Vertexes' animation



Hi all,
I’m working on diffeomorphisms for my bachelor and I have a mesh which must be animated by translating vertices, so I need to build a tool that allows me to control mesh vertices individually.
Which animation tool between Maya or Houdini is more suitable for my needs?
I’ve thought that I could do it by creating a deformer node in Maya, but maybe with Houdini there is a simpler way (I don’t know cause I’m a real beginner in Houdini)
Hope you can help, thank you!


Creating a basic “hello world” kind of deformer is quite simple in Houdini. As soon as you have some geometry, you can run it through a pointwrangle node and write a few lines of VEX code to make changes.

@P.y = @P.y + 1.0;

That line of code just translated every point in a pointwrangle up by one unit. No boilerplate or compiling required.

@P = @P + @N;

That line of code is vector addition. It pushes every point in the direction of its normal.

For a whole lot more information, you can read this excellent wiki if you haven’t already:

You can also use vector fields (and completely control them) which might be relevant to diffeomorphisms, as far as I understand.

Houdini also has nice visualization tools. So you can create text, vectors or color to visualize your data. And you can run on millions of points if you have a decent computer.

Building a node in Maya requires a lot of boring boiler-plate. In my opinion, you’ll spend most of your time learning how to read the docs in Maya and it won’t be as flexible until you reach a certain level (or possibly ever).

Either tool is going to potentially come with a learning curve though. What is your goal after school? More theory and math? Employment with a production studio?


I’m more oriented towards artistic roles (I’d like to model environments for films and adding vfx to them), but I study Computer Engineering, so for my thesis I have to put aside the artistic factor for the next 3 months.
I want to learn scripting to support my works anyway, so it’s a good thing. This project is my first attempt, but in my team there are people who know Python very well, so I’ll try to learn from them as much as I can.
I’ll propose Houdini to my team, we’ll check it for the next week. thank you!