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Export to Houdini: How does it work?

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  • Export to Houdini: How does it work?



    Hi,


    I'm curious about SpeedTree Cinema - I don't own a license (yet), so I'm just trying to figure things out.

    We're using Houdini 16.5.


    A few questions:
    - When using FBX to bring tree geometries into Houdini, which type of material is created in Houdini?
    - When using FBX to bring tree geometries into Houdini, are material properties like normal maps or translucency maps, ... lost?
    - Are the import scripts deprecated?



    Any input would be most welcome.

    Thanks and kind greets,
    matt




  • #2
    Hello,

    You are correct that not all of our material data can be shoehorned into every format we export. So, when you export to any static mesh format, we also write a file (.stmat) next to it that includes all the information from the materials in the Modeler. This is the file that all of our import scripts/plugins read to get all the material information needed, Houdini included.


    which type of material is created in Houdini?
    If you use our importer, you get a dialog asking if you want principled, mantra, or leave the fbx materials alone. It is also very easy to add your own material types to this dialog if you wish (see the docs page below).

    Are the import scripts deprecated?
    The OTL we include with SpeedTree 8 should work fine in 16.5. But if you run into any trouble, let us know.


    These documentation pages have further info on exporting from the Modeler and importing into Houdini:
    http://docs8.speedtree.com/modeler/d...=expstaticmesh
    http://docs8.speedtree.com/modeler/d...?id=imphoudini

    Hope this helps

    Comment


    • #3

      Hi Greg,

      That's fantastic news. Thank you for the detailed explanation!

      I will evaluate. Will also let you know if I run into issues.

      Cheers!
      matt

      Comment


      • #4

        Hi Greg


        I tried the latest demo version, with Houdini 16.5.571.

        The import seems to work pretty well.

        I just see 2 issues:
        - the OpenGL preview displays the normal map as 'texture'. It renders fine though. I suppose that's all by design.
        - when I render the demo palm with Mantra PBR and decent sampling settings, I'm getting some fireflys.

        Any inputs on those things? Please let me know.


        [EDIT: GOT THIS WORKING WELL WITH HIGHER SAMPLING.]


        Thank you!
        matt
        Last edited by matthias.buehler@vrbn.io; 12-21-2018, 02:29 PM.

        Comment


        • #5


          Hi,

          I have bought SpeedTree Cinema yesterday.
          I'm trying to import trees into Houdini 17, for rendering with Mantra. Using FBX, with the principled shader option in the importer OTL.

          I have tried numerous times now, but:

          1]
          it seems the normal maps are not properly linked. I also don't find a normal intensity value which I could crank up in the created materials.)
          2]
          the opacity inversion export feature does not seem to work properly (example attached to this post. std = normal, inv = inverted export.)
          3]
          in some combinations, the material preview in Houdini shows the normal maps as diffuse color on the geo. in some, the preview is correct and in some, it's a mix of both. I suppose the color map should be the correct one in any case, right?
          4]
          I have used 8.1.5 and 8.2.1, they both seem to export differently. Are there known issues with 8.2.1?



          Is there a combination that you know works properly?

          Please help as this hard to track down on my end.. Thank you!


          matt

          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6

            I tried FMX and ABC, but the issues seem too big.

            I tried OBJ and the following settings work great for me now:

            - Group by: Hierarchy
            - Swap YZ: true
            - Include: Branch seam blending
            - Flip opacity: false
            - Format: OBJ
            - Import: Principled shader

            Issues:
            - leaves pale & reflective, look transparent when rendered ==> deactivate SSS in all non-bark materials!

            Comment

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