Houdini: Hair Cards for Game Meshes
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Houdini: Hair Cards for Game Meshes
12 November, 2017
News

Do you hate painting hair cards by hand? Gary Hanna has presented a Houdini Digital Asset (HDA) to let you create automatically generated and textured hair cards from Houdini’s built-in hair-grooming system. What is more, you can this system for real-time game meshes.

The Hair Card asset only requires the free version of Houdini (Apprentice) and Substance Designer for baking an opacity mask.  More importantly, Substance Designer provides group baking by mesh name, which Houdini doesn’t do.  Group baking by mesh name isolates baking to specific meshes in a 3D scene as opposed to baking everything high poly to everything low poly.  This is CRUCIAL to baking a high poly hair mesh to low poly hair cards.  As you can imagine, baking an entire head of hair onto a cluster of hundreds of hair cards would produce a mess.  Substance Designer’s “Bake By Mesh Name” feature allows us to bake individual cards with their high poly clump counterparts assigned to them without interference with surrounding hairs that belong to other hair cards.  Houdini doesn’t allow this so that’s why we need Substance Designer to get a cleaner bake.

Gary Hanna 

Getting Started

  • Download the Hair Cards Asset HERE (Orbolt)
  • Make sure you have Substance Designer and Houdini (Apprentice works)

BASICS

Make a hair style using Houdini’s hair system and have that prepared.  Plug in each hair generate node into the Hair Cards asset.  Make sure the hair generate nodes have a hairclump node inside the graph.  The hair cards asset REQUIRES a clumpid attribute that the hairclump node initiates. Adjust the sliders to suit your tastes and scalp’s needs.  The first output on the left will output a low poly hair card mesh.  The second output on the right will output a high poly hair mesh made from Houdini’s hair system. Export both as a .obj then proceed to bake in Substance Designer clicking “by mesh name” for each map.  

Follow this link to find the full guide and documentation. 

Source: sidefx.com
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Psynema
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Psynema

Thanks Henry, feel free to ask me any questions or submit feedback/artwork/ or real world use experiences so I can continue developing the HDA. Sorry for the late reply, I recently noticed this was published on 80lvl.

Henry
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Henry

Aw man I’ve been searching for something like this for weeks. Thanks!