Mike Murdock, a Virtual Reality Director who is currently working on a VR game called “Wire//Frame”, talked to guys from Sketchfab about his ‘Primary Ion Drive’ as a part of Art Spotlight. The artwork is a retro-inspired interface built in Houdini. The artist played with ‘weird and wonderful node-based workflow’ of Houdini and got an amazing result.
Mike started working on this kind of interfaces as a way to relax after consulting at a VR startup as a UI and UX designer. The first “3d doodles” in Houdini were created on the train ride home.
The final design showing the different pieces
The final node network inside the center module container
Here’s a GIF showing the node network I built for the outer ring module. Mostly everything is very simple and straightforward. A lot of magic happens in the “CopyStamp” node: I copy the original circle a bunch of times and scale each copy down by about 20%. I also used a simple expression that allows me to “carve” each circle copy by a different amount so every ring is a slightly different length.
Then I add a polywire, give it a color, move it over to the side, and mirror it on the X axis before applying the holographic glow material.
The Red rings are also made up of a very simple network: There’s that “HOLO” node again near the bottom.