This video will show you how to use the Volume Texture ROP to write out a texture that can be used with Ryan Brucks' volume plugin in UE4.

Check out Epic's live stream of the plugin in action - Realtime Simulation and Volume Modelling Plugin | Live Training | Unreal Engine

You can download the plugin from the Epic Forum (needs an Epic account).

And remember you can grab our latest gamedev tools on GitHub.


  • Davood Kharmanzar 1 year ago  | 

    hi Mike,

    is it possible to make these textures for an animated object? more info. please :]

  • simonschreibt 1 year ago  | 

    Wow, that's really cool :) <3

  • mikelyndon-sesi 1 year ago  | 

    Hey Davood. You could but if the intention is to use it for realtime it wouldn't be very performant because you'd need a texture per frame. Also, you'd have to setup the shader to read the textures in sequence which could be very slow.


    • Davood Kharmanzar 1 year ago  | 

      OK ... but how? can you post screenshots or tutorial or something? thanks.

  • mikelyndon-sesi 1 year ago  | 

    That's beyond the scope or intention of this tool. You would have to figure that out for yourself.

    • Davood Kharmanzar 1 year ago  | 

      i mean in houdini :]
      i'm newbie in houdini ....
      how i can make sequences of this textures??

  • furkanxdgs4 11 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

    Hello, I wanna ask a question. The Distance VDB in the VDB from Polygons, Is it Signed Disned Field Volume? I want to understand differences between SDF and Ray Marching. According my reads, SDF is a 3D map but It's only saving how much pixel it can see/texture see. But Ray Marching's saving all of the surface of Mesh to a 3D Texture. But which one is the best for using in a Urban City on Buildings? I read something about Battlefield 2 used SDF for Build Destruction but I'm not sure that it is used for rendering mesh, I think it is used for Masking Destruction. I want to do something like "Everything is on the GPU, CPU Sleeps" thing, because I will create huge world with AI characters, very much like GTA (Grand Theft Auto). Can you help me?

  • mikelyndon-sesi 11 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

    This question isn't relevant to the tutorial. Please post your question in the forums. You might have better luck in getting a response there.

  • madguru 11 months ago  | 


    this is exactly what I want to do, however, when I look at my shader, I don't have a VolumeSlices texture slot. I made an instance of the same M_VolumeRayMarch_Lit_LinearSteps shader, but don't see that slot. I checked the other shaders and did not see it in any of them either. Any ideas?

  • mikelyndon-sesi 11 months ago  | 

    I think by default the shader has a hardcoded texture object. If you open the parent material replace the texture object with a TextureObjectParameter so you can expose the texture you want to use.

  • madguru 11 months ago  | 

    Thanks, that was just what I needed!

  • trelobyte 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Hello i just installed the latest as of today 16.0.705 version of Houdini on MacOS and downloaded and installed the latest build of the gamedev tools from github.
    I believe i setup everything correctly but when hiting the render button on the rop_volume_texture interface nothing happens. Is there any common gotcha with this tool we should be aware of? Thanks

  • mikelyndon-sesi 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    2 things to try. If you toggle on the preview does it show you what the texture will look like? If not, there might be an issue with your volume.
    Otherwise the tool writes a volume to the $TEMP directory. If there are permission issues that might not work causing the texture to be blank.

  • trelobyte 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Thanks for the Reply :)
    When i toggle the preview it shows the texture as expected as shown here :
    I have created the render directory manually so that it does not complain, but still when pressing render nothing happens.

  • mikelyndon-sesi 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Ah, I think I know what the problem is. Can you check that the geometry container doesn't have a procedural shader applied in the render > geometry tab. If that's clear then try object merging the cloud result into a new geometry container or use a stash node. The cloud nodes can sometimes cause problems with the volume texture node.

  • trelobyte 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Thanks for looking into it!
    No procedural shader applied and Object merged to a new geometry container -> no change
    I also created a vdb from polygons fog volume and deleted the cloud and cloudnoise nodes but still no render possible. Object merged this to another geometry container, and applied the rop volume texture node but still no render possible. In all the above cases the preview works fine. I greatly appreciate your will to help, many thanks.

  • mikelyndon-sesi 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Are you using apprentice? That's the only other think I can think of that might cause an issue.

    • Morteza Ahmadi 9 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

      i'm using Houdini apprentice and i can't render the texture . sometimes it render and write a file but other times nothing happens and no file got written.
      is there any solution to this problem?

      • mikelyndon-sesi 9 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

        Unfortunately the tool doesn't work with apprentice because it needs to write out a volume before it can generate the texture. Apprentice doesn't allow the user to write out files except for obj.

  • trelobyte 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    I am using it with Houdini FX. I just found out that when i press the button to add a camera from the lights and cameras shelf but not complete the process by hitting enter to add a camera in the viewport a window named interrupt comes up that seems to be performing a render but nothing happens, it never completes the rendering.
    when i add the camera to the scene by hiting enter it never shows the window in the link above ie it behaves as in the previous cases without doing anything.

  • trelobyte 10 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    and houdini crashes...

  • trelobyte 10 months, 1 week ago  | 

    it ok i will go with the mosaic node instead.

  • madguru 8 months, 3 weeks ago  | 


    I wondered if there is a way to bake out the color of the volume as well.


  • StanV 5 months, 3 weeks ago  | 


    I'm having a strange issue when using the rop_volume_texture - every time I try to render out, no textures get exported. Digging deeper inside the ropnet, the bake texture node comes up with an error:

    Command Exit Code: 3

    No licenses could be found to run this application.
    Please check for a valid license server host

    I'm on a commercial license of Houdini FX 16.5 and I've tried grabbing the latest game dev tools, still no luck. None of the other ROPs have come up with this error before, maybe I'm doing something wrong in the setup?

    Thanks in advance!

  • mikelyndon-sesi 5 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

    That does seem strange. How many render licenses do you have? Is it possible you're trying to run this node while there's another rendering going on in the background?

    • StanV 5 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

      Fixed now, the render license was the culprit. Thank you for the fast reply and all the great tools!

  • LucidMovement 5 months, 1 week ago  | 

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the great tool and tutorial. Any thoughts on how to add color output?

  • mikelyndon-sesi 5 months, 1 week ago  | 

    Right now the tool samples a single field. If you wanted to handle colour you'd need 3 fields for each channel. And then in the shader you'd need to sample each field to write out the colour.

    • LucidMovement 5 months, 1 week ago  | 

      That did the trick. Thanks! :)

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