Building A Procedural Truss Support System In SideFX Houdini

A beginner's tutorial covering how to create a procedural truss support model in SideFX Houdini. Brought to you by Tobias Steiner, 3D Visual Effects Artist and owner of FrameHaus LLC in Las Vegas, NV.


  • bobc4d 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

    nice beginner tutorial for procedural modeling, great example

    • Tobias Steiner 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

      Thank you Bob. Glad you found it useful.

  • anon_user_75466869 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

    I appreciate this very didactic tutorial, I followed it and I was well, as I am a beginner some single new tools I found to advance : )

  • Tobias Steiner 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

    My apologies that you found this didactic Alfredo. First time I've ever been insulted for giving a tutorial lol. It was certainly not my intention to be didactic as you put it but to simply help others new to Houdini. I'll have to revisit what I did here and see how it comes off as condescending and drawn out. Thanks for the feedback.

  • anon_user_75466869 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Tobias, I love sidefx and I am an apprentice, just I going 5 months studying : )
    you do not think bad please, it's excellent, you helped me to advance a little more in tools, believe me, do not think that the "didactic" word is offensive, it's all positive, I find it very interesting and that's because I followed and did this tutorial fast : )

    it's very interesting work from you, and it's excellent for me, really !.

    • Tobias Steiner 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

      Oh ok. I think the word didactic threw me off a bit. It's meaning has more of a negative implication. No worries. I'm glad you found the tutorial helpful and I hope you are enjoying Houdini!

  • olinone 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Is there a specific reason you use the "copy stamp" to place the pot lights? I found that using a "copy to points" node avoids the workflow impediment you mention about the selection not being correctly propagated when changed.

  • Tobias Steiner 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Habit really. There's usually 8 different ways to do any one task in Houdini lol. Your method is totally valid. In this case I thought the copy stamp was the better option for a beginner to see because it more closely resembles "clone" tools in other systems where all transforms are accessible in one place. Typically I will create an Attribute Wrangle and build controls for fine tuning (eg, randomness, etc) but that's more for intermediate or advanced users. This was intended for new users.

    • olinone 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

      Yes, it is interesting that copy to points maintains the group name, and copy stamp does not. Given the complexity of Houdini, consistency among those things can go a long way. I hope they do address that eventually. Perhaps there is a good reason it uses the point indices explicitly but it is not obvious to me what that would be. Thanks for the tutorial, by the way. It was well done and easy to follow. Neither too fast nor too slow, and you can't beat the price :)

  • rafael_drelich 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Hey Tobias, thx for the tutorial. As a beginner, this tutorial gave me tons of insights. I generated some iterations playing with the parameters. You can check it here
    Unfortunately when using the carve node to animate the "growth" Houdini's crashes, especially with the tutorial shape. Others it kind fail to render when near the origin. Anyways, thx for the awesome tutorial!

    • Tobias Steiner 6 years, 3 months ago  | 

      Those are great! Glad you found it useful. What version of Houdini are using and perhaps you could link your project file? I'd be happy to take a look for you.

  • jorman 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Houdini suddenly uses a lot of ram and stalls when I move the center curve point. Or whenever moving the carve.
    OS: Windows 10 Pro
    i9 7920X, GTX 1080 ti
    16GB 4333MHz Ram.
    Has to be a software bug.

  • jorman 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    When I turn off 'Cache Straight Skeleton' in polyexpand it seems to help.

  • Ivo van Roij 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Hey Tobias, thanks for the tutorial. Fun to watch. One small note on your system, when you use the copy or copy to point nodes, why are you selecting the array, rather than the group? You could actually select the group (bottom input) when you click the small triangle for template group inputs, or you could actually just copy the name from the group by range node. This is one of the strengths of proceduralism, and it's kind of bothering me that you didn't use it. Also, I would advise using an actual output node, rather than creating a nullnode and naming it output. The cool thing when creating an output node rather than a null node is that, even when not visualised (blue flag), it will always show this node when going back up to the object level.

  • eoinobroin 5 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Amazing tutorial, thank you!

  • Scara 4 years, 5 months ago  | 

    Thank you. Nice and clear.

Please log in to leave a comment.