Brendan Dawes
The Art of Form and Code

That Was The Week That Was — 22nd March 2020

Last weekend we were meant to be in Paris, but of course we had to cancel due to COVID-19. We lost pretty much all our money, with the hotel refusing to change the dates as it was non refundable and that was that. Pretty terrible attitude given the circumstances.

So instead we booked a last minute trip to the Cotswolds. The hotel was wonderful as was the weather — which is bloody unusual. One the Monday evening the new social distancing measures were announced. Not full lock down quite yet, but being asked to not visit pubs or restaurants. Instead we dined at the hotel for a second time, and yet again it was fabulous.

After getting home, I got back to my desk and began exploring some new textured things in Houdini. Textures isn't something I've played around with too much apart from messing around with the built in shaders, but after various great resources for textures was mentioned on the Notch course I attended, I found some time to explore further.

The main resource I used was Texture Haven. These are really high quality textures, all for free, even in 8K resolution. The sister site also has high quality HDRIs for environment maps.

I realised that I can ignore the AO files that usually come with the download and really all I needed was the diffuse, roughness, normal and bump maps, and sometimes the displacement maps. After some trial and error using the Principal Shader, I managed to get some pleasing results. is another good resource for textures, though you need to pay for the higher quality versions.