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The Stacking tool makes it possible to quickly populate your environment with stacked objects. In this lesson, learn how to create an asset stacker that can scan your scene then pack the chosen assets into a predefined volume. Learn how to work with Unreal’s data tables, use Houdini’s UV packer for geometry, set up vertical stacking with feedback loops and add in simulation to settle the assets.

Project Titan is an in-house tech demo designed to production test Houdini's procedural workflows while creating a 3D environment that leverages the latest technologies in Unreal. Click Here to learn more.



Thomas is a Sr Technical Artist at Unity Technologies. His goal is to smooth out art pipelines and create seamless transitions between DCC's with Houdini tools.

More from Thomas Tobin


  • ztyqaz111 3 months ago  | 

    Great job!

  • 360482208 3 months ago  | 

    Nice!!!!Great job!

  • paveltsyupra 3 months ago  | 

    Awesome tutorial!
    Thank you

  • Ferdinand13 2 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Hi Thomas, thanks for the tutorial. Super-basic question though, which version of Unreal and Houdini (that includes the version of Houdini Engine) are you using for this? As far as I can tell this is UE5, but there doesn't seem to be an official release for Hengine for that one yet. Or am I mistaken? On the GitHub repository, all I can find is Houdini 18.5 versions for UE5. Just want to make sure, I know what's going on :-)

    • Thomastobin 2 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

      Yep. 18.5 and UE5 from the github repo.

  • Danila479 2 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Hello. How was HDA configured and how to put the path to the data table (0:44)?

  • tewilson 2 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Hello How Do you Reference the data table you mention very early in the videos?

    • Thomastobin 2 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

      You can use an object merge and expose that for the HDA, in unreal you just have to select data table as the data type to merge in.

      • mackinder 4 weeks ago  | 

        Whenever I try to expose this in houdini it doesn't show up in Unreal/save properly. I edit the parameter interface for the HDA network, drag the Object Merge node into the 'Existing Parameters' under root, and rename 'group' to 'Data Table In'. But despite the cook notification, nothing appears in Unreal. If I resave the HDA in houdini and unlock it again, the alterations in the parameter interface are no longer there either. Are you able to break down this part any more? Despite using houdini for a while I'm new to HDAs. Thanks!

        • mackinder 3 weeks, 6 days ago  | 

          You can ignore this. A little while spent going over the HDA documents on this site helped a lot.

  • KieranLatham 2 months ago  | 

    Has anybody else ran into an issue with Unreal Engine 4/5 crashing when you assign a data table to a HDA?

    Has anybody found a workaround?

    • KieranLatham 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

      For the time being, i'm just exporting the data table as a CSV and importing it using a "Table Import" node, which works pretty well for the time being. Seems to do the job.

      • Thomastobin 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

        Never seen this before but good workaround.

        • KieranLatham 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

          What's interesting as well, is if you export as csv, it actually omits the unreal_data_table string you have to remove from the attribute when you load it in via HDA, so you don't need to rename the attribute!

        • KieranLatham 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

          Enjoying the tutorial by the way! really interesting stuff, especially using the UV layout tool to scatter based on the island!

        • aits 1 month ago  | 

          I'm also getting the crash when assigning a data table to the HDA in unreal.
          I'm currently in UE5 early access build 5.1.0.
          Houdini version 19.0.498

  • mackinder 3 weeks, 6 days ago  | 

    You can ignore this. A little while spent going over the HDA documents on this site helped a lot.

  • metalman123456123 3 weeks, 5 days ago  | 

    Is there a point where you show how to use the tool in unreal? I built the tool but no idea how to use it in unreal

  • metalman123456123 3 weeks, 5 days ago  | 

    Ya Im really struggling with this one I have followed this exactly and even downloaded the tool it just doesnt seem to work it processes the data table then doesnt scatter anything

  • metalman123456123 3 weeks, 5 days ago  | 

    Ok now after I shut unreal down the tool is kind of working accept its putting all of the actors upside down, I downloaded this one off the tutorial so I have no idea whats going on with it

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