Houdini 19.5 Nodes VOP nodes

Physical Lens Core VOP node

The stripped down version of the physical lens.

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Since 19.0


This is the core version of the Physical Lens node, which allows for powerful control over the core functionality of the full physical lens. It also provides an easier way to implement your own lens shader.

Intended usage

The physical lens core cannot act as a lens shader as is since it isn’t a CVEX shader. It’s intended usage is as a building block in a CVEX Shader Builder.

For an example of it’s usage simply place down a Physical Lens node and set the “Allow Editing of Contents” option in the drop down menu. This will make it possible to see the insides of the node and see the Physical Lens Core in use.

About time offset and time scale

The Time offset and Time scale parameters may be hard to understand.

  • In a lens shader, “time” is a value representing the current point in the shutter time (from 0.0, shutter opening, to 1.0, shutter closed).

  • Time offset is the base time, so if you have a time offset value of 0.5 and a time scale of 0, the image will have no motion blur as it will just display the state of all objects half way through the shutter period.

  • Time scale is how much randomness (blurriness) is added to the Time offset. In camera terms, time scale is how long the sensor is exposed to light.

  • You can use time offset to determine when in the shutter period the virtual camera sensor starts imaging, and time scale to determine how long it images for.


Forwarded Coordinates

Use Forwarded Coords

A toggle to determine whether to use the forwarded coordinates forwarded_x and forwarded_y or to calculate them using the Karma inputs.

Tint and Exposure


Adds a color tint to the output. You can use numbers greater than 1.0 to (unrealistically) brighten the image.

Tint Texture Map

Effectively multiplies this texture map over the output image.


An exponential scale for the brightness of the image.

A linear scale for the brightness of the image.


An amount to darken the image around the edges. Because this is physically based, it is relative to the camera’s field of view. Alternatively, you can use the Tint texture map to get full control over darkening parts of the image.

Tilt X

The number of degrees to tilt the plane of focus by in the X direction (around the camera’s Y axis).

Tilt Y

The number of degrees to tilt the plane of focus by in the Y direction (around the camera’s X axis).

Tilt and Shift

Shift X

The distance (in Houdini world units) to shift the lens in the X direction.

Shift Y

The distance (in Houdini world units) to shift the lens in the Y direction.


Karma Lens Shader Inputs



















Bokeh and Distortion


The offset, or jitter, for the ray’s origin. When this is set to be samples from a 2D distribution, the bokeh will match the shape of the distribution.


An offset for the ray direction’s Z value. This can be used to manipulate the curvature of the lens as it changes the direction of the ray. A value of 1.0 results in the ray being shot horizontally from the camera, and a value of 0.0 results in no change. Negative values can be also be input and they will point rays closer to the center of the lens.


The normal of the curvature, this is an optional input when using the Curvature Offset parameter. Some curvature distortions may have an easily calculated normal which can be used to better estimate chromatic aberration through the distorted lens.

NOTE: This is only used when refracting rays in chromatic aberration, it can be ignored if chromatic aberration is not in use.


The index of refraction, eta, for the lens and given ray. This is used for chromatic aberration by refracting the given ray by the Curvature Normal and the Index of Refraction.



  1. id: toffset

The time offset of the shutter time. This determines when in the shutter time the ray will be sent, see understanding time offset and scale above for more information.


A base scale on the shutter time. Basically, this affects how blurry the image is, however see understanding time offset and scale above for more information. For rolling shutter effects time scale must be quite small, otherwise the rolling shutter will not be visible.








See also

VOP nodes