[Sidefx-houdini-list] houdini for sci-viz and other nefariouspurposes ...

herman herman02 at netvigator.com
Sun Jun 24 12:48:40 EDT 2007

also, david gary (author of procedural city) is having a topic (houdini 
modelling section) for architects input on what they expect from houdini, 
may be ur brother can give some opinion here too 

cheers herman

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Darran Edmundson" <darran at edmstudio.com>
To: <sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2007 10:51 AM
Subject: [Sidefx-houdini-list] houdini for sci-viz and other 
nefariouspurposes ...

> Hi All,
> Hopefully this doesn't come off sounding like a commercial ...
> We just finished putting together a 4-minute promo reel for our nascent 
> interactive design company, www.edmstudio.com.  The reel, viewable via a 
> link on our home page, is a mixed bag of scientific visualization and 
> interactive museum work.  After editing, it struck me that Houdini was 
> leveraged on the bulk of these projects.  For sciviz work, Houdini's 
> proceduralism is a natural fit.  But we have started to see real value in 
> Houdini as part of our digital-to-physical pipeline.
> For example, a museum approached us wanting to convert ten greyscale 
> images of dinosaur skeletons into brass "touch-plates" with relief 
> carvings and accompanying braille lettering.  We investigated sand casting 
> and electric-discharge-machining before settling on computer numerically 
> controlled (CNC) milling.  It turns out that the industry-standard 
> software for converting from a bitmap image to a SolidWorks 
> (CNC-compatible) relief mesh costs $6k!  (I know this because we went to 
> the trouble of getting a demo from the company's New York rep.)  Given the 
> high cost and the one-off nature of the job, I created a "good enough" 
> version of this software as a Houdini digital asset in the course of an 
> afternoon.  The machined plates look and feel wonderful to the touch.
> For the quantum computing visualization, fully half of our time was spent 
> on ensuring scientific accuracy.  When the quantum dots zip back and forth 
> carrying out a quantum error-corrected controlled-not operation, the 
> sequence of movements is correct.  When the electron cloud distorts, the 
> underlying silicon lattice is visible.  The scientists really appreciate 
> this attention to detail - and Houdini saved us repeatedly.  (Of course 
> maybe its just as easy to accomplish via Maxscript or MEL; I'd like to 
> think though that we have a secret weapon ;-)
> In the augmented-reality game at the beginning and the 3D sliceable head 
> demo later on, Houdini is used to author our real-time assets. With the 
> forthcoming python integration and houdini-object-model in H9, we're 
> hoping to push this a lot further.
> And separate from all this, my business partner (and brother) Andrew is an 
> architect who is really interested in applying Houdini/proceduralism to 
> physical design.  When he talks about the drudgery of AutoCAD not 
> "knowing" that "if I shift this wall, this window needs to relocate", I 
> empathize completely.
> In summary, there's no real point to this email.  It's just one of those 
> touchy-feel situations, the man in love with his tools.  I'm so glad that 
> when I turned up at the ANU Vizlab in 1998, they were using Houdini and 
> not 3DS Max ...
> Cheers,
> Darran.
> -- 
> Darran Edmundson [darran at edmstudio.com]
> http://www.edmstudio.com
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