This video is an overview on the creation of a digital landscape I made, called "Green Mountains". All of the necessary tools needed for the creation of "Green Mountains", which includes plant scattering, texture setup, atmosphere setup was done in Houdini and rendered in Mantra. This was the first time that I had used Houdini, as my tools for creating digital landscapes are normally Vue, PlantFactory and World Machine. I would like to share with you my process for how I created this image in Houdini.


Here, I describe the overall scene structure. I created 3 separate terrains in the scene, and scattered rocks and vegetation across the surface. This was achieved using masks. There is the water and ground elements, and atmosphere via Sky Lights and lastly some clouds.


In this video, I'll show you my setup for the terrain. I made 2 base terrains and show you how I obtained the overall shape for it - I will walk through my node network which will give you an idea of how it is like to generate your environment using Houdini's Heightfield tools. You can see how I use noise, erosion, distort, terrace, slump, and other various tools to get the shape I want. 


Here I show you the optimized setup for scattering of trees (I have 3 kinds), which is the same setup I used for scattering rocks and other vegetation. I use the pack node which turns the geometry into instances, and this significantly helps to save on memory (and performance). 


Mostly I used principled shaders to shade my scene. I used the output of the terrain masks to designate the different and specific areas I wish to shade. 


For the water, I used the Large Ocean Tool from the shelf. There were a few parameters that I changed, but not too much. I also put down a ground plane. 


Lights & Clouds

I used the Sky Light to create the sun and sky light... I made some edits to the light position. As for the clouds, I made some primitive objects and turned them into clouds and saved them as vdbs, reloaded them back to the scene, copied and positioned them till they looked nice. 

Download Scene File Here

You can download the .hip file that was used in creating this Green Mountain image here, to have a look at my scene setup.  There are some notes that you'll find in the Network Editor, where I made some sticky notes that might be of help. 


  • reelinspirations 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Nice work! This is very interesting. I would like to know more details in the materials step for creating the mountain shader. That is something I've been struggling with in my terrains.

  • jephyr 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    I will gladly dismantle your setup, all for the sake of learning of course..! :D

  • Danil Shaposhnikov 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    it`s very believable result! Great work, Aron!

  • Eagle66 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Yes, a very awesome image and setup, only the rock material doesn't work and reduces the photorealistic result. Thanks for sharing.

  • ipninichuck 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Great work. Thank you for sharing your setup. I just started working on a terrain for my UE4 work. This gave me all sorts of yummy ideas.

  • jongok woo 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Where is the geo file?

  • pateq 5 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Great work and thanks for sharing!

  • zeugen pflanzinker 5 years, 8 months ago  | 

    "This was the first time that I had used Houdini....?"

  • zeugen pflanzinker 5 years, 8 months ago  | 

    makes me feel like an idiot ....

  • OdFotan 5 years, 6 months ago  | 

    This is nice. Good job!
    If i render it i get a black render. What do i do wrong?

  • Robert Langnickel 5 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Very nice tutorial and awesome result! Which Trees, Rocks and Bushes did you use?

  • KiLa 5 years, 1 month ago  | 

    Very nice, any chance to share files where the used stones/trees/etc are included/embedded"

  • nevayeshirazi 2 years, 8 months ago  | 

    Thank you very much!

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