[Sidefx-houdini-list] mantra "clusterThis" procedural geometry DSO

Andrew D Lyons tstexture at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 20:10:03 EDT 2008


It's Christmas!!

(Lets see how we can help...)


2008/10/7 Mark Story <mstory at xion.org>:
> Greetings,
> I'm pleased to release the first version of the Houdini/mantra
> "clusterThis" geometry/volume instancer.  The DSO will create instances
> of primitives for each point of the incoming geometry and be "displaced"
> around the point based on a number of user parameters and methods.
> The project is an open source project and will also be on the source
> forge odforce site for other developers to contribute if they would
> like.  And the project is also going to be a teaching project for
> students attending workshops at Digital Cinema Arts and soon will end up
> as a robust, production worthy tool (one of several tools we plan to
> build to teach with *and* to use in production).  Ever since I was on
> "Surf's Up" I've been wanting to write a few render time plugins,
> especially seeing how much the prman "cluster" DSO added to the detail
> of some those shots, and it seemed to be an easy application of a simple
> idea.  Fun stuff mon!
> The current state of the code is juat the basic structure to get the
> project started, very simple algorithms for now ... and there's
> definitely bugs!  Use at our own risk!  The nose generator is right out
> of the HDK toolkit, nothing else used yet.  Soon I will have the CVEX
> functionality then you'll be able to use standard VEX code for
> processing the instanced objects. Truthfully, I've been having so much
> fun with it I've been a bit tardy in getting code released, so I know a
> few more features are implemented there will be good fun for all.
> Keep in mind this is a geometry instancer, it merely off loads the
> creation of geometry until render time, so keep an eye on memory usage.
>  Future projects will include some shaders that will do similar kinds
> of things but of course limited to what can be done with just shaders
> ... the two tools together will give an artist a lot of capability for
> managing complex detail.
> The current version is for mantra only but my plan is to generalize the
> project appropriatley (through proper design) to provide multi renderer
> support,  mental ray, 3Delight and others are on the future list for
> deployment.
> We have a small team of programmers to work on the project, any
> contributions, suggestions from the Houdini community are always
> welcome.  DCA will "drive" the project as it's intended first and
> foremost as a "teaching project", but of course we want it to be part of
> the ever growing Houdini community tool set.
> Here's the web page where you can download the code, DSO/DLL (and yes,
> there's a mac OSX version!), and see some example pics/movies as we test
> and develop the project:
> http://www.digitalcinemaarts.com/dev/clusterThis/index.html
> (please excuse the web site's condition ... it's in the process of a
> badly needed face lift ...)
> I also have a little utility SOP to allow the setting of a number of
> point attribute in one SOP (I got tired of chains of AttributeCreate
> SOPs) but the local variable support isn't done yet, it will be in the
> next release.  Here's the web page in case you find it useful as it is
> (I do).
> Point attribute SOP:
> http://www.digitalcinemaarts.com/dev/SOP_PointAttribute/index.html
> And, here's a more or less complete list of current and planned features
> for this project.  The docs, web page, examples, and of course the code,
> will be updated quite regularly, check back often.
> Features:
> (*) features coming soon
> # Instance a variety of geometry primitives (sphere, cube, grid, circle,
> tube, curve (*), and BGEO file (*))
> # Copy point attributes to the instanced geometry
> # "Recursive" point generation to displace the instanced geometry
> "about" the position of the incoming point's position.
> # Noise generator for additional displacement data
> # Attribute driven behavior (pscale, speed stretching, etc.) and
> blending (via CVEX (*))
> # CVEX processing (*)
> # Application of volumetric modulation data.  (*)
> # Multi render pass optimizations  (almost there, will be in next
> release) (*)
> # Motion blur (almost there, will be in next release) (*)
> # Volumes instancing
> # CVEX processing (*)
> # More sophisticated noise/filter functions (fBm, gaussian, bezel,
> impulse, butterworth, sinc) (*)
> # Lacunarity and true fractalization (*)
> # "RiPoints" instancing (*)
> # RIB output (already there, just need interface change) (*)
> # Proper primitive/point attribute blending/processing (CVEX *)
> # Read volumetric data files and use for modulation of instanced
> geometry and attribute processing (DT grids). (*)
> # Optimizations of all kinds (especially when generating deep shadow
> passes) (*)
> # Velocity/Force stretching the prims and blending/interpolating the
> attributes (*)
> # Primitive selection from point attribute (prim_type) (*)
> Please send bug reports, questions, feature requests to me at
> mstory at xion.org.
> Thanks,
> Mark
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Andrew D Lyons | Digital Artist | http://www.tstex.com

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