CGI still life scene (Finished)

Hey guys, I've started using Houdini recently because you know procedural workflow is kind of a big deal right now! And I thought maybe it's a good time to move on and learn something new. I will share my work as it progresses.

So the goal of this thread is to give myself a challenge making a beautiful still life image from modeling to rendering in Houdini. But I'll probably use substance painter and designer to do the texturing.


I am actually quite new to this community, so it'll be awesome if you guys can share your experiences with Houdini or procedural workflow, I will also be appreciated any critical feedback.

I think I'm gonna finish the blocking in the next few days. see you guys there:))))


  • Jimmy_Chao
    Nothing fancy for now just blocked some main items.
    I also wrote a bit of Vex code to control the rotation and length of the planks.

    One thing that bothers me is that I don't know how to make my books crumple like those old books in my references.

    Any suggestions? 
    Oh! it's just occurred to me maybe I can try to use random function and for each loop to control the position of points on the book, is that even possible?

  • Jimmy_Chao
    Added some warble noise to the books and planks, and some small items in the scene today.

  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 7
    Not many of us use Houdini, so this will be interesting to see how this turns out.
  • Jimmy_Chao
    @JamesBrisnehan I'm looking forward to the result as well =)
  • Eva_W
  • Nuclear Angel
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    Nuclear Angel interpolator
    Great idea to model an entire scene in Houdini. But I have no clue about anything in the software so I will follow this closely! 
  • Jimmy_Chao
    @Eva_W 我可能會用displacement map 來處理破部分書籍破損處 或許會先在zbrush做好破損的alpha:)))
                    I think I'm gonna use displacement maps in certain region to deal with the broken pages and book covers.
  • Jimmy_Chao
    Thanks @Nuclear Angel  I'm having so much fun during the process, I can write Python or Vex to generate and control the parameter which is just awesome  :o 

    my next step is to make those carving patterns on the table by using  wrangle node and copy stamp node.

  • Eva_W
    输入你的评论Jimmy_Chao said:
    @Eva_W 我可能會用displacement map 來處理破部分書籍破損處 或許會先在zbrush做好破損的alpha:)))
                    I think I'm gonna use displacement maps in certain region to deal with the broken pages and book covers.
  • Eva_W
  • Jimmy_Chao
    @Eva_W 很抱歉我也是個菜鳥,我只知道在製作後期可以將Houdini 檔案輸出成digital assets 以便配合其他軟體,後期的參數調整是否高效應該是創作者自己在輸出成數位資產前的設定吧! 我也還沒有了解的非常透徹。
    Houdini is still quite new to me but I think Houdini has the ability to export digital assets like substance designer in order for us to adjust 3D model, Texture... etc, procedurally even in other software.


  • Jimmy_Chao
    So... I did a little bit of adjustment to the table this time.

    Start with simple leaves warping the table, and I might as well add some flowers in the future.
    and the cool things is, all my patterns are generated by using L-system. I'm not sure how to explain what it is, but in Houdini we use it to generate tree or patterns by simply typing commands. I think it's called turtle commands on their website.

    If you guys wanna know more about L- System, then this book might help.

  • Eric Chadwick
    Please note, this forum is hosted in an English language country. We prefer you to post in English, so the majority can follow the conversation easily, and we can readily learn from each other. Posting in another language isn't forbidden outright, but it does exclude others. We would prefer to avoid this since we're a community after all! Thank you.
  • Jimmy_Chao
    Yeah! that's a good point. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the reminding @Eric Chadwick
  • Jimmy_Chao
    In order to make this scene more interesting, I added another plank behind the table.

    And I think I'm ready to go into substance designer and painter to add some textures:)))

    Render camera

    Node graph of the plank

    Turtle command

  • Jimmy_Chao
    Hey, guys! this week I unwrapped the UV of my table and textured it with substance painter/designer!
    I also decide to make the ornamental design with golden metal instead of wood.

    It's my first time tried to unwrap UV with Houdini and it wasn't easy.

    less texel density for the lower part.

    "UVquick shade", "flatten", "edit", "layout" nodes are very useful nodes when dealing with UV unwrapping.

    It's a wood table with metal decorations around it and a marble platform on top of it.
    So the first thing to do is to create "marble" and "wood" material in substance designer

    Then export the file as Sbsar file in order to send it to Substance painter.

    Finally, export the texture set and try to render with Mantra(it's slow but it's all I got)

    By the way, the syntax of UDIM is "filename%(UDIM)d.ext" when using Mantra renderer.
  • Jimmy_Chao
    Here's table's uv shell, I didn't give the table leg much texel density simply because it won't be seen in my final render.

  • Jimmy_Chao
    Finished the texture set of the books this week!

  • Jimmy_Chao
    It has been a while since the last update due to my busy college life, but I still managed to finish this project!!!

    Texturing process

    Compositing with Nuke

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