Procedural Generation of Houses in Houdini

Procedural Generation of Houses in Houdini

Madison Kramer and Ergun Akleman have recently presented their study that discusses a procedural approach to generate a variety of American Second Empire houses.

First, they identified a set of rules and similarities of Second Empire houses. The goal here was to capture style differences of Second Empire houses using a number of parameters. The team has also developed a method to break up their 3D models into slices in order to efficiently and economically 3D print them.

As a result they have created miniatures of two landmark buildings: the HamiltonTurner Inn in Savannah and the Enoch Pratt House in Baltimore. The team noted that the miniatures lack details due to limitations of 3D printing processes.

The study is based on a digital asset in SideFX’s Houdini, whose user-friendly graph editing node networks can be turned into a reusable custom node with its own user interface. Yes, we’ve seen it already, but it’s still a nice example of complete customization inside Houdini.

The team came up with a decomposition approach for printing miniature models of these houses in “a more cost-effective way,” which allowed them to reduce the cost of printing an entire house at once by decomposing the houses into approximate rectangular prisms. “The prints are still not inexpensive compared to the prices of commercial miniature landmarks,” noted the team. “However, the printing cost dropped significantly, and we have obtained a better visual quality than printing the whole model of the house at once.”

This generated could be used with Maya, Unreal Engine, Unity or other tools to quickly generate a variety of houses. You can learn more by reading the full paper here.

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