Create City Building in Houdini Using Open Street Map Data (OMS)


Learn how to create a City Building in Houdini using data acquired from Open Street Map [OSM]. This information will be processed using three tools from SideFX Labs combined into a Houdini Digital Asset that can be loaded into an unreal engine using the Houdini Engine plug-in. The asset will procedurally generate points that used to instance geometry that is part of your UE4 project. These points use attributes to add variation to the look of the buildings based on information from the OSM data.

City Building with OSM Data – Generate the Buildings

To City Building in Houdini, The first step is to acquire the OSM data from the website. You have to download in a format that works with the OSM tools in SideFX Labs. You will learn which information is available and how to trim it down to only the geometry that you need to create your city.

To flesh out the city blocks into detailed meshes, you will use the Building Generator tool in SideFX Labs. This tool allows you to use outside geometry to add details by exporting points with attributes for instanced geometry inside UE4. You have to wrap up the nodes into a Digital Asset to use with the Houdini Engine plug-in for UE4 to allow you to test it as new features are added to the system.

Using Road Generator tool  and OSM Data Create Road System

Starting with the data from the OSM file. The new SideFX Labs Road Generator tool helps to build up the road system. You will learn how to set up width as an attribute and how to create the geometry in-between the roads. You will set up proper UVs for these areas and set up the roads for instancing in UE4.

The next step is to add props such as posts, trees, and garbage pails. You will learn how to set these up to work procedurally with the road system and how to add randomness to the size and location of the pieces. You can easily repeat this process to add even more detail to this game environment down the line.

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