3D designing is a very fun way to create anything you want without the dimensional limitations that 2D art would have. With the way it’s evolved ever since it began back in the 1970’s and 1980’s in its experimental stages, 3D designing changed a lot that art lovers have experienced since then.
Anyone new to 3D designing should always continue practicing the basics of such a technique of art before they go into the more complex works. That said, there’s a lot that can make a potential 3D designer hooked onto this kind of work. Here, they can learn how to grow plants in Houdini, use many brilliant uses of 3D for multiple brand campaigns, create realistic CG cloth, make hair in Cinema 4D, and how they can begin their own digital art journey.
Growing Plants in Houdini
Houdini is a SideFX 3D animation software that makes the use of a procedural technique for attention to detail. This is also great for anyone that wants to make naturalistic 3D art, with the program having a lot that newcomers should keep track of if they want to learn what makes Houdini so realistic. It may seem like it takes forever to work with after witnessing how complex Houdini is, but precision and gaining knowledge of the software while using it continuously makes it more engaging without having to worry about even the smallest features that make a world’s difference when it comes to making tweaks.
Bigger animators and brands have no problem with paying a large amount for using the animation software, but smaller artists and hobbyists can still join the fun with the Houdini Apprentice software, even if it means having to accept the restrictions. For this example tutorial, anyone can learn how to make something simple like grass and leaves while also observing how the program functions. Not only will that be covered, but there will also be an overview on how to sample VDB volumes for plant growth and VEX code to modify some specific geometry.
First and foremost, it’s best to start planning the layout of a model, which will be a ruin in this tutorial. The best anyone can do with beginning their ruin model before covering it in foliage is to name their shapes so they can be reused when easy grouping is needed. After all the walls and windows are made, it’s now time for the leaves to be created. Using reference images is recommended if artists want to make realistic results, so that means no polygonal leaves.
The same also applies grass strands, which should be rendered as basic strands that have only one side, both can work with the use of natural distribution with where the grass and leaves grow. Speaking of distribution, using the AttributeTransfer tool maps where the color layout should be placed to make the ruin look organic. Use VEX as a way to distribute the scale of the attributes so the grass can grow with the climbing plants going up, wander, and wall. These help with the way the seeds would naturally grow, how the natural effects allude to the distribution, and how the final force makes the leaves be near the walls.
After the arrangement of the leaves is done, it’s time to make them more natural. It’s best to make sure that the vines are softened so they won’t look crude. It’s also best to add some branching behavior to the vines as they can create a branch point out of a specific growth step. To finish everything off, programmers can modify a UV Texture to change the length and overall proportionality of the branches, while the leaves are made to be instanced so their distribution can match how real leaves are grown.