How to Hijack Houdini 17’s UV-Layout SOP to Pack Geometry

Entagma Shows How You Can Use a Kind of Hidden UV Layout SOP Feature in Houdini 17 to Pack Geometry.

Packing is a term that gets thrown around a lot when talking about UVs. Having an excellent UV pack is essential for some technical pipelines. However, Packing could also refer to placing geometry and objects to fill a defined space without intersecting. With Entagma’s latest tutorial, Moritz Schwind shows how they can be both. The Key is the UV Layout SOP.

The tutorial covers a kind of hidden gem in Houdini 17 (of which there are many). You can hijack the UV Layout SOP to pack geometry. “It took us a bit by surprise, but it makes sense,” Schwind says of the process. “The UV Layout SOP can decently pack any piece of geometry into a (2D) bounding region.”

Pack More Stuff

Packing geo is a topic that tutorial authors like to cover — especially Houdini artists. Pedro Alpiarça showed how to make a setup that can pack nonintersecting spheres using pScale.

Entagma’s Manuel Casasola Merkle showed a simulated solver approach to dense surface packing.

And Ben Watts showed how to use Houdini’s Grain Solver to create easy object packing.