I’ve been spending a good amount of time recently on trying to figure out L-systems in Houdini. I’ve always wanted to be able to grow plants in 3D, and I was always frustrated by the lack of flexibility in Maya’s Paint Effects and the Onyx plant generator, so I figured it was time to learn this once and for all. Let’s just say there is a bit of a learning curve, like anything else in Houdini.
I’m not going to go into the basics of L-systems here, there is way too much for me to even consider posting. The best resources I’m aware of for learning how to use them in Houdini are this tutorial on Digital Tutors, and this tutorial on CmiVFX. The Digital Tutors tutorial is probably a little bit easier to start off with as it tries to take a more flexible approach to making the plants grow (as opposed to CmiVFX’s more “pure” L-systems approach) but they both require basic Houdini ability before you start.
Anyways. The plant I was trying to create was a little seedling, with leaves that unfurl as they grow out from the main stem. Here’s what I came up with:
Hit the jump to see the breakdown…