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Capture is Houdini’s method to create weights for skin deformation, which uses index-pair attributes. This works by creating and painting weights using the Joint Capture nodes and applying a Joint/Bone Deform node as the final output to view the result.

Capture differs from other 3D software that performs weight creation and deformation in one step. This added layer allows you to procedurally skin geometry, use Houdini’s extensive node networks, and work in a non-destructive workflow.

Data Format

Capture uses single index-pair attributes known as packed attributes and array attibutes known as unpacked attributes.

Packed Attributes

The Index Pair attribute stores all the meta-data as a single attribute. This makes it convenient to move and alllows support for blending and merging captured geometry. The disadvantage is it’s not practical to manipulate.

Unpacked Attributes

Array attributes consists of a group of detail and point attributes. The unpacked attributes makes it easier to manipulate with VEX which can then be repackaged into a packed attribute using the Capture Attribute Pack SOP.

Associated Nodes

To edit, paint, and attach capture geometry, you can use the following SOP nodes:

  • The Joint Capture Biharmonic SOP lets you create capture weights on geometry that is deformed by the Joint Deform SOP. It provides a high-level setup for using Bone Capture Biharmonic by internally building the required tetrahedral mesh.

  • The Joint Capture Paint SOP lets you paint capture weights on geometry interactively.

  • The Attach Joint Geometry SOP lets you attach joint geometry to influence the Capture result of Biharmonic cpaturing. This can be more efficient to only using joint position based biharmonic capturing and purely painting weights. It also gives you more control to influence areas per joint.

  • The Capture Mirror SOP lets you mirror your weights on one half of a characters to the other half.

  • The Capture Packed Geometry SOP lets you set a joint to control an entire piece of geometry. This is mainly used for rigidly deformed parts of a character.

  • The Joint Capture Proximity SOP provides a starting point to further paint on geometry that is not fully closed using the Capture Layer Paint SOP.

  • The Joint Deform SOP works in conjunction with Joint Capture nodes to deform geometry.

  • The Bone Deform SOP works in conjunction with Bone Capture nodes to deform geometry.

  • The Capture Attribute Pack SOP lets you take a set of array attributes and uses a naming convention to turn it into a single index pair attribute.

  • The Capture Attribute Unpack SOP lets you take an index-pair attribute and converts it into a set of array attributes by a naming convention.

How to

You can learn more about how to Create weights with capture geometry shapes on its documentation page.

You can learn more about painting capture weights and its brushes on the Joint Capture Paint SOP node page.


Preparing rig inputs

Procedural Rigging




Animation Retargeting

KineFX 19.5 functionality