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Making Of 'Power Plant'

By Rohan Dalvi
| Your Rating:
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(20 Votes)
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| 6 Comments
| Comments 6
Date Added: 11th July 2011
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop, Misc
136_tid_main.jpg
The idea for the power generation plant came from the thought that alien planets could have almost any type of plants. So I figured why not have a planet where trees generate electricity that is harvested by machines? The original idea was to have the plants grow in a laboratory-like environment, but I later changed it to a forest (Fig.01).

136_tid_Fig.01.jpg
Fig. 01

Anyway, once I had finished the basic concept in Photoshop I started to model it in 3ds Max. I quickly realized that modeling the tree in Max wouldn't be the best idea as I wanted to create quite a few variations of the main tree and wanted to keep the structure as procedural or live as possible so that it would be easier to make changes later. So I finally decided to model the entire forest procedurally in Houdini.

Modeling

Here is a rough breakdown of the modeling process for the tree in Houdini:
1. I created a central curve. The idea was to create a base curve and have the entire tree twist itself around that curve. In order to do that I started by making a line. Using a Point SOP and basic Sin and Cos functions converted it into a helix (Fig.02).

136_tid_Fig.02.jpg
Fig. 02

2. For the vines I followed the same process except with a larger radius (Fig.03).

136_tid_Fig.03.jpg
Fig. 03

3. I then used a Wiredeform SOP to deform both these lines around the central curve (Fig.04).

136_tid_Fig.04.jpg
Fig. 04

4. Using a Vopsop I added some noise-based deformation on the curves.

5. To create a tapering effect I created a red gradient going from the base to the top point of the curves. Using a Polywire SOP, I used to red color to drive the width of the curves and made three copies. This got me the central trunk of the tree (Fig.05).

136_tid_Fig.05.jpg
Fig. 05



6. For the vines I followed the same method, but kept the polywire thinner and made more copies but kept the angle randomly switching between 0-360 degrees (Fig.06).

136_tid_Fig.06.jpg
Fig. 06



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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 46704, pid: 0) Gingko on Thu, 21 July 2011 10:37am
ya can't do it procedurally in maya, nor 3dsmax, not like this. that's why houdini is magic :)
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(ID: 46342, pid: 0) Murali Krishna on Fri, 15 July 2011 12:05pm
ya cool setup
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(ID: 46147, pid: 0) Kevin on Tue, 12 July 2011 7:21am
Nice to see Houdini in good use. Great job!
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(ID: 46139, pid: 0) Fynn on Mon, 11 July 2011 11:19pm
i want to see something like that for maya that would be so awesome
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(ID: 46113, pid: 0) Boxek on Mon, 11 July 2011 4:28pm
This is a Houdini tutorial, not 3ds max. Very interesting though, i'll try to do it in Max =)
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(ID: 46111, pid: 0) K9tty on Mon, 11 July 2011 4:20pm
this is realy cool,lovely colour scheme and full of inspiration; great job
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