Rendering Volumetric Fractals With OSL – Arnold Documentation

I was happy to contribute to Arnold documentation with a tutorial describing rendering of volumetric fractals with Open Shading Language.

I start with simple examples such as rendering implicit volumes, then translate a sphere example into OSL. Afterwards I build a Mandelbulb OSL shader and add orbit traps for coloring.

Take a look and play with example file! More fractal shapes can be added with this technique and they can result in plenty of weird shapes 🙂

I also tested rendering in GPU mode and it worked out of the box, no additional steps needed.

Rendering Volumetric Fractals With OSL – Arnold Documentation

Houdini 2 Open3D | First tests

I would like to share the first test of a fun project I recently started working on in my spare time – Open3D to Houdini integration.

I built Houdini wrappers around Open3D functionality, which enable me to load point clouds, pre-process (downsample, estimate normals, compute FPFH feature) and perform Global and ICP registration on them to align them tightly:

This already seems quite versatile when combined with the Houdini toolset. Combined with GameDev and Alice Vision tools it can result in a powerful and automatic photogrammetry pipeline – something I like to explore 🙂.

I bidirectionally translate Houdini and Open3D geometry, so the Open3D operations can be seamlessly combined with Houdini SOPs. This doesn’t seem to be the case in the Reality Capture or Alice Vision plugins, which don’t enable Houdini to modify the geometry.

The integration is in early version and has some issues. I tested it only on a Linux so far. I will open-source it after I fix the problems and write some info on setting it up.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Houdini 2 Open3D | First tests

megaH | Megascans to Houdini integration

Hello, this post will introduce a project I have been developing with friends for some time: Megascans to Houdini integration, or megaH. This will be a high-level overview of the tools and workflows we have developed so far.


This article is written by authors of this tool: me, Peter Trandžík and Ondrej Poláček.

MegaH is currently work in progress and is being used in two student productions. It is not finished and ready for release yet. The two versions are customized to specific pipelines and needs of the corresponding productions.

It is developed and tested on Linux and Windows and with Mantra and Redshift renderer.

Also note that while we used the Megascans library, this project could be ported to include different libraries, for example VFX studios’ internal asset/setup libraries.

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megaH | Megascans to Houdini integration

Photogrammetry 2 | 3D reconstruction and post processing

This is the second article describing our photogrammetry workflow which I developed for a student production. You can find the first article here.

In this article I will go over our attempts on reconstruction of photos in various applications and our semi-automatic post processing workflow based on Houdini. (Houdini asset can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.)

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Photogrammetry 2 | 3D reconstruction and post processing

FLIPs – RBDs interaction

In this post I will show a simple technique for FLIPs and RBDs interaction. Like in this example:

I decided to give it a try after talking to great FX TD Adam Guzowski. The task was like this: doing a setup where water would fracture RBD objects, would break RBD constraints and RBD objects would be pre-fractured based on the expected water flow.

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FLIPs – RBDs interaction

Houdini 2 VR

I would like to share with you a tool I have been developing lately – Houdini 2 VR.

Currently Houdini doesn’t have a tool for previewing (stereo/mono) VR renders in a VR headset. All renderers support this output format, but the preview process is a bit of a bottleneck. You usually need to leave the DCC application, load the render in another app, e.g. Nuke and judge the visual quality there. This adds a bit of time to each iteration and makes the preview process cumbersome.

So I tried to simplify this process. Sending pictures to HMDs can get very technical and low-level but I rather took a high-level approach: Python + WebVR. Or more precisely Python on the Houdini side and WebVR on the side of a web browser. Using a web browser means that I have to leave Houdini for previewing VR render, but with Python I tried to make it as automatic as possible.

Check this video to see how my tool works:

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Houdini 2 VR

Setting up Houdini on a headless linux server

I will go briefly through the process of setting up Houdini on a headless linux server.

In our project we had access to Nvidia VCA hardware which was running CentOS 7.3 and did not have a X server.

This hardware has some decent computing power in it and we wanted to offload some of our rendering on this computer. We were rendering with Redshift renderer which scaled pretty well on multiple GPUs. We also just fitted into Redshift’s limit of max 8 GPUs.

To be able to do more general-purpose jobs (simulations, caching) on the VCA and to simplify submission process we decided to setup both Houdini and Redshift on it.

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Setting up Houdini on a headless linux server