Differential Mesh Growth

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Free Tutorials

As some of you already found out, it is quite possible to set up differential growth not only on a line but also on a mesh. This tutorial goes into the details of doing exactly that while allowing for some degree of art-directability (is that even a word?) of the growth patterns.

Also some of you mentioned that you despise the diving in and out of a solver when tweaking parameters. To alleviate that process we’ll also go over how to link values so that you can tweak parameters while working on a level outside of a solver.

Download Project File (.hpinc)

Download updated setup including bounding geometry support

OdForce Thread on Differential Growth (greatest resource ever!)

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  1. A pleasure! Thanks for the really nice renderings!

  2. Great tutorial, how is the final image rendered? Mantra? Octane? Redshift? Inside Houdini?

    • Hey, it was rendered using Mantra’s Physically Based Rendering.

  3. This is really brilliant! How would you simply slow down the growth, so that the transition from one frame to the next wasn’t as great?

    • Michele Spaliviero

      try and chenge the attribute transfer radius slider, if you augment the value it grows much quicker, so I think if you diminish it it should go slower

  4. my little tip, when driving params from one field inside – open the parameters window, go back to the origin and paste from the origin to the open params window…i do this a lot

  5. For Houdini 16, the Group by Expression @ 6:40 is not available in the Group operator. How would you go about completing the steps using Houdini 16? Thank you.

  6. Michele Spaliviero

    Hi Moritz,
    thanks for the awesome tutorial! Just a quick question:
    how do you make the color change, so that the grown part is of a different color than the rest? (like in your render)

    • Hi Michele,

      in this case the image was rendered in Octane, using Octane’s dirt shader (which is a curvature based shader) to blend between two different materials. Due to the grown part having a higher curvature, more of the metallic material gets mixed in there.


  7. Hi! I’m pretty new to the Houdini game 🙂 Is it possible to only influence the edges of an object, for instance a circles edge?

    • And also be able to control witch direction it goes. Now it have plus and negative values, if possible only one would be great .)

  8. Hi guys,

    I have a question is there a way to create a falloff for this effect. So if I animate the point it will trail off and return to its original geo. Blend shape?


  9. Hi there!

    Super tutorial! But I can’t reproduce the same thing in Houdini 16. The smooth sop changed a lot, it flattens the growth geo. Any ideas what can be done with that? Thanks! 😉

  10. Pingback: Differential growth experiments in JavaScript — Jason Webb

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