Monday, January 8th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Alexey Vanzhula ships Direct Modeling HDA for Houdini

A timelapse of a model being created in Direct Modeling HDA, Alexey Vanzhula’s new hard surface toolkit for Houdini. It shows a model of a radio being created in what, in real time, would be around 40 minutes’ work.

Developer Alexey Vanzhula has released Direct Modeling HDA, a new Houdini hard surface modeling toolkit.

The toolset – a revamped and extended version of Flux HDA, Vanzhula’s old real-time Boolean modelling add-on – enables users to create complex hard-surface forms quickly and efficiently.

Create complex real-time Boolean assemblies in a similar way to Modo’s MeshFusion
At the core of Direct Modeling HDA is Flux HDA, Vanzhula’s interactive real-time Boolean modelling toolset for Houdini, which it has replaced in his Gumroad store.

At the time of its release last year, Vanzhula described Flux HDA as being “like MeshFusion in Modo”, in reference to Modo’s popular real-time Boolean modelling plugin, since incorporated into the core app.

Direct Modeling’s ‘soft Boolean’ toolset takes Flux’s capabilities and introduces a deferred edit mode, which should presumably improve interactivity on very complex Boolean assemblies.

The updated version is also described as generating “much better mesh quality”, particularly on complex cuts or poor-quality source geometry.

New geometry library, insert mesh system and general-purpose modelling tools
To that, Direct Modeling HDA adds a geometry library of component parts from which to build up models.

Users can save their own models to the library, enabling them to build up a library of custom kitbash parts. It works with any Houdini model type: this video shows it in use with volumetrics.

There is also an insert mesh system, which enables users to replace a face or group of faces on a target model with another geometry object, in order to add details like screws or rivet holes.

The process, which can be nested in order to apply details upon details, is shown in this video.

The add-on also introduces a range of general-purpose modelling tools, including a new array system, and even adds its own radial menu to provide access to frequently used tools.

Pricing and availability
Direct Modeling HDA is available for Houdini 16.0 and above. It costs $100.

It’s provided as a Houdini Digital Asset, which means that it should be possible to use it in other DCC applications, including 3ds Max, Cinema 4D and Maya, via Houdini Engine.

Download Direct Modeling HDA from Alexey Vanzhula’s Gumroad store
(Includes links to more demo videos)