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Hi. I'm new to Houdini. I used Softimage for 20 years then went to Maya but am giving AD the bird and learning Houdini. Something I haven't found is a clear definitive guide on how to set up different render passes in Houdini. I see a few different approaches but none seem like the THE definitive way it should be done. Is there a tutorial or video or something about the best way to do render passes in Houdini? 

 

Thanks!

 

Lawrence

 

* I originally posted this on the SideFX forums but got no response :(

 

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There is no THE definite way of doing passes in Houdini, which might be somewhat frustrating for someone coming from XSI with particularly nicely designed passes system. There are a number of approaches with pros and cons each, that are mostly limited, afaik, not by their design or implementation, but user ability to manage complexity they involve. That is, for example Takes are excellent concept, very powerful, but some people tend to avoid them, because they are very hard to manage in a reach, production scenes. 

Since using a number of Mantra Rops with object's states overrides, pass dependencies, exchangeable sets of shades, switches in Sops (or different flags for display and render)  smart bundles and naming expressions (objects membership based on names patterns) is so natural and easy way of working in Houdini, there is really hardly any reason to use Takes or anything more advance. Of course you can mix any of these ideas, find best angle for Takes taming or go even deeper with shaders that can be driven by objects states and custom properties. 

From my experience simple solution like naming objects with _NOSHAD as postfix and use it wildcards in light linker are best methods for complexity. You can built pretty advance setup based on these basic concepts by making own Rops, extending Objects parameters and using shaders with renderstate() imports .  

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21 hours ago, symek said:

There is no THE definite way of doing passes in Houdini, which might be somewhat frustrating for someone coming from XSI with particularly nicely designed passes system. There are a number of approaches with pros and cons each, that are mostly limited, afaik, not by their design or implementation, but user ability to manage complexity they involve. That is, for example Takes are excellent concept, very powerful, but some people tend to avoid them, because they are very hard to manage in a reach, production scenes. 

Since using a number of Mantra Rops with object's states overrides, pass dependencies, exchangeable sets of shades, switches in Sops (or different flags for display and render)  smart bundles and naming expressions (objects membership based on names patterns) is so natural and easy way of working in Houdini, there is really hardly any reason to use Takes or anything more advance. Of course you can mix any of these ideas, find best angle for Takes taming or go even deeper with shaders that can be driven by objects states and custom properties. 

From my experience simple solution like naming objects with _NOSHAD as postfix and use it wildcards in light linker are best methods for complexity. You can built pretty advance setup based on these basic concepts by making own Rops, extending Objects parameters and using shaders with renderstate() imports .  

Thanks. I suppose its going to be a matter of trial in and error on some simple production scenes to find out whats going to work for me. AD really screwed the pooch in my option on their new implementation. Hopefully this is something that the folks at SideFX can put a bit more thought into as well. 

 

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Houdini really needs a lot more feedback and pressure from users in lighting / render departments. Its architecture is so powerful in this respect. It's a matter of rounding corners or / and finishing what's already there. 

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