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Everything posted by Darimondé

  1. Howdy Folks, Total newb here with my first question to the forum. I'm coming from a Shake background and was very excited to see a great node based compositor in Houdini but with all the incredible stuff in COPS I have been a bit dumbstruck to see that there are no proper tools for removing green or blue screens. Of course I gave the Chroma keyer a chance but it is no match for fine hair detail. I am truly amazed by this program and plan to get deep in it but, SideFx seems to have walked a thousand miles just to stop 6 feet before the door with its compositor. Am I missing something? I mean no Keylight, Primatte, Ultimatte, or their own home grown system. No tracker or stabilzers either (as near as I can tell), what gives? You see, my hope was to be able to learn Houdini and be able to put several other tools aside except for something specialized. But, if I've built a completely 3D environment and now want to place my actors in it, I have to go back to Shake. And if something is wrong, I have to keep going back and forth rather than just work it out in Houdini. I'm sure you all have dealt with this on some level already. Sorry about the rant, I'm just really jazzed about this program and want it to do everything. Thanks for any insight you can provide. Sincerely, Rick
  2. Looking for thumbnail pictures

    Good morning to you all, In my continuing quest to learn and eventually master COPS, I come to you looking for insight. I am learning COPS by creating similar comps in both Shake and Houdini but haven't been able to figure out what I'm sure will have a simple solution. How do I get thumbnail images to show above my file in and generator nodes so that I can see at a glance what images they are carrying. In the two attachments I show an example of what I mean. In Shake my File In, Text, and Rotoshape nodes all show what images they contain. I have right clicked on Houdini nodes but, I'm not getting the same results. Any suggestions. Thanks in advance. Rick
  3. What's the deal with keying in Houdini

    Well my friend, I would have to say that if I had my druthers, we would see every suggestion made in this thread incorporated into Houdini 12. Could you imagine how fantastic COPS would be then? While I get what you are saying about using other programs or hiring programmers, that could be said of either of our wish lists. And, I've got enough programs to learn now, including Houdini. In the long run I'm just saying that I think these features would be useful just as yours would. If it would make you any happier, I'd be willing to concede that they might include your suggestions before mine, then we can both be happy. I think Houdini is cool enough for both of us to get what we want. Deal? Rick
  4. What's the deal with keying in Houdini

    Dragos my friend, most anything done to upgrade such a monster of a program is a lot of hard work, I agree, but, I don't think improving COPS is a waste of time and energy. A lot of what you are pointing to as problems in COPS come precisely because no one has put in the time to make things better, but leaving it to rot hasn't been the answer either. And, people can complain about any feature in Houdini that doesn't work like some other program they know, that's part of the reason it's not as popular as some others, it's different. The fact is that each of us using this program could probably list a dozen different features we would like to see or a dozen features that we think should work differently. You've expressed your own list to some degree of what you think is important. These are the things that I have asked for- a competent compositor that has keying, tracking and, stabilization. Now, do you really mean to say that no one other than me has a use for these features? Add in the speed and stability and "managing 200 frame 2K sequences" that you and others have mentioned, you don't think that you might find more use for COPS beyond what you have used it for thus far? Houdini is an amazing program and my 3D package of choice and to my mind improving COPS will just make it even more amazing. Maybe the difference is that compositing is more my thing but, I think with a little bit of help it could be "a thing" for a lot more people. Cheers, Rick
  5. What's the deal with keying in Houdini

    Dragos said, "Actually, yes. COPs will never be able to compete with a dedicated compositing package, and I'm not expecting them to. I don't think Side Effects has (or could have) the available resources to compete with the development team of Nuke or Fusion, and again, I don't expect them to. I really hope SESI doesn't waste resources in developing a keyer or even a tracker (but still, I'd rather have a tracker than a keyer )" Wow, I thought this thread was dead but, I'm not completely sure that I was clear in what I was saying. I'm not pushing for Houdini to compete with the dedicated compositing crowd. What I am saying is that it wouldn't take much to make COPS a COMPLETE compositing package. I agree that SideFX shouldn't waste time or resources competing DIRECTLY, I just don't want to be hamstrung either. I mean, just look at the list of the available nodes in COPS, Houdini already has 95 percent of what's needed to be a competent compositor, it just needs a keyer, tracker and a stabilizer and it's there. I don't think that's asking for a lot. Now, I did at one point say that if SideFX looked at the now defunct Shake and replicated what nodes that Houdini didn't have it COULD compete with the best and I don't see how that's a bad thing. Compositors will continue to use Nuke, Fusion or whatever but, those of us who do most everything ourselves would use whatever fits best into our cost vs. function equation. Why pay $7000 for Houdini and then $6000 for Nuke if I can do most of it in Houdini? I still use and love Shake but, when I'm in Houdini I'd like to not have to run back to Shake for something as basic as keying or tracking. Three nodes is all it would take. Rick
  6. What video formats work in COPS?

    Evening to you folks, I'm having two problems that I'm looking for solutions to. The main one is that I've been trying to import video into Houdini COPS and have had no luck at all. At first I thought is was just a limitation of the Apprentice Edition of Houdini but, I was told that the Apprentice Edition is the Master Edition with a different license, so, any ideas? I have tried various formats that seem to work fine in my other programs such as: .mov, .iff, .tif,and .exr. EXR will at least show an image but won't actually play the clip. What am I missing? Number two is that I find that sometimes I can't change the image attached to a File In within COPS. For some reason when I go to change the image I can't get my file browser and any file I create from that point on only shows this last image and will continue to do so until I quit Houdini and try again. That works until it happens again which I have yet to find a pattern to this behavior. I am using build 11.0.633. Thank you. Rick
  7. What video formats work in COPS?

    Thanks for the great tip Macha, hadn't thought to check behind the main work area. I'll let you know what happens. Rick
  8. What video formats work in COPS?

    Oops, sorry no image. Forgot to click "attach this file". Here we go. Rick
  9. What video formats work in COPS?

    Hey guys, thanks for the responses. I'll see how things work with the image sequences. A note to the developers, maybe in the next version of Houdini we could have a node that specifically converts common video formats into image sequences so that it is easier to import from other programs. I can imagine clients bringing in anything but image sequences to work on and it'd be cool to be able to do the conversion right inside of Houdini rather than using another program. As to my problem with the File In node, I'm not getting my selection dialog box. The system seems to get stuck on whatever picture image or video attempt I last imported and then I can't change it because the dialogue box won't come up again I can only use images that I have already used before. I have to quit the program and then start again. So here is an example. I just opened Houdini and got the problem right away (which isn't normal even when I do have it). I click on the Browser selection and get nothing but the default. Again, usually I have chosen something that then gets stuck as the only image.
  10. My compliments to the chefs

    I've gotten on this site going on about what Houdini lacks in COPS quite a bit but, I'd really like to take a quick moment to compliment the development team on the Rotoshape node. Absolutely fantastic. Very different than Shake's in several ways but also, very good. A tip 'O me hat to you folks. Rick
  11. Looking for thumbnail pictures

    Sigh... Ok, really. Do you guys have any idea just how close Houdini is having the most kick ass compositor in the business? I'd like to make a suggestion for Houdini 12 or even 11.5 if you all can do it that soon. Take a look at Shake which is now a defunct program and look at all the features that it has that COPS doesn't have and create them for Houdini. Seriously, Shake was the #1 compositor in the industry for years before Apple killed it. Houdini could take it's place, it is just that close. And then document it. Put out tutorials like all the other networks have. I'm sorry to drag on about it but, this is just frustrating. Houdini is just so good at everything else, why not bring up COPS to the same level? It's just so close. May the Force be with you. Rick
  12. Expanding the timeline

    Howdy folks. I was wondering, is there a way to expand the timeline into something like we might find in After Effects or Motion so that we can control the timing of a node based on frame location. If I am working in Shake for example and I don't want a particular element to become visible until frame 70 let's say, I can adjust that elements location along the timeline in relation to the other image nodes. Is there a way to do the same thing in Houdini? I've been looking for a button or menu item and I may have just not found it yet. I offer the following image to clarify my inquiry. Take note of the lower left corner of the image. Thank's y' all. Rick
  13. Expanding the timeline

    While that wasn't my original concern I do like the tip and it will soon be included in my Houdini Notes. Thank you Rudinie. Rick
  14. Expanding the timeline

    Ah yes. Thank you Anim, that's very helpful. Rick
  15. Expanding the timeline

    Sorry, My image didn't make it through. I'll need to try again. Ah yes, this should do it. Rick
  16. What's the deal with keying in Houdini

    Soooo, are you saying that a daily rant about what Houdini can't do will eventually get me what I want? Hmm. I didn't think that worked anymore. Not since my 10th birthday anyway. Well, if that's all it takes... Really, let me give you some additional reasons why COPS should be upgraded with new tools and maybe improve on some of what it can already do. One. Houdini Master costs $7000. It is the highest of the high-end 3D packages. In fact I don't even call it a 3D animation program when I tell others about it, I call it a Visual Effects Operating System. Can I build analog style synthesizers without scripting in Maya? I don't think so. Two. Houdini Master costs $7000. If given the choice between Houdini Master (with a complete compositor) or Houdini Escape ($1500) along with Nuke( the new high-end compositing standard), I'd rather save $500 and get dynamics and particles. Three. Houdini Master costs $7000. If I were opening a new VFX boutique shop, I could build an entire pipeline off of Houdini and do nearly anything. Animation, texturing, image editing, model building, wind, water, fire, destruction, sound effects, music. motion graphics, compositing, colour correction ... What else do we do with the dozen or so programs that we need to get things done when we don't use Houdini? I could be a one man band looking like an orchestra. Four. Houdini Escape is $1500. At the moment I am still using Shake for all of my compositing work but, the world is moving on. Multicore, 64bit, 4K, Stereo. Where will I and others turn when it is no longer a viable choice. Will it be the $1500 Houdini Escape or, the $6000 Nuke. Well, if the tools are there... Lastly, Five. Houdini is all about creative power. Nothing I have seen, nothing, gives power to an individual artist like Houdini and anything that would interrupt an artists creative flow should be dealt with and solved. I am a complete newb having worked with this program for only a month. I feel that I should not have been able to come across such a serious lack this soon. So, let us shore up the gates and make Houdini's COPS network something to be remembered. Something to be admired. Something to be loved. Always remember, the Force is with you. Sincerely, Rick
  17. What's the deal with keying in Houdini

    Good afternoon to you all, Great to hear from you. Macha, "heartbreakingly close" is exactly how I feel about COPS. I mean, it's got all the standard layer and blend nodes, it has morphing and mosaic. It has nodes that I haven't even seen before like time filter and geokey. How can it have all that and not include something as basic as keying, tracking and, stabilizing? Stuff that compositors use everyday all day. So is that how it goes with Houdini? That it takes awhile for different parts to get updated or do certain networks get higher priority? Andz, you haven't even used the compositor for several generations, is it because you can't do everything you need to or do you just prefer something else. Stalkerx777, I haven't even gotten to check out working in 2K yet. I haven't figured out how to import video. I was told Houdini doesn't see quicktime files only image sequences. I tried to import a tif image sequence but so far I keep getting errors on my file in node. It seems that Houdini is changing the file name and adding characters. I know that $F is refering to frames I just haven't figured out the rest. Maybe I'll post an image soon and you all can tell what I'm doing wrong. Part of the reason I've been making such a big deal about this is partly what I said before about jumping back and forth between programs but also because, the more about Houdini I learn the more overwhelming it becomes. It is a monster. So I thought, how do you build a composite? One node at a time (that's my adaptation of "How do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time"). I looked at COPS, arranged it to look like Shake and voilå, I felt at home. Now I could work my way backwards into 3D starting with what I knew. And then came the walls, which was surprising because the impression I was getting up until this point was that there were no walls. It was all about the power. So, I'm going to write this next bit in the hopes that the developers read these forums on occasion just to see what's going on. Dear Developers, Thank you for creating one of the most amazing programs on the planet. Although I have only been involved with your software for a little over a month, I find that it is now one that I can't live without. An addiction to pure creative power has set in and I can't walk away. I have programs that wonder where I've gone. Strata Design3D hasn't seen me since I first laid eyes upon Houdini. Shake is wondering who is this other compositor that I keep calling. Even photoshop is starting to get suspicious that something is going on. Motion, well. We don't even talk anymore. So you see, this is serious! That is why I have to bring something to your attention. It's about COPS. In your marketing and advertisements, you sell Houdini as a product of pure power able to do things that would either difficult or time consuming in other 3D applications and it has all been true from what I have seen thus far, until one comes to COPS. COPS seems to stand alone, unfinished and, under utilized. Houdini stands as one of the few software packages that can do nearly all that could be asked of a graphics program. 3D Animation, Motion Graphics, Compositing. Well, no. Not compositing, because although Houdini has all of the tools frequently seen in compositing it can't work with real footage. It can't properly remove a blue/green screen. It can't track objects or camera motion. It can't steady the shot. Because of this, I have to leave Houdini and go back to my other programs with my tail between my legs begging them to forgive me. Can you do this key for me, steady this shot, and maybe you can track this for me? Please? So, I come to you in desperation to save me from further embarrassment. Give and me and my fellow Houdini compositors the tools that we need. Give use keying. Give us tracking and stabilization. Make Houdini the only place that any creative needs to be to accomplish our vision. Please, make COPS all that it can be. Sincerely, A new Houdini User. What do you think folks, too much?
  18. What's the deal with keying in Houdini

    Hi Marc, Thanks for the reply. The sad thing is that it wouldn't take much for Houdini to be able to compete with Nuke, Shake or any other compositor. It's primary weakness is simply its inability to remove Blue/Green screens. That alone would make it able to handle 80% of what compositors need. Add in Stabilization and Tracking and it WOULD be able to replace dedicated compositors for all but the toughest tasks. So, if it isn't meant to handle basic keying operations, what are Houdini users doing with it? I had checked the website but, SideFx has not one tutorial covering compositing or what they had in mind when they created Halo. Peter Quint's compositing videos don't really deal with COPs until the very end and even then don't go very deep. All in all, it seems kind of tricky to really learn this part of Houdini. But, I shall soldier on. Rick