Introduction to Rendering with Mantra in Houdini

An introduction to rendering with Mantra in Houdini. First off, we will look at creating good simple geometry suitable for rendering. For example, we make sure we have good normals, UV Maps, and materials. After this, we will look at how we set up a scene for rendering in Mantra. This means, adding in a camera and lights. Furthermore, we then look at the different parameters and what they mean. After this, once we have a scene set up we will then look at how to apply and edit materials. We will cover what is physically based rendering in Mantra. During this, I will explain why we need certain numbers to get good reflections and refractions.

Advanced Topics

In conclusion, we touch on more a few advanced topics on rendering in Houdini. As an example, how we can use the GI Light to create point clouds. These can be used for indirect illumination and caustics. Lastly, We look at how Mantra handles sampling and how we troubleshoot noisy renders.

At the conclusion of this tutorial the user should have:

  • A solid understanding of Mantra and its render properties.
  • How to make sure you have enough reflection and refraction rays.
  • What is Physically Based rendering.
  • How to set-up cameras and lights.
  • What is Global Illumination, Indirect Illumination, and Caustics.
  • How to use Houdini’s sampling pass to troubleshoot noisy renders.

Introduction to Rendering with Houdini is as a follow up to a lecture for a class I teach in Houdini. This is made so the students can re-cap the in-class lecture. I apologize for any lack of polish. Hopefully there will be some good information in there.

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