Digital asset for feather styling and simulation in SideFX Houdini.

Brings fast and easy feathers to Houdini.

"The feathering tool looks to be a monster in terms of it’s capabilities, allowing you to create fast and easy feathers in Houdini with some great styling controls." - LesterBanks.com


  • Combing - Refine the styling by combing, just like fur.
  • Control Nulls - Animate feathers with unlimited amounts of direction, global direction, and rotation nulls.
  • Paint Parameters - Scale, Stiffness, Collision, Type, Density and custom parameters if needed.


Fast and robust simulation with a variety of constraints.

Feather Sim

Simulates each feather tip and applies the resulting rotation to the feather copy in one of three ways: Rigid, Pin Roots, or Blend with Stiffness. The feather simulation has 2 constraints:
  • Collision - Feather tips are approximated as spheres and collide with the character.
  • Cone - Keeps the feather tip a certain distance from the rest position.

Point Sim

The point simulation calculates every point of the copied feathers with a shape matching algorithm. It can handle very complex feather meshes and can add nice deformations without the need for a specific topology or edge lengths. It can be used on top of all other geometry outputs such as Copy and includes 4 constraints:
  • Collision - Points collide with the character.
  • Plane - Good for preventing feathers from bending left/right.
  • Distance - Prevents stretching.
  • Stiffness - Controls how much the points along the feather resist deformation.

Feather Cage

Edit the feather cage like a regular mesh, and the feathers follow by rotating and scaling.

Deform Cage

Feathers follow the deform cage by bending.

6 Output Types

  1. Feather Sim simulates the tips of the feathers and reorients/deforms each feather copy.
  1. Capture By Amount captures the points of the feather copies like a skin that lays on top of the character skin.
  2. Capture By Lattice captures the points of the feather copies with a Lattice.
  1. Copy outputs the copies without any dynamics.
  2. Instance will output the root points without dynamics and activate the feather instances.
  3. Instance Sim will output the simulated root points and activate the feather instances.

Interested ?

Here is why you will like working with mbPlumage:


In our test scenarios, the feather
simulation ran 25x faster than a regular wire solver.


Both simulation types have a Fix Spring Jitter feature which can fix jittering of small feathers with almost no impact on the performance.

Built for artists

No deep knowledge of Houdini networks is needed to use the asset. The Non-linear workflow allows an artistic approach.


All simulation types have caching functionality built-in.

Cover Surface

Automatically cover the skin surface at areas with a small feather size by scattering additional feathers.

2 Placement Methods

Scatter for random distribution and Shrinkwrap for an even distribution with full control over the placement.

Easy Updates

Orbolt will download the latest version of mbPlumage directly from within Houdini. If you are in the middle of a project, you can turn automatic updates off.


The extensive documentation is built into the asset in wiki format and is over 10 pages long. You can also hover over all parameters to see an explanation.

Open Asset

Customize the feather system by making use of Houdini's procedural node-based workflow. Note: The 2 core nodes of the feather system are closed assets.

About the Author

Michael Buettner is a developer who is mostly known for his plugin mbFeatherTools for Softimage.

"Some of the best features of mbFeatherTools are ported to mbPlumage. If you needed a good reason to transition to Houdini, now you have it."
Michael's tools have been used in animated films, cinematic trailers and commercial spots by Blur Studio, Triggerfish Animation, Coffee&TV, Smoke & Mirrors, The Mill and others.


If you have any questions, please contact us. We're looking forward to hearing from you!