Loops & Subdivisions

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Recently two projects caught my eye – one is called “Subdivisions” by Adam Heslop, the other one is the new SideFX Ident by Simon Holmedal. Both employ (as far as I can guess) a technique to subdivide a selected part of a mesh over and over. In this video we’re gonna set up a simple version of a similar algorithm. Also included is a neat trick how to efficiently render splines in Mantra.

Download Project File

Pixels In Progress – Adam Heslop’s Portfolio
Simon Holmedal’s Portfolio

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  1. Hi Moritz,

    Great one! I remember after watching SimonΧ³s ident, I was curious about the way this effect could be done. After some experiments, i achieved a similar effect with a setup pretty much like what you are showing here.

    The only thing I couldn’t figure out was how to animate it like Simon did in the SideFX ident. Using the loops inside Houdini itΧ³s pretty limited for animation. So I thought about blendshapes from one subdivision level to another but my results were funky.

    Just something to think about for part II πŸ™‚

    Great work anyway, you are also a really great tutor btw.


    • Hi! Simon did a blend shape between the 1st triangle and the new one inside it.

      1- he took the 1st triangle
      2- he divided every edge in the middle, creating the three vertex of the new triangle, then he deleted the old triangle vertices, taking the new ones, generating a new primitive
      3- he made a blend shape between the 1st and the 2nd triangle
      4- he filled the space left by the 2n triangle with new geometry, taking the vertex of the 1st and the 2nd geometry

      so every triangle rotate and became smaller, generating other triangles in the space left from the position before.

      He explained it in a masterclass πŸ™‚
      Hope it helped,

      • Thanks for sharing this, Matteo! Which Masterclass was that? Is there a video somewhere to be found?


        • Moritz,

          If you are still looking for that masterclass I found it – https://vimeo.com/164701335

          It’s really good. The tesselation explanation starts around 31:30

          Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. I’m having an issue with the tutorial after setting up the two loops and adding the polyextrude, I end up getting a lot of weird tall spikes. I’m using H15, haven’t upgraded to 15.5 yet. Could that be the issue?


    • Same here, couldn’t figure it out πŸ™

      My version is also 15.0.xxx

      • Have had a look at the provided scene file? Does that work?

  3. Some people have great natural talents, one of yours is being able to impart information in a clear unverbose manner. Yes, more on loops and anything in Houdini will be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

    • The Poly-Extrude-SOP might be your friend πŸ™‚

  4. Fantastic tutorial…..I am very new to Houdini so this might be a really basic question…..even it will be render heavy…..can you create actual faces for the triangles instead of just splines…..Thanks!

  5. Rival Consoles

    Great content! Thanks for sharing the knowlegde.

    Quick question, what would be the approach to have all the tris inside the sphere subdivided and not only the ones that are the closest to the sphere border?


  6. Hmm… I think in this case I’d build a coarse SDF out of the sphere and use that volume’s value to drive how many subdivision iterations to apply to each primitive.


  7. Rival Consoles

    Hi Moritz,

    That was a very elegant and yet simple solution. Thank you so much for sharing the file! Entagma is definitely one of the best Houdini resources out there. Hope you guys can continue with it.



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