Houdini’s modeling tools can be used by modellers to create characters, sets and props or by visual effects artists to give particles and fluids shape and form. For traditional modelers, Houdini provides a robust set of tools that work with a wide variety of geometry types. For visual effects artists, Houdini’s node-based workflow makes it easy to set up surfaces that are generated on the fly based on an underlying effect.

Construction History you won’t want to Delete.As you work, Houdini’s node-based workflow keeps track of all your modeling actions. Houdini efficently manages the nodes to make sure you are not bogged down as you work. This lets you freely revise parameters on your nodes, branch off to explore new ideas or set up switch nodes to compare topologies while continuing to maintain a high level of productivity.

Build Environments that Grow. To model CG environments piece by piece can be a daunting task for a modeler. With Houdini, you can set up procedural networks that build environments out of a smaller kit of parts. Once the system is in place, you can easily add randomness, paint specific features such as height and scale, and eventually grow the solution to any size. In production, you can even use low-resolution pieces to set up your model then swap them out at render time for added levels of efficiency.

Create Squeaky clean Geometry. Building a model is one thing. Building a model that animates and renders properly is a different matter altogether. Houdini give you low-level access to every aspect of your geometry and provides procedural techniques for making your geometry production-ready.


Polygon/Subdivision Modeling

  • Robust polygonal toolset that includes many traditional polygon tools such as PolyExtrude, PolyBevel, PolySplit, PolyKnit, Subdivide, Fuse, and Smooth
  • Edge loop selection
  • Surfacing tools such as Revolve , Loft, Skin, and Rail that work with both polygonal and NURBS geometry
  • Edit points, edges, faces, and vertices with ease using Houdini’s new tool shelf
  • Render your polygonal objects as a subdivision surface and take advantage of Mantra’s micropolygon rendering to create perfectly smooth surfaces from low-poly objects

NURBS Modeling

  • Complete NURBS modeling toolset including loft, revolve, skin, rails, sweep, and trim tools
  • NURBS are supported by Mantra’s micropolygon rendering therefore surface tessellation is not needed at rendering time

Creating Geometry

  • Classic primitive types including Line, Curve, Grid, Circle, Sphere, Box, Tube and Torus
  • Houdini L-systems, ideal for simulating complex organic structures such as trees, lightning, snowflakes, flowers, and other branching phenomena
  • Many specialized geometry generators such as Isosurfaces, Superquad, Font and more that let you define very specific geometry
  • Instancing Tools. Align, Particle, Copy, Stamp, Trail, Sort

Utility Tools

  • Cutting and Refining Tools: Carve, Intersect Curves and Surfaces, Trim, Subdivide, Convex, Bricker, Refine, Polyreduce, Cookie, Crease, Lathe, Polysplit, Edgedivide, Edgecusp
  • Fitting Tools: Resample, Fit, Profile, Polyspline, Polypatch
  • Cleanup Tools: Delete, Dissolve, Blast, Edgecollapse, Edgeflip, Smooth
  • Conversion Tools: Convert, Trace, Tristrip

UV Editing

  • Texture layer support using multiple per-vertex textures
  • Advanced UV texture editor, Easy visualization and modification of vertices
  • Powerful unwrapping such as multifaceted, polar, cylindrical, spherical, orthographic, cubic, and shrink-wrap.
  • UVbrush which lets you drag, contract, and relax UVs in either the texture viewer or the 3D viewer
  • Quick shade tool allows the temporarily application of a texture file to a surface that can be used to test UV editing.
  • UV Pelt tool lets you unwrap a model’s UVs using “cut” lines determined by edge selections to create the boundaries of the UV topology. This topology is then connected to a frame then stretched out to form the UV layout.


  • Create Metaballs to provide a blobby system where each metaball can influence others based on their proximity to generate a final merged surface
  • Put lots of Metaballs together as a great way to generate organic shapes
  • Use Metaballs in complex systems such as muscles to push skin or as influencers in particle simulations

Deform Tools

  • Advanced deforming tools including Lattice, Blend Shapes, and a non-linear Twist tool for adding Bend, Twist, Taper, Shear, and Squash and Stretch

Shaping Tools

  • Edit tool for a wide range of reshaping tasks and the ideal environment for tweaking models
  • Brush-based interface for Sculpting surfaces
  • Other tools for reshaping your models include, Fractalize, Curve and Surface Clay, Ray, Creep, Magnet, Twist, Spring, Proportional Normal Displacement and Bulge.


  • Use Mantra’s native vector expression language to create custom tools for manipulating geometry
  • Uses the CPU’s vector engine(s) for extreme performance. In many cases VEX will out perform Houdini operators written with C++

Geometry Formats

  • Houdini’s native .geo or .bgeo files contain attributes such as UVs, capture weights or even shader assignments.
  • .geo/.bgeo sequences can be exported to cache geometry then imported to add effects and/or render
  • import and export industry standard geometry formats such as IGES, DXF, Wavefront™, Inventor™, PostScript™, Lightwave™, SDL™, Adobe™ fonts, TrueType™ fonts; export RIB, DXF, Wavefront™, Inventor™, VRML