SideFX Houdini : Action Sequence Design - Part1 - Mixing motion capture

General / 30 August 2020
Some new content available on my youtube : I took the time to draft a short sequence using my laptop, and making a tutorial series out of it.  

I always think it's better to study an aspect of CG by mimicking a production context and see what kind of situation you may need to face. 
I have been fairly limited with my equipment  but still enough to create some material I can use as a practical example of production. 

I must say though having restrictions either with deadlines or equipment actually helps on optimization and finding work around to get things done. So maybe it's for the best. Haha

 This first part focus on the animation side, I can't pretend being an animator,  but could maybe give some insights about  Houdini's agent crowd system to mix motion capture clips. 

More videos coming about some other aspects of this sequence like cloth simulation, camera animation, shading, lighting, hope this can be useful !

Stay tuned ;)

WIP : Procedural rollercoaster

Work In Progress / 24 August 2020
I made a rollercaster tutorial almost a year ago for houdini, but never actually dig further to do an illustration. Using my time off to develop a more complete setup based on an abandoned ride in Dreamland/Japan.

Was a very challenging piece of procedural, using a lot of hacks to make it work in the end so not sure yet if I'll be able to make a full tutorial out of this one,.. But found out some pretty cool technics for modeling and UVs that I will share soon on my patreon and as always some free videos for my youtube channel.

In the meantime still working on some still frames. Ideally I would like to show multiple camera angles. 

WIP of a camera angle / Render in camera using Redshift and post process tweaks.

Viewport screenshots :


Made a auto-weld tool so we feel better about the connexion in between elements.

  All the supports adapt based on the look of the terrain. 

  Based on the steepness of the rails, the side fence alternate between stairs and panneling. 


Stay tune !

Zbrush : Environment Sculpting Workflow

General / 20 August 2020

Taking a quick break with procedural to share some tips about environment sculpting.  Sharing here a part of my workflow to upres models within zbrush.

 Usually any base mesh require an extra pass of sculpting to get approved in production.

 It helps you reach that last 10% of realism that you couldn't reach to get the foreground fully works. S

howing here how I detailed the architectural ornament in the foreground of my illustration "mystic tower" Also covering some ZBrush Basics by sculpting the base shape, so hopefully it should be fairly understandable for beginners.

 Otherwise could import the base mesh from any other app.

If you are interested about the procedural tutorial series, you can just start here, it's free !

Will do some more zbrush tutorial from time to time about sculpting in zbrush for my patreon.

Otherwise some very exciting houdini and redshift coming soon, stay tuned ! :D

"Mystic Towers" - Procedural modeling TUTORIALS

Tutorial / 02 August 2020

Last part of the "Mystic Towers" tutorial series.. Showing here a lot of tricks to speed up the modelling of columns, onion dome inside Houdini.
Have fun :D

Morel video about detailing,  available for my patreons, if you wanna get serious about environments and procedural : 

Coming soon on patreon  :


SideFX Houdini : ACES workflow in 10min

Tutorial / 26 July 2020

Super quick tutorial about ACES conversion and workflow within Houdini !

 For the demonstration I am using a quixel megascan asset and rendering using VRay for Houdini. 

Note that you can use the "vopcopfilter" technic I am showing with any other engines, it's just a way to convert our srgb and linear textures into a proper Acescg color space.  

Here are some links I am talking about in the video - 

- Open Color IO : 

- Chris Brejon / CGcinematography documentation  : 

- Toadstorm / An idiot's guide to ACES : 

Using VRay for the demonstration, you can get a free 30 days trial available on : 

VRay for Houdini : Environment Lighting / FREE TUTORIAL

Tutorial / 18 July 2020

Hi guys !

Today I just released a super quick free video on my youtube channel, this time about lighting in VRay. Showing how to use some of its features to light environments.

In this video we learn how to setup :

- a VRay Sun light.

- the VRay sky as environment source.

- the exposure of VRay physical camera.

- The aerial perspective feature to create a fog layer in background.

VRAY FOR HOUDINI : Environment Lighting  / Sun & Sky TUTORIAL 


To improve the lighting and add cloud shadow breakups you can also use the cloud gobo technic shown in this video a while ago : 

VRay for Houdini is defintely worth trying, you can get a 30 days trial with the demo available on : 


Also if you are interested in terrain creation I released a bonus tutorial on my patreon :

"Houdini : Master Heightfields in 20 min !" / Giving in this video some precious tips to generate awesome looking mountains. 

So don't miss it if you subscribed, otherwise it's always a good time to join the gang ! Starting at 3$/month for some exclusive video tutorials. 



I hope this finds you well, have a great week end !


Houdini AL-TOOL v5.0 / What's New ? VIDEO TUTORIAL

General / 15 July 2020

Hi there,

Constantly been upgrading my houdini tools for environment creation over the past months. 

Thanks guys for your feedbacks and patience, it helped me a lot pushing my skills to improve tools and finally dig into Python modules for HDAs.
Still a lot to learn, and for sure more things to improve but since the tools already changed so much since my first tutorial with v1.0, I think it's about time to see how things evolved ! 


Those who already bought them, AL-Tools v5 is available for free in your gumroad or artstation library.


What's new ?

AL-MaskBuilder update :

- Map UDIM / Bug fix

- Paint Attribute Button in Attribute01 TAB

AL-TerrainExporter update :

- Simplified export of heightfield mesh and maps.

AL-AdvancedScatter update :

-Ability to paint attributes for scattering from the AttributeDistribution TAB : button "Paint Mask"

-Motion TAB to control animation cache of the scattered objects

- object to scatter : ID1 is the default geometry if "Enable Variations" is off. ID distributions is now control from red to blue / first ID to last ID.

- New node input to connect the surface to scatter. (still keeping the option to objectmerge into the tool, if input is used objectmerge is off)

- Map UDIM / bug fixing


I did a presentation for sidefx "Houdini Hive" last May, I am showing how I made the illustration "Unexpected path", was made with the previous version of the tools but can still give some good insights about scattering :


AL-Tools and where to find them... Upgrades are available in :

-AL/Tools only :

- AL-Tools + UltimateTerrainWorkflow project files :

- Tutorial / Procedural Cliff - BUNDLE VERSION (include AL-AdvancedScatter + AL-MaskBuilder)

- AL-MaskBuilder available on gumroad by itself :


See you soon !

SideFX Houdini - Mystic Tower - Procedural Modelling part01

Tutorial / 05 July 2020

Hi guys !

Hope you are doing well in this still going "crazy times".

Still trying to be productive on top of my freelance work. Recently released a new illustration Mystic Towers on artstation. I am using the setup I did for this project to make a new series of video tutorials about procedural modeling. Here is the first part ! 


Also guess what ! I am now on patreon, I will be creating some little bonus video for my patrons. You can get some extra tips starting at only 3$/month, and different package include additional privileges (work in progress,Q/A, live stream, requests etc...) So consider checking out my patreon page if you'd like to dive deeper into 3D learning !

The first video for my patrons is a detailed explanation to improve the shapes of the spiral railing of the "mystic tower".


I hope this finds you well

Have a great week end !

BEST HOUDINI RENDERING ENGINE / Shading Workflow Equivalence

Tutorial / 13 June 2020


My new sideFX Houdini tutorial is out, see that rather as a documentation that can help you move from one renderer to an other within Houdini, or simply get the shading fundamentals of some of the best rendering engine !

Showing the same process with each one of them :

02:20 : Material Builder / base Shader - Mantra / Renderman / Vray / Redshift

04:40 : Geometry Parameters  - Mantra / Renderman / Vray / Redshift

06:07 : Displacement workflow / Mantra-Karma

07:26 : Displacement workflow / Renderman

09:09 : Displacement workflow / Vray

10:54 : Displacement workflow / Redshift

12:46 : Textures with UDIM / Mantra - Karma

13:30 : Textures with UDIM / Renderman

14:21 : Textures with UDIM / Vray

15:15 : Textures with UDIM / Redshift

15:45 : Correcting & Mixing Textures / Mantra - Karma

17:42 : Correcting & Mixing Textures / Renderman

19:26 : Correcting & Mixing Textures / Vray

23:40 : Correcting & Mixing Textures / Redshift

25:16 : Layer Shaders with Attributes / attribute setup

25:42 : Layer Shaders with Attributes / Mantra - Karma

29:36 : Layer Shaders with Attributes / Renderman

31:59 : Layer Shaders with Attributes / Vray

34:53 : Layer Shaders with Attributes / Redshift

Not here to argue which one is the best or the fastest, not even trying to make something "pretty"... Just wanted to bring some insights to help you "translate" either my tutorials or any others.

By the end you'll probably  realize they are all working the same.  So don't focus learning on  one tool but its general workflow. Then you'll be able to adapt your skills with ANY renderer.

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 : 

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 (, 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.