Houdini is best known for its node-based workflow which makes it easy to step back and make changes. Everything you do in Houdini is recorded into nodes that are connected into networks that provide a history of your decisions that can be revised, rewired and shared with colleagues.

While many applications create construction history stacks or build complex dependency graphs, they often offer only limited control. These systems either define a linear history or they use intricate parameter-based connections that must be managed via scripting. In Houdini, nodes are organized into nested hierarchies that are easy to manage and because connections are generalized, it is easy to swap out, rewire and even branch off to explore new ideas.

The most important thing this video shows is that the ability to work with these nodes is interactive and friendly and can be easily accomplished by artists. While Houdini 9 provides many viewport-centric tools that let you work directly with your 3D shapes, you will soon be looking to the nodes and networks to further explore and manage the results.

At the end of the video, the nodes is encapsulated into a single node then turned into a Houdini Digital Asset. Parameters can be promoted from inside the asset to create a high-level interface and then shared with other people. You will see how a custom tool can be built using interactive methods that do not require any programming.

Important: The Copy tool as shown in this video was not working in the initial H9 Public beta release. There is now a Copy to Points tool that has the same icon as the tool in the video that now works as shown in the video. 



Robert Magee is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at SideFX who has been working with Houdini for 20 years. He has created lots of learning material and demos designed to help artists understand how going procedural with Houdini can benefit their work.

More from Robert Magee


  • howiem 6 years, 7 months ago  | 

    The copyToPoints tool does not seem to work as expected in this video - it doesn't let you do the Stamping thing. If you replace the copyToPoints node with a Copy Stamp node instead, it can be wired in the same way and everything then works OK.

  • rmagee 6 years, 7 months ago  | 

    There is another node called Copy Stamp that will do this - you just need to replace the existing Copytopoints node with a copy stamp node. You can get it in the network editor.

  • Xonex 6 years, 2 months ago  | 

    useless tutorial.. beginner level and the program doesnt have right buttons and he just cruises on

  • masterlvl999 5 years, 1 month ago  | 

    good start of just getting know of Houdini

  • papon 4 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Great Quick Intro.

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