LAB TOOLS

Below is a list of the SideFX Labs tools broken into categories such as VFX, integrations, mesh processing and world building. You can also go to the GitHub page to get more information about each tool.

INSTALLATION                                  GITHUB

FX TOOLS

Lightning
Create sprite sheets from your animations and customise the data stored in each colour channel.
 Tutorial

Splatter Tool
Takes a mesh or volume that is animated and loops them.
 Tutorial

Niagara ROP
All-in-one HDA to extract and write out impacts, split data and interpolation data from a bullet sim to be used with the UE4 Niagara data interface.
 Tutorial

Texture Sheets
Create sprite sheets from your animations and customise the data stored in each colour channel.
 Tutorial

Make Loop 
Takes a mesh or volume that is animated and loops them.
 Tutorial

Fire Presets
Quickly generate and render fire simulations using presets for size varying from torch to small to 1m high and low
  Tutorial

Vertex Animation Textures
The Vertex Animation Textures ROP will export a mesh and textures to be used with a realtime material that can playback complex animations for cloth, rigid body destruction, fluids and particles.
 Tutorial

Destruction Cleanup
Prepare rigid body simulation results for export, reducing redundant geometry, cleaning normals, cleaning attributes.
 Tutorial

Skinning Converter
Skinning Converter is a SOP that can convert any non-changing topology deforming mesh sequence into a bone based animation.
  Tutorial

Volume to Texture
The Volume Texture tool lets you write out a texture that can be used with Ryan Brucks' volume plugin in UE4.
 Tutorial

Motion Vectors
Using the velocity field or point attribute this tool will generate 2D motion vectors which can be used to retime motion in a shader.
 Tutorial

Flowmap
This utility tool sets up a flowmap template on your input geometry.
 Tutorial

Flowmap Visualize
A high quality realtime preview of a flowmap texture in the Houdini viewport.
 Tutorial

Flowmap Obstacle
The flowmap obstacle SOP allows for easy modifications on the flowmap based on geometry.
 Tutorial

Flowmap Shader
The flowmap SHOP is a glsl based viewport shader to preview flowmap shaders.

Flowmap to Color
The flowmap to color SOP converts the flowmap data to vertex colors
 Tutorial

Impostor Camera Rig
This OBJ sets up a camera rig to be used with the Impostor Texture ROP Node.
 Tutorial

Impostor Texture
The impostor tool creates texture sheets to fake 3D objects in your game engine.
 Tutorial

Static Fracture Export
The Static Fracture SOP takes static geometry data from sop level, and separates them into newly generated geometry containers on object level

Gamedev Procedural Smoke
The procedural smoke SOP will generate an animated volume to represent smoke.

RBD Edge Strip
Create a mesh along the edge of lowpoly voronoi pieces to add detail in the texture. Ideal for realtime destruction sequences.

RBD to FBX
This tool allows for fast export of an RBD Sim to bone based FBX
 Tutorial

ROP Vector Field
Generate UE4 compatible vector fields from volumes or point clouds.
 Tutorial

ROP Volume Texture
Convert volume data into 2D texture sheets.
 Tutorial


MESH PROCESSING

AliceVision Photogrammetry
AliceVision is a Photogrammetric Computer Vision Framework which provides a 3D Reconstruction and Camera Tracking algorithms.
  Tutorial

Reality Capture 
The plugin allows you to run Reality Capture processes from within Houdini in order to streamline your mesh pipeline.
 Tutorial

ZBrush Bridge
GoZ is Zbrush's fast file transfer feature that lets you send meshes between Houdini and Zbrush seamlessly without having to deal with file paths or extensions. 
  Tutorial

Delete Small Parts
Removes pieces based on connectivity and size
 Tutorial

Delight
Remove light and shadow variation from photogrammetry textures.

Extract Filename
Utility SOP to store the filename of a file SOP as its detail attributes to be then used in other SOPs.
 Tutorial

GameRes
Full Pipeline Node to Take High Res Models to Low Res.

Games Baker
Generate Textures based on a High Poly to Low Poly match.
 Tutorial

LOD Create
The LOD Create SOP allows for easy LOD generation.

LOD Hierarchy
Create and export an LOD Hierarchy as FBX.
 Tutorial

Maps Baker
Generates textures bakes from a high resolution to low resolution model at near interactive speeds.
 Tutorial

Simple Baker
SOP Based Baking of Texture Maps.
 Tutorial

Split Primitives by Normal
Split primitives into separate outputs based on normals

Mesh Sharpen
Sharpens the geometry based on curvature


UVS

Inside Face UVs
Create UV's for inside faces of voronoi fractured geometry.

Merge Small Islands
Consolidates Small UV Islands into Larger Neighbors

UV Transfer
Transfer uv's between a source and target geometry.

UV Unitize
Converts every primitive to 0-1 UVs
 Tutorial

UV Visualize
Different methods of visualizing UV Data
 Tutorial

Auto UV
Automatically Generates UV Attributes
 Tutorial

Export UV Wireframe
Allows you to export the UV wireframe for texturing


WORLD BUILDING

Quick Tree
Creates a quick basic tree. This tool is not documented since it will soon be replaced with a more extensive tree toolset.

Road Generator
This tool will generate roads from curves, and will handle intersecting curves and create crossings automatically. A good use for the tool is with OSM data.

Wang Tiles Sample/Decoder
A sample tileset that can be used as geometry for the Wang Tiles system. Use with the Wang Tiles Decoder that decodes color information into Wang Tilesets for a grid.

2D WaveFunctionCollapse
Wave Function Collapse is a procedural generation algorithm which produces images by arranging a collection of tiles according to rules about which tiles may be adjacent to each other tile, and relatively how frequently each tile should appear.

WFC Sample Paint
The WFC Sample Paint tool allows you to interactively set values on a grid used by the WFC solver.It also sets up the required attributes in the correct way for the solver.

WFC Initialize Grid
The WFC Initialize Grid tool is a convenient way of setting up a grid to be used as the sample or output grid for the WFC Solver node. It sets up the required attributes in the correct way for the solver.

Physics Painter
Physics Painter is a SOP that allows users to paint physics objects onto any other object.
  Tutorial

Building Generator 
Convert low-resolution blockout geometry into detailed buildings using a library of user defined modules.
 Tutorial

Detail Mesh
The Detail Mesh SOP allows you to project a so called detail mesh onto template geometry.
  Tutorial

Building Generator Utility
Create base modules to use with the building generator, as well as override base module behavior.
 Tutorial

Cable Generator
Given a curve that represents the high 'pin' points and low 'sag' points of a cable, this sop will generate sagging cables, with user definable cable count, shape, colour.

Curve Branches
Scatters curves over curves, with many intuitive controls to go from clean geometric branches to organic vines. Duplicates of this sop can be chained together for recursive growth, approximating the look of L-Systems but much more controllable.

Dirt Skirt
Create a geometry 'skirt' where an object and ground plane intersect, to be used as a soft blend in a game engine.

Lot Subdivision
Divide polygons into panels

MapBox
Generate color, height and Open Street Map (OSM) curves using data provided by mapbox.com.

SciFi Panels
Example HDA from the Rebirth Project to generate Sci Fi Paneling

Snow Buildup
Adds geometry to an input mesh that mimics snow buildup

Terrain Layer Export
The terrain layer export SOP exports a heightfield with the correct settings for Unreal.

Terrain Layer Import
The terrain layer import SOP imports a heightfield with the correct settings from Unreal.

Terrain Mesh ROP
The Terrain Segment SOP allows you to convert the plugged in heightfield into geometry.
 Tutorial

Terrain Texture ROP
The Terrain Texture rop SOP renders image data from a heightfield.
 Tutorial

OSM Import
Imports Open Street Map Data
 Tutorial

OSM Buildings
Generate Buildings from OSM Data

OSM Filter
Isolates Specific OSM Data Layers


MODELING/GEOMETRY

Boxcutter
Boxcutter is an interactive viewport tool that focuses on making boolean workflows for hardsurfaces. You can simply click and drag on geometry in the viewport to boolean out shapes.

Triplanar Displace
Triplanar Displace will apply a displacement map onto your geometry using a projection from the three main axis. It will then displace your geometry.

Ruler
The Ruler tool is an nodeless viewport state for measuring distances on geometry. .
  Tutorial

Star
This node creates a simple star primitive.

Attribute Value Replace
Attribute Value Replace allows you to replace attribute values with different values.

Group by Measure
Allows for grouping geometry based on properties that can be measured.

XYZ Point Cloud
The XYZ pointcloud exporter allows you to quickly export a pointcloud to the XYZ format, which can be imported into for example Unreal Engine.

Trim Textures
This node is the interactive version of the automatic trim texture tool.The tool takes in two inputs. The left (primary) input takes in the geometry you would like to Trim.

Disc Generator
Create a disc mesh with uv's with controls for slicing and uv coverage.

Calculate Slope
Calculate the slope of a surface by comparing to a direction, and optionally blur and remap the result.

Color Adjustment 
Several Common Adjustment Operations on Vertex Colors

Color Blend
Blends Color data on 2 separate meshes based on common algorithms

Color Gradient
Generates a Vertex Color Gradient on a mesh

Curve Sweep
Sweep a profile along input curves, with simple controls for profile type, width, and twist behavior.

Cylinder Generator
Create a cylinder with uv's from a curve with controls for tapering and uv coverage.
 Tutorial

Decal Projector
Project a decal (localised piece of geometry and a texture) onto geometry.

Dissolve Flat Edges
Remove edges on flat surfaces.

Distance From Border
Calculate the distance from the edge of a surface and store it as an attribute per point.

Gamedev Edge Color
Color sharp edges on geometry

Edge Group To Curve
Converts an Edge Group to a Poly Curve.
 Tutorial

Gamedev Extract Borders
Extract curves from Meshes

Extract Silhouette
Create an outline of an object projected from one of the axes, xyz.

Path Deform
Deform geometry along a curve.

Spiral
Creates a spiral curve


INTEGRATIONS

Substance COP
The Substance Plugin for Houdini lets you load Substance Archive files into Houdini in COPs.
 Tutorial

Quad Remesher
The QuadRemesher node is a wrapper around Exoside's QuadRemesher command line interface.
 Tutorial

Rizom UV
The RizomUV Bridge is a set of 4 different SOPs that facilitate the communication between Houdini and RizomUV.
 Tutorial

Perception Neuron
Allows for streaming mocap data from Axis Studio.

Rokoko
Allows for streaming mocap data from Rokoko Studio.

FBX Archive Import
Import an FBX as an archive similar to how the Alembic Archive sop works.

3D Facebook Image
Quickly render a 3D scene to a 2.5D image that can be uploaded to Facebook.

Gamedev Align and Distribute 
Spread a collection of shapes along an axis.

DDS File
Reads in DDS (DirectDraw Surface) Files

Marmoset ROP
The Marmoset ROP allows you to quickly generate an mview inside Houdini
 Tutorial

Gaea Tor Processor 
The Gaea Tor Processor allows you to load up build .TOR files made in Gaea

Instant Meshes
a bridge tool to Instant Meshes open source quad remesher.
 Tutorial

Sketchfab Output
Uploads geometry to Sketchfab
 Tutorial

Sketchfab 
Uploads geometry to Sketchfab
 Tutorial

AliceVision Photogrammetry
The complete Alicevision photogrammetry pipeline.
 Tutorial

AliceVisionDepth Map
Retrieves the depth value of each pixel from the cameras using Alicevision.

AliceVisionInitialize
Configure which images to process using Alicevision.

AliceVisionMeshing
Creates a dense geometric surface representation of the scene using Alicevision.

AliceVisionStructure from Motion
Detects 3D points with position and orientation and calibrate the cameras accordingly using Alicevision.

AliceVisionTexturing
Texture the generated mesh using Alicevision.

AliceVision Analyze Images
Match all features between candidate image pairs using Alicevision.


IMAGES

Grid Texture COP
Generates a texture that can be used as a simple resolution checkerboard to compare texel densities with. It can also be used as a simple checker board by disabling most options on the tool.

DeMosaic COP
Converts a single mosaic (flipbook/subuv) image into a sequence of sub images based on the frame. A Flipbook image is a common technique of packing multiple frames into a single 2d image.

Blackbody COP
Helper node to generate a Blackbody ramp using the same logic as the Pyro Shader, which is slightly different than the blackbody vop.


TERRAIN

HF Combine Masks
This tool allows you to blend several named heightfield layers together using several blending modes. This reduces the number of nodes required to do these operations dramatically.

HF Insert Mask
This tool quickly allows you to insert a mask from a second heightfield into your primary heightfield. This reduces the number of steps required to perform this action by a lot, and allows more flexibility in creating your masks for Heightfields.


PDG

Cut Geometry to Partitions
This node is the TOP version of the Multi Bounding Box node. Useful for cutting up large pieces of geometry to do operations in parallel.

Filter by Value
This node is extremely useful in wedging workflows where you generate several wedges, and then want to continue working with just a select few items.

Diff Data
This node will diff data and tell you if they are identical, and if not, what the differences are between the pairs. This is extremely useful in for example regression tests.

WorkItem Import SOP
This tool simplifies the process of importing work-item data from PDG into sops. Useful for debugging work-items, but also as part of general IO for processes in PDG.


UTILITIES

Quick Tip! - Help menu
This menu item will show you a variety of curated tips submitted by the community.

Crashfile Menu 
Adds the ability to the open crashfile menu option to open a file browser that loads up the TEMP directory. Useful for when you are looking for a different file not related to the most recent one.

Reset Viewport - Help menu
Pressing this button will delete all active sceneviewers and make new copies that inherit most settings.

Sticker Picker
The sticker picker is a very simple tool that uses the built-in background image placer, but wraps a nice visual interface around it. The default set of stickers feature some of the known icons found throughout Houdini, but also allows for custom stickers you want yourself.

Dem Bones Skinning Converter
This tool is an implementation of Smooth Skinning Decomposition with Rigid Bones, an automated algorithm to extract the Linear Blend Skinning (LBS) with bone transformations from a set of example meshes.


MORE TOOLS

Axis Align
Aligns Objects based on the Bounding Box
 Tutorial

Gamedev Box Clip
Clip geometry to a resizable box region.

Calculate Occlusion
Vertex Based Ambient Occlusion Calculation.
 Tutorial

CSV Exporter
Export geometry attibutes to a CSV file.

Group Curve Corners
Creates Groups for Inside and Outside corner points

Guide Flowmap
The Guide Flowmap modifies a flowmap based on a guide curve.
 Tutorial

Mark Seams
Interactive Stashing of Edge Selections
 Tutorial

MatCap Shader
Apply a 'matcap' image to give the appearance of high quality shading at realtime framerates.

Measure Curvature
Generates Point Colors based on the Curvature of the Model

Mesh Slice
Clips the geometry into multiple submeshes based on a 3d grid pattern

Mesh Tiler
Quickly tile geometry on a planar surface.
 Tutorial

Min Max Average
Multiple Min/Max/Average Analysis in a single node

Multi Bounding Box
Generate Several Bounding Boxes For the Input Mesh

Multi File
Load several Geometry files at once.
 Tutorial

Normal Color
Simple Helper Node to generate the default Normal Color.
 Tutorial

Normal Combine
A Simple Node That Overlays 2 Normal Maps together
 Tutorial

Normal From Grayscale
Convert a Grayscale Image Into a Normal Map
 Tutorial

Normal Invert
Invert individual channels on an image
 Tutorial

Normal Levels
Adjusts black point, white point, and midrange to increase, balance, or decrease contrast on a Normal Map.
 Tutorial

Normal Rotate
Rotates a Normal Map while correcting recalculating its internal vectors
 Tutorial

Normalize Normal
Ensures the normal map is balanced in a unit vector
 Tutorial

OBJ Importer
Import an OBJ File including its materials and textures.

Octahedron Lens
This is a CVEX based Lens Shader used to generate Impostors.

PBR Shader
Physically Based Viewport Shader

PolyDeform
Warps a source mesh to match the shape of a target
 Tutorial

Quadrangulate
Simple Node to take a triangulated mesh and attempt to collapse the diagonal edges to return the mesh to a quad dominant state

Quick Material
The QuickMaterial sop is a convenience tool that allows you to very easily set up PBR materials.
 Tutorial

Remove Inside Faces
This tool removes inside faces for objects that are intersecting.

Repair
Quickly Spot Heal a Mesh

Retime
Simple Interface to Change the Timing of an animation

Sine Wave
Deforms a mesh based on a sine wave curve

Soften Normals
Soften Normals is a convenience SOP that is frequently used to prepare geometry for baking.
 Tutorial

Sphere Generator
Create a sphere with box unwrapped uv's and a vertex colour ramp.
 Tutorial

Straight Skeleton 2D
Generate the central curve (straight skeleton) for 2D input shapes.

Gamedev Straight Skeleton 3D
Generates a curve based on the internal structure of a mesh

Straighten
Orients a mesh based on UP and FRONT groups

Sweep Geometry
Fit an input object along a curve by repeating the middle section multiple times.

Thicken
Extrudes a mesh along it's averaged normals.
 Tutorial

Toon Shader
A glsl toon shader based on the Guilty Gears GDC 2015 talk.

Trace PSD File
Generates Curves from Photoshop File Layers.

Turntable
Rotates the input geometry around itself based on the timeline

Turntable Lens
This is a CVEX based Lens Shader used to generate Impostors.
 Tutorial

Unreal Pivot Painter
Pivot Painter is a SOP that stores model pivot and rotation information in the model's vertex data and additional UV channels.
 Tutorial

Vector Normalize
Fit raw RGB data between 0 and 1 and expose the min and max values.

Voxel Mesh
The Voxel Mesh SOP is a shortcut for the common VDB from Polygons > Convert VDB workflow.
 Tutorial

INSTALLATION                                  GITHUB