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Challenge #1 : Bridge Of Cards (apprentice Wip) - bealobo


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Hi there!

I'm in :rolleyes:

I'm very new to Houdini but I really like it so... let's see if I can do something nice. The sample animations are superb! and the challenge idea is fantastic.

I don't have the images with me so I cannot attach them now but just for the record:

I did my first attemp yesterday and I copied the cards to a curve and then used this curve for the bridge sides and to get points for the towers. It was ok, but I referenced a lot of channels in order to make a master control or an asset later on, and the thing end up being quite messy. Specially because I bended the card and had to change the pivot point like a billion times.

So, after watching others' threads I'm going to try a different approach. Also using curves and copy sops but hopefully cleaner.

Just one question. Are the cards bended?

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for some reason mantra won't allow me to render. Since I changed versions I have been unable to, I'll have to see what's going on.

In the meantime, I've started again and have used sweep instead of copy.


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Another update and a problem I've faced and don't figured out how to solve.

The network is not very very procedural because of a couple of problems:

The first one is the second picture. When I use Copy SOP somehow the copies are rotated and not following the curve 100%, adding normals didn't solve it. I tried to used sweep but couldn't use it all the time. How do you control the direction of the copies?

The second problem is about referencing channels, for some reason I was doing the standard ch("../size/sz")/2 to drive the translation of the base curves to the sides of the base card, but these secondary curves were not exactly at the sides of the card.

Anyway, learning a lot.




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without looking at your file it's hard to say why things aren't working for you. However the copy SOP uses a normal and an up vector to calculate the rotation... so perhaps adding an up vector will help them align correctly?

Also could you explain a bit further about the channel reference problem? What SOP are you referencing?



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Hi Marc,


I suspect I'll have to redo the network again, like very carefully this time.

I didn't know about the up vector. Is it for define the plane of copy together with the normal? I'll check help files. Thanks.

I've attached a sample file with the referencing problem _ check the mirror SOP. I suspect is something I misunderstood.

And also my current network which you'll probably find a bit messy. You can start in mirror 3. In the attached imaged, you'll clearly see how the towers are not symmetrical.

The whole thing confuses me as the network is not that complicated in my head but then I find these little things, like non-symmetrical, non centered... and I start throwing transform SOPs like a mad woman :rolleyes:




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Hi bealobo

So there were some transforms which were slightly off in their rotations (xform11 and xform8), so I fixed them and it looks a lot closer than it was. I don't think it was your copied/mirrored cards that were off, it was the cookied tower that was leaning a little too much in one direction. Once it straightened it then the others fell in line a lot easier :).




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great job so far Bea :) What probs are you experimenting with Mantra, and which build and OS is it? I do find random errors depending on the build. I state this because trying a few placeholder textures might make it easier to check how evenly cards are placed around. Right now it

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Thanks very much Marc! I has a rough view of the file and it looks better, I'll go through node by node at home.

Thank you Netvudu, the problem with Mantra is that MPlay won't load, it gives an error like it cannot load the image. I don't think is a build + OS problem as I have the same config at work and don't have the problem. But I really haven't tried to solve that yet, so perhaps is something like drivers or so.

I'm going to texture the cards once I'm finished with the model, so very soon. You can still download the hip to see it in detail.

Thanks again for the comments and help guys!

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I've finally figured out the problem, it was the expression I was using for randomizing.

Although the challenge is over I'll post my final hip once it's finished if there is no problem.

For the moment, just a simple render of the test model.

EDIT: forgot to attach the file


Edited by bealobo
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maharzan, it's the cropping of the texture, just a very quick work on Photoshop, I'll revise it for the final render.

Netvudu, what do you say about my brain?!?! :P

Yes that's how I finally made it, I tried creating an attribute only but I had to do the override anyway.

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