Houdini 17.0 Nodes Dynamics nodes

Scalar Field dynamics node

Creates a scalar field.

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The Scalar Field DOP creates a Scalar Field data that can be attached to simulation objects and manipulated by solvers. A Scalar Field is an axis-aligned box divided into individual voxels.

Each voxel is giving a floating point number. The meaning of these numbers could vary - a signed distance field would store the distance to the surface and a density field would store the amount of density at the location.

Parameters

Two Dimensional

One of the divisions of the voxel grid will be forced to one to create a two dimensional field.

Plane

If set to two dimensional, this plane determines which axes remain unaffected.

Division Method

If non square, the specified size is divided into the given number of divisions of voxels. The sides of these voxels may not be equal, however, possibly leading to distorted simulations.

When an axis is specified, that axis is considered authoritative for determining the number of divisions. The chosen axis' size will be divided by the uniform divisions to yield the voxel size. The divisions for the other axes will then be adjusted to the closest integer multiple that fits in the required size.

Finally, the size along non-chosen axes will be changed to represent uniform voxel sizes. If the Max Axis option is chosen, the maximum sized axis is used.

When By Size is specified, the Division Size will be used to compute the number of voxels that fit in the given sized box.

Uniform Divisions

The resolution of the key axis on the voxel grid. This allows one to control the overall resolution with one parameter and still preserve uniform voxels. The Uniform Voxels option specifies which axis should be used as the reference - it is usually safest to use the maximum axis.

Divisions

The resolution of the voxel grid that will be used to calculate the smoke object. Higher resolutions allow for finer detail in both the appearance and in the resulting motion. However, doubling the divisions requires eight times the memory.

Since the substepping should be proportional to the voxel size, doubling the divisions may require double the substepping, resulting in sixteen times the simulation time.

Division Size

The explicit size of the voxels. The number of voxels will be computed by fitting an integer number of voxels of this size into the given bounds.

Size

The size of the voxel grid. The size of each voxel will be this divided by the divisions.

Center

The position in world space of the center of the voxel grid.

Voxel Sampling

The overall box will be divided into the specified number of small boxes, or voxels.

However, the question remains where on these voxels the field’s values should be stored.

Center

The value will be stored at the center of each voxel. The total number of samples thus matches the number of boxes.

Face X/Y/Z

The value will be stored on the center of the specified face of each voxel.

Along that dimension the number of samples will be one higher to store the start and end voxel’s face values.

Edge XY/XZ/YZ

The value will be stored on the center of the specified edge of each voxel.

The dimensions involved will be one larger to account for the boundaries.

Corner

The value will be stored on the corners of each voxel.

The number of samples will be one higher in each dimension than the division count to contain all the boundary values.

Border Type

The behavior when the field is sampled outside of its defined box.

Constant

The initial value will be returned.

Repeat

The field will wrap, returning values from the opposite side of the field.

Streak

The value at the edge of the field closest to the sample will be returned.

Initial Value

When first initialized, the scalar field will be set uniformly to this value.

Tolerance

The absolute tolerance to use for lossy compression of the scalar field.

This can reduce memory usage by detecting constant areas or using a lower bit-depth representation. A value of 0 only allows lossless compression.

Use 16bit Float

The tiles will be stored using a 16 bit float rather than 32 bit float. This uses half the memory, but at the cost of reduced precision and increased computation.

Note

All computations are still done in 32 bit floats.

Slice

Which slice to use. Should be a number between 0 and the number of slices - 1.

Slice Divisions

Number of pieces to cut the volume into along each axis. The total number of pieces, or slices, created will be the product of these numbers. Ie, 2, 3, 4 will create 24 slices.

Overlap Voxels Negative, Positive

Adds a padding on the lower/upper side of the slices. The slices start by dividing space evenly, but then this overlap will cause them to overlap with their neighbors. The field exchange nodes use this overlap to determine what is communicated.

Position Data Path

The optional relative path for Position data. This will be used to transform the fluid box, allowing for non-axis aligned fluid sims. A value of ../Position will allow you to attach a Position DOP to your fluid object and thus reorient the fluid.

Outputs

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

The following examples include this node.

VariableDrag Example for Fluid Object dynamics node

This example shows how to vary the drag in a fluid simulation. It provides examples of using a specified field to be a high drag zone, of automatically applying drag only to the fluid surface, and of applying negative drag to an area to make the fluid more volatile.

See also

Dynamics nodes