Paul Ambrosiussen


About Me

United States

Paul Ambrosiussen is currently a Technical Artist and Game Tools Developer at SideFX Software. He finished his BASc in International Game Architecture and Design at NHTV University of Applied Sciences in Breda. Paul enjoys writing tools to support effective art-pipelines, and maintaining tool / workflow quality for the artists he is assisting. His goal is to help others create amazing things in a better, faster and more flexible way. He creates tutorials, gives live lectures, attends events, and presents custom workshops to customers.


My Talks

obj-image GDC
Game Development Made Easy Using Houdini
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Rapid Level Creation for Unity Mobile
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Baking Texture & Masking Maps at Lightspeed!
obj-image Twitch
Quixel's Rebirth: World Building with Houdini & UE4

My Tutorials

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Game Tools | Maps Baker
obj-image Intermediate
Alicevision Plugin
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Game Tools | Detail Mesh
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Lens Shaders for GameDev
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Game Tools | Marmoset Toolbag ROP
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Game Tools | Static Fracture Export

Recent Forum Posts

weird normal baking results Sept. 3, 2019, 6:17 p.m.


I think I was experiencing too similar results when I was experimenting with these baking tools.

ps. what version of the gamedev tools do you have?
My simple baker node is bugged and gives me some python error.

I'm using 1.173

Did you find any solution?

This is still happening in a new scene with different geo.

Hey, try changing the Tracing Mode parameter to “Surface Based”. The reason you see those weird streaks, is because its looking for the nearest collision surface, which might not be directly above or below your lowpoly. (Like a valley or a peak). See my talk if you want to more information why: []

PS: Once you do change the mode, set the Max Trace Distance to something high enough since your objects are huge in the scene. (Landscapes are 1000x1000 units by default)

Hope that helps!

Game Tools | Maps Baker July 10, 2019, 1:14 p.m.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your answer that's helpful, this is exactly what i'm looking for.

I open your hip file and when I click bake, it's not working on my houdini ( 17.5.173 Apprentice )
Maybe because my GameDev Maps Baker is still in Beta:
I'm on the 1.173 release, should I try the 1.183 version?

Actually I made the same process on a new scene with a cube and a blue sphere.

If I merge the black cube with the blue sphere then connect it to high resolution geometry input,
my color channel is only with the black color.

When I only connect the blue sphere to the high res input, I got my blue sphere on the color bake channel but it's not correct as you can see on the screenshot.

What is the difference between merging the black cube and the blue sphere instead of just connecting the blue sphere to High Res Input?

Secondly, is there a way to have an antialiased color baking ? You can see the second screenshot with a 512 map.
Without antialiasing it's not super sexy to show to my boss and for a production.

My pipeline is to generate masks for substance or mari.

Thanks again for your help,

As for why it isn't working.. Probably because I set the resolution too high. Apprentice can't render at that resolution.

The reason you need to plug in the black mesh is due to how the tracing logic works. It basically casts a ray outwards from your lowpoly mesh surface, and then back inwards. The back inwards part will therefore either hit the cube (when merged in), or the sphere (when not plugged in). I will add cage mesh support at some point, preventing you from having to do that. For now, what I can do is expose the distance of that ray. Please file an RFE here: [] Same goes for anti-aliasing.

PS: Apprentice is not meant to be used in production.

Game Tools | Maps Baker July 9, 2019, 4:33 p.m.

Dear friends,

I'm looking for help:
I'm using houdini Apprentice and trying to find a process to generate diffuse/albedo baking.
If the baking part is ok we should be ok for a houdini production

I'm used to work on softimage then i'm a little confused now.

Here is the point:
I make a cube in a empty scene. Adding a Blue Sphere then using a sop maps baker .
- on the cube I put auto UV and normals plus a black color point .
- on the sphere i put a blue constant shader plus a red color point.

my wish is to bake the blue sphere on the cube, with a correct antialiasing as I want to use it as a mask for generate and create others stuff in substance.
or at this point I just get color point channel but it's not antialiased .
when I check diffuse , I only get a pink picture without any informations.

Could you help me on the good process ? Did I missed something?

Kind Regards ,


Pink means that it couldn't find a texture. This tells me you were trying to render the diffuse map instead of vertex color
See image for how I achieved (what I think) you want. I also attached a .hip for your convenience.