One of the most common basic compositing tasks is opening a movie sequence with a nice fade-from-black effect, and and finishing it with a fade-to-black transition. With Houdini compositor, effects like this are very easy to achieve and control.
Sometimes it is useful to render curves in mantra. By default mantra renders curves as ribbons. You seem to have no control over the visual aspect of that ribbon render. In this brief article you will see how easy it is to control the width of the ribbon, with just one, point-type attribute, labelled width.
In order to understand how displacements work in Houdini shaders (and, similarily, in most - if not all - other 3D apps), let's have some fun with a basic displacement shader, right off the Material Palette shelf. I made a grid, 1 unit wide and long. For easier perception of the results, I have also added a 1 unit box, and moved it to the side so that any changes in position of the grid can be easily compared to the position of the box.
Add a new font object, using the shelf tools. If you prefer to use network editor, add a new geometry using the TAB menu, delete the default file node, and add a font SOP node. Finally, if you prefer to use python, refer to the end of this article for the script re-creating each step described below. In the font node, set the text to "move IT back" - at the final stage we will transform (move back) the letters "I" and "T".
Sometimes you may find yourself accessing a single control for some object or geometry, again and again. While it is possible to pin the parameters pane, it may be an overkill - after all, all you want is just that single control, say for rotation. Luckily, Houdini allows you to drag any control from the parameters pane onto the 3D View, to create HUD Slider (Heads-Up Display).
SideEffects have been developing Python implementation in Houdini for several years now. Python - being much more readable language than HScript, is a great addition to the Houdini toolset, making it's capabilities limitless. In this tutorial I will show you how you can quickly start using Python in Houdini. If you don't use Python too often, you will also find here a couple of code snippets useful to create and modify objects in Houdini.
When using a merge node, you often end up with a seemingly working solution, yet a yellow warning strip tells you that something is not 100% correct. Middle-click on the node, and check the warning message - if it says "Some attribute values might not be initialised", the most probable source of the problem are point normal attributes.