UV's Last Hope - Houdini Tool

General / 08 June 2020

Developed a workflow and a tool to  Unwrap very tricky and heavy geometries, maybe for baking or painting textures. When you got no time to clean and you have no last resort... This might just to the trick. Available on my gumroad ! 

How different is it from "Labs Auto UV" ? 

SideFX Labs AutoUV is a great free add-on that let you unfold and pack UVs on multiple UDIMs. Which works perfectly fine if your geometry got a reasonable polycount and is mostly composed of quadrilateral topology. Would advise to try this out first ! If this fails or is getting insanely slow your geometry is probably too messed up for it and using this tool/workflow may get you out of trouble... That's why I call it "UVs Last Hope !" Haha

This Houdini Indie tool is based on a workflow I am showing into my tutorial entitled "UVing millions of polygons in 5 min" on Artstation and youtube : https://www.artstation.com/artwork/k4daxl 

Basically what I am offering on gumroad for a very fair price (only 5$ !) is a more complete setup based on this principle.

I am offering here more controls and an organized HDA that you can use not only in Houdini but also 3dsmax or Maya using Houdini Engine. (Free plugin with Houdini Indie !) 

Using this heavy mesh as an example to unfold  (700K Polygons) :

Visualize UVs / Tiles: 

Allows to check out the UV and tile distribution. 



Control tile distribution based on object's bounding box divisions. Using this feature to slice the tiles by height in this example :



Control tile distribution based on Voronoi pattern. Useful to get a more uniform distribution on intricate objects like this one. 


UV MAPPING / Fast And Messy :

This mode is a good way to test real quick the different distributions but generate a lot of small islands. Just have a simple control to limit the amount of UDIM columns

UV MAPPING / Slow and Clean :

This mode is a cleaner way to unfold UVs but takes longer to cook. (1min30 in this case) Based on UV flatten node, offers Spectral or Angle Based uv flattening. Most often get better results using Angle Based flattening. To give an example tried unfolding with Labs AutoUVs and was still cooking after 10 minutes.




Final TAB to export or cache the geometry with UVs. A custom menu for extension (bgeo.sc, abc, obj... can add more if requested)

Once the geometry is Saved, use load geometry to load it. 


Available on my gumroad !

This tool also work with Houdini Apprentice, which is a free version of Houdini for non-commercial project. 

Hope this can be helpful.