In this overview video, we step through the basic workflow of adding muscles to an animated creature and applying them as a skin deformer. This particular workflow does not require any dynamics simulation. We start by creating simple muscle forms using Houdini’s Muscle Tool Shelf. We’ll learn how to adjust shape and placement, attach them to your character rig, and how to enable automatic secondary animation (jiggle). Finally, we’ll look at how the shelf tools easily set up your muscles as a skin deformer leveraging Houdini’s Muscle Displace operator.

Muscles in Houdini are versatile, easy to use, interconnected tools. Houdini’s muscle system has been designed to serve both FEM (dynamics simulations) and non-FEM (skin deformer) workflows while using a unified set of digital assets. With the foundational information presented in this video, you’ll be ready to rig up a creature with simple muscles and you’ll be prepared to take the next steps: creating custom muscles, and using muscles in simulations with Houdini’s Tissue System.