Monday, December 14th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Create detailed environments in Gaea and Houdini

The Gnomon Workshop has released Creating Procedural Environments in Gaea and Houdini, a guide to using Quadspinner’s powerful procedural terrain generation software in production pipelines.

Over more than three hours of video training, environment artist and matte painter Rasha Shalaby reveals how to integrate Gaea into a Houdini pipeline, creating assets suitable for visual effects production.

Discover how Gaea’s procedural tools can extend standard Houdini environment workflows
With its powerful procedural workflows, Gaea helps artists to create impressively realistic environments.

In the workshop, Shalaby explores how to integrate it into a standard Houdini workflow, creating environment assets that would be hard to achieve through heightfield simulations alone, such as cliffs.

She begins by demonstrating how to create geometry using various erosion and warping techniques in Gaea, as well as how to pull data to help create textures and data maps for assets.

Shalaby then discusses how to export textures and maps, how to establish the look, lighting setup and cameras for the environment in Houdini, and how to render final-quality images in Arnold.

Shalaby also offers a quick tour of some of Houdini’s key tools for creating complex, layered surfaces, with a focus on those that preserve the rocky look of the cliffs.

The workshop also provides an overview of how to create a 360-degree panorama of the enviroment.

Shalaby demonstrates how to bring in renders of the horizon and – after some painting, masking and adjustments in Photoshop – how to use them to light the scene for the final render.

As well as the videos themselves, the workshop comes with a collection of downloadable assets, including the meshes, textures and Houdini project file used in the tutorials.

About the artist
Rasha Shalaby has worked in the entertainment industry since 1998 as a VFX art director, environment artist, matte painter and compositors, for facilities including The Mill and Method Studios.

Her film credits include The Lord of the Rings, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Argo. She has also worked on countless commercials and several game cinematics.

Pricing and availability
Creating Procedural Environments in Gaea & Houdini is available via a subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.

Read more about Creating Procedural Environments in Gaea & Houdini

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.