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Rendering an animation so the object is invisible but still interacting with objects, fog effect query and Maya camera import

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Hello, I am a third year student and have just started using Houdini this year. Whilst doing a basic pyro effect using the shelf tools, I want to render an effect I have applied to an alembic cache animation (done in Maya). I don't want the person to be rendered out but I want the effect around her to be rendered. I tried applying a shadow matte as a material, however, when I do render tests, the whole effects is visible when parts of the character should be covering it. Is there a way to fix this? And also, is there a way to make the fog vanish just before the end of the scene? 

Also, I was wondering if there was a way to match the Houdini scene to Maya scene? I have tried importing the Maya camera in as an alembic but the camera animation doesn't work and the scene doesn't match to Maya. I understand Maya works in cm whilst Houdini is in M... thats all I know though... 

I have attached the files! Thank you!!!

I hope this made sense! :) Sorry I'm asking so much!!! 



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I added the character as a deforming collision object for your simulation.

Just turn off the Alembic for rendering. If you need the character separated just use an Object Merge to bring it back in. Typically these kinds of shots may require a dual pass approach to rendering. Render the smoke, then the character and let the compositor fix it up. most render systems have an object or material ID mechanism built-in. Once you have a matte file matching the ID of an object compositing becomes easier.


If you have the master scene that produced the Alembic try adding the camera to the export as well. I did not see a camera in the .abc file you posted.




Edited by Atom

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