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Procedural Architecture Creating Walls – Part 1

Course Description
The Houdini Engine, created by Side Effects Software, brings us the power of procedural techniques without the need of a ton of heavy programming and math. Throughout this course, we will look at how we can utilize the Houdini Engine to create Procedural Walls that can change shape and be utilized in your own game development projects. We will look at ways to construct a more intricate system of Houdini Digital Assets to perform very specific tasks and give you the most control over variation and placement. By the end of this course, you will have your very own procedural wall system, that will serve as the underlying foundation to a larger and extensible system.
Course Details
Difficulty: Intermediate
Total Lessons: 10 Lessons
Software: Unity 5, Houdini 14.0.335, Houdini Engine 1.9.20
Running Time: 02:46:57
Date: 6/12/15

Course Files
Source files for this GaTu Itty Bitty are available only to users with Backstage Passes and Apprentice or Rockstar access. Please Log In or Upgrade your account to unlock these files.
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File Name: Gatu_HoudiniEngine_CreatingWalls.ZIP
File Size: 20.43 MB
Download all the Houdini .OTL assets along with both shaders and textures for the final scene.

Course Lessons

1. Designing our Wall System

Lesson 1, Designing our Wall System:
Before starting any Procedural System, one must first sit down and plan out exactly what the system will produce. Let take a bit and figure out what features we want to include and which might be saved for later. We will also take a look at how we can make our procedural system extendable, so more features can be added later.

2. Building our Houdini Digital Assets

Lesson 2, Building our Houdini Digital Assets
In order to get our procedural system up and running we need to set up how we are going to section out our HDA’s or Houdini Digital Assets. This will lay down the base framework for our entire wall system.

3. Building our Base Wall Components

Lesson 3, Building our Base Wall Components
With our Houdini to Unity pipeline in place and our HDA tested out in Unity, lets begin to build the basic components that all walls need in order to be considered a wall. This includes building out the procedural Profile line as well as processing the user generated path, or create a default one if no path is given

4. Terrain Snapping and Processing the Path

Lesson 4, Terrain Snapping and Processing the Path
Now that we have our basic components need for building walls, lets go through the process of creating a flexible wall profile to control how the sides, top and bottom of the wall are created. We will also go through the steps needed to process our wall path, to provide our system with a bit more information about the path.

5. Building out the Wall Profile

Lesson 5, Building out the Wall Profile
In lesson 5 we will build out the wall profile curve and show how to encode useful information that can be used later on in all the detail OTL’s we will build for our wall.

6. Creating UVs for our Wall Geo

Lesson 6, Creating UVs for our Wall Geo
Creating UV’s for procedural geometry can be a bit of a challenge with certain type of geometry. What we are going to do in Lesson 5 is cover one method of creating proper uvs for our wall geometry, and finally test out what we have created inside of Unity.

7. Creating End Caps for the Base Wall OTL

Lesson 7, Creating End Caps for the Base Wall OTL
With our basic wall geometry all set up, we are now going to add onto it, in order to further add more customizability for artists and designers. We will look at how to cap off the ends of the wall, and learn how to uv map those en caps using a uv project node. We will also learn how to convert normal directions in actual rotation values, so the end caps are always uv map appropriately.

8. Adding more Detail to the Base Wall

Lesson 8, Adding more Detail to the Base Wall
Now that we have a very solid base geometry to work with, let’s add some more details to the wall by giving artists and designers the ability to change the top of the wall from flat to rounded. This lesson will give you the knowledge of adding more features to your systems as they evolve.

9.Creating the Base Pillar Detail OTL

Lesson 9, Creating the Base Pillar Detail OTL
In Lesson 9 we are going to begin the process of building a new OTL that will add Pillars to our base wall geo. This will start to reveal how you can extend your procedural systems, to include new layers, and how the Houdini Engine handles them in Unity.

10. Pillar UV’s and Details

Lesson 10, Pillar UV's and Details
Now that we have our base Pillar Detail OTL created, lets go through the process of laying out the UV’s for the pillar and creating some extra features for Artists or Designers to use when they are using this wall system.