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Posts posted by Allegro

  1. The Artist's Guide to Technical Direction in Houdini - Volume 0: Hscript


    Back in 2005 I got my start as an intern at Side Effects Software Inc.

    Over the past decade of using Houdini, I've worked around the world in the film (Starz Animation, Dr. D, Digital Domain) and games (The Coalition, BioWare, EA Motive) industries. In this time, I've had the pleasure of working with many artists who were new to Houdini and sharing some of the insight I've gained. While most people are pretty excited to get their hands on the flashier parts of the software such as FLIP and Pyro, I think that Houdini's greatest strength comes from it's sheer flexibility. And that flexibility is something that only opens up the deeper you delve into how things work. What I like most about Houdini is discovering new ways of doing things.

    One complaint I've heard time and again, is that after following a tutorial, new artists are often left with something that looks pretty but with little understanding of how anything actually works. I'm always hearing complaints about how steep the learning curve is with Houdini. I'm seeking to help fix that with 7 hours of new training 
    material that focus specifically on HScript scripting in Houdini. This course I've designed for artists who are either lacking a technical background, or who may have experience in other packages but want to understand Houdini better.

    We'll avoid creating pretty things in this series. Instead, I want to keep a sharp focus on how things work. That means learning about procedural 
    networks, variables and attributes, functions, and for-each loops. Most importantly, I address how to self-learn Houdini. My hope is that this course will build a solid foundation for you to get the most of any future training you pursue and help you to understand how to get the most out of your Houdini networks.

    If you'd like to become more adept at scripting 
    in Houdini, please consider signing up for my course: https://mixtrn.com/course/the-artists-guide-to-technical-direction-in-houdini-hscript/

    Have a Great Day!

    • Like 1

  2. Hey there!

    I recently gave a talk to the Vancouver Houdini User Group about how Houdini can be used for making visual effects for games. It was a reasonably short lecture (~45 minutes) so I decided to record it afterward and comment the Houdini file a little so I could share it online. The lecture is targeted at film people who would like to transition into games but aren't sure how to get started. It's not a step-by-step on creating fluids or any nonsense like that, but rather a look at some of the ways you might optimize an effect for real time.

    If you're not familiar with who I am, I've written a little about how I got into games over on my blog: http://www.allegrodigital.com/?p=1991

    Or you can go straight to the lecture which is free, and hosted on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/game-effects-using-houdini-ue4

    Hope it's of use to someone!

    • Like 7

  3. Right but...



    When I test it on 100 points  (which is much more likely if I'm bothering to create this particular attribute:
    - the point sop takes 0.16ms
    - the wrangle takes 0.17ms

    - it takes more time to type the expression than to click the option from a drop down (maybe you type much faster :)

    - Assuming I don't want to overwrite N, but create a new vector attribute I then need to either :

    -- write additional script to convert my edge_dir to a true v rather than a 3v
    -- or use an attribute create beforehand to set it up as a true v

    -- I also have to write a condition in there so that point 0 gets an attribute.

  4. Stephen, you mean for a tangent direction? Surely, Polyframe SOP is much easier/faster for that

    Not exactly the same.

    Put down a point sop, and turn on "Add Edge Force" under the Force tab and take a look at the edge_dir attribute that gets created.  It creates an attribute that points to the next point in the curve as opposed to a tangent.

    On a curve with 1,000,000 points it also takes 74ms on my computer, whereas the polyframe takes 140ms. So it doesn't break the bank in those very rare situations I've needed it.

    • Like 1

  5. My suggestion is to get away from the point sop as soon as you can. If you can learn how to do the same things either with vops, or wrangle nodes, you'll be better off.

    The point node is quite slow due to the time period it was programmed into Houdini, and while it can be easier to do some things with it (matching by id attribute, setting up an edge direction attribute), for most behaviour it's not much trickier and much more efficient at runtime to have it set-up in vops.


    I still haven't figured out what they're attempting to do with @ in the point sop, so I've pretty much just abandoned it all together (which might have been what they were going for).

  6. Incredibly small protest.... but after decades of tutorials where people say:

    "Put down a geometry node, go inside, delete the file node"

    Maybe it's time that we just don't put file nodes down by default in geometry? If I want to immediately grab a file from disk, I always just press ` anyways since it's faster than tabbing down a geometry node and navigating to the file sop....

    • Like 1

  7. Please add montreal Canada as well,

    As I know,

    Mokko Studio (Maya, Houdini, Naiad)

    Modus FX ( Houdini, XSI)

    New Bleed (not sure)

    are using Houdini.

    And I (from Modus FX) really need Houdini people for upcoming film projects.( Personally I really prefer people who has passion and who does not like to work with maya anymore lol)

    I know tons of good maya fx TD people including my friends so please do not take this wrong way.

    Thanks a lot anyway.

    That is really good updated list.(especially about DrD)

    And Sorry to kind use this post for add.....

    I'm happy to see Houdini growing in Montreal. I feel very hesitant to apply for work over there knowing how many people have been burned between Lumiere/Meteor/Fake Studio

  8. I'm pretty sure EA has some dedicated Houdini tds.

    The majority of those places have houdini exclusive(ish) jobs. You'll be incredibly lucky if you never have to touch another piece of software... even if it's just to open maya and export someone else's geometry because the animation department won't deliver stuff to you. *shakes fist angerly*

    • Like 1
    • Downvote 1

  9. Here's a list that I have tucked away.

    Adelade - Rising Sun Pictures

    Capetown - Black Ginger

    Florida - Digital Domain

    Germany - Black Mountain

    Greenwich - Blue Sky

    Hungary - Digic Pictures

    India - Dreamworks

    LA - Digital Domain

    LA - Disney

    LA - Dreamworks

    LA - Method

    LA - Miranda

    LA - MPC

    LA - Rhythm & Hues

    LA - Sony Imageworks

    London - Cinesite

    London - Double Negative

    London - Framestore

    London - The Mill

    London - Method

    London - MPC

    London - Primal Pictures

    London - Realise

    San Francisco - Dreamworks

    San Francisco - ILM

    San Francisco - Pixar

    San Francisco - Tippett

    Scotland - Axis

    Singapore - Lucasfilm

    Sydney - Animal Logic

    Sydney - Cutting Edge

    Sydney - Digital Domain

    Sydney - Dr D

    Sydney - Method

    Toronto - Arc Productions

    Toronto - Axyz

    Toronto - Intelligent Creatures

    Toronto - Mr. X

    Toronto - Percy

    Vancouver - Digital Domain

    Vancouver - EA

    Vancouver - Image Engine

    Vancouver - ILM

    Vancouver - Lux VFX

    Vancouver - Method

    Vancouver - Pixar

    Vancouver - Prime Focus

    Vancouver - Rhythm & Hues

    Vancouver - Sony Imageworks

    Vancouver - The Embassy

    Wellington - WETA

    • Like 4