Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Check out procedural CG creature generator Kozinarium

CG artist Denis Kozlov has posted a crazily compelling demo video of Kozinarium, a procedural creature generation system based on Houdini and Fusion.

The tool isn’t publicly available, but it’s a neat example of what can be achieved with automated systems – and a lot of lateral thinking.

Create convincing creepy-crawlies, curtailing conscious control
According to Kozlov, it takes 30 minutes to model, rig and animate a creature in Kozinarium, with results ranging from things that look vaguely like fish, worms or insects to things that look like nothing on Earth.

The guts of the system consists of “about 1,700” Houdini nodes, with the user simply entering numbers to generate random seeds, and Kozinarium outputting a new creature or animation based on the results.

The core modules for generating body shape and motion are CHOP-based generators. Intermediate geometry is generated as both polygons and NURBS, and the final meshing is based on VDB volumes.

The system uses “flexible, marionette-like rigging” with Houdini’s FEM solver generating realistically squishy secondary motion, and the results are rendered in Mantra with procedural displacemement.

Surface colours are also generated procedurally: this time in Fusion as a post process.

(Lack of) pricing and availability
Kozinarium was created as part of a personal art project, so it isn’t intended to become a commercial product – or even one for public distribution.

However, Kozlov has written a supporting manifesto on procedural tools – and, more generally, the idea of software that lets users create objects by describing them, rather than modelling them conventionally.

You can find it on Kozlov’s blog via the link below, along with Project Aero, an earlier procedural tool that generates concept designs for aircraft.

Read more about Kozinarium on Denis Kozlov’s blog

Updated 14 November: Dennis Kozlov has just announced a new art project: to post a new creature a week created using the Kozinarium technology.

The video above is an older one used as the teaser for the project, but you can meet the first creature – Alice, the ‘Micronesian Tooth Fairy’ – by following the project on Twitter or Instagram at @kozinarium.

As well as animations, future creatures will come with 2D art by Elena Kozlova.