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Not clj-related (unfortunately), but — anyone here have an opinion on Houdini as a platform for generative art? I’ve done generative work in Maya (years ago), but Houdini sounds kind of intriguing for that purpose.


Houdini is quite powerful, and probably better suited for generative art than other 3D programs (which tend to be mostly focussed on hand-made art, even though they all have some degree of programatic input/control). Last time I used Houdini (a good while ago), I didn't get the impression that it'd be particularly well-suited to realtime generative art — as opposed to, say, Max/MSP or WebGL — but this may have changed. Why would realtime matter? Because the more realtime capability offered by your toolset, the faster you can work.


As with anything, it's hard to make a recommendation without knowing the tradeoffs, and a bit about what you want to do.


For my money, it doesn't get better than CLJS in the browser using [Canvas or SVG or WebGL] and the Web Audio API.


Thanks, excellent points. I’ve done most of my generative work in straight code. The advantages of doing it in the context of a 3D package, from my POV, are 1) you can take advantage of ray-tracing & rendering to get extremely realistic looks that would be incredibly time- and effort-intensive to do elsewhere, and 2) you can easily combine it with handcrafted aspects, eg set design, lighting, camera motion. Here’s a piece from my (ancient) student portfolio site that illustrates some of that:


I don’t have a specific project in mind as yet, although I have some general directions I want to explore; I’m just feeling the urge to do some work in that sort of environment again (almost a decade since I last did).


Your statement that Houdini is "better suited for generative art than other 3D programs” matches the impression I’ve been getting from browsing the web, and is definitely what I’m looking for.


@ivanreese yeah there’s some amazing generative art libraries for clojurescript — libraries for instance. There’s even an exporter to LuxRender, which can give realistic renderings too.


@eggsyntax yeah I’ve heard houdini is pretty amazing at procedural stuff. Apparently really user-friendly too.