April 9, 2015 12:31:20
Just had a questions or at least wanted some insight.
So lets say you wanted to do a terrain with trees/rock/grass etc. I have seen how to set it up in houdini but how does the process compare to using construction script blueprint in ue4? I haven't spent a whole lot of time on ue4 but just wanted to pose the question.
I'm not asking which is better I just want see some differences between them. I am heavily interested in using the houdini engine.
April 9, 2015 16:09:26
Well, both Houdini and UE4 use node networks to assemble simple functions into complex programs - visually.
The difference is mostly in the type of nodes you have available, the power/flexibility of the system, and when/where you can actually execute these node networks.
Houdini node networks are very powerful and flexible and can be executed inside Houdini, via the Houdini command line program called HBatch, or inside a Houdini Engine (HE) instance running underneath a HE plugin such as Houdini Engine for UE4. That said, Houdini Engine for UE4 only runs in the UE4 Editor and not in a compiled/shipped game, which means you can only run those networks in Houdini while making your game in the Editor.
UE4 Blueprints, including the construction script, are more limited but are capable of running in your compiled/shipped game (and are optimized to do that).
In conclusion, you can build more complex and capable terrain generators in Houdini but they will only be able to work in the UE4 Editor at game creation time. Or, you can build simpler terrain generators using construction scripts which you can then run in your compiled/shipped game.
April 9, 2015 19:42:25
Okay so I might need a bit more clarification.
compiled/shipped game would equal finished product right?
so with that the assumption would be that with houdini engine all the adjustments could me made in UE4 editior and then once that is okay; then compile/ship game?
April 10, 2015 00:46:01
One thing to bear in mind: if you're talking about *large* landscapes, specifically large enough to walk a decent distance in rather than just an FPS level sized “landscape”, you really, really, *really* want to investigate the UE4 Landscape system (as opposed to Terrain, which is effectively obsolete and replaced by Landscape).
However, using Houdini to build things that can be “painted onto” the large-scale landscape would potentially make a great deal of sense, although getting it to really work well for the more complex algorithms might require a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of landscape materials.
For smaller stuff, on the other hand, the two end up becoming relatively similar in terms of gross organization (placement of items); anywhere that it is a wash, you probably want UE4 blueprints simply because it understands how to cook them more efficiently (among other things).
However, UE4 has very little concept of anything beyond the basic functions for building procedural materials; Houdini has a large advantage there.
April 10, 2015 01:00:58
I see so not so effective unless large and colossal. or at least that is how it is being presented.
A lot of experimentation is going to be needed I suppose. Have to think beyond terrains. Wish I could see a more concrete example for shaders/lights.
April 13, 2015 00:41:16
I do not think it has to be limited to large and colossal. I think a good example can be seen on Kim Goosens road generator (circa 2007) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOLhnwllpgs
The thing to remember about houdini is because, ultimately, it is a full fledge 3D app, you have access to a lot of functionality that unreal may not support as their main focus, in a very general fashion (i.e. is not a road building tool, or a terrain building tool, but just a lot of puzzle pieces to make your own tool)
here is another example of an application in unity: http://www.indieprotools.com/videos/