Here is a look at my latest project, the first one I intend to create entirely with Houdini. A big part of this project is a city in the background. So for the past few weeks I have been on a quest: to create a Houdini Digital Asset that could generate random buildings.
I am not showing a real world place, so for the architecture I am mixing together elements that I loved about cities from the Italian Riviera and Spain's Navarre.
So I have a very clear understanding of what my building generator needs to be able to do. All I needed to figure out (and am still figuring out), is ways to make Houdini do what I want. I love the software, but I have by no means a deeper understanding of it, so this is a long process of me trying new things and either keeping them or starting again.
I spent some time looking at the buildings and decided that I will need six entirely different building types. I am now in the process of finishing the first one. Below are a few tests where I used one building type and populated a terrain with it. I think it already looks quite nice and it will only be better when I add the other five types.
There are a few tutorials online that show procedural modeling and even procedural buildings that helped my find my starting point. However, at some point the buildings became so complex, that I had to find my own approaches.
I created multiple versions of different features that every building uses. Below are some examples of different kinds of windows.The actual placement of the windows was the part I spent the most time on. I had to start from scratch multiple times simply because the results were not satisfying with my previous approaches.
Most of the parts are adjustable and I set them up to be randomly controlled for each building. Different values control window width, height, depth, if they have shutters or not,, the shutter type, the shutter angle and many more.
The same goes for the chimneys and doors for example.
Many of the features are controlled by if/else statements to make them affect each other.
Below is an example for how the number of poles on the roof is controlled by the building width.
There are still many things I need to figure out. Here is a look at the node tree for my Digital Asset.
At first glance it does not seem like much, but all the features are their own Digital Assets with their own network. The bottom left shows the contents of one of the roof assets.
Now that I have figured out the main techniques to create buildings, I can apply them to the other five building types I want to create. So hopefully I will soon be able to show a little more of my work.