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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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Vertex Animation Tool giving mantra error

    Those mantra nodes should be composite networks. That is an awfully strange change.
  6. H16.5 displacement issue/Houdini bug?

    If you want to go third party use Substance, but I'm afraid there are not many ways to cross packages while keeping it procedural. You can go Houdini Engine if you want, but Substance is designed for keeping it procedural and communicating shaders across multiple packages.
  7. Terrain .hda Unreal to Houdini

    Welcome to the forum Mary. You could save the change out to disk with a rop_geometry or equivalent, this is the simplest. Another way that may be preferable is to use the Houdini Engine Debugger in Houdini. This will make Houdini do what ever Unreal is doing with Houdini Engine. http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/ref/henginedebugger.html http://www.sidefx.com/docs/unreal/_debugging.html In Houdini go to the Windows > Houdini Engine Debugger. Find out what port Unreal is using through the unreal houdini engine interface it should be the defaults, I don't have unreal at my desk to check at the moment. And press start.
  8. The grid is not changing on load, but if you ever insert a node, or create a node from the viewport, or do other wiring functions it will shift the nodes off the grid in order to fit the nodes. I have RFE'd a few issues like this in the past. My biggest pet peeve is with the new UI in h16 they lost the snap to grid functionality when auto aligning nodes. You can send in an RFE for better snapping to grid controls, and functionality. I have sent in a few over time, but they are still not getting fixed, not enough people to complain about this feature.
  9. Spiral Gas Target Force?

    You could try just applying the second effect you have to that sphere+funnel as a modeled shape. A polygon sphere with a soft peak pulling out the pole, and then perhaps a clip plane to extend the shape over time.
  10. Reflect other object's shadows

    Cool. P.S. It says the name at the bottom of the left side identifier. Best of luck on your work.
  11. H16.5 displacement issue/Houdini bug?

    If you are going for a texture you can do these three methods: You can assign those material connections in a constant shader, or just as a render passes, with bind vops or parameters, and apply it to a 1x1 UV'd grid, with orthographic camera. If you want it in the UV space of a model you can used the new bake rop, or the old mantra commands for it. Alternatively, you can make the pattern as a vop, and use that vop in a cops/vops network to save out a texture. Also if you are making vop hda, you can just set them up so they can be used for other shaders, like accepting the UV space externally, etc.
  12. On install make sure you toggle on File Association, and/or Industry File Associations. If you are installing by command line make sure you have those appropriate flags enabled too.
  13. Reflect other object's shadows

    Hello Duy. Welcome to the forum. Can you explain the pass you are looking for a bit more? I believe you are pretty close to getting what you want though. I see almost ever combination of what you are describing. If you could reduce the stuff in your scene to just the specifically required assets you are looking for. There are a lot of mantra rops, the textures are missing(you can swap for default Houdini textures if need be), etc. So it's hard to give a quick appraisal, and not send you down a long windy road.
  14. Spiral Gas Target Force?

    The issue I believe is your sink force is too strong, causing your curl noise to be flattened out i.e. all the shredding and turbulence options in the pyro node. A quick hack would be to rotate your small object 90 degrees to be vertical and reduce your sink strength, and then post rotate it after the sim. Alternative you can make the gravity and buoyancy force on the axis for that smoke object. You are pretty much there.
  15. matte and phantom?

    Yeah no need if you are not comping.
  16. matte and phantom?

    Forced Matte allows you to purposely subtract that object from being rendered in effect blacking/clipping out that object from the render. The Forced Phantom does a very similar thing except, the object will contribute to bounce passes and reflections. So it will render as it is fully in the scene but be clipped out at the very end. Where as matte clips it out at the very beginning of the render. They really just matter for what types of render passes you want to send to comp.
  17. Houdini 17 Wishlist

    Welcome to the forum Dixon. No worries the wishlist, is just a wishlist. Submit RFEs, or BUGs directly to SideFX. Eitherway like I said you can keep the old contexts, and you can certainly use managers for context specific nodes, for those who prefer that work flow. Not all of us can handle change There are plethora of ways of handling these issues as handles in different nodal packages, nuke, substance, and several other proprietary packages. Most of it is just based in good UX design. Also SideFX needs to clean up a lot of their 1600+ nodes. There are many duplicate nodes the age old blast sop and delete sop issue, and especially when you account for all the contexts so say null obj and transform sop. They have merged contexts in the past like pops to dops, and shops and shop/vops to material. Also you can just color the connecting wires, and node differently so that is obvious what wires into what. Plus add some subtle shapes for each context. You can add apiece of info to each wire to define the context, that way in your case with file node you can have one file node that is aware of it's context already. So if a file nodes is connected to a sop context it just shows the sop specific options just like the visibility settings. If you are tabbing from an output of a node from the previous context then you just show the nodes that can actually connect to it. Additionally you can have a more advanced tab menu options, like a circular menu, where the first radial is the context for those using mouse, and for those typing the name it be the same. Maybe additionally add splash of color to the tab menu for each context. The current drop down menu tab as far as UX design already fails when you get to sops, dops, and vops if you are scrolling the wheel in ALL it's already too many options, so they design could already use an overhaul. The viewport Radial menu http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/basics/radialmenus.html are already a step in the right direction. Still needing a lot more love, but in the correct general direction. Especially with all the verbification of nodes, this strips out the underlying code from their materialistic surface level detail of the node making it easier to do.
  18. rotate object to face down

    Look at the match axis sop, and dive inside it to see how SESI does it. You should find most of your answers in there.
  19. finland white aurora effects

    So this is going to be a simple answer, but create a line with many points, and drive that through chops. After importing from chops, use a polyframe to orient your normals, copy lines to them to create the height, and skin it. If you apply UVs to the line, you can modulate the transparency from top to bottom. It already looks pretty CG'd up as is, so even a slap comp will do.
  20. You could just do a simple ray project with a grid of points normals bent for the angle of projection. Then you would not have to remove any points.
  21. Changing Alembic without re-texturing?

    You can change and access the alembic file through it's either python or C# bindings if you are feeling like a bit of coding. The python implementation is pretty good. As for full round tripping nod-ally through Houdini this is not possible at this time, with out some pipeline work so that you can reassemble it as the exporter would expect it. This is actually a little more work. If you are ok with the structure being changed a bit in the case of simple strutures this may work out for you.
  22. Hiding contents of subnet

    lol, I have those days way too often, lol.
  23. Houdini 17 Wishlist

    Around Siggraph is their historical average for a summer releases.
  24. Hiding contents of subnet

    If you are doing the black box option in 16.5 go to the main menu stowbar, Assets > Create Black Box Asset from Selection... It is best to create and version control your HDA normally, and then when you are ready select your HDA and convert it. Once you black box the asset you can not undo that specific file/hda.
  25. Hiding contents of subnet

    Houdini will still be aware of it, but you can visually hide nodes. The quick way, is to RMB > Flags > Hide Node, and to Unhide Nodes in the network pane go to Edit > Unhide all (Shift+E). You can set the hide function to a hotkey if you want, which used to be the case. This is generally associated in VOPs, with the little nub parameter inputs. You may be better making an HDA, and black boxing the content, this would be a lot safer in that regard.