Houdini: Curl Noise Flow

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This short tutorial ist inspired by the amazing work of deskriptiv. Seriously one of the most inspiring artist collectives I’ve come across in the last year. What (in my opinion) is being done here is a curl noise flow around a given surface that is then converted into a volume and subsequently blurred and meshed as polygons. And this is exactly what we’re going to build. The setup should be versatile enough and accept most shapes as input geo. Also curl noise is heavily tweakable so a multitude of flow patterns are possible with this one. Have fun!

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  1. Pingback: Curl Noise Flow Houdini tutorial - Inside 3d News | Breaking Models Blog

  2. SAEED(IRAN) says

    thats so gooooooooooooooooooood. thank you ENTAGMA. I LOVE YOU.

  3. wow, I did something similar in processing but it never looked like this 😉
    just a minor gripe: in the beginning you talk about particles/points beeing rotated by the vector field. aren’t they actually translated? point advection means exactly that. am I missing something?

    I love entagma guys, thanks a lot!

    • Moritz says

      Hi Stephan, thanks for pointing this out – maybe I was a bit unclear about that. Curl calculates the rotation of a vector field. What we do is use this information to actually translate points when doing advection. Thanks again & Cheers, Moritz

        • Moritz says

          Think I could have been clearer. I’ll try being more explicit in upcoming tuts 🙂
          Cheers, Moritz

  4. Ahmet Oktar says

    Awesome video guys. Very informative. I’m feeling like using Houdini since long time.
    With my best wishes!

  5. Joris says

    Absolutely loving it so far! Best quality houdini tutorials on the internet!

  6. Thank you so much! These tutorials finally gave me the push I needed to get into learning houdini. Looking forward to what you guys will come up with next!

  7. There’s a shortcut to this where you don’t need to use the sop solver with vdb advect. Just place a ‘volume trail’ node down instead. You’ll get the benefit of near instant feedback too. You might have mentioned this in the video but I don’t have my headphones handy.

  8. Sean Lewkiw says

    Great tutorial, thanks for putting it together. Been using Houdini since 1.0 alpha, and it’s good to see stuff like this to keep up with what the kidz are doing.

    • Moritz says

      Thanks for the heads up! Especially appreciate it coming from an experienced Houdini user. Cheers, Moritz

  9. Chantal says

    PLEASE keep making more tutorials, these are amazing! You’ve helped me so much.

  10. Hello!
    Another option to get that Melted effect without loosing so much information would be a ReshapeSDF sop set to Close ( its pretty fast too).
    Huge Thanks for you tutorial guys!

    • Moritz says

      Nice one – yes, that’s also quite a nice workflow!

  11. elias says

    Hi guys, love this tutorial! I want to do an animated version, but when I try to export it as abc. and I open it in c4d, the file is just empty. Right now I’m exporing from the vdbsmoothsdf node into a rop_alembic but It doesn’t work. Whats the smartest way?

    I need to export it as polygons in some way…

    Thanks! <3

    • Moritz says

      Hey Elias,

      have you tried converting the VDB back to polygons before export? You can do that using a convertVDB-node set to polygons. Maybe that helps…


  12. Ava DeCapri says

    first id like to say that you guys make great tutorials! I am very very new to Houdini and wondering how I could input my own geometry instead of using the test geometry rubber_toy? Thanks!

  13. Axel says


    Is there a way to animate the noise?
    I tried by keyframing the offset values (in the curl noise node).


  14. Andrew hopper says

    Hey great tutorial as always,

    Having a problem with the render tho. when i convert it back for polygons with the convert vdb i have massive spheres everywhere in the render view port. any clues why?

    Thanks Andy

  15. Kashmere says

    Where do I share the stuff I make form your tuts? I have quite a few now, I have been watching you guys non stop for the past week 🙂

    • Moritz says

      Thanks for the link (and sorry fot the quite late answer). Lovely to see these setups being used 🙂 Especially fond of the tribute to your late aunt!

      Keep it up!
      Cheers, Mo

  16. Stratonaut says

    Hello, how to make it colorful like previous tutorial? different threads different colors

    • Moritz says

      Hi Stratonaut,,

      sure, no problem! Just append a connectivity SOP after the trail and use the class attribute generated by it to color the trails (e.g. by using a color SOP set to ramp by attribute or random from attribute).

      Cheers, Mo

  17. Krane says

    Total newby question but how might one texture a network like this? I just want to add 1 simple color to this and am not sure how to start. I am far from home with Houdini and am coming from Blender on this haha!

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