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kleer001

Short and sweet OP centric lessons

Short OP videos, yay or nay?   

188 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you watch short (5-10 min) OP centered how-to videos?

    • Yes! Where are they?
    • Yes, even though I'm pretty good I can always be better.
    • No, I know enough already.
    • No, but I know someone who would.


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Would anyone be interested in short (5-10) minutes videos showing how to use each SOP? (and maybe POPs, DOPs, & the rest later)

Do you think beginners would use them? Do you wish you had had them when you started?

I'm coming up on a break from work. I've been fantasizing about doing tutorials for each SOP. And I wanted to put some feelers out to see how they'd be recieved.

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Guest mantragora

I would start by checking what Peter Quint covers with his tutorials and start from there. Reinventing the same subject over and over again doesn't make sense.

Edited by mantragora

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Oh, I'm quite familar with Peter Quint's work. I've used the material from several of his lessons in my last year of production.

His tutorials are great, if you're already familar with Houdini. His work is actually one of the reasons that I want to make more videos. Not to jump on his shirt tails, but to fill in the gap from starting from zero. I have lots of colleagues from different departments come to me and ask about learning Houdini and I direct them to SESI and to Quint. When I look at the available material from their perspective most of the it seems dense and intimidating.

What I would aim for is much simpler, shorter, and snappier (which I haven't found much of online). What I would aim to do is more of a bottom up approach, getting into detail with all the little bits, as opposed to a top down approach where you start with a final effect and then pick up only the pieces that are needed.

Edited by kleer001
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Hi Kleer,

I am about to record some tutorials as well and I agree with the shorter and snappier version. However much of the strength of the nodes comes from 'combos', so consider perhaps teaching 2 or 3 nodes that work really well together. (partition + connectivity, group by edges + polycap, connectivity + name attribute + blast by attribute, cluster sop + wedge rop, foreach + vopsop filter, dopimport as points + instance setup, isooffset-sdf + volume vop + scatter, ...)

Also one of the things that is really lacking a lot in my opinion is specific tutorials and/or example files on useage of vops. In vopsop, volume vop and shop context. Showing users to do specific operations that help speed up basic operations and potentially replace/reduce expression useage.

Things I would like to see more help on and will be creating some tutorials for: pointclouds (opening, filtering, writing), trace/intersect vop, quaternion vops, matrix vops, vector interpolation & manipulation, inline vop and array accessing.

My approach is the following. I will teach a longer tutorial on one of my more extensive setups. -- The file has already been built, so I am not building things from scratch. But at the start of the tutorial I will include a 'core' section. The core is 5-10 minutes long and covers the most advanced aspects of the setup, "the cool and tricky bits". Basically the kind of things a more advanced professional would want to know about, but does not have 1 hour to watch. After the core section at the beginning would come the actual longer tutorial for people that want to see all of it.

Parts of the file will be micro tools, each tool will be covered in a separate tutorial.

Good luck with it!

Peter

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Hi Peter!!

Will you sell those tutorials or will be part of some of the existing learning companies?

Thank you!!

Edited by Pazuzu

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Sounds great..

I've been doing lots of tutorials, there's really a lot out there.

What I'd love to see more, as somebody who swichted from another app (not a "newbie").. is an indepth explenation of how houdini works "under the hood". There's bits and pieces everywhere.. but most Tutorials center around an effect they want to achief.

Questions like: Where the Attributes get stored, how to get them (in VOP, Python, Expressions), Differences between Primitives / Points / Vertex / Volumes, the different Contexts, especially more general explanations of the DOP / POP contexts.. Solvers and Multisolver.. like an overall Houdini Tutorial but more intermediate to advanced..

I cringe whenever I see somebody use a shelf tool in a tutorial.. (I want to know exactly what's going on)

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Thanks old school, really enjoy reading your insights. You should write a book on this or maybe some 5+ hour video series on this sort of rants :)

Since you explained SOPs in great detail, I am wondering what are your thoughts on POPs? There was a popular thread here that most people use VOPs instead. I know POPs also allow you to use local variables directly, but would it not be possible to have SOPs with variables instead of POPs?

Because from what I see, particles are the best candidate to be thought of as points with attributes == SOPs.

Is this an area that has a bit of story behind or is there more to it than meets the eye? :)

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Hi Old School, thanks for the learnin! Some of the stuff I already knew, but some was completely new.

I do have some technical hair splitting to do, but I think it's important enough to mention. And maybe you could give me some feedback?

I disagree with your earliest point. Not everything that happens in Houdini can be expressed by a node. There's the whole frame of the interface. There's a whole slew of display settings. There's a wonderful world of windows and contexts and panes and tools and colors and controls and views, etc...

Also I feel that most people do need videos to get a better idea of the rhythm and flow of the creation a scene and an effect. Sure a .hip file is a treasure trove of information (and should be offered with each video), but no .hip was created instantaneously or (at least in my limited experience) created without any mistakes that had to be corrected as the artist went along. A .hip is not a super messy business and there's a lovely trail of bread crumbs, but not everyone leaves the trails that lead to dead ends and those are as important, I think, as the trail forged straight to the end.

You've given me a lot to chew on, thank you for your post.

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There is no mystery as to how Houdini works. Anything that gets done in Houdini can be expressed by a node. Whether that node is a coded c++ operator, an operator written in VEX (or using VOP nodes representing vex functions), Python

old school, Your comments are best for my leanning houdini, Thanks so much! I have got so much knowledage from your comments here. Though i am new to houdini, but i'm so comfortable with this wonderful tool, love it and will follow it forever if everything is going on like this.

Thank you, old school, and please continue on.....

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Either what old school wrote is very good, or I´m a real Houdini freak because not only I read the whole thing....I also enjoyed it! B)

Edited by Netvudu

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Guest mantragora

There is no mystery as to how Houdini works. Anything that gets done in Houdini...

What?! No pictures ? Meh... ;)

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Wow.. great read! Exactly these kind of information helps me understand Houdini.

You would be surprised how many times I tried to do something in Houdini in a compicated way only to realize.. it's a lot easer!

As for the shelf tools.. I do agree, they are definitly powerful, but I think they should be for "advanced users".. If you can't build it from scratch than you don't know how to enhance a shelf tool. Getting stuck really quickly.

I think it would be a great learning experiance to carve wood only with fingernails and theeth.. but only once. After that you would get a whole different understanding for wood.. enabling you to work better with actual tools. (I do mean this seriously!) :-)

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Old School = Amazing.

Comprehensive

Thanks, for a FX artist who is trying to get used to using Houdini full time... Thanks :D

Edited by morganfreeman
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Great reading - thanks Kleer, Peter and Old School for some meaty posts on the subject.

With regards to learning Houdini, one aspect I haven't seen mentioned in this thread is training to learn *why* to use a particular node or combination or nodes.

Houdini - more than most packages, I would say - provides a multitude of different ways of varying efficiency and eloquence to arrive at a similar end result. Some solutions may produce results that are fine as a minor prototype but not scalable efficiently for production use. Others may work but only through chance and happenstance (i.e. "dumb luck").

Digging through help cards and .hip files is all well and good, but understanding when and why particular nodes should be used is a topic that I rarely, if ever, see covered by the major commercial tutorial sites. This is a topic I likewise see a large lack of knowledge about, both in myself and my peers.

Peter Quint often does a great job at explaining not only what nodes he is using but why he has chosen to use them, providing advice and cautions as he goes. If those creating tutorials can follow his lead and share their workflow logic/thought process, it would be of great benefit for us eternal students out here! :)

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Exactly Ryew! It's all very personal, like the waiting room in the movie Beatlejuice. This is the way he does it, this is the way she does it, and that over there is the way that they do it.

What I hope to provide is a personal view into how I've come to use Houdini. It's funny actually now that I've been using it for a bit longer and have some experience (but always a beginner) I watch tutorials and sometimes think to myself "That's not the way I'd do that." or "Well, that's going to need fixing in a moment." or even "Whoa, what're you thinking? There's a waaay easier way to do that."

Having just recently gotten a new job, yay, and working on finding a new place to live I'm a little stretched for time, but these tutorials are still a priority.

Update: I now have an outline and am working on fleshing it out. Right now it looks like I'll be covering the top 55 (or so) SOPs that I use the most (almost exclusively)... That's 55 out of 300+.

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Exactly Ryew! It's all very personal, like the waiting room in the movie Beatlejuice. This is the way he does it, this is the way she does it, and that over there is the way that they do it.

What I hope to provide is a personal view into how I've come to use Houdini. It's funny actually now that I've been using it for a bit longer and have some experience (but always a beginner) I watch tutorials and sometimes think to myself "That's not the way I'd do that." or "Well, that's going to need fixing in a moment." or even "Whoa, what're you thinking? There's a waaay easier way to do that."

Having just recently gotten a new job, yay, and working on finding a new place to live I'm a little stretched for time, but these tutorials are still a priority.

Update: I now have an outline and am working on fleshing it out. Right now it looks like I'll be covering the top 55 (or so) SOPs that I use the most (almost exclusively)... That's 55 out of 300+.

Wow... I am looking forward to your tutorials. Thanks, kleer001!

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I would absolutely watch these. I had been pondering this very concept for awhile now but always found myself in a position of not knowing enough about Houdini to start them up.

In my version of your idea I was including "exercises" after the detailing of a concept.

For example:

Video: 5 - 10 minutes about the Carve SOP.

Exercises (as a text file): 10 problems that can be solved using the Carve SOP of increasing difficulty.

Example Exercise: "You have a Sphere Primitive and would like to use the Carve to keep only the top hemisphere of the Primitive. How would you do this?"

Example Answer: You are not able to use the Carve SOP on a Primitive, the Sphere must be a NURBS, Bezier or Mesh. Therefore to use the Carve SOP to get the top hemisphere only you must change the Sphere "Primitive Type to either NURBS, Bezier or Mesh then check Second V and set to 0.5.

I think the addition of Exercises, while totally "school like" would help to reinforce the concepts and foster critical thinking. I have been wanting something like that for a long time.

Just my 2 cents.

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