Houdini Lava in Real-Time with UE4

Houdini Lava in Real-Time with UE4
Magnus Larsson made Houdini vertex lava work smoothly in real-time with Unreal Engine 4.

Houdini is a well-known tool, which was used for years as the main platform for VFX in film industry. However, the company was doing a lot of work to make its software more valuable for game developers. And it seems they have succeeded immensely with the introduction of Houdini 16.

We’ve covered some of the cool features SideFX added to this project, but you can get a much more detailed description on the official website. Here at 80.lv we were fascinated by the new landscape production tools, but there are some other great additions as well. One of them is the Vertex Animation Exporter. This little feature is available out of the box with UE4 support. It comes with finished Unreal shaders that you can copy past into the engine. Theoretically, this feature will work with any engine that is able to read the vertex animation data.

Well, it was just sort of luck really. I had done a test earlier on variable viscosity simulations in Houdini for doing lava, then Luiz Kruels vertex animation exporter came around for testing in the beta and Megascans uploaded some “lava stones” and well off it went.

Magnus Larsson

The coolest thing about this whole video is that it is running in real-time. It’s an astonishing accomplishment for Houdini, which is now capable of generating these amazing effects for games. If you want to know more about the feature, be sure to visit some of the presentations Luiz Kruel will be doing during GDC.

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