Blender x Houdini x Octane Render pipeline / workflow?

Hi I’m new to blender and 3d animation & I am currently using the Octane for Blender plugin. I just found out all of the amazing volumetric effects that you can achieve using Houdini

So my question is…say I have a 20 second animated scene in Blender and I want to add in a Houdini effect where the character shoots an energy blast out of his hands.
What would be the proper workflow to send an animation from octane blender, to Houdini for vfx and then back into the octane blender plugin for animations ?

Do the fx from Houdini get attached to the mesh or is it just an overlay in a specific x,y,z axis ? Do I need to parent the Houdini effect to a mesh in my animation ?

I know the creators of spider verse animated in Maya and did vfx in Houdini and I think they imported it back into Maya after but im not certain.
I would like to achieve this same workflow but with Octane Blender + Houdini and im really confused on how to execute this properly.
Any advice on a proper pipeline would help alot I cant find any good explanations of this

My solution was to export the animation from blender as a fbx. Import in houdini do the effects and now export it i guess as a volume? Blender can now import these…

Now when you import the volume to your final animation it should line up and everything is ready to render. (The volume needs a material first)

The important thing is that you only export the final animation since you can easily edit the houdini effect to line up when you change the animation.

Okay copy! Thank u this was super clear & fast. Better then anything I found on google

One last thing I’m confused about with this pipeline is … if I import an animation into Houdini, would I be able to manipulate a mesh from that animation inside of Houdini ?
I’m asking this because… say if in my Blender animation a character gets thrown into a wall … and I want to send that into Houdini in order to make the wall crack and break down into rubble. Would it be possible to export the updated animation with the broken wall back into my original Blender animation ?

Or do I have to make a new wall mesh inside of Houdini and send it back into blender and proceed to add material & texture inside of blender ?

This is the final missing piece to this Houdini Blender puzzle but its also the piece thats driving me the craziest trying to understand :sweat: lol

Okay, you are able to manipulate the mesh in houdini. One thing for the brickwall is that every brick should be a separate object when you export it from blender. Than its easier to work with it in houdini? otherwise its one object. Depends on your goal for the simulation…

Another thing when you just want to add the explosion i think it would possible to animate the character and the brick wall with rigid bodys and in houdini you only have to simulate the dust and debris…

And yes the updated animation can be sent back from what i know, at least the animation. I dont think it will perfectly import your mesh directly with the bones and so… There has to be a way to swap it with your original character, so all your bones are back and you can polish it more… There you have to look up how mocap is imported and translated to the mesh.

I guess the best thing you can do is to test it with a simple scene and solve the problems you encouter.

I made a car crash and animated/simulated it in blender. There was an explosion or the initialization from the back left wheel and that animation is exported to houdini and someone else made the explosion that fits to the crash… Exported the explosion back to blender and rendered it. Here

Hope that helps.

alright got it thanks alot! im going to download Houdini and practice the workflow and use your responses as references . Appreciate your help alot man I feel alot better approaching this now. Sick animation’s btw I just subscribed to your channel

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