Houdini 17 Quicktip: Packing Geometry Using the UV-Layout SOP

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W ith the Houdini 17 party still going, let’s have a look at a somewhat hidden gem in H17’s tools: The UV-Layout SOP. “Wait! I don’t care about ’em UVs!” you might say. We hear you, but they are not really the focus of this tutorial. The very same tech underpinning decent UV layouts can be hijacked and used to pack something other than UV Islands. That’s right, we’re talking geometry packing!
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Houdini 17 Is Here – A Quickstart to Vellum

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One of the most exciting features that Houdini 17 introduces is Vellum: A new simulation framework based on XPBD. (Extended Postion Based Dynamics – In essence grains on steroids.) That means stable and fast simulation of (almost) everything softbody: Cloth, Wires and well – softbodies. In this quickstart series we’ll take you through the bare basics of how to get started using Vellum.
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Create and Simulate a Procedural Rope

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Today we’ll create a procedural rope and simulate it using the grain solver. There are always many different ways to achieve stuff in Houdini. In this tutorial I chose the VEX route to generate the rope. This gives a nice self-contained node that can easily be turned into a digital asset. The procedural rope is then deformed to a simulated wire using wire deform.

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Nerd Rant: Render Engines

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There are many render engines out there nowadays and it’s not easy to choose the right one. CPU or GPU, biased or unbiased. In this video we discuss the pros and cons of different render engines from our humble point of view. As a bonus we talk about LUTs and view transforms.

Nerd Rant: Hardware – DIY vs. Pre Built

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This is an experimental post. As we often sit down to discuss different topics from our Entagma life, this time we just switched the camera on and created a vlog-type movie for you. Just the right thing to watch on a otherwise boring “no-new-tutorial Monday”.

After Mo’s post about building his own workstation we started to discuss further what the best strategy is to acquire a machine for GPU rendering. Buying off-the-shelf hardware has advantages, building your own box has advantages too. Here’s 20 mins of Entagma talking about the pros and cons of building your own PC.