Houdini Environment Project for Crowd Simulations

This is a quick update recording some of the assets that I have been working on in Houdini that will act as set dressing and ground cover for my environments. My goal is to build realistic sets that I will use as backdrops for my crowd simulations. Houdini height fields have been a lot of fun to explore, but like everything in Houdini shading and texturing has become a challenge. 

Houdini Assets for Environments

Megascans and SpeedTree in Houdini

Bringing Megascans into Houdini has also been fun. UVs have always proven a challenge for me in Houdini but this project has helped solve that. Working with the organic shapes forced me to up my game in order to make sure the textures fit correctly. 

Houdini Forest

Houdini Forest Test

Speedtree in Houdini with Mantra

Megascans Ground

I have also been working on building a ground terrain that will not look patterned on the large height fields in Houdini. They tend to look good up close but once they are implemented into the scene they are no longer seamless. I have written a shader to work as the ground while try to solve the problem.  

Crowd Environment PreVis


For my senior project I am interested in exploring crowd logic and interactions. Both Golaem and Houdini will be used to produce crowds out of agents that are made by myself or Mixamo. I will also be using my own motion capture along with a mix of Mixamo animations. 

Houdini Crowd Test

Thanks to the awesome people at Golaem, I have received a year of access to their crowd simulation plugin. These are some very early tests. It will be fun to compare the similarities and differences between the software capabilities.

White Walker Crowd Sim


The concept will include agent interactions with not only the environment, but also props such as arrows and other agents. My goal is to also place them in a realistic environment using Houdini Arnold and Redshift. The Hero shots may not be up to photo realistic standards due to the limitations of the textures. I may have to recruit some help in that endeavor.

The environment will be grasslands with rugged  hills and wooded areas. The following photos are some of the early pre-visualization renders that I have been building as I begin to set up the individual shots. The trees will be modeled in Speedtree and the environment will be a mixture of Terrigen and Houdini heightfields.



The agents will be rigged with Mixamo and prepared for baking in Houdini. The motion capture will be cleaned up with Vicon Blade and Motion Builder prior to being incorporated into Houdini.