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Houdini RF mesh export SOP

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:40 pm
by mdharrington
I am trying to import Houdini generated fluid meshes into Lightwave...

The best method I can tell is the Realflow plugins (LW does not accept the generated alembic files)

What I have tried so far, is creating a RF Mesh Exporter ROP....and pointing to the particle fluid surface SOP node. Inside the particle fluid surface node only the convert to setting of surface polygons seems to somewhat work. Compressed fluid Surfaces messes up triangulation (points are in the right place but polygons are a mess) and Surface VDB exports nothing...
Also I have had better success with transfer attributes unchecked.

Inside LW, I can kinda get it to work....usually have to import twice and it will eventually crash after 10 seconds of scrubbing citing 'RF importer format error'

This RF mesh export is totally undocumented....I have found some plugin docs for an older version that did not even have the RF mesh exporter.


So my question is...does anyone know how this is supposed to work?
I have kinda got it figured with very limited Houdini knowledge...but I dont know if this was even designed for native Houdini fluids....or if this was meant to export RF meshes created with the RF mesher plugin SOP's in houdini.

Re: Houdini RF mesh export SOP

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:19 am
by ChristianZ
Sorry, I am not using lightwave so I cannot comment on that specific problem with the RF plugin. However, I wondered if there is no other format in which the meshes could be exported? Lightwave2015 seems to support alembic, so that might still be worth a try. Alembic is now a robust option between RF and Maya as well as Cinema4d. You can export the entire animation of liquid meshes into one (large) file and play that independently from any plugins and version worries. I find it quite nice for exchange.

Re: Houdini RF mesh export SOP

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:37 am
by mdharrington
I wish it were true ChristianZ :)

Lightwave has the most basic of Alembic import. It does not support changing topology, similar to MDD format....supports deformations but that's it, so any splashes that tear away ect are a no go.....a bouncing rubber ball would work as long as all the polys kept the exact same points as in frame 1.

Basically its good for hard body dynamics and characters ect....but for liquids with changing topology....realflow plugins are literally the only option.

I envy the proper Alembic exchange you describe....even Fusion supports it, but sadly not Lightwave.