From Maya to Houdini – Modeling & Texturing Tutorial

From Maya to Houdini - Modeling, UV Layout and TexturingSo in my last post on Houdini George had asked about whether or not I’d be getting more into Houdini. I really want to get into the rigging and skinning with it, but unless I can figure out why Houdini is constantly crashing I don’t know how effective I’m going to be.

Alright. Let’s get to what this post really is about. I decided to jump on how to make a basic (and craptacular I might add) model in Houdini, layout uv’s and add a texture to it. I decided to see if a video tutorial would work and I gotta be honest, it’s a lot harder to tweak it out when your After Effects render takes 3 hours or if you screw something up or if it crashes or your kids are going to sleep, etc. I enjoyed doing it and I think it went well, but there are some addendums that need to be pointed out. Also, if you’re short on time, sorry. The video is about 45 minutes long. (The completed files can be found at the bottom.) So before you delve into it here’s what it is, isn’t and some extra notes.

What this tutorial is:
It’s aimed at users who are coming from Maya and are trying to figure out how Houdini works in regards to modeling and texturing. It goes over the basics of creating objects, adding edges, merging verts, manipulating the geometry, extruding geometry, creating uv layouts, creating uv maps to paint, creating basic materials and putting it altogether.

What it isn’t:
A tutorial on how to model or houdini in general – and if this is your level of modeling, I suggest you look into another area of 3D. I’ll show you the tools and how to use them and we’ll come up with a crappy model at the end of it. I’m not a modeler, nor do I enjoy doing it, but some folks are interested in how to make the transition from Maya to Houdini so I figured I’d make a video on it. It also isn’t the be all and end all of modeling tutorials and there are some issues which are pointed out below.

Addendum:
My voices volume drops at one point till the end of the video. I apologize for this, but my wife and kids had just gone to sleep so i had to lower my decibel – we all live in one room.

In the mirror part of the tutorial I turned the normal option to “No” and we subsequently got that ugly black line in there. The normals need to be put on “Reverse” and that’ll go away.

You can smooth the geometry after applying the material without any issues that I saw. However, I don’t know if that would apply across all models.

And if you’ve now got the time and are still interested, here ya go!

Houdini Modeling Tutorial - 1.0.0 - Downloaded 54 times

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John Neumann

Stuff and things

5 thoughts on “From Maya to Houdini – Modeling & Texturing Tutorial”

  1. THis is a very poor tutorial for users coming from Maya to Houdini.

    You have dived straight into modeling something.

    There is no introduction to the ui, the manipulation system, the logic, areas of the program, its strenghts its weaknesses, why you would even want to look at Houdini coming from Maya.

    In all honesty your attempt is appreciated but really don’t make tutorials on things that it is obvious you know very little about.

  2. LoL. Ok. To begin I don’t believe that I stated anywhere that this was a be-all end-all intro. If someone was looking for that they’d be better off going through the videos on their site. Secondly, I see you were brave enough to comment but not brave enough to leave a name or email. To that end, you can piss off. Lastly, I had stated elsewhere that my knowledge of Houdini at the time was limited. As such this was written from that vantage point. I now have a much better understanding of Houdini and appreciate it for what it is great for and still don’t think its the all-in-one solution. 

    I don’t take what you said personally, but you’ve added nothing to the conversation. You’ve provided no links to something better and no words of wisdom or any helpful information at all. To sum this up: You’re a troll. If you’re going to have your voice heard at least do it productively and constructively. 

  3. Hello John,

    I think the video does have it’s faults, but it is not completely useless. I have been using Maya for nearly 10 years now mostly modeling and texturing. I have recently been thinking about making the transition from Maya to Houdini for numerous reasons. I have watched a few free videos in regaurds to using houdini but most people explain it a little short from being confusing. I think your video help me fill in a small gap that I just couldn’t understand from most tutorials I have found on the net. So I thank you for that. I do understand that it is just a tools reference video to make the simple transition from one(Maya) to another(Houdini).

    Now as for the delivery, you did a lot of Software bashing on Houdini. And I know you could care less of what I think, but you will have those loyal Houdini supporters that will disagree with your method for explaining their software. I think that is one of the reasons the other person respond the way he did. I thought it was funny.

    although I am nearly a year late on viewing this video, All in all I found it useful for modeling and texturing. It’s a start. Good luck with other videos.

    Can you break down python for the none programmer?

  4. Firstly, I do care what you think. I care what everyone thinks which is why I leave commenting on – and I approve comments that bash me because I’m honest. I take feedback very seriously and if I’m wrong I’ll admit as much. I’m here to learn like everyone else. ;)

    Well I’m glad it helped a bit. The video is a bit rough and if I had time I’d love to redo it and show something fun rather than what I did which was LAME! :) Amusingly enough I’ve been the Lead FX TD for the last 3 months and I was the FX TD for the last 7 months before that and our FX department runs nothing but Houdini. 

    Did I bash Houdini a bit? Yeah, but it was mostly valid issues. Was a bit uninformed when I made this? Your damn right I was. BUT that was the audience I was talking to. The folks who had no experience from one to the other. Now if I was to redo this video or provide new thoughts I’d of course glow over how amazing Houdini is and how awesome the workflow is for it, etc. I still wouldn’t tell anyone to rig, model or animate in it, but when it comes to anything dynamic, it wins every time hands down. Hell, I prototypes out in 4 hours in Houdini what someone has been working on for a year in Maya – it got shot down but I still proved it was more efficient. 

    In regards to the python for “noobs” stuff, I’d love to and have been looking for actual topics from artists for a while but the interest never generated so I never did anything with it. Contact me and I’ll see if I can whip something up this next week cause I start a new gig after this week so I’ll be swamped getting up to speed there. :)

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