Layers not showing up when importing digital asset for terrain

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Hello, I was having quite a bit of difficulty setting up a landscape material from my Houdini Digital asset that I imported into UE4. I am using Houdini Indie 16.5.311, UE 4.18.1 and my operating system is windows 10. I cannot figure out why the layers are not showing up when I apply the material. My understanding is that the digital asset automatically creates them as the layers and you can just give them the proper name in the material. To test this I made a very simple demonstration of how I think this works based on my research. I added the time shift node so that my frame being used in the asset should hold values other than 0. I included a heightfield quick shade to show that the layers do exist in houdini. Any ideas on what might be wrong?

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Got a screenshot of the landscape in UE with the ‘Paint’ tool selected, you should have your ‘water’, ‘debris’, … layers in there.
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Hi,

Your setup seems fine, the landscape layer should be imported with the hda.

One thing that can remove them, is if the mask/layers are “empty” (all to the same value), which in your case might happen if you're at the first frame.

Using the timeshift node, I suggest you set its frame value to a fixed one instead of $F, as HDA will always have $F set to 1 (remove the keyframe by ctrl-clicking on the frame param, and set a number there).

You can also promote the frame parameter to the asset, and control it in UE4.

In UE4, as daveREspawn suggested, the layers should show in the landscape tab with the paint tool selected.
You can also use the Layer Debug visualizer in the viewport to see them.
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I've been having the same issue here. The landscape is being generated but without any sign of the extra layers, debris in my case. I see no sign of the layers when the landscape painting tool is activated, I have a layer blend node with ‘debris’ as the name of the weight to use but there's no effect from it.

It feels like the extra layers aren't being imported at all. I have a time shift set to frame 20.

edit: okay I deleted a bunch of the extra layers that I wasn't using and this time around it looks like the import worked and I'm seeing water and debris after nuking flow maps, mesa and cliff that were hanging around from previous operations. It looks terrible due to low resolution and I'll probably end up baking out the various layers anyway but at least I got it working :-)
Edited by Simon van de Lagemaat2 - Jan. 20, 2018 17:45:58
Simon van de Lagemaat
owner the Embassy VFX
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Hi Simon,

So even with the timeshift set to 20, the layers were not showing up?
You shouldn't have to nuke other layers to have other show up… was there any errors/warning in the logs?

Would you be able to send us your hda so I can have a look?
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Hello,


Getting back to this problem and found out something interesting. I found an example HDA and it does import with all the layers being created. Which leads me to suspect there must be some sort of “gotcha” type thing going on here for those of us having trouble. I have narrowed it down to some sort of problem with the time shift. I attempted to set the frame as a parameter, but every time I attempt to change it to something other than the first frame the value does not stay where I set it but reverts back to one. This has to be a mistake on my part when setting up the HDA. As stated I found a sample file on that was posted, but sadly I am too new to Houdini to quite understand what I am doing wrong so far. I am including the HDA, maybe someone has an idea? Also, after I finally get this working I hope to put out a small tutorial video showing this process so we can get these “gotcha's” to a wider audience to make things easier on everyone. This Houdini Engine is something really great, and I hope to help it spread in popularity.

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Hi,

I had a look at your HDA, the issue is simple:
Frame on the timeshift is exposed as a parameter in the hda, but by default, when creating the node, its value set as an expression to $F ( to see it, right click on frame > Toggle expression )

Removing the keyframe on the frame parmeter will allow you to set the Frame value to a fixed one.
(either ctrl click on frame, or right click > channels and keyframes > Remove keyframe)
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BINGO!!! Thank you dpernuit so much! My layers all came through once I changed the expression to a set frame using the method you described above. I just joined the Houdini Meetup Group in Orange County and plan on sharing this with them soon so i'll let you know if I get a chance to make a tutorial that shows this little gotcha since it seems to have tripped up quite a few people along the way. Btw, thx again for answering our posts so diligently. I will do my best to help others along the way as well.
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Hi,

Good to hear that.
I'll update the note regarding erosion/timeshift in the docs to mention this, as you're not the first one to have the issue.
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dpernuit
Hi Simon,

So even with the timeshift set to 20, the layers were not showing up?
You shouldn't have to nuke other layers to have other show up… was there any errors/warning in the logs?

Would you be able to send us your hda so I can have a look?

I'll try it again with another landscape to make sure I wasn't mucking something up as I'm new to this process.

My thought was that somehow one of the layers was empty or incompatible even though my time shift was properly set to a later frame. Either way it's working now.
Simon van de Lagemaat
owner the Embassy VFX
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