Made A Simple Dynamics And Particle Simulation In Houdini

“My brain is the key that sets my mind free.”
--Harry Houdini

Tonight, I launched the 3D software package
Side Effects' Houdini for the first time. The standout feature of this application is that it's designed as a purely procedural environment. There is a free version of it called Houdini Apprentice that can be used for non-commercial use.

As I delve into more and more simulation work, like
in Massive or even during my day job, it's cool for me to see how different programs approach similar problems. In Houdini, everything is procedural, which is really awesome in many situations, but it can also make it harder to artistically direct what you're working on because of the workflow.

I got started on a very, very simple simulation test. I created a sphere and turned it into a rigid body object.

I constrained the ball to a pin, and placed the pin straight up in the Y axis. When I ran the sim, it didn't do anything, but that was just because the ball was directly underneath the pin and gravity just pulls it straight down. When I set the initial state of the ball somewhere else, it swung along an axis.

Eventually, I also set up a few volumes that reacted to my swinging ball with either smoke or water. I was actually quite impressed with the relative ease in which the program can do this.
Screen shot 2011-10-23 at 11.59.47 PM-1 (dragged) 1

I included a video with my quick tests from tonight.

Houdini is a really cool program, and in the short time I got to play around with it, I can tell that it is capable of doing so much. The power of procedural environment that Houdini gives you is so impressive, and I really can't wait to explore it more.

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