Houdini Engine for Unreal - Version 2

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Hi,

@dpernuit : With wich version of Unreal the HoudiniEngine v2 will be available ?

Thanks,
Mathieu Audrain
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Hi,

At first, it'll likely be limited to 4.25 / 4.24.
We'll be doing the same thing with v2 than we do with v1, which is supporting the latest two versions of UE4.

I'll try my best to port v2 to earlier versions of UE4, so that studios locked to a previous version of UE can at least use a version of v2.
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Hi @dpernuit, Will there be support for using Unreal Geometry (The editable geometry primitives in unreal) as an operator input in V2?
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Hi, if you're talking about BSP brushes, then yes, in v2, world input will be able to import geometry from Brush actors.
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March is coming up,finnaly!!!!
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Would really like to be able to adjust the value of Houdini Asset Parameters in blueprint.

Currently, I need to adjust the First and Second U values from a carve node once the asset is in houdini. Even being able to do this from the level sequencer would be a huge help for my project right now.

Any idea when a beta version of v2 will be released?

Thanks,
Philippe
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How can I generate AssetUserData or Custom User property from Houdini (like DataSmith UserData, which I can use in realtime - read some value from mesh).
For now only Datasmith meshes can store Metadata and use it in realtime? Very powerful.
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Hi,

Just about to start a project using Houdini Engine and UE4, but given how close this is to estimated dates, makes sense for me to hold off. Is there somewhere we can subscribe to be notified upon beta availability?

Cheers,

Alan.
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April is coming…
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Yeah, would be nice to know if it's on track (well, clearly not for the March part of the estimate), though would be great to hear an update with revised estimates.
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schmutza
Yeah, would be nice to know if it's on track (well, clearly not for the March part of the estimate), though would be great to hear an update with revised estimates.

Thank you all for your kind patience with the upcoming V2 plugin. We know you have been waiting for it eagerly for quite some time.

It has been a longer road than anticipated: some urgent Houdini priorities in early 2019, unexpected UE4 issues we had to work around, other matters inherent to the software process, plus the time it took to staff up with great people (our UE4 team has doubled since last year). These reasons have contributed to the stretched timeline, but I’m happy to say that we are finally only a couple of weeks away from Alpha.

Our framework and feature goals for the initial release of V2 are largely in place, with a few expected to trickle in throughout Alpha. As you likely know, this has been a complete rewrite, driven by your requests. Hopefully you will recognize many of your RFEs in this initial V2 release, with many to follow. R&D are 100% focused on the project and responding fast to the feedback coming from internal testing. Your turn is coming shortly.

As to milestones, our aim is to stay reasonably in sync with our next Houdini release: Beta in early Q3 and Release in Q4. The only reason I state the targets this broadly is that we need to do more testing before we can reliably assess the stability and feature readiness of the software. As you can imagine, it’s been a lot of heads down in R&D until now, but in the next few weeks the landing strip will become much more clear.

Cristin B
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Hi Cristin,

Great news, thanks very much for the visibility. Helps a lot in making decisions for adoption.

Cheers,

Alan.
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I have the need to spawn a TON of (simple) blueprints and set a specific exposed variable based on the point's attribute value, generated through an HDA in UE4.

I have not figured out if it's possible with the current version of HE UE4, did I miss something? Am I able to read attributes through HE in UE4, and then set BP variables? Can I work around this somehow (like write a script in UE4 editor to find all point attributes (can you even read attribute in UE4?) and then set the appropriate BP instance's variable)?

It seems like this is something that will be included in V2 of the plugin, based on the questions mentioned in this thread so far.

Looking forward to testing this out!

PS: Civil engineer utilizing Houdini/UE4 to develop visualizations/simulations of large scale construction projects delivered via packaged “games” or rendered videos/stills. Any other engineers doing this stuff out there?
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@ReadyVIS_Houdini: So I've just tried doing that in V2, and it works:

Version2 has the ability to apply generic uproperty attributes (unreal_uproperty_NAME) per instance when the attribute is set on points.
Per-instance attributes can only be applied either when using MeshSplitInstancer (which creates individual components per instance) or when instancing assets that need actors (BP, particle systems etc…).
Since BP variables are UProperties, they can also be modified via those unreal_uproperty attributes.
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@dpernuit: Will the generic uproperty per instance on points in V2 you are talking about allow us to set a material for one of the materials (there might be multiple) on an instanced static mesh per point?

I currently have a situation where I have a car that has two main materials, a paint and a glass. I have created multiple variations of the paint material with different colors and graphics to have a decent set of car variations.

I can currently scatter a bunch of points on the hou side and instance the existing static mesh on them with the “unreal_instance” point attr, but I can't use the “unreal_material” attribute to change the material for each instance. I can't figure out an efficient way to control the material per point at the moment.

The only way I seem to be able to do it currently is making a duplicate static mesh with the other material on it and point at that with some of the instancing points, but that means the geo is duped for each variant. I also can make a bp with the static mesh, change to the material variant and point at that, but that changes how the instancing happens creating tons of actors and is much slower to create manually and in the editor to scatter. I am currently using the “unreal_split_instance” to force individual actors anyway, but I still can't affect which material is on them per point.

I would love to see the ability to change the material in each material slot per instance. In other words if the “unreal_material” worked per point when instancing and allowed you to specify which slot. That way I could just have one car mesh and several paint materials and set them appropriately on the points.

Sorry if I am missing some existing way to do it, but I tried several different ways without success. Let me know if you want more details or if I should submit a feature request.

-bk
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@briankulig that's an Unreal instance system limitation. You should build a custom shader in Unreal that uses a special node that gives a random number per instance. You can use that to randomize between different ways the material will look.
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@DASD Thanks for the reply, but I am not looking to -randomize- material assignments, I want to artistically -control- them hou side. I am setting up a system for doing level design on the houdini side. So imagine painting where a desert and a forest environment are and using material variants to reuse geometry but still show a transition between the two.

And as far as building it into the shader… I don't want to shift the heavy lifting into realtime. Even if it were easy to build a shader with multiple variants inside it (it's not a feasible workflow, we are talking several variants and lots of assets and sorta reinventing the wheel since unreal already has material instances) I wouldn't want to. It would be inefficient. I would rather do one of the workarounds that I mentioned.. but those also come with drawbacks as well.

And what I am talking about is only partially an unreal limitation. Yes, the HierarchicalInstancedStaticMesh component does have that limitation. But I am splitting the instances anyway, so they are actors once they are baked down to a bp and before that they are a HoudiniAssetComponent. So I assume that might be more flexible.

Seemed like a fair ask, given dpernuit was discussing per point uproperties anyway. I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask, I was part of the thread that spawned “unreal_material” as an attribute (as were you), just hoping to get that per instance point. Sidefx has always been awesome about taking feedback.

From what he said it's possible v2 would already make that possible as long as you change the material as a uproperty. I am currently implementing a workaround, so I thought I would ask. If it does I will just pause that part until v2 is available.

-bk
Edited by briankulig - April 11, 2020 00:46:42
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Now I see your point. I thought you intended to have different materials on one instance static mesh component. My suggestion would allow you to do that using standard Unreal node-based material creation, but as you said it would be not possible to control that.
I would go with the “duplicate variants” with separate ism components solution, if each variant is placed many times. And separate placements otherwise.

I am not sure, but there might be a way to bake one mesh and use it with different material assignments, without making it a Blueprint. I guess this is what you were asking for in the first place.
I think your request makes sense, but there is maybe a question of how exactly it should work on Houdini and and Unreal side.
Edited by DASD - April 11, 2020 08:54:11
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Really excited for this!!
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Hi sesi, from my own experimentation i've found thay input curves could use some love.

1. Firstly, when i create an asset with a curve input. I found that the v1 h engine crashes when you delete the pre provided curve points and then try to undo the deletion.

2. I would like to be able to more easily draw, delete and move curve points.

Such as, the ability to teleport a selected curve point with a hotkey to the geometry currently under the mouse pointer.

3. The ability to ctrl click (or any other command hotkey), to rapidly place new points, like in houdini.

4. The ability to add new points to the middle of a curve with hotkeys.

5. The ability to clear a curve and then be able to immediately draw new points.

6. Include the ability to support only singular points as a valid input.
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