[Sidefx-houdini-list] Enabling normals smoothing on FBX export

Craig Hoffman craigleehoffman at aol.com
Wed May 15 18:22:35 EDT 2013



The UVUnwrap SOP will make Vertex attributes for you, so you are fine there.  Some other UV type SOPs do Point Attributes, so you would need to do use an "AttributePromote" SOP to promote the attributes to Vertex Attributes if you went that way.

You can use the Vertex SOP to create/cusp normals as a Vertex Attribute.  If you already have Point Attribute Normals you like, use the "AttributePromote" SOP to promote the attribute from "Point" to "Vertex" (so "Yes" to your statement..).  But it the AttributePromote SOP, you can just select "N" from the "Original Name" drop down- you don't have to type "$N".

Keep in mind that if you assign different materials/shaders to different primitive Groups your imported geometry in Unreal will have different slots for different shader assignments- which is nice.

I generally remove all attributes before FBX Export (Delete field in "Attribute" SOP) other than Vertex Normal and UVs and any Material assignments just to avoid the potential of any strange issues but I don't know if that is necessary.

Cheers,
Craig

-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Cousins <pcousins at microsoft.com>
To: sidefx-houdini-list <sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com>
Sent: Wed, May 15, 2013 1:54 pm
Subject: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] Enabling normals smoothing on FBX export


Hi Craig,

That is exactly what I am trying to do :)

How would I go about setting my scene up to do this? (I am very very new to 
Houdini :)). We hit the issue of having to use a UV unwrap node in order to get 
the UV channels out at all for some scenes but I am not 100% sure how to set 
this up. Is it just a case of using an "attribPromote" node and specifying 
"Point->Vertex" for the normal ($N)?

Thanks,

Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: sidefx-houdini-list-bounces at sidefx.com [mailto:sidefx-houdini-list-bounces at sidefx.com] 
On Behalf Of Craig Hoffman
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:04 PM
To: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
Subject: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] Enabling normals smoothing on FBX export



I am assuming you are concerned that your models aren't showing up in the 
destination package the way they look in Houdini (the models are 'smooth' in 
Houdini, but look faceted once the FBX is imported elsewhere)- is that correct?  
What is the intended destination for these FBX models?  Is it to have the model 
import into something like the Unreal Engine and look correct?

If it is the Unreal Engine (or maybe some other similar game engine) Houdini 
doesn't support "Smoothing Groups" like other software and Point normals don't 
come into Unreal properly so normals don't look correct.  But if you promote 
your 'Point' Normals to be 'Vertex' normals, the normals show up properly when 
imported into Unreal (despite the popup warning about no smoothing groups) and 
exactly how they look in Houdini.

My formula for getting objects into Unreal (which might work for other software 
too- I am not sure) is to make sure you have UV's as Vertex Attributes (objects 
without UV's sometimes show mangled normals in Unreal), and make sure your 
Normals are Vertex Attributes.  

Hopefully this helps.
-Craig

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Lyons <tstexture at gmail.com>
To: sidefx-houdini-list <sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com>
Sent: Wed, May 15, 2013 11:46 am
Subject: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] Enabling normals smoothing on FBX export


Hi,

Houdini provides a lot of tools for creating and managing normals prior to any 
export and rendering process. If you can describe what algorithm "normals 
smoothing" employs it might b easier to make suggestions or recommendations...

Cheers
 Hi,

Does anyone know if there is a way to enable normals smoothing when exporting 
from Houdini into FBX? Its an option in many other packages such as Maya but it 
doesn't appear to be exposed in Houdini by default.

I am willing to write a plugin for Houdini to get access to the option but I 
just wanted to make sure there wasn't an easy way of enabling through a node or 
some other means :)

Thanks,

Phil

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