Mapbox plugin in Houdini: Terrains

Mapbox is an amazing plugin within Houdini. It allows you to download elevation data (heightfields) from anywhere in the world along with a color map.

Mapbox node with zoom capability to download data

You just zoom to whatever region of the world and click download.

Downloaded data
Zoom around and download again

See below for a little quick demo.

Demo

Substance Painter and Auto UVs

I haven’t talked about Substance Painter in awhile. I’ve gotten a bunch of 3d model kits from various sources. Some have no UVs and others have just okay UV layout. Now a couple years ago Substance Painter released the ability to do auto UVs. It’s works great. The algorithm is pretty neat working with simple geometry to complex. You can always finish up the UV layout in another application afterwards.

Below is a robot head I purchased off of ArtStation that I’m going to incorporate into a painting. I just wanted to use Substance Painter to do a quick pass on this head. I wanted the color scheme of the head along with some wear and tear on the head.

Some renders out of Substance Painter

Well, it’s Groundhog Day….Again…

So, most of my friends will tell you, I love the movie Groundhog Day. I watch it every year on Groundhog Day.

What I do love about it is that it demonstrates how someone can change for the better. So, I always find a great way to check up on my recent New Year’s Resolutions from a month ago. Am I staying on track or have I already fallen off the band wagon.

This year I started using the App/Website Evernote again. It’s had some great updates to it. I made tons of lists and started pages for projects. All to make sure I stayed on track this year. The basic version is free which is great. It’s web based so you can check your lists anywhere.

Here my home page. You create pretty much any document. You have a little notepad to jot down notes for that moment. You can create “To Do Lists”. Once completed you check them off and it crosses it off the list (which always feels great).

TO DO List

You create Documents (Notes) for whatever you need. I began using it to create cliff notes for new applications/tutorials I go through. This one is from Artstation using Blender for Sculpting.

Blender Sculpting Tutorial

It really helps, I can type down the hot keys, mark up screen captures, etc. I use a Windows machine, so I found clicking the Print Screen button a little cumbersome. I have dual monitors, so I have to download the image, bring it into Photoshop to crop it, then save it. There are other ways to do this and I’ve tried them. I found LightShot a free application to be great. Once installed it takes over your “Prnt-Scr” button. I always you to quickly marquee your screen, make a note, and then paste it. It works on Mac and PC.

Light Shot

Having this note is so much easier than going back to the video, and you can paste weblinks to go back to the videos if needed.

There are templates you can use or create your own. I have found this very very useful to keep track of my projects, to do lists, and organize my day.

“Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ‘ cause it’s cooooold out there today.”