|Synopsis:||2D image, 3D geometry, animation package.
Typically used in the Film/Special-Effects industry, yet has great potential
for Scientific Visualisation. There are many ways to load your data into
Houdini and render a 3D model.|
|Versions installed:||5.0, 5.5, and 6.0|
- You can start Houdini from the Applications Menu of the System Toolchest.
- To start Houdini from the shell, type:
houdini (which starts the current version: 5.5),
houdini6 to try the new Houdini version 6.
Houdini at VisLab
- The Unix environment variable $HFS should point to one of the hfs*
directories installed under /apps
- Executing the Unix command henv before starting houdini
will set all your environment
variables suitable for VisLab. This will set $HFS for example.
Optionally, you can use
henv5 or henv55 to set an enviroment for a particular
version of Houdini.
These are in-house commands; they may not work elsewhere.
Houdini Environment Variables
- Houdini uses environment variables, other than $HFS. A good one
to set at the begining of a new project is $JOB
which allows you to easily refer to your own
saved files, data, materials, etc, on any vislab computer.
- You can set the $JOB houdini variable in the Houdini Text Window,
which is opened in houdini with
(type: ALT+SHIFT+t, or type: ALT+7)
and then use the job command,
eg: in the Houdini Text Window type:
- New Houdini users should set $JOB to be the dirname of
the top directory under which their own houdini job directories sit.
- Old Houdini users should change their $HIP references to now be $JOB
- You will find $JOB in the directory menu on the Houdini5
Houdini 4.0 Manuals On-Line
Houdini 5.5 Learning Edition - Tutorials & Demos.
This is the latest set of learning materials, which came with
the Houdini Apprentice Learning Edition CD.
It has loads of information, videos, realplay video tutorials,
and so on. There's about 500MB of stuff there!
(local access only).
If you want to look around first, you can
Feb 2003 -
VisLab has mirrored the
New Houdini Video Tutorial Site
Mar 2003 -
Version 6 - Early Access
video tutorials are on-line.
We have local copy of the .pdf file
Houdini Getting Started Guide (local file access only)
- Select Tutorial Guide
from the Help menu in Houdini.
- Acrobat format (.pdf) manuals and tutorials can be found in
Use acroread to read them.
- We occasionally run this little
spot the difference
puzzle for visitors who'd like some hands-on experience. It should take about 30 mins to complete. It shows you how to use the image compositor in Houdini to find the subtle differences between two images.
There is also a
of the tutorial for printing.
- Sydney VisLab created a Houdini tutorial which instructs
various ways to create a
3D Elevation Map in Houdini. Three
methods are described step-by-step, and the results are supplied as a hip file.
- There are a few tutorials at the
Od(Force) Houdini Web Site.
- Our Vizlab friends at ANU also have a
houdini tips site.
- Side Effects also have a
tutorial page online. VisLab has
a number of other tutorials from Side Effects (eg. Pops and Chops)
which are taught in Houdini classes at the ATP. These are not available on-line.
If you're at VisLab, you'll find them in the /apps directory.
Happy Rendering with VEX
by Keita Maeda, introduces the Renderman-like shading
language aspects of VEX. VEX is a programming language internal to Houdini.
- This Forward Kinematics 3.0 tutorial will teach you
the basics of construction in the Bone State.
Crowd Simulation Tutorial
(Easter 2001). From the School of Continuing and Professional Education, City University of Hong Kong. Should take you 30 mins. The tutorial pages contain
lot of pictures of the Houdini user interface.
Visual Paradigms have created a
Houdini Tutorials page.
On 28 Feb 2002 Carlos Lemus created a Houdini 5 tutorial
Modelling a SubD Hand which shows how to use the new Sub-Division
Procedural Modelling tools.
Mike Cronin has made a
tutorial on UVPelt,
a SOP which will flatten a 3D object to 2D ("it unwraps in UV").
- These are the Houdini 4.0 Manuals in Acrobat Format.
(you'll need the .pdf reader "acroread" from Adobe installed to read these).
- Vex Language Reference
(the Vex pages are still on-line)
Every Houdini operator has a demo .hip file that illustrates its use.
For example, $HFS/demo/OPspecific/SOPs/merge/merge_attributes.hip
explains the use of the MERGE SOP.
- There are lots of Houdini demo files to learn from. To load them,
select Open... from the Houdini
File menu, and look in
$HFS/demo which appears under
the Jump button in the pop-up File browser.
The SOPS sub-directory is a good place to start. Choose one of the .hip files.
- You will often find .html web pages in the demo directory (under /hfs/demo).
If you're sitting in vislab, you can get to the
Houdini Demo Index online.
It has a lot of information about the demos, yet seems incomplete in some parts.
- There is a busy internet mailing list that you can subscribe to.
The list generates about 10 to 20 emails per day, which you receive
as email. It is a good place to email a question about Houdini, and
a great way to learn the intricacies of Houdini (by learning the
solutions to other people's Houdini problems). To subscribe to
the list, send an email to:
and type subscribe in the
Subject: field. You will receive an email in reply asking
for you to confirm that you want to subscribe. Note: there is no charge
to subscribe - it's free!
phone: (02) 9351 3005