Houdini 17.0 Nodes Dynamics nodes

Multiple Solver dynamics node

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The Multiple Solver DOP causes a simulation object to be solved by more than one Solver at each timestep. Each solver attached to this node is applied in order to the object.

Many solver combinations will produce strange or unexpected results. For example, applying two RBD Solvers will simply make objects move twice as fast.

The most useful solver combinations are ones where each solver acts on a different piece of data on the object. For example, the RBD Solver alters the Position data of an object. This may be followed by a SOP Solver that modifies the geometry of the object based on the position, velocity, or impact information generated by the RBD Solver.

It is important that you make sure the attached solvers have different names. Solvers by default all have the name "Solver" and will thus overwrite each other. The Unique Data Name toggle on the incoming solvers can be used to ensure that the names are different.

Parameters

Primary Solver

Specifies which sub-solver to use when other solvers make queries about the objects to which this solver is applied. This includes information such as what collision method to use, the mass of the object, or physical properties like friction.

This value should be set to point to the sub-solver that best represents how other objects in the scene should react to these objects.

Parameter Operations

Each data option parameter has an associated menu which specifies how that parameter operates.

Use Default

Use the value from the Default Operation menu.

Set Initial

Set the value of this parameter only when this data is created. On all subsequent timesteps, the value of this parameter is not altered. This is useful for setting up initial conditions like position and velocity.

Set Always

Always set the value of this parameter. This is useful when specific keyframed values are required over time. This could be used to keyframe the position of an object over time, or to cause the geometry from a SOP to be refetched at each timestep if the geometry is deforming.

You can also use this setting in conjunction with the local variables for a parameter value to modify a value over time. For example, in the X Position, an expression like $tx + 0.1 would cause the object to move 0.1 units to the right on each timestep.

Set Never

Do not ever set the value of this parameter. This option is most useful when using this node to modify an existing piece of data connected through the first input.

For example, an RBD State DOP may want to animate just the mass of an object, and nothing else. The Set Never option could be used on all parameters except for Mass, which would use Set Always.

Default Operation

For any parameters with their Operation menu set to Use Default, this parameter controls what operation is used.

This parameter has the same menu options and meanings as the Parameter Operations menus, but without the Use Default choice.

Make Objects Mutual Affectors

All objects connected to the first input of this node become mutual affectors.

This is equivalent to using an Affector DOP to create an affector relationship between * and * before connecting it to this node. This option makes it convenient to have all objects feeding into a solver node affect each other.

Group

When an object connector is attached to the first input of this node, this parameter can be used to choose a subset of those objects to be affected by this node.

Data Name

Indicates the name that should be used to attach the data to an object or other piece of data. If the Data Name contains a "/" (or several), that indicates traversing inside subdata.

For example, if the Fan Force DOP has the default Data Name "Forces/Fan". This attaches the data with the name "Fan" to an existing piece of data named "Forces". If no data named "Forces" exists, a simple piece of container data is created to hold the "Fan" subdata.

Different pieces of data have different requirements on what names should be used for them. Except in very rare situations, the default value should be used. Some exceptions are described with particular pieces of data or with solvers that make use of some particular type of data.

Unique Data Name

Turning on this parameter modifies the Data Name parameter value to ensure that the data created by this node is attached with a unique name so it will not overwrite any existing data.

With this parameter turned off, attaching two pieces of data with the same name will cause the second one to replace the first. There are situations where each type of behavior is desirable.

If an object needs to have several Fan Forces blowing on it, it is much easier to use the Unique Data Name feature to ensure that each fan does not overwrite a previous fan rather than trying to change the Data Name of each fan individually to avoid conflicts.

On the other hand, if an object is known to have RBD State data already attached to it, leaving this option turned off will allow some new RBD State data to overwrite the existing data.

Solver Per Object

The default behavior for solvers is to attach the exact same solver to all of the objects specified in the group. This allows the objects to be processed in a single pass by the solver, since the parameters are identical for each object. However, some objects operate more logically on a single object at a time. In these cases, one may want to use $OBJID expressions to vary the solver parameters across the objects. Setting this toggle will create a separate solver per object, allowing $OBJID to vary as expected.

Inputs

First Input

This optional input can be used to control which simulation objects are modified by this node. Any objects connected through this input and which match the Group parameter field will be modified.

If this input is not connected, this node can be used in conjunction with an Apply Data node, or can be used as an input to another data node.

All Other Inputs

If this node has more input connectors, other data nodes can be attached to act as modifiers for the data created by this node.

The specific types of subdata that are meaningful vary from node to node. Click an input connector to see a list of available data nodes that can be meaningfully attached.

Outputs

First Output

The operation of this output depends on what inputs are connected to this node. If an object stream is input to this node, the output is also an object stream containing the same objects as the input (but with the data from this node attached).

If no object stream is connected to this node, the output is a data output. This data output can be connected to an Apply Data DOP, or connected directly to a data input of another data node, to attach the data from this node to an object or another piece of data.

Locals

channelname

This DOP node defines a local variable for each channel and parameter on the Data Options page, with the same name as the channel. So for example, the node may have channels for Position (positionx, positiony, positionz) and a parameter for an object name (objectname).

Then there will also be local variables with the names positionx, positiony, positionz, and objectname. These variables will evaluate to the previous value for that parameter.

This previous value is always stored as part of the data attached to the object being processed. This is essentially a shortcut for a dopfield expression like:

dopfield($DOPNET, $OBJID, dataName, "Options", 0, channelname)

If the data does not already exist, then a value of zero or an empty string will be returned.

DATACT

This value is the simulation time (see variable ST) at which the current data was created. This value may not be the same as the current simulation time if this node is modifying existing data, rather than creating new data.

DATACF

This value is the simulation frame (see variable SF) at which the current data was created. This value may not be the same as the current simulation frame if this node is modifying existing data, rather than creating new data.

RELNAME

This value will be set only when data is being attached to a relationship (such as when Constraint Anchor DOP is connected to the second, third, of fourth inputs of a Constraint DOP).

In this case, this value is set to the name of the relationship the data to which the data is being attached.

RELOBJIDS

This value will be set only when data is being attached to a relationship (such as when Constraint Anchor DOP is connected to the second, third, of fourth inputs of a Constraint DOP).

In this case, this value is set to a string that is a space separated list of the object identifiers for all the Affected Objects of the relationship to which the data is being attached.

RELOBJNAMES

This value will be set only when data is being attached to a relationship (such as when Constraint Anchor DOP is connected to the second, third, of fourth inputs of a Constraint DOP).

In this case, this value is set to a string that is a space separated list of the names of all the Affected Objects of the relationship to which the data is being attached.

RELAFFOBJIDS

This value will be set only when data is being attached to a relationship (such as when Constraint Anchor DOP is connected to the second, third, of fourth inputs of a Constraint DOP).

In this case, this value is set to a string that is a space separated list of the object identifiers for all the Affector Objects of the relationship to which the data is being attached.

RELAFFOBJNAMES

This value will be set only when data is being attached to a relationship (such as when Constraint Anchor DOP is connected to the second, third, of fourth inputs of a Constraint DOP).

In this case, this value is set to a string that is a space separated list of the names of all the Affector Objects of the relationship to which the data is being attached.

ST

This value is the simulation time for which the node is being evaluated.

This value may not be equal to the current Houdini time represented by the variable T, depending on the settings of the DOP Network Offset Time and Time Scale parameters.

This value is guaranteed to have a value of zero at the start of a simulation, so when testing for the first timestep of a simulation, it is best to use a test like $ST == 0 rather than $T == 0 or $FF == 1.

SF

This value is the simulation frame (or more accurately, the simulation time step number) for which the node is being evaluated.

This value may not be equal to the current Houdini frame number represented by the variable F, depending on the settings of the DOP Network parameters. Instead, this value is equal to the simulation time (ST) divided by the simulation timestep size (TIMESTEP).

TIMESTEP

This value is the size of a simulation timestep. This value is useful to scale values that are expressed in units per second, but are applied on each timestep.

SFPS

This value is the inverse of the TIMESTEP value. It is the number of timesteps per second of simulation time.

SNOBJ

This is the number of objects in the simulation. For nodes that create objects such as the Empty Object node, this value will increase for each object that is evaluated.

A good way to guarantee unique object names is to use an expression like object_$SNOBJ.

NOBJ

This value is the number of objects that will be evaluated by the current node during this timestep. This value will often be different from SNOBJ, as many nodes do not process all the objects in a simulation.

This value may return 0 if the node does not process each object sequentially (such as the Group DOP).

OBJ

This value is the index of the specific object being processed by the node. This value will always run from zero to NOBJ-1 in a given timestep. This value does not identify the current object within the simulation like OBJID or OBJNAME, just the object’s position in the current order of processing.

This value is useful for generating a random number for each object, or simply splitting the objects into two or more groups to be processed in different ways. This value will be -1 if the node does not process objects sequentially (such as the Group DOP).

OBJID

This is the unique object identifier for the object being processed. Every object is assigned an integer value that is unique among all objects in the simulation for all time. Even if an object is deleted, its identifier is never reused.

The object identifier can always be used to uniquely identify a given object. This makes this variable very useful in situations where each object needs to be treated differently. It can be used to produce a unique random number for each object, for example.

This value is also the best way to look up information on an object using the dopfield expression function. This value will be -1 if the node does not process objects sequentially (such as the Group DOP).

ALLOBJIDS

This string contains a space separated list of the unique object identifiers for every object being processed by the current node.

ALLOBJNAMES

This string contains a space separated list of the names of every object being processed by the current node.

OBJCT

This value is the simulation time (see variable ST) at which the current object was created.

Therefore, to check if an object was created on the current timestep, the expression $ST == $OBJCT should always be used. This value will be zero if the node does not process objects sequentially (such as the Group DOP).

OBJCF

This value is the simulation frame (see variable SF) at which the current object was created.

This value is equivalent to using the dopsttoframe expression on the OBJCT variable. This value will be zero if the node does not process objects sequentially (such as the Group DOP).

OBJNAME

This is a string value containing the name of the object being processed.

Object names are not guaranteed to be unique within a simulation. However, if you name your objects carefully so that they are unique, the object name can be a much easier way to identify an object than the unique object identifier, OBJID.

The object name can also be used to treat a number of similar objects (with the same name) as a virtual group. If there are 20 objects named "myobject", specifying strcmp($OBJNAME, "myobject") == 0 in the activation field of a DOP will cause that DOP to operate only on those 20 objects. This value will be the empty string if the node does not process objects sequentially (such as the Group DOP).

DOPNET

This is a string value containing the full path of the current DOP Network. This value is most useful in DOP subnet digital assets where you want to know the path to the DOP Network that contains the node.

Note

Most dynamics nodes have local variables with the same names as the node’s parameters. For example, in a Position node, you could write the expression:

$tx + 0.1

…to make the object move 0.1 units along the X axis at each timestep.

Examples

SimpleMultiple Example for Multiple Solver dynamics node

This examples demonstrates how to use a Multiple Solver. In this example, the motion of an object is controlled by an RBD Solver while the geometry is modified by a SOP Solver.

The following examples include this node.

AutoFracturing Example for Copy Objects dynamics node

This example shows how to use the Copy Object DOP, in conjunction with a Multi Solver, to automatically break an RBD object in half whenever it impacts another object.

AnimatedStaticAgents Example for Crowd Solver dynamics node

This example file demonstrates how to set up "animated static" agents for the crowd solver. These agents follow SOP-level animation and can be used for avoidance or turned into ragdolls.

CrowdHeightField Example for Crowd Solver dynamics node

This example demonstrates using heightfields for terrain adaptation in the crowd solver, and for collisions against ragdolls in the Bullet solver.

PartialRagdolls Example for Crowd Solver dynamics node

This example demonstrates how to set up a partial ragdoll, where a subset of the agent’s joints are simulated as active objects by the Bullet solver and the remaining joints are animated.

PinnedRagdolls Example for Crowd Solver dynamics node

This example demonstrates how to set up constraints to attach a ragdoll to an external object, and how to use motors to drive an active ragdoll with an animation clip.

CrowdTriggers Example for Crowd Trigger dynamics node

This example file demonstrates how the built-in trigger types for the Crowd Trigger DOP can be used.

FlipColorMix Example for FLIP Solver dynamics node

This example demonstrates the use of the Flip Solver to mix the colors of a red fluid with a blue fluid to form a purple fluid.

TimelessGas Example for Gas Particle to Field dynamics node

This example demonstrates the use of gasParticleToField in Timeless mode.

SimpleMultiple Example for Multiple Solver dynamics node

This examples demonstrates how to use a Multiple Solver. In this example, the motion of an object is controlled by an RBD Solver while the geometry is modified by a SOP Solver.

EmittingObjects Example for RBD Packed Object dynamics node

This example shows how to use a SOP Solver to create new RBD objects and add them to an existing RBD Packed Object.

popswithrbdcollision Example for RBD Point Object dynamics node

Shows an RBD Simulation being attatched to a POP simulation to provide RBD style collisions to POPs.

Freeze Example for Script Solver dynamics node

This example uses the Script Solver to remove objects from the simulation once they fall below a certain threshold velocity. This technique can be used to speed up simulations that are known to settle down to a static arrangement.

ScalePieces Example for Script Solver dynamics node

This example demonstrates how to use the Script Solver node to scale fractured pieces of an RBD sim over time.

SumImpacts Example for Script Solver dynamics node

This example uses the Script Solver and SOP Solver to change the color of RBD objects based on the total impact energy applied to the object at each timestep.

SourceVorticlesAndCollision Example for Smoke Object dynamics node

This example demonstrates a simple smoke system using a source, keyframed RBD collision objects, and vorticles.

DentingWithPops Example for SOP Solver dynamics node

This example combines a number of important DOPs concepts.

  • First, it uses both POP Solver and RBD Solver objects interacting with each other in a bidiretional manner. The RBD object affects the particles, and the particles affect the RBD object.

  • Second, the RBD object atually uses a multi-solver to combine an RBD Solver with a SOP Solver. The RBD Solver controls the motion of the overall object, while the SOP Solver performs the denting of the geometry.

  • Third, the SOP Solver extracts impact information from the RBD Solver to perform the denting. It extracts this information using DOP expression functions.

The end result is a simulation of a torus that is bombarded by a stream of particles. The particles bounce off the torus, and also cause the torus to move. In addition, each particle collision causes a slight denting of the torus.

VisualizeImpacts Example for SOP Solver dynamics node

An example that shows how you can visualize impact data in an RBD simulation by using a SOP Solver to add custom guide geometry to the RBD Objects.

This example has three toruses falling on a grid with green lines showing the position and magnitude of impacts. The force visualization is added as ancillary geometry data to the actual toruses, so the RBD Solver is entirely unaware of the effect. The SOP Solver could also be used as an independent SOP network to extract impact visualization from an RBD Object.

BreakWire Example for Wire Solver dynamics node

This example demonstrates how to break wire constraints on a per point basis. The wire solver is set up to constrain certain points if it finds an attribute named 'pintoanimation'.

CurveAdvection Example for Wire Solver dynamics node

This example demonstrates how to advect curves based on a pyro simulation. An Attribute Wrangle SOP is used to sample the velocity from the volume and apply it to a wire object.

CrowdPov Example for Agent Cam object node

This example demonstrates how the agent cam can be assigned to a crowd agent to give you the point of view from someone in a crowd simulation.

PackedFragments Example for Assemble geometry node

This example shows how you can break a sphere into packed objects for use in a rigid body simulation using the Assemble SOP.

See also

Dynamics nodes