Anatomy of creating a Houdini asset.. 1..2..3.. Profit!!

Houdini Assets and Orbolt

In this blog we'll be looking at what it takes to create a standalone Houdini asset and upload it to Orbolt. We'll start with our fancy teapot model.

This is our starting scene.

Subnet your nodes
If your setup has multiple objects, first part is to select all objects and collapse them into a subnet. This groups all of the objects into a single node. It makes sharing assets easy as a single node will contain everything that's needed. If you only have a single node/object you can skip this step if you wish (though you can still wrap a single node into a subnet, which future-proofs your asset as you may potentially decide to add more objects later on).


Create Houdini Digital Asset
Next step is to create a Houdini Digital Asset. Click with the right mouse button on the subnet node and choose Create Digital Asset. This opens a window that lets you name your asset and where to save the asset .otl file. (Operator Name is used internally by Houdini; users will see the label in the Tab menus).


Build your asset interface
After the initial creation the asset will have a transform and subnet folders. Since this is our custom asset we will add a control to adjust the shape of the teapot. You can drag and drop promote existing node parameters to top level controls as well as add custom parameters. To keep things organized we'll add our size control into a new folder called 'Controls'. Naming things and grouping them in the interface into logical parts makes the asset easier to use by others.


Promote custom controls
We'll expose the teapot size parameter by promoting it to top level. The goal is for all the controls to be at the top level of the asset so the user can quickly interact with it without having to worry about the internal setup. Drag and drop the 'Radius' on the platonic1 node onto the Controls folder in the asset Type Properties. Click Accept when done.


Congratulations!! You now have your first Digital Asset with custom controls.


Upload your asset to Orbolt
One of the great things about Houdini assets is that they're a great way to share your work with others. Since everything is self contained in a single node, it's easy to give it to others. Orbolt makes this even easier by giving you a central place that assets can be uploaded and downloaded. Before we upload the asset, right mouse button click on the node and choose Match Current Definition. This will sync the asset with the latest changes (if you need to do additional changes you can always unlock it by clicking Allow Editing). Then right mouse button click on the node and choose Upload to Orbolt Asset Store.


Houdini upload process
The upload process makes sure that all the needed files are found and sends the file to Orblot.


Orbolt info
Once the file is uploaded, Orbolt upload page will open in your browser where you can fill in the details about your asset that other users can see. This is where you can show off your asset through videos/screen shots. Here you also specify the price point. It is up to you if you want to share your work with others or sell it and make some profit!!


Hopefully this gave you a better idea about Houdini Digital Assets and Orbolt. If you have any questions or comments freel free to drop us a line at: support@orbolt.com

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