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Statistically improbable until you factor in a pandemic! Houdini 19 is coming out this Halloween season! TM data analysis says it should have been here this summer based on years of old... I have to say I awoke from a long slumber for this release. So I am looking forward to seeing what good offerings there are in this issue. My only wish is for SideFX to still keep on being independent and carving its own path. Trying to get folks to understand the heart of Houdini is no small feat. As always, this is a non-official wish list. So please submit BUGs, RFEs, and Questions directly to support. Also for anecdotal questions and rants branch them to another thread. People will more likely help you in a dedicated thread. -Cera
The End is Nigh! Houdini 18 is COMING!!! Kicking this wish list off as by all trending and statistical estimated Houdini 18 should be arriving in the Halloween time period of old. My first wish is a call to ARMs! Seriously speaking maybe one day Python 3 inline with the Visual Effects Society guidelines for 2020, but long term a lot of hardware profiles are switching to ye-old ARM based architecture something as old as SideFX itself and installed on over a 100 Billion devices. The catch is these are the IOT, Mobile, and XR hardware of the world which to be fair is still behind server racks. However the phone has drastic computing potential that if Intel would stop fighting it due to licensing issues ARM and RISC would have taken over the market. I really hope COPs has a second a life. It's easier to use SOPs and VEX for processing images and HEIGHTFIELDS than with COPs with far less bottle necks and crashing. The amount of nodes and stability in COPs is falling far behind all other contexts including every ones darling wrangle node. I would almost wish for COPs to be fully integrated into SOPs or MATs. Streamline the support into two heavily invested areas already. Gaining several debugging abilities that are just not implemented in COPs like the Geometry Spreadsheet. There are 151 nodes in COPs in which a lot of them could become quickly redundant if ported to either SOPs or MATs. If converted to MATs we would then have a Substance equivalent, especially if they gave the node UI a little love to show per node images. The biggest risk is overloading another context, but to be fair COPs is so severely under loaded it falls into the second tier of networks, so porting those tools would be a mere blip on the radar of total node count. My most realistic wish currently if for subnets and managers to have the flatten ability like foreach loops with the ability to collapse and dive into them. This would maintain networks for those of you who fear the combined context, but also allow to flatten simple networks so you can easily trace and debug all dependencies. As always this is a non-official wish list. So please submit BUGs, RFEs, and Questions to support. Also for anecdotal questions and rants branch them to another thread people will more likely help you for dedicated issues. -Ben
Houdini 16 launch has been announced, February 21st! Time for the dreamers and the wishlist* to move on to the next major version. Perhaps a 16.5... as gleaned from the Amarok event??? So IMO I think the gauntlet has been thrown down. Houdini needs to be a fully fleshed out 3-D package that any person can create content in from beginning to end. No more weak spots, where you have to dive into another package, since you have no choice. Halo I mean COPs I'm looking at you. If I want to use another package that's fine, but I should no longer need to use another tool from my tool belt from the beginning to end of my 3-D authoring pipeline needs. Houdini Engine UI functionality needs to be more fully integrated into their host packages. Blueprint nodes in Unreal. Network editable nodes in Unity and Maya. Fully fleshed out UI options for parameter interfaces; rollovers, help, disable whens, hide whens. I should be able to create one tool for all my host programs, especially if they are SideFX supported ones. Lead Houdini Engine by example so when I want to implement it into my own pipeline or tools I know it can be done. A unified node context, I know this drives people banana's, but it should be a choice to work in different node contexts. Not a mandatory obligation that you need to be in /obj/ Scene, /obj/sop/ Sops, Dops, Materials, etc. to perform those task. Houdini was created with the combinations of several different programs as defined by these contexts nearly 20 years ago now. It's time to UNITE them all! We can still keep the old Context's just as POPs still lives under the hood, or you can just unleash the / context to us all, but it would be nice to work in a unified context i.e. Nuke. And as always it's the users responsibility to keep their network clean! Thank SideFX gods for the wire dots, and the circular contexts. More fully fleshed out presets. The shelf is good, but if I'm working a commercial or doing some R&D for a bigger project I need a full fleshed out setup. The setups exist out there, but I don't need to rebuild the same setup at every studio I work at. Additionally the Shelf tools needs some love. Just make them the same as hda with all their functionality. Add an Extract Content feature. Don't keep them the separate beast that they are. HDA's are powerful, shelfs are deprived and in constant sadness to their tool brethren. An example library for each node and code example that is easy to view and find. It's rare to find examples spread through the Houdini Doc's. If I could have the help Pane, or an example Pane that I could search through that be amazing. This could be tied in with more fully fleshed out presets. You don't necessarily need a lone example per a file, combined ones often make greater sense. The orbolt pane for instance. The upgrade to the Help docs has been awesome, including the more graphical documentation i.e. the packed sop. But those example files are trailing. More common studio tools that are predefined. Every studio ends up creating special importers and exporters that all in the end do the same thing. Just create a few common studio nodes, that can be easily manipulated. Either via python modules as they presented in their rigging tools, or by non-compiled file sops and rops. The Alembic ROP is a very convenient example of showing the code so you can manipulate it. I shouldn't need to have multiple different contexts and nodes to import and export geometry and data. An uber file sop to load them all. An uber filecache to export them all. One ring! My precious! I would still love to take all the older nodes like the point sop, and have them converted to vops/wrangles. Maintain the same parameter ui, but have a little button or switch that flips from a wrangle to a code version. There is a certain sense that there is still a layer of black box with each of these nodes. This is where the fabric crowd, and programmers say they don't understand what is happening, and flip a table and say they need to build it from scratch. I can understand the proprietary algorithms being compiled black box nodes, but the point sop... come on now, this isn't a dark secret to the world. This would allow us to retire so many old nodes. Speaking of which the node count in Houdini is only getting more ridiculous each version. There is no way one person can know them all. I LOVE all the new features, but there comes a point when there are too many nodes. The biggest hindrance to new people is not knowing that a node exist that they can use. Node acumen should not be a barrier to using Houdini. The Houdini learning curve is dropping faster and faster. However, I've used Houdini for a decade with a wide variety or projects, and I can easily say I have not used every node. That's cool, but it also ridiculous. There does not need to be a multiply, add, add constant, etc. a single math node would suffice, opalias that stuff! There needs to be a survey of all the nodes, alias them to a wrangle/vop and retire! retire! retire! those nodes. Plus make some useful example along the way. Ok I think I ranted enough. My blood got pumping for Houdini 16 and I'm stoked about the new toys. I can not wait for this new Lego set and to work on some more amazing projects. And yes I will make my nodes look like Legos... *As a note any true bugs of RFE's please send to SideFX Support. This is only an un-official wishlist, so we can compare notes, rant and rave.