Learn how to create a procedural Level Builder that uses a single curve to create the walls, ceiling and floor along with doors and props. This lesson brings together Sci Fi panels, crates and tanks into a single tool that makes it easy to generate a complete level inside Unity. Follow along to learn all the steps needed to build this tool then use the Houdini Engine for Unity plug-in to bring the resulting digital asset into the game editor for direct manipulation and assignment of prefabs and materials.


NOTE: These lessons use the SideFX Labs tools. Make sure the latest release (non production build) is installed when doing this lesson.




INTRODUCTION

Explore the Level Builder asset and see how you can use it to create complete levels using a single curve. You can then peek into the tool to better understand how it works and how all of the pieces come together to create a rich game environment.

Length: 05:52

PART 1 | The Corridor System

The first step in creating the Level Builder is organizing the system that lays out corridors using a grid. Using an input curve, you will generate interior spaces that connect when the curve overlaps. You will also figure out where the convex and concave corners are and apply appropriate corner geometry to each. At this stage, you will use simple geometry that will get replaced with game assets later on.

Length: 26:50

PART 2 | Create the Digital Asset

The next step is to wrap up the corridor system into a digital asset then simplify it into points with attributes. These attributes will reference prefabs inside your Unity project that will be assigned to the level automatically. The key is to organize the points so that the right prefabs are being grabbed and then to make sure the normals are oriented in the right direction. You will also add the floor, ceiling and lights to the level.

Length: 27:32

PART 3 | Modular Wall System

To enhance the level builder tool, you will create new wall panels using a modular system that evaluates different primitive sizes then assigns an appropriate prefab to match. Each prefab will be rotated or scaled into place and will create a more interesting look for the corridor.

Length: 39:47

PART 4 | Decorate the Level

To add detail to the level, you will procedurally place crates, tanks and doors throughout the level. By establishing placement rules, you can make sure that these items appear where you need them to complete your level with only the one curve as the input.

Length: 31:15

CREATED BY

SIMON VERSTRAETE

Simon is a tech Artist that loves building procedural tools and assets. By adding more and more procedural approaches to his workflow, he is able to build 3D models with speed and flexibility. During his studies at Digital Arts and Entertainment, he taught himself how to work with Houdini. After his studies, he started working on Ary and the Secret of Seasons at eXiin. Currently he is a Houdini freelancer and focuses on creating procedural content.

More from Simon Verstraete

COMMENTS

  • AnandaDivine 3 months, 1 week ago  | 

    Amazing tutorials. Thank you so much. Please keep them coming :)

  • McKormick 3 months, 1 week ago  | 

    Fantastic tutorial, very solid and complete. ..And yes, please keep them coming

  • braddish 3 months, 1 week ago  | 

    Hi Simon, thank you for all the great tutorials!

    I have one issue that I am hitting in this one. At 11:45 in the second video you create an Add Node with "Delete Geometry But Keep the Points" checkbox turned on. When I use this checkbox in my own scene, my points loose their normals. In your video they do not. I have also opened your example file and they your file works as expected in your video. This makes absolutely no sense to me. My end result is that I end up with all my walls facing the same direction :/

    I am using Houdini Apprentice 18.0.348

    Not sure if you'll ever read this, but its worth a try :)

    Thanks

    • braddish 3 months, 1 week ago  | 

      Never mind, just found my error... after hours of searching, and I find it within minutes of posting. Figures... :P

      I had a Normal node adding normals to vertices instead of points earlier in the chain. This was messing up everything downstream.

      • Siver 3 months, 1 week ago  | 

        Thanks! Happy you found the issue :)

  • jsealy 3 months ago  | 

    Hik been loving the tutorials so far, just a question about this one. Is one able to create the build scene in Houdini to use as a set instead of a level to practice fx in?

  • steveh47 3 weeks, 5 days ago  | 

    Loving this tutorial.....Quick question: How do you get your boxes in part 1 at 16:20 to align the right way when i add those temp boxes they all face in the Z direction

    • Siver 3 weeks, 5 days ago  | 

      Thanks!
      These are the default boxes from Houdini but tweak the size and rotation. What is also very important is that the input points of the copy to points have the correct normal. The normal on the points will control the direction of the copies in the copy to points.

    • jmgomez 3 weeks, 1 day ago  | 

      As Simon pointed out, it's a normal issue. Make sure you have the normals after the resample set to Points (I think by default it's Vertices).

  • sascha 2 weeks ago  | 

    I cannot load Energy_Core_Procedural_Tex.sbsar with the latest Houdini, it crashes. Similar in Substance Designer, the latest version can't open the file.

    • sascha 2 weeks ago  | 

      Sorry, wrong tutorial. ;)

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