Manipulate Height Fields with Volume VOP's in Houdini

Download Houdini File: Quicktip_VolumeVOP.hiplc

In the last post, I talked about Point VOP’s and the ambition was to get the audience familiar with some of the VOP (visual operators) nodes in Houdini. And in the previous third article I started a discussion on Height Fields and procedural terrain generation. It builds up to this one. This article will introduce you to Volume VOP’s and how you can use Volume VOP’s to manipulate Height Fields in Houdini.

Power of Volume VOPs

I think this is extremely powerful. The flexibility and all the exposed raw math nodes at your disposal inside a VOP node. I highly recommend watching the Volume VOP video I posted on my Youtube channel. I had a lot of fun filming this one, because I really believe that the Height Fields can be pushed to a whole new level using Volume VOP’s.

Volume VOP’s like any other VOP nodes in Houdini is multi-threaded and all operations are run in parallel utilizing all the cores in your computer. Fast and flexible, who could ask for more? I love throwing down a Volume VOP at the end of the Height Field terrain just to add a little bit of wind noise like the wind erosion we see on rocks on mountains and cliff sides that have noisy lines etched out by high speed winds over decades. It’s easy and fast.

Height Field Terrain with Voronoi Fracturing

Height Field Terrain with Voronoi Fracturing

Combine Sims with Height Fields in Workflow

Like how I mentioned in the last post, “Building Terrain with Height FIelds in Houdini”, you can go export the Height Field and use it in a destruction sim and then import it back into Height Fields for more erosion and add more variety by throwing down Volume VOP. The tight integration is so awesome. There’s no other word to describe it.