#December 08th 2012 UPDATE - The system as you see in this video has been packed into an OTL
and you can download it at this address: docs.google.com/open?id=0B52rQ3NKxdjzU1Jyd2xhMzB1OWc
Just install the OTL and drop down a "AN LIGHTNING Demo" node, hope there will be something useful for you to learn inside!

# June 10th 2012 UPDATE - Added interactive light contribution in proximity of the floor contacts points.

Few years ago I did publish a test after some time spent in learning Points Cloud in Houdini: vimeo.com/9973870

Since then I really never kept experimenting because always busy somehow. In the last year I have been throug several Houdini productions, learning a lot working with many many talented users of this software, especially about how really handy and part of the Houdini's culture they really are! So, with lots more information about Points Cloud I did a small experiment with in mind the idea of using them as much as possible to do something different than what I did with Magic Teapot, also because at that time I did not really know how much I could do with them but wanted to follow the same "colorful" concept, and this Video shows what i did come up with in few days.

The white big points floating in the air are my Points Cloud, and they control everything happening in the scene: the floor, colors, lightning generation and so on.

A simple square flat grid act as the floor (the magic floor...;) ), and it get displaced based on the distance from the Points Cloud.
`Distance` also trigger the displacement based on a out of the box turbulence noise, with different driven parameters from every point in the Cloud, like color, intensity of the color, offset in space, amplitude and many others...

The lightning get generated on the fly based on a threshold distance between the Points in the Cloud and the floor within other rules like, witch color will be the floor at the connection point, and the elevation amount of it. If it’s the highest peak point, will be eligible to create a lightning, with a color that goes from the floor's color at its impact point to a white color near the Point in the Cloud look up that triggered its born.
Also, the whole color intensity differ from strand to strand and, for every strands group the color get darker toward the areas where the amount of strands per unit area is less, keeping the center core always brighter.

Also, the velocity a Point in the Cloud have while traveling into its valid search area,
the number of the highest peak points found on the floor and the intensity of the colors they have,
determine the "aggressiveness" of the lightning. Depending of its value, the lightning will generate
more strands if considered aggressive and less if not, giving a quick fade in and out feeling when they born and die.

Hope you will enjoy watching this video as much as I did while I was making it!

PS: This is a Flipbook straight from Houdini's OpenGL Viewport with a soft glow added before generating the QT.

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…