Procedural 3D

arrow down

Traditional pipelines for the production of high end 3D content have historically been labour intensive and therefore expensive. As a consequence, access to the technology of computer games, 3D animation and VFX applications used to be limited to a select group of specialised industry players. End users are often shocked to learn the actual cost of making high-end 3D content. Whether watching series like Game of Thrones which are full of special effects and added 3D content, or playing popular Playstation 4 games like Spiderman, consumers generally don't realize the expense that goes into making the realistic 3D assets that are passing by in often just a few screen seconds.


New technologies and software packages have recently been entering the mainstream triple-A games and entertainment industries. These procedural workflows are revolutionising the way 3D models are generated, making the production of high end 3D content more accessible than ever. This transformation is affecting the entire industry, with SME companies potentially being the biggest beneficiaries.


Howest University's award-winning degree Digital Arts and Entertainment wishes to become a knowledge center for conceptual and applied research in the field of Procedural 3D. Towards this end we will launch our TETRA applied research project in collaboration with our industry partners and the Flemish government. 


Procedural 3D is a broad concept. We will concentrate on four pillars:

  • Off-the-shelf software packages such as Houdini and Substance Designer for procedural generation
  • Developing a state of the art approach for custom solutions for procedural content generation
  • The use of automated scanning techniques for content creation where possible: photogrammetry
  • Rapid prototyping for game design and other 3D applications


Our overall focus is the non-destructive philosophy behind the procedural production process, which allows content designers to go back and forward in the production pipeline and make changes at will. These changes are then automatically applied by the procedural software as it recalculates the result. This novel approach allows designers to prototype in real time, dramatically speeding up the design process.


More information can be found on the project website.


Status: Vlaio TETRA Project, 2 years, start October 2019



If you want to participate as a member of our steering group, or want more information on the project, please contact