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One of the best things about Houdini is the simplicity of creating explosions. This tutorial will go over the steps required to create, shade, and render great looking explosions in Houdini using RenderMan.

The first step is to get RenderMan setup work with Houdini. This video gives a great initial introduction to the initial setup for RenderMan for Houdini.

After getting started, you will want to create a torus, upon which we will add a Fireball pyro effect. You can add a torus, by hitting TAB in the Scene View and type out "Torus".

After you drop the torus at the origina, select the "PyroFX" tab from the options on the right hand side. Select the "Fireball" and apply it to the Torus and hit ENTER.

I've modified the default pyro_sim node to make the simulation look a little more "full". So dive into the pyro_sim node by clicking on it. Once inside the pyro node, you will want to first modify the pyro node attributes.

You will noticed I have dropped the "Division Size" down and I have upped the "Size" of the simulation to 30 x 40 x 30. I have also added a stock gasrepeatsolver node after the source_fuel_from_torus node.

Finally I made a few modifications to the pyrosolver node as noted below:

You can increase the smoke amount from 1 to 3 if you want the simulation to have more smoke.

Now you can hit the play button in the lower right and have the simulation run for awhile. In this tutorial I used frame 21 for testing my shading and lighting.

One of the quick and easy steps for setting up RenderMan for use in Houdini is to use the shelf buttons. I next pressed the "RIS ROP" button on the shelf and that gives me a ROP (Render OPerator) and also places down a default path tracer intergrator and creates an RIS specific SHOP (RIS SHading OPerator network).

In order to help me gauge my lighting, I decided to drop a shiny sphere in scene for reference. I clicked in the scene view and hit TAB and typed "Sphere" to drop a sphere in the scene off to the left of the fireball. I then clicked into the "risnet1" SHOP network and hit tab and types "PxrDisney" to create a pxrdisney BXDF. I modified the paramaters of the PxrDisney shader to make it a shiny mirror ball as shown below: