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Stroke-it - 3D Oil Painting in Houdini

UPDATE: Stroke-it 1.5 is out and is a free update to anyone who previously purchased Stroke-it. Just download it. (Please keep your earlier install of Stroke-it, just in case there are compatibility issues.) The big new feature is Autotrace a fast and effective way to convert images into paintings. Stroke-it 1.5 comes with an example set and detailed explanation about how to use Autotrace. Have fun! Oh, and let me know if you have any trouble with it.

Hi and welcome to Stroke-it, a Houdini tool for creating realistic oil and acrylic brush strokes in 3D.

Here's a look at Stroke-it in action


I’ve been working on Stroke-it in my spare time for a while now and I’m excited to share it with you. At the heart of this experiment is my desire to help people create beautiful three-dimensional images that look and feel like genuine paint media. If, like me, you love looking at oil paintings close-up and seeing all those cool streaks and clumps the artist left there, I think you’ll have a great time with Stroke-it. But keep in mind, even though this is a digital technique, it still takes time and patience.

I’m offering Stroke-it as both an asset and a learning tool. Please be aware that Stroke-it is not fool-proof. There are ways to break it and it sometimes the results aren’t perfect. But they’re not really meant to be!

You are free to dive into the nodes of Stroke-it. See how it works, try your own ideas out, mess the whole thing up and start again, or even improve it! I’ve put lots of stickies in there to explain what various nodes and switches do. So it is possible to use it as a sort of tutorial. I learned a lot about procedural systems by building Stroke-it. If you’re like me and still learning this stuff, I think you should be able to get some knowledge from Stroke-it’s setup.

But please also remember that you’re buying the right to play with Stroke-it and make your own art. You must not pass the setup on to anyone else, even your buddy who’s just trying to learn, or sell it on as it is or altered. That wouldn’t be cool at all.

What you should do is share what you make! Anything you like. Good, bad, breathtaking, let’s see it. Stick it on Instagram with the #stroke-it tag and let’s see what this thing can do with your crazy ideas. That’s what this is really about.

***one more thing: Stroke-it is set up to render with Redshift or Arnold.  If you don't use either of those engines, it's easy to adapt Stroke-it for another render engine.  The @Cd attribute holds color and the @uv_verts is a vertex uv attribute you can use to map any additional textures.

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  • Stroke it works inside Houdini as a series of nodes stored in a subnet with logical controls for painting. It will work in any current version of Houdini. For now, it’s simply a .hip file. There’s no need to install an .hda or .otl. I've also included an HDRI for a lightdome, a test image for tracing and a set of written instructions.


Stroke-it - 3D Oil Painting in Houdini

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