Houdini: Alphabet City

- Full Credits

After discovering artists Antonio Basoli and Johann Steingruber, who in the late 1800's created buildings out of typography, I decided to take the topic to the 21st century and create my own procedural city out of typography.

Proof of Concept


After creating the image above I knew I had a system that would work, but I still needed to flush out the UI and Procedural nature.

My final system ended up implementing a very user-friendly system that allowed control over all aspects of the font, each letter's height, where objects should be placed, what objects should be placed, and most importantly, what the content should be. Essentially allowing the user to type in whatever they wanted, with any font, and quickly getting a result.

Once the 2D layout phase is completed, the user can really start constructing their buildings. They can start by choosing how tall the building is, how many floors it has, and then what sort of exterior pieces they want to attach; Windows, Moulding, Doors.

Lastly, I included a Debug control panel that allows the user full control over usually locked down options. Very handy when you can't quite get the look you want.

Customization w/UI


Ezra Pound


I think the greatest challenge of this piece was having a simple idea with complex control, but having no idea how to do it. But after a few weeks of toying with Houdini, and with the help of some great friends, I was able to achieve this result. It's been very inspiring for me, and I'm excited to continue working with Houdini.