Houdini Isn't Scary | Part 4 | Rendering Setup
Welcome back to Houdini Isn't Scary - Part 4: Lights, Camera, Icing. In this tutorial, we are going over the setting up of a render. 'Rendering' is the process of taking our objects and creating an output. That output in this case is an image.
When we render in Houdini, we are basically taking a picture of the objects in our scene (the donut, icing and sprinkles). Much like in real life, you cannot take a picture unless you have a camera and your camera is useless unless there is light. In Houdini we create lights and a camera. However, something else that comes into play is the way that the actual objects interact with light. Objects are gold, pink, black, white, rough, glossy, metallic, see-through etc... We need to do this in Houdini as well. For this, we create materials.
These materials control the way our objects look. We control all of the needed settings for our materials by using a shader. A shader is a system that controls how light shades an object. In Houdini, we generally use the Principled Shader. This is a shader that is meant to be intuitive and simple because it has been cut down to its basics. However, it strives to be realistic in the way it represents objects. Simply, we don't have to do any complicated math as to how light bounces or interacts with an object, we can just set some parameters and the Principled Shader does the rest. It also comes with presets. You want glass? Use the glass preset. You want gold paint? Use the gold paint preset. You want anything else? You can make it yourself with little difficulty.
Finally, once we have all of that, we can render our scene. In the next part, we will see how to save the renders to disk. We will also cover what are known as ROPS. They have their own extra settings that we can configure which change the way the render comes out.