How To Create Contour Lines From A Heightfield In Houdini

Is it possible to trace Houdini’s isolines using the Trace SOP? Pedro Alpiarça dos Santos shares his technique and methods.

There is a way to describe height on 2D surfaces. It’s called Topographic maps and uses contour lines, which are drawn at different heights for each pixel in order create an accurate representation of how high something stands above ground level or other objects nearby. In this example Pedro Alpiarça dos Santos shows how you can use Sidefx Houdini’s Trace SOP operator that takes data from the terrain map patch where all these features lie so they’re easily traced over by another program such as 3ds Max.”

The contour lines will slice the terrain to get height values and place them on a 2D plane, working with a mix of SOP and compositing operators in Houdini. PedrO is an Animatog that loves bringing animation through code – he’s been doing this for 3 years now!