Particle and Dynamic Animation (Houdini II)

Exercise 2 - Water Fountain Test

With the idea of using Project 1 to create a water fountian, this exercise was focused on developing the particle behavioural and render systems. Project 1 would build upon this system to create an entire water show instead of a single water jet.

Houdini 2 - Water Spray Test 2 from Sean Dooley on Vimeo.

Houdini 2 - Water Spray Test 1 from Sean Dooley on Vimeo.


Because I knew that I wanted my water fountain project to combine different particle rendering methods, I focused my time on playing with the different render types (points, geometry, spheres) and on trying to learn Render Takes. I also spent some time developing a POP network that took the input from the emitter and created the various water behaviors. For example, I would feed in the emitter object and the POP network would, based on user-specified options, create the spray effect, or the stream particle system. I knew going forward that I wouldn't necesairly know what the emitters would be, and I didn't want each emitter to have three or four different POP networks, with each network devoted to a different behaviour type. It's all using the same emitter, but the particle output would be different, but a lot of variables (speed, emitter rate, life span) would be similar and using expressions across numerous nodes would just be frustrating.

There are two videos above. The first one is my visual comparision of the difference between a single particle type system and a combined aproach. I wanted to make sure that all of my work to develop these multiple layers of behavior to the water fountain would pay off. The second video is an earlier test of just a point render that focused on playing with the emitter time and strength.


What I Learned/Challenges

- I learned the basics of the differences between the multiple ways to render particles.
- I was challenged to figure out how to use Houdini's Render Takes system.

Future Improvements

- Improve the behavior of the water jet with more variety, detail, and noise.
- To use more particles to create a "fuller" water jet.

Technical Breakdown/Extra Information

See the Water Fountain page here for a detailed breakdown. The final system for that project is developed on the foundations of this one.


This class continued to teach Houdini while focusing heavily on particle and dynamic effects. It dealt with the POPS, DOPS, VOPS, and VEX networks.

Back to Top