Boolean Modelling Resources for Houdini

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Hi everyone, I’m a newbie to houdini and I’m interested in playing around with boolean based modelling. I was really looking forward to working with boolean tech in houdini, but the cookie node, while being really close to what I’m looking for, is giving me some trouble.

The trouble is mostly in how penetrated polygons don’t appear to recalculate their edge ordering inside the cookie node, this makes using cookie’d geometry in further calculations a bit challenging. Trying to bevel the edge of an insertion, for example, tends to react strangely, as does anything involving subdivision surfaces.

Are there any resources on boolean modelling in Houdini or am I just going to have to fiddle around with it until I find something workable?
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I'm no expert on modeling in Houdini, but in general Booleans works poorly in all polygon modeling tools. 3ds Max boolen is flaky, Mayas modeling is flaky.

So basically I would only use booleans if I absolutely have to and then I would expect it to be unpleasant
/Andreas
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Boolean is (sadly) not a very good way to go. Its quite unstable…
Try using Clip where applicable.

If it has not to be procedural check out Modo and Mesh Fusion. Probably the best thing in that area so far.
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I think it always need a lot of works on retopo after boolean, deleting some polygons, re-connecting some edges, flipping some normals, a lot of “band saws”, “multi cuts”, bevels, and so on. I believe those are not the advantages of Houdini.
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One way to get around the shortcomings with booleans would be to try the openVDB workflow.

I've attached a Hip file with an example if you want to check it out.

Attachments:
VDB_booleanExample_v001.hip (81.1 KB)

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Thanks everyone,

I'm aware of the general flakiness of Boolean implementations. I'm of the opinion that we have a chicken and the egg problem regarding Boolean modelling. The tools are flaky, so nobody uses them, which means that nobody fixes the tools, which means that nobody uses them etc. etc.

The area where they're usually messy is in the resulting topology. They might give you an approximation of what you want, but the meshes that they create are nearly unusable.

I'm using the indie version of houdini so I don't think I can open your hip file dnaulin, do you know of any videos or documents describing the workflow?
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You can open every hip file it does not depend on Houdini version. I do not think that boolean in Houdini is so much different than in any other program. Can you show what you want to achieve?
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Zach Hall
Thanks everyone,

I'm aware of the general flakiness of Boolean implementations. I'm of the opinion that we have a chicken and the egg problem regarding Boolean modelling. The tools are flaky, so nobody uses them, which means that nobody fixes the tools, which means that nobody uses them etc. etc.

SideFx has been activity renewing the modelling tools, and viewport interaction too, Bevel is slated to be released soonish, whilst polyknit, booleans and perhaps curve should be also refreshed by years end we would hope!

Overall it has been working out pretty well but needs some more polish in areas such as subd work.
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You can open it but it will be changed to a hipnc file when you do, which shouldnt be a problem in this case.

I'm using Houdini version 15.0.244.16
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there are ways of getting around retopoing. there's some smooth edge shader someone wrote a while back that I used to have, but I can't find it.
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I'm totally Looking forward to the tool improvements.

A neat trick with the clip tool, is to use its group parameter so that it only affects the relevant area.
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