP etc.

You can do it however you want, to be honest you don't need the orient unless you're adding twist to it or something.

To create geometry from your lines, use the LoftSOP and use that to generate your tiles.

I'm too busy at the minute to create you anything proper, but if no-one else manages it first I'll have a look next week.

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hi Christian, thanks for your quick feedbacks!

of course you dont have to build the whole thing. (unless you have a pagoda asset lying around somewhere?) ;)

I have only been working with houdini for the past month or so. Tried to go through as many tutorials as I could find I did however run into the copySOP already.

Once I get home from work later today I will take a few screenshots to illustrate my problem :) maybe its easier to give tips if I outline specific issues!

Again, thanks for your help

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