Just wanted to do a quick post on the progress i’ve made on procedural design systems for Hard Surface Mecha. I really love this stuff, i think it goes back to the impact Terminator the original movie had on me. Just like Saito talks about Mazinger Z.
I never thought i’d be here making this stuff in houdini so i might as well post about it. Maybe someone will find it useful.
Houdini is big and mean at first, then things begin to click in. I’ve been trying to understand the processes behind this type of work for a little over 6 months and finally i see real progress.
The idea again, is simple…… on paper at least. Make a machine that makes machines on its own. ! that’s it. Now go built it !
I always get a kick out of projects i know nothing about and this was wizardry to me. And to prove that if i can do it anyone can here’s my progress.
Anyone who’s seen Akira Saito’s work know about the possibilities of this approach to mecha design, and if you haven’t you must.
Please check his master work out
Also there’s a Talk by him in japanese with subtitles on Side fx talks section. Ok so what did i do ?
Iteration 0 : understanding how to control voronoi diagrams
Once i got this it was time to begin making a system based on this approach.
Iteration One : Using bilateral symmetry and a solver based growth solution to generate the input points
Iteration two : Controlling extrusion based on the area of each primitive, looping over all primitives with same id. Also created a loop to add placeholders for bolts and the separation between panels
Iteration Three : The goal was to extrude based also on attributes like, perimeter, area, curvature. Also art direct the pattern creation with areas of high detail vs areas of visual rest. Made quite a leap here. Like i said houdini tends to clicks on you little by little.
I’m still working on this and i think will be for a long time, at least until i can go from this surface design to actual 3D objects.