SideFX Houdini is increasingly used in the VFX industry. Due to its procedural nature, it offers a very different approach to working with 3D compared to more traditional tools such as 3dsMax, Maya or Cinema 4D. It especially excels are creating physical based effects such as destruction, smoke, fire as well as fluid simulations. And, most importantly, it gives artists absolute control over every aspect of the scene at any point in time.
In which, plugins are a fantastic way to extend the functionality of a piece of Houdini. In this article, we take a look at one of the kick-ass plugins that will make your life easier. This plugin MOPS gives Houdini users a set of tools to create motion graphics. Think of it as a plugin which makes it easier and more intuitive to create animations. If you’re happy working with complex networks of nodes to create your animations then you won’t need this plugin but if you want something which takes a lot of the headache out of creating motion graphics then you should get MOPS. Let’s head on in.
- MOPS requires Houdini 16.5 or higher (any license type)
- MOPs Plus (commercial version) requires Houdini 18.0 or higher (any license type).
Important: Houdini 18.5 builds after 18.5.351 have an error that prevents packages from loading properly. If you are using Houdini 18.5, you must either download build 18.5.415 or later, or use the Houdini.env installation method.
- Windows, Linux, or macOS
- 12 GB or higher recommended and 64GB strongly recommended for motivation.
- Intel or AMD x64 CPU with SSE 4.2 required. Houdini 18.0 will not run on a system with an instruction set lower than SSE 4.2.
4. Graphic card
- A GL4.0 compliant graphics card is required. GL3.3 cards will have missing features and lower GL versions will not run Houdini 18 at all.
- 8GB VRAM or more is required. Less than this can result in display errors such as blank windows. High DPI displays (4K, 5K) or multiple monitors require a minimum of 8GB.
- Graphics card must support OpenCL version 1.2.
- The OptiX Denoiser requires a Kepler or later NVIDIA GPU (K, P, M, V prefixes).
It is VERY important that you install the latest driver for your graphics card using the proprietary drivers direct from the card manufacturer, not the open source versions. Failing to do so may result in display issues and/or slow performance.
Recommended Nvidia GPUs:
- Turing RTX Quadro series
- Ampere RTX 30 series (try RTX 3090 here)
- Ampere A Series
MOPs is an open-source suite of Houdini Digital Assets (HDAs) built to help motion designers and visual effects artists animate things more easily and intuitively.
Complex node networks and transformations are made simple with intuitive controls for duplicating, rotating, bouncing, aiming, and all kinds of other common motion effects. Take advantage of Houdini’s speed, power and flexibility, without needing to write complex expressions and custom VEX for every little problem. Use MOPs Falloff tools to modulate the effect of any other MOPs tool, or just use them to make point attributes you can use anywhere else in Houdini as masks, multipliers, and the like. MOPs operate entirely natively within Houdini… all you need is an id attribute.
MOPs is built around a few low-level “API” nodes that make it easy to transform packed primitives along their local axes (or any arbitrary axes!) and to blend the transforms of objects together in an intuitive way. These nodes can also be used by Houdini-savvy technical artists to create new custom tools!
Easily match various resolutions of packed primitives, transform packed Alembics in their local spaces, modify rigid body simulations after the fact, and more!
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