Video games are all about playability and this means that game play is more important than realism. But with modern gaming technologies realism and game play can work hand-in-hand as processing power makes it easier to incorporate more complex geometry, high-quality lighting and more dynamic VFX. For developers and artists, this added detail can be daunting and it is critical that they find ways to create game art faster and more efficiently. This is why games studios are looking to Houdini’s procedural approach as a way to bring their games to the next level.

Finding better ways to make better games is every game studios dream. With Houdini’s procedural node-based workflow, you can build pipelines which streamline and enhance the process of getting assets out to the game engine. By managing the flow of data using Houdini’s artist-friendly node-based workflow, you can get games to market faster and lower production costs. You can manage changes deep into the development process and build up assets which can be used multiple-times in a project or even across multiple projects. In the end, you will be able to generate the highest quality content using efficient and repeatable techniques.

Game VFX

Houdini’s particle and dynamics tools are well known in feature film circles and help VFX studios handle the most challenging effects. With the latest game engine technologies, many of these effects can be brought in-game with careful management and design. Houdini is ideal for prototyping these in-game experiences using particles, sprites, fractured rigid body dynamics and even fluids. Once the look is set up you can translate the results into a game-play friendly solution.

Houdini is also ideal for setting up secondary VFX which can bring your effects to life. These techniques even can be packaged up to match related technologies in your game engine so that your artists can work on a wide variety of looks in Houdini while the development team optimizes performance and stability.

Level Building

Houdini offers a number of tools for designing and exporting data which can be used to set up a game level. Houdini can handle large data sets and makes it easy to work with custom attributes and blind data. It is easy to pre-visualize a game level using OpenGL then export the level as points for the engine to build back up in-game.

Tool Building

Houdini’s digital asset technology lets you package up and share tools and techniques around a studio. These digital assets can be built by game artists and then used to output data to the game engine using custom exporters. Digital Assets provide a quick way to build custom tools and can be improved and changed right up to the deadline. With Digital Assets it becomes possible for a smaller group of artists to develop at the same output levels as a much larger development team.

Polygonal Modeling

While many modeling tools work well when you have your design in place, there is little flexibility if you are not quite sure. By going procedural with your modeling, you can set up a model with controls for making changes down the line. This is also great for creating different variations of a model and populating your game world with rich content.

Terrain Generation

Modeling terrain by hand can be very time consuming. By going procedural with Houdini, you can work more efficiently and save on development costs. Houdini lets you start simple and then layer in game-ready details as needed. You can use advanced techniques such as volumes to build complex meshes with complete control over level of detail. Along the way, you can react to changes quickly without always starting from scratch and you will have access to procedural techniques for difficult tasks such as setting up UVs on procedurally generated models.

Game Cinematics and Trailers

While most game cinematics these days are created using the game engine, there are still situations where a fully rendered cinematic or game trailer makes sense. With Houdini’s rich history in feature film VFX, it is a great tool for bringing these shots to life and making an impact with your audience. In addition, Houdini’s lighting tools and Mantra renderer can provide you with an efficient look development pipeline.

Learn how you can create your Game Art in Houdini:

To try out Houdini and experience the advantages of going procedural, you can use the Houdini personal tools to evaluate, learn and develop real projects or contact Side Effects at to talk about your needs and to arrange for a webinar demonstration. There are many ways that Houdini can help you in your work and we look forward to helping you find new levels of productivity in your day-to-day work.


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