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Everything posted by LaidlawFX

  1. Houdini 17 Wishlist

    Houdini 16 launch has been announced, February 21st! Time for the dreamers and the wishlist* to move on to the next major version. Perhaps a 16.5... as gleaned from the Amarok event??? So IMO I think the gauntlet has been thrown down. Houdini needs to be a fully fleshed out 3-D package that any person can create content in from beginning to end. No more weak spots, where you have to dive into another package, since you have no choice. Halo I mean COPs I'm looking at you. If I want to use another package that's fine, but I should no longer need to use another tool from my tool belt from the beginning to end of my 3-D authoring pipeline needs. Houdini Engine UI functionality needs to be more fully integrated into their host packages. Blueprint nodes in Unreal. Network editable nodes in Unity and Maya. Fully fleshed out UI options for parameter interfaces; rollovers, help, disable whens, hide whens. I should be able to create one tool for all my host programs, especially if they are SideFX supported ones. Lead Houdini Engine by example so when I want to implement it into my own pipeline or tools I know it can be done. A unified node context, I know this drives people banana's, but it should be a choice to work in different node contexts. Not a mandatory obligation that you need to be in /obj/ Scene, /obj/sop/ Sops, Dops, Materials, etc. to perform those task. Houdini was created with the combinations of several different programs as defined by these contexts nearly 20 years ago now. It's time to UNITE them all! We can still keep the old Context's just as POPs still lives under the hood, or you can just unleash the / context to us all, but it would be nice to work in a unified context i.e. Nuke. And as always it's the users responsibility to keep their network clean! Thank SideFX gods for the wire dots, and the circular contexts. More fully fleshed out presets. The shelf is good, but if I'm working a commercial or doing some R&D for a bigger project I need a full fleshed out setup. The setups exist out there, but I don't need to rebuild the same setup at every studio I work at. Additionally the Shelf tools needs some love. Just make them the same as hda with all their functionality. Add an Extract Content feature. Don't keep them the separate beast that they are. HDA's are powerful, shelfs are deprived and in constant sadness to their tool brethren. An example library for each node and code example that is easy to view and find. It's rare to find examples spread through the Houdini Doc's. If I could have the help Pane, or an example Pane that I could search through that be amazing. This could be tied in with more fully fleshed out presets. You don't necessarily need a lone example per a file, combined ones often make greater sense. The orbolt pane for instance. The upgrade to the Help docs has been awesome, including the more graphical documentation i.e. the packed sop. But those example files are trailing. More common studio tools that are predefined. Every studio ends up creating special importers and exporters that all in the end do the same thing. Just create a few common studio nodes, that can be easily manipulated. Either via python modules as they presented in their rigging tools, or by non-compiled file sops and rops. The Alembic ROP is a very convenient example of showing the code so you can manipulate it. I shouldn't need to have multiple different contexts and nodes to import and export geometry and data. An uber file sop to load them all. An uber filecache to export them all. One ring! My precious! I would still love to take all the older nodes like the point sop, and have them converted to vops/wrangles. Maintain the same parameter ui, but have a little button or switch that flips from a wrangle to a code version. There is a certain sense that there is still a layer of black box with each of these nodes. This is where the fabric crowd, and programmers say they don't understand what is happening, and flip a table and say they need to build it from scratch. I can understand the proprietary algorithms being compiled black box nodes, but the point sop... come on now, this isn't a dark secret to the world. This would allow us to retire so many old nodes. Speaking of which the node count in Houdini is only getting more ridiculous each version. There is no way one person can know them all. I LOVE all the new features, but there comes a point when there are too many nodes. The biggest hindrance to new people is not knowing that a node exist that they can use. Node acumen should not be a barrier to using Houdini. The Houdini learning curve is dropping faster and faster. However, I've used Houdini for a decade with a wide variety or projects, and I can easily say I have not used every node. That's cool, but it also ridiculous. There does not need to be a multiply, add, add constant, etc. a single math node would suffice, opalias that stuff! There needs to be a survey of all the nodes, alias them to a wrangle/vop and retire! retire! retire! those nodes. Plus make some useful example along the way. Ok I think I ranted enough. My blood got pumping for Houdini 16 and I'm stoked about the new toys. I can not wait for this new Lego set and to work on some more amazing projects. And yes I will make my nodes look like Legos... *As a note any true bugs of RFE's please send to SideFX Support. This is only an un-official wishlist, so we can compare notes, rant and rave.
  2. Render Farms

    Get in touch with your SideFX representative/support they can help you
  3. Render Farms

    Hello, I'm looking to find out what off the shelf render farms people prefer currently for production; likes and dislikes? Short background: We need to use our nodes for Houdini, Max, Maya, fume, and a few other software. Currently about ~100 nodes, and we don't have a dedicated render farm technician so the most hands off, off the shelf is the best. I have experience with Hqueue, Rush, Deadline, and Qube, so I am looking for any additional off the shelf software, too beyond those. Thanks -Ben
  4. Random Voronoi Fracturing

    You will have to contact Orbolt support if you are having issues. The assets are free on Orbolt, but they are black boxed as their primary draw back. The methods everyone has mentioned in this thread are all used in the setup, so this is more just a visual example case. All the ways to modified voronoi as in this examples to build an HDA like this are on the forum. It is only on Orbolt if you do not want to pay the, Iron Price, if you understand the game of thrones parlance.
  5. Random Voronoi Fracturing

    This would be an example use of what everyone has been saying. There are many files on the forum for all these patterns if you look around. https://www.orbolt.com/asset/LaidlawFX::voronoifracture::1.0
  6. Hello Tanya, Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you dove in pretty deep. While making your lightning system is great for a lot of productions and learning. Have you tried to use the Lightning preset on the L-system sop? A bit old school but it should have most of the functionality you seek, with plenty of seeds. If you place down a geometry node at object level, and then drop a Lsystem sop, you can then hit the gear icon an pick from the presets lightning or any other of the branching patterns. Then you can play with the Generations tab to control the growth. The Lightning preset has Random Seed set to $F which means you can scrub the timeline to quickly test different cases. Otherwise you can break that channel and use the ladder bracket to quickly change up seeds so you can animate the generation over time. I'll let others go into some of the other methods you can use like in vexpressions, too. There a few other post out there too you can look into on the forum, especially in regards to different growth systems. Have fun and enjoy the journey.
  7. Houdini 17 Wishlist

    You can post these on the tools thread.
  8. can we get normalized curvature of a volume?

    Feel free to send in an RFE to SideFX. Your request will get lost in the forums here. https://www.sidefx.com/bugs/submit/ I think you may be looking to work with SDF Volumes? Otherwise perhaps just asking for a stock HDA that fits/normalizes for you. http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/nodes/dop/volume.html -Ben
  9. GDC Vault paid membership?

    There are a lot of good talks in the vault. The most notable talks are generally made public. As for the price point I can not say if it is worth for an individual. For a company I would say yes, especially if it is a shared account. If you are into more game engine side it would certainly be worth it, as you not only get this years content but all previous years content. There is still a lot of work people have done in the past that other companies have still not caught up with yet. Also make sure it's applicable to what you are looking for, a lot of the speaker are technical and not great speakers so it's not like TED videos where the speaker comes first and then the content, so some can be quite boring. Plus there are hundreds of videos a years with the majority that might not be worth it, but there may be a dozen each year that really set the industry forward that are worth it the price alone. Kind of a round about answer. But yes if you have some one else pay for it.
  10. Houdini 17 Wishlist

    The previous preset of .idx used to be ascii before they made if binary to optimize performance, however, this reduce the amount of control you can have with the system. Source and revision control are impossible in a binary format. You can longer edit by hand in each preset which is really needed for production control. Additionally you want to be able to have per project control of presets, which I can not at the moment recall if the previous ascii .idx could handle i.e. for each HOUDINI_PATH variable you have be able to add each new preset to the list for studio and project control. The previous system of having all the presets in one file, I'm not personally a fan of as I would like each preset to be it's on file. The old presets have their own custom format, which was not intuitive, so documentation and a standard jason or xml format would be helpful. For those not used to hand editing presets, which I'm guessing is nearly everyone in the last five years or more, perhaps a UI from within Houdini. This UI could also help all the new people. Also allowing for some more complex preset controls, like node name, color and shape that are now maintained by different systems. This may include also other on name change, ondeleted, on input change actions. Which it would be nice to perhaps have a way to subscribe a bit to the presets, and maintain more of an active link, so that you know that this node is actively prescribed to that preset so when the studio updates the node preferences they can update. While perhaps dangerous in some ways, in the course of a large production, in order to say change a whole sequence of .hip files or Houdini Engine .hda options for a level team. A studio could change the options on demand instead of tryign to change the defaults on the node which may not be at issue for the other half the studio. For instance, all volumetric redering mantra nodes need to have a better tweak, or you need to autocorrect all the settings because some juniors keep messing with the settings and you want to lock down or hide the parameters. Something I am not a total fan of but perhaps needed in the world of Orbolt where people are selling assets, is to be able to add these presets to the .hda. In production this would generally be more a piece of shit decision, but in the world of smaller teams this may be helpful to store all related items of an asset together, especially now that we can store asset in their uncompressed version. The current work around for this system is to make your own python preset system. Which is a bit on the companies burdensome side. This also means you now have multiple preset systems to maintain. The old Gear Menu setup, the newer wrangle drop down menu setups, and then your own studio one. Additionally this brings to light that unlike the L-System preset, now with wrangles people expect presets to live in multiple places. A lot of newer people not even being aware there is a preset menu in the gear menu. One of these should be eliminated in preference of the other. So that means to take all of one system and put it into the other including making it more production friendly. Which in reality means going to all the wrangle nodes and putting those options in the gear menu, to make one homogeneous system. Additionally fixing all the under the hood reason why those options were not included in the gear menu solution. While in theory it is OK to have two different preset options in two different places, when accounting for studio options it really makes three. At the end of the day this really just highlights the issue at hand that the original system needs to be upgraded.
  11. Houdini 17 Wishlist

    Update node preset system for this decade... well maybe for next decade, too, as this one is almost over.
  12. Houdini asset not updating

    If you need just drop your assets into your $HOME/houdini##.#/otls directory inorder to test a directory that is by default searched via Houdini. As for the Embedded asset, this happens when Houdini is restarted and it can no longer find the path on disk to the original HDA, this will by default leave a shell HDA in your session. If you do not have the HDA already saved in your scene then you will not be able to find it either. This is because the $HOUDINI_PATH, $HOUDINI_OTLSCAN_PATH, or your $HOME path i.e. & does not have your .hda/.otl in those directories. So in H16.0 and earlier you can re-source these in the Operator Type Manager Window, in H16.5+ it is now called the Asset Manager i.e. Windows > Asset Manager, in the Operators Tab there is the listing for Operator Type Libraries > Current HIP File, and if you open that and see EMBEDDED that HDA has lost it's connection to on disk. You can manually add the HDA back in that session, or close the program and fix the environment variables that define those paths on load. Once loaded with the correct path and if they still don't work you can go to Configuration tab in the Asset Manager, change the Asset Bar: to Display Menu of all Defintions, and then above your parameter pane, you get a drop down bar you can relink your asset from Embedded to the correct HDA. I leave this bar on in production so you can easily switch version of HDAs. Hope that helps.
  13. Quad Sphere ?

    Nurbs sphere...?
  14. Terrain .hda Unreal to Houdini

    Cool glad to hear it works now.
  15. First Post!! \o/

    So true.
  16. First Post!! \o/

    FIRST POST!!! \o/ Ok, I had to get that out my system, lol. This topics is literally where I spend a majority of my time in Houdini. I'm very happy for this thread. So many libraries of studios HDAs cleaning and maintaining.
  17. Terrain .hda Unreal to Houdini

    That is so weird... If the pipe were working correctly the hda node should just get created in the Houdini session, which to your point it clearly does not. The only thing I think I could suggest is to open Unreal first, i.e. have Houdini closed. Switch the Session Type to Named process, so the value is hapi, as opposed to TCP as that specific port may be used by something else in your system, you could test this by trying another port number too if you wanted. Toggle the start of the automatic server... And then open Houdini, turn on the Houdini Debugger go to Named Pipes and then press start. Muscle memory as best as I can repeat it. I think you may be starting the debugger prior to when unreal would be available to be listened too. Another thing to check is, is your HDA available in your houdini session already? Like can you see it available in the tab menu in the objects or the sops context? I don't think this would be the case, but it could just not have it in it's otl search paths i.e. in your $HOME, $HOUDINI_PATH $HOUDINI_OTL_SCAN_PATH ?sp? Otherwise I would ping support at sidefx.com and give them your system info and all the above with your issue. It's possibly a bug, or in all case I'm missing something. It's one of those things at this point for me I would need to sit down at the desk and let my muscle memory do the work. I type more keys than I think about most times.
  18. Terrain .hda Unreal to Houdini

    I believe the Houdini Engine Debugger is what your after. Once the Houdini Engine Debugger has been started on the correct port, any changes you do in Unreal should real-time reflect in Houdini. For an example say you have a simple .hda that is a grid with a mountain sop to maker a rudimentary terrain. As you adjust the .hda in Unreal changing say the amplitude of the noise, it would reflect those changes like a ghost was editing it in Houdini. Encase the issues is otherwise, there is also the bake option on the HDA in Unreal. Maybe you are just looking for that? Where once you change the settings on the HDA is makes the copy of the content preserved in unreal. Unfortunately by default the Houdini Engine will not save preferences for session to session. The only work around would be to make your own preset system in python for the .hda to save your parameter settings you have changed and then load them again in your next session.
  19. Tools forum

    A section of the site that sells content, with proceeds paying for the site overhead wouldn't be bad. Tutorials, HDAs, assets, mentorship, etc. If people want to put up their tools for free it be the same as a repository I suppose, unless you want to do a pure github clone, but that has a lot of server cost for the data being pushed and stored.
  20. Tools forum

    Completely my misunderstanding!
  21. There is no update mode for entering a context or area in a path. It also does not seem very Houdini-centric for what you are doing, I would suggest maybe tackling the issue from a different angle. What are you trying to accomplish? There may be better ways to tackle the issue. *If you really wanted to go crazy you could have a continuously running python script at launch, that detects the mouse position in the network pane, and then checks against the node path. But that would be a very dirty, dirty way of accomplishing it.
  22. Houdini asset not updating

    This seems very bizarre. I would suspect you are saving your .hda file to some place you don't have permissions too. A question for you would be are you saving one .hda per a file? Also are you .hda being saved in a place searched by $HOUDINI_PATH, or the otls can path version? Additionally, verify that your HDA is not embedded via the Asset Manager.
  23. vex noise output bounds

    In vops I just made an HDA for this called something like combined noises in it's various incarnations. They have the ranges for turbulent noise here. http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/nodes/vop/turbnoise.html You could go hardcore and make your own custom vex expression. https://www.sidefx.com/docs/hdk/_h_d_k__vex_op.html Or you could make a vex library along the vop HDA lines.
  24. Tools forum

    There are more thread about tools and HDA's in them I've looked at, but with the three letter search issue they are surprisingly hard to rediscover.
  25. Tools forum

    Nice addition. Would the selling of HDA's be something directly competitive of Orbolt? I do like the idea of having a host for all stuff: selling HDAs, Tutorials, etc. as opposed to just one content type. That is a pretty big investment in the site though.