Object packing, or placing objects along another object’s surface can be achieved a number of ways. Freelance Houdini VFX Artist & Tutor, Ben Watts, shows how you can create object packing with a method you may have not thought of. Using Houdini’s Grain Solver.
The Grain system is a position based dynamics solver that was introduced in Houdini 14. It typically is used for creating dry and wet sand, or snow. It can basically be used for any simulation that requires millions of tiny particle-like elements. It can also be used for cloth and soft body simulations.
The thing is, the Houdini’s grain solver, POP Grains can let you look at neighboring particles and keep them apart, without any interpenetration. This is the basis for Ben’s walkthrough for packing objects. Clever!