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  • Writer's pictureKenny Lammers

Indie-Pixel's Top 5 - Free Houdini Terrain Tutorials

Since the release of Houdini's new height field nodes, there has been a flurry of Terrain tutorials out there, so I spent some time and watched through quite a few of them to find the ones that are truly worth the time to watch! Of course this is completely my opinion, but I wanted to share my top 5 picks for terrain tutorials for Houdini.

My criteria was mostly based around game development pipelines, meaning which tutorials show the most promise around a real practical game production pipeline. The tutorials also had to be free. So here we go!


This is a great tutorial on the entire pipeline of creating not only a terrain but all the major components of an environment. Each of the elements created in this tutorial series can be exported and used in any game engine. Make sure to watch the entire series as each video describe little bits of houdini awesomeness!

I really loved the approach this individual took. Some really clever uses of Houdini to get the plots of land as seen from the air. Its tough to try and create large scale terrains for games, and I believe this is a great tutorial / case study in an approach to produce just that.

In this Houdini Height Field tutorial, not only does Jeff show us how to make a terrain, but we get to look at how to process the height field with COPS. Something that isn't always well documented and is hard to find tutorials on. Jeff then completes the tutorial showing how to use DOP's to scatter objects over the terrain. Very cool stuff and I highly recommend you watch this to see how you can use Height Fields in many ways.

Once I heard that Houdini 17 now included Hierarchical Scattering, I was floored. I had just gotten done with making a foliage scattering system at work and then this comes out. Basically made my tools almost obsolete. We do still use the tools I created at work, but I am slowly beginning to integrate this new system into the already existing tools I created. I really recommend watching this as it makes creating forests, scattering, and foliage placement a breeze!

This was an awesome tutorial! I mean wow! I have been using the new Heightfield nodes for a bit now, but this really dove in and showed me the how's and why's of Houdini's new erosion nodes. Realyl is a lot faster and much more controllable. I am beginning to feel like ditching World Machine and stick with Houdini for everything! Anyways, I leave it up to you guys to decide...I am going to begin to use Houdini for all my terrain generation from now on.

So that is my current Top 5 Terrain tutorials for Houdini as of November 2018! Let me know what you guys think and if you have certain requests around tutorials I should make, do let me know! I'm always interested in hearing from the community and love to share my techniques and solutions! Thanks so much everyone! :-)

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