Expanded Library

Introduction to Materials in Houdini

by John Moncrief

In this series of tutorials, we'll take an introductory look at materials in Houdini. Software required: Houdini 14.

What you'll learn

In this series of tutorials, we'll take an introductory look at materials in Houdini. We'll start by setting up our Houdini session for a proper shading workflow. We'll learn about the Render View, the Material Palette, basic environment lights, and the Mantra render node. We'll learn how to apply materials from the Material Palette to various types of geometry. We'll explore the general materials starting with the Clay shader; taking time to understand the fundamental parameters that control color and alpha. Next, we'll move to the more complex and highly functional Mantra Surface Shader to create a realistic car paint surface. Finally, we'll create an Alien Skin shader using displacement and subsurface scattering. This course is designed to be an introductory course covering the basic principles and techniques for working with materials in Houdini and was developed for an artist with a basic understanding of Houdini's general terminology, user interface, and controls. Software required: Houdini 14.

About the author

John is the resident Houdini and dynamics author at Pluralsight. In college, he had the opportunity to work at SideFX (the creators of Houdini) and has been able to teach dynamics and visual effects to numerous creative industry professionals over the years. He lives for the rush of seeing his pupils experience "light bulb" moments. John's latest passion has been breathing new life into the Pluralsight Houdini training library and making sure that no software or tools can get in the way of an ar... more

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