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How to Set Up a Realistic Knitting Pattern in Houdini

VFX Artist Stefano Disgrazia shared a brief breakdown explaining a great technique for creating a realistic knitting pattern using SideFX's Houdini.

Hey, I am Stefano Disgrazia, and I come from Italy. I work in the world of VFX. For some strange reason, I have a passion for recreating fabrics and knitting patterns in CGI.

With this project, I wanted to recreate a braid in Houdini using various mesh points, focusing on the detailed individual threads, all constructed on a grid. I used UVs as a guide and Normals as an up vector.

I utilized a Sweep with some noise on the points to recreate, at the yarn level, the various small threads that, as they come together, form the main thread following the guide.

Finally, by employing a loop containing a copy-to-point operation, I cloned different types of 'fibers' onto the entire surface to achieve a more 'fluffy realistic' appearance.

Here's how it looks in the final render:

The convenient aspect of controlling the up vector using Normals is that it's straightforward to recreate patterns starting from groups of primitives on a grid.

The project is still in development and will soon become an HDA (Houdini Digital Asset) for creating procedural knitting patterns from simple geometries.

Stefano Disgrazia, VFX Artist

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