Dense Surface Packing in Houdini: A Simulated Approach

Dense surface packing of objects is a growing effect, both in practice and in popularity. It’s visually stunning to see objects appear and fight for position on the surface of another object. If you are working in Houdini, you have a lot of choices to accomplish this effect. There are a few analytical algorithms that can calculate the packing problem. However Entagma’s Manuel Casasola Merkle has never run across one that is all that versatile, especially when it comes to animation.

This s why Manuel chose to develop a simulated solver approach to dense surface packing. Watch as Manuel explores a simulation based way to get a dense packing of particles with varying radius. The video covers the concepts of “signed distance fields” and “the gradient” to project particles onto the surface of any object. Not to forget the section on how to an intersect VOP to sample attributes from a foreign surface. Nerdy and fantastic!