Render WebGL in Houdini

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Joined: May 2020
Hi all - I have a bit of a strange ask. I am trying to use Houdini to script a website running WebGL.

The use case for this is to keyframe an animation going through a Cesium point cloud (or Mapbox GL instance) with some animated objects (obj or fbx) for a video render.

Here's my initial test, in Observable:

Because the map tooling in the browser is much better than the tooling in Houdini (Labs Mapbox can only output as a flat image, with a heightfield, as opposed to dynamic moving labels and streets), I'm starting to try and implement timelines and node based tooling, but I'd rather leverage all the workflows from Houdini. My thought is that maybe I could output the timing as MIDI or OSC as a bridge to the browser, but that also sorta feels ugly. I'd like to just try and grab the textures or buffers and then use Houdini.

The downside of this approach is that the rendering story in Houdini is much better than in WebGL. WebGL just wasn't designed for this kind of thing - it's slower and doesn't have as many nice compositing / lighting features. Plus I'd have to build it all custom.

Any pointers? Thanks!
Edited by akre54 - June 9, 2022 09:28:55
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