Houdini: Noodle Cart Wind Sim Test

A couple months ago I was given the oppertunity to make a small environment to show off some of our in-house Houdini wind tools. So naturally, I made a stylized ramen cart. Talk about aesthetic whiplash. At the time that this was made our entire team was deep in the production of our current project, so it ended up being a pretty refreshing change of pace. You can see the final result below, special thanks to Ben House (Senior Tech Artist) and Kurt Williams (Senior FX Artist) for getting everything running correctly.

Something that was immidiately aparent was the strange rendering articating going on with the AO and lighting. Turns out trying to shove a bunch of stylized, non-pbr assets into an engine (BP Engine) that was made to render high-fidelity PBR assets isn't the best idea... But overall the process of making this was very enjoyable, and it was fun to test the limits of our in-house engine.

The whole scene has this smeared painterly quality that I like quite a bit, even though it was 100% unintentional. I even attatched a gif below (captured directly from the editor) just to illustrate that the soupiness of the shots are not from compression, but rather, the way that our engine renders non-PBR materials! neat!

Ramen zoom

Below you can see the actual Houdini simulation that we baked out and used in the environment. I'll link the Houdini Hive GDC talk below if you are interested in more in-depth details as to how we integrated Houdini's gas solver into our engine to simulate wind.

Houdini as a Comprehensive Gamedev Tool | Ben House | GDC 2019

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