[Sidefx-houdini-list] mantra "clusterThis" procedural geometry DSO (now with Open VDB)

Mark Story mstory at xion.org
Fri Nov 23 19:25:08 EST 2012


Greetings,

* beta release 2.1 ready for your enjoyment.

There's now a number of changes in the clusterThis mantra DSO (major 
surgery underway) that has made some serious improvements in performance 
and capability, many of which I had relied on CVEX in the past but that 
became cumbersome with the ever changing number of parameters/attributes 
(and thus arrays) needed to pass to the CVEX/VEX code with each project. 
  I have a scheme that will make the interface to the CVEX feature more 
flexible, but I really wanted to introduce some new ideas and features 
as well as fold in some stuff from other projects (and that are now 
beyond the reach of an NDA agreement).

The most exciting thing added to the project is the use of Open VDB 
libraries and tools (http://www.openvdb.org/) for various processing of 
the data, modulating attributes (velocity and normal vectors right now, 
much more to come) and geometry position/scale/etc.  In it's current 
implementation, there's access to Open VDB's filtering and most of 
control over how the data is created and used.  AS such, you'll need to 
have the Open VDB libraries on your system (they are included in the 
distribution archive).

New features:

* radius point attribute - if this attribute is present in the incoming 
point cloud, it will be used instead of the global radius parameter in 
the GUI

* vdb_radius point attribute - a required attribute to set the radius of 
the rasterization by the Open VDB ParticleToLevelSet() function.

* Open VDB for preprocessing and post-processing of the geometry.  The 
interface uses the same parameters as in the DW_OpenVDBFromParticles 
SOP.  In addition there are controls to apply the influence of the 
volume data for position, velocity, and normals.  The filter switches 
are there an initial implementation but will soon have similar controls 
as the DW_OpenVDBLevelSetFilter SOP.

* Per point geometry file instancing.  Temporarily disabled until we 
create a geo queue/cache, there's way too much  disk thrashing with 
instance counts are high.

* Added mersenne twister noise.  Someone requested in the past, but it 
doesn't seem to different than the alligator noise already implemented.

Compiled for Linux (64 bit), example files and documentation:

http://www.digitalcinemaarts.com/software/clusterthis/

On Git Hub:

git at github.com:digital-cinema-arts/clusterThis.git

The end of the month milestone is to get to release 2.5 with all the new 
features fully implemented, tested and with examples.  Video tutorials 
are next as some of this can be a bit complex to setup and get running, 
plus there's tips about things to avoid.  Time permitting we'll have a 
handful of QT movies with various applications in real production 
scenarios.

Take care,

Mark




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