Friday, March 29th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Master Houdini Terrain Techniques

The Gnomon Workshop has released Houdini Terrain Techniques, a detailed guide to terrain-creation workflows within Houdini 17.

The tutorial, which comprises over three and a half hours of video, is the latest in a series of Houdini training recorded for Gnomon by Psyop veteran Robby Branham.

A complete step-by-step guide to terrain design in Houdini
In the tutorial, Branham explores how to use Houdini’s heightfield nodes to create terrains from scratch, using masking and layering techniques to generate detailed surfaces.

He discusses instancing and terrain duplication techniques for creating large landscapes, and how scattering can be used to add natural-looking trees.

Branham also demonstrates how satellite data from EarthExplorer can be used to recreate real-world terrain.

The terrain is textured and shaded inside Houdini, using the Mantra toolset, with Redshift shading networks used to add colour and fine details to the terrain surfaces.

Branham also reveals how to use Houdini’s built-in compositor to create detailed texture maps for the height field using the attributes from erosion nodes.

The training covers a range of landscapes, including a mountain, a meteor crater and agricultural terracing.

Branham also provides a step-by-step breakdown of the cover art, including concepting, previs, asset creation, terrain generation, layout, lighting, rendering, and final compositing in Nuke.

About the artist
Senior 3D generalist and compositing artist Robby Branham began his career in entertainment production in 2009. Since then, he has worked for firms including Psyop, Digital Domain, Pixomondo, and Zoic Studios.

His work can be seen in film, commercials and game cinematics such as Microsoft’s ReCore and Supercell’s Clash of Clans. He also teaches at leading Hollywood-based CG school Gnomon.

Pricing and availability
Houdini Terrain Techniques is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, giving you access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $499/year.

Read more about Houdini Terrain Techniques on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.