Tools for Houdini

Game

Ideal result

Procedural creation

Having spent years working as a VFX artist, generative modeling is the technique that interest me the most, which allows me to code the general principles of a certain creation, and let the algorithm create details and customized it. 

Houdini Engine x Unity Engine

In this project, my final destination is a 3D game to let players to input their home address, and use City Generator to build-up a Sci-fi city with the address in real life map, then challenge players to find their way home. 


Inspired by Tim Stam, I chose Houdini Engine as the platform to generate the city. This tool allows users to import street map and define the skyline, and create a city model accordingly.

City Generator

City Generator is a prerequisites tool for the game. With this tool, I need a city model which has commercial / residential buildings, and each of them has to face to the right direction and is arranged to proper position. 

The automatic system of this tool, which is coded in Python, can be break-up to following steps :

 

  • Import processed street map(vector).


  • Breakup the map to separate blocks.


  • Import building models, set their attributes accordingly :
    • Residential Building
    • Commercial Building (allow user to stack them by defining skyline)
      • Basement(1st Floor)
      • Mid-Floor
      • Top-Floor


  • Fill the blocks with the buildings


  • Use particle system to attract buildings to face to the street and arrange in good order.


  • Build commercial buildings based on user-defining real-time skyline with the map drew by paint tool. 



Real Life Map

Screen Shot @ Taipei, Taiwan

25°02'16.2"N 121°32'56.1"E


Tracing OutLine

Enhance the contrast and transfer to vector map.

Generate Geos

Import the vector map to Houdini, and break it to blocks. Select several blocks as commercial blocks.

Fill the Blocks

With physical simulation, filling cubes into blocks.

Define the Skyline

User could use Paint(Node) to draw the map which link to the height of the stacked commercial building.

Attach Buildings to the Cubes

Transfer attributes from cubes to buildings, and stacked them along with the paint map.

 

"The Way Home"



"The Way Home" (production title) is a 3D game as well as the final destination of the project.
This game is developing on Unity platform and expected release date is on Feburary. 2018.
Here's a quick look at the top five features :

  1. Process street map to vector map.
  2. Identify the store icon on the map and generate building accordingly.
  3. Depict color Green to generate plants as clues for player to find direction.
  4. Sandbox & Challenge Mode.
  5. Unique game art style & story background.