Houdini Tutorial – Height-Fields for Terrains

Houdini Height-Fields for Terrains

With Houdini height-fields for terrains, we cover the basics of creating landscapes in Houdini. Houdini height fields are 2-dimensional volumes. In addition, they are also native in Unity and Unreal Engine as terrain objects. Above all, creating terrains in Houdini is artist-friendly. Moreover, we can create complex and realistic landscapes.
Most importantly, though, Houdini allows us to use this work in other applications. Secondly, as a Houdini Digital Asset, we can use it within Unity, Unreal, Maya, and 3DS Max. Most Importantly, we will learn how to manipulate Houdin Terrains in an art directable way. We will look at masking, applying erosion, and adding in variation. We can use the masks to drive foliage and textures when we create masks. In conclusion, this makes creating terrains for use in real-time applications a very powerful feature. We will examine how we can use the Terrain Scatter tools in other lessons.
At the conclusion of this introduction, you should have:
  • A solid understanding of heightfield workflows
  • How to create complex masks 
  • What is the Erode tool, and how to use it?
  • How to interact with geometry
This is as a follow-up to a lecture for a class I teach in Houdini so the students can re-cap the in-class lecture. I apologize for any lack of polish. Hopefully, there will be some good information there.
You can download a free version of Houdini here.