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Mozzarino

HOW TO: Export particles for instancing in 3dmax - EXPLAINED

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In a pipeline that requires you to do VFX work in Houdini and then render said VFX in 3ds max, there are many formats that are viable (I mostly use alembic). But I was not lucky finding a straightforward method/format to export particle systems that were created in Houdini to be later replaced by geometry in 3ds max for rendering.
After some tests, we managed to do it using an HDA called PRTRop which exports particles in .prt file format. The particles were then imported into 3ds max using TyFlow, that reads a couple attributes such as width (pscale), id - this one is necessary for tyflow to import the particles, velocity, etc... Then we hit another roadblock: what if I want to export particles with orientation information for my geometry instancing?
It turns out that, after some more testing, we discovered Tyflow uses an attribute called Orientation (case sensitive) which is a quaternion just like Houdinis orient attribute, and it has to be exported as a float16.
So in case some of you were wondering how to do this, I'm sharing the workflow used here. If some of you know a better way feel free to share it... it might save some lives!

Cheers, Mozzo

Edited by Mozzarino

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