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Blacklisted_Guy

small exercises for beginners

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I've been using houdini for a while now and have been going from project to project in school.
Currently I've been doing doing the school projects but I've been wanting to do some small things to improve my skills.

Would anyone have small exercises concerning vex, python or other houdini things in mind?

thank you for help!

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I first taught myself the basics of Houdini by going through SideFX's excellent Quick Start tutorials hosted on Vimeo (and the multitude of videos put together by Peter Quint - even though Peters stuff is nearly 10 years old, his tutorials are still relevant and they're perfectly paced for beginners).

Quick Start Tutorials

And reading the Quick Start section of the documentation is essential too, it's lightyears ahead of the documentation you get with other DCC's. The most valuable part of the Quick Start docs are the 100's of example HIP's that cover all of Houdini's contexts. You'll find that many of the example use nodes that are no longer recommended (like the old Point Sop) but that doesn't diminish their utility.

And as already recommended, @mestela's fantastic wiki not only walks you through all the significant differences of Houdini compared to other leading DCC's such as Maya; he supplies hundreds of well thought through example HIP files.

The best thing about Houdini is that you can reverse engineer the vast majority HIP files, and this is an excellent way to learn.

My only other advice is to go beyond simply reverse engineer the multitude of HIP files that are generously made available by SideFX and the wider Houdini community; but get in the habit of creating new projects based on the HIP examples you've just reverse engineered. It's only by doing and learning how to error check your own networks that new knowledge gets locked in. With so much learning material freely available, you can find yourself doing nothing other than watching videos and digging through example HIP's. Knowledge won't stick until you start applying it.

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About Vex, I think the best way is to learn VOPS, then you can right click the node and view vex code.

Viewing whats available in the tab menu while in VOPS is a catalog of whats available in vex as well.

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With VEX, I found learning Processing to be a great path to learning VEX (Processing is Java based but it's still very C like but more importantly feature bespoke functions for driving graphical assets). A lot of people recommend "The C Programming Language" by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie (the creators of C). Whilst this is a great resource (that I think is worth getting) it's written by programmers for programmers so it's not the most beginner friendly. Personally I like using Dash on the Mac and Velocity on Windows to access the C docs (alongside over a hundred other technical docsets including Python).

Much like the Python docs, the C docs has a great 'Guide' section and Dash has an integrated annotations tool where you can jot down notes (I tend to use the annotations to note specific VEX code and how it fits the rules governed by C - loop syntax and suchlike). My background was graphic design so programming used to be a barrier for me, but Processing helped me overcome my fears, and much like Processing, VEX rewards your efforts with a creative end product so as a creatively driven individual, I've found it easier to grasp than I originally feared even though it's a very C like language.

The C Programming Language

Dash

Velocity

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I am no guru coder so sorry if offtopic: I like to edit code in the Sublime editor, see the attachment. It gives me context help, and also compile errors are nicely marked (typos, missing ";"). When you type a function name, it automatically pastes the needed variables. I also usually and often rename my variables, when I develop my code :) to tidy up the logic, and renaming multiple variables and marking them in the code is super easy and intuitive. You can bind the Sublime editor as external editor and bind a hotkey to launch it from the Attribute Wrangle.

 

EDIT:

I use Sublime just for VEX, I dont know the other languages that much. Btw Python, great great masterclass here.
Also here are great Python and Vex and hscript snippets: https://houdinitricks.com

 

sublime.thumb.png.7ddce45019bf71f7909894fbf2bd9e52.png


 

Edited by ikoon
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