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Dry Soil Cracks


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Hi, i know it's not that interesting, but this seems to be my first successful attempt to write a usable shader for mantra. Another reason why i want to share this to show to other newcomers that it is a really good investment to learn how to shade in Houdini. while it's a bit trickier than in other packages, it is much more flexible and powerful as well. So here it is:


and a video.


i know it's not finished nor perfect yet, but still all critics are welcome.



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ok, i need some time to make things a bit more clever and realistic, than i gonna post a hip and a new animation without rotation :) . (in fact the rotation was there to illustrate the quality of mp displacement to some Maya guys.)

the tutorial is also a nice idea, and while i got never done one before, i can give it a try.

by the way a question.. is it possible to integrate a surface shader and a displacement shader into one asset?



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Very nice.

Some constructive criticism: The cracks appear to 'fade in' - as opposed to erode in... perhaps have it erode from left to right, instead of all evenly? Or maybe a lot more smaller cracks?

The rotation is a bit rough.

The little dents (that are persistent through the whole animation) scream bump-map - or like a low-res texture map?

All in all, very nice. Can't wait to see the next revision.

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thanks! a agree with you in all your points. the fading-in is the less realistic part of the stuff, and i messed up something with the mpeg encoding, thats why the rotation is sluggish at the beginning. sorry for that!


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hi all there, it took me some time to find some time to spend on this..

i shouldn not have to say that it's not finished yet, but the shader does almost

everything what i wanted to do. i don't want to make it much more complicated,

since i want it to be a good starting point for similar effects. so what i did since the first version:

deleted the nasty channel solely responsible for the rotation, it wasn't me. :lol:

made the surface to get pulled towards the centers of each island. secondary

cracks don't pull-push the surface yet, that has to be done.. you will see it in the video.

made a minimal effort to clean out the network and name things reasonably, but it's really not done yet..

ran into trouble with the shift operator. destination max just doesn't do nothin. i really don't know

what i miss here, but it's really anoying since it's partially responsible for the still present fading-in,

which disturbes me a lot.

please help if you know what i'm apparently not.

ok. and what i didn't:

i didn't create a master "wetness" parameter to drive the others, based on control parameters.

make it a hda. thats gonna be my first :)

listen to your opinions. this whole experiment is based on common sence, and general ideas about shading and 3d. i have no serious renderman background, so it's probable that i didn't do things in the right way. so please feel free to point me at things what can be done better!

and i didn't experiment with uv's a lot. this gonna be apparent if you check out the shader preview.. i gonna fix that.


(low shading quality for fast render, sorry <_< )


(but now you can do your own on your quad core :) )



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