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sharpie

Working with Edges in Houdini

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Is there anyway in Houdini to select one edge and then with a hotkey or command have it select the edge loop or an edge ring?

Also, I noticed that after doing a polysplit op and using quadstrip and close path, the edges in the loop are highlighted. But if I then go do an edit op Houdini doesn't retain that selection. Anyway around this?

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About the "edge loop" thing, gotta love those hip terms ;), I don't think you can. Unless it's a NURBS surface, of course.

And about the selection which tends to fade away, I had this problem aswell. There is a workaround, but it's not a pretty one. When you applied your Polysplit SOP to your geometry, make a copy of it and then click on the "Reselect geometry for current operation" button (from the viewer pane) apply, say, an Edit SOP to the selection and then reconnect the copied Polysplit SOP. This method doesn't always work, because sometimes when you want to reselect the geometry you have to start a whole new selection.

Oh well...

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yuck,

don't kill me but i think i'm starting to lose hope in using houdini as my primay modeller.. coming from mirai/wings3d and xsi, houdini is definitely solid and respectable, but its still ignoring some sound workflow principles that really kill you when you are trying to speed model.

i think i asked this before, has anyone written a plugin that might correct this?

and another thing, is there a way to tie a hotkey to a custome menut that i've created?

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No, it's cool, I think sidefx needs to hear this stuff. They made such a huge effort to make workflow in houdini as good as possible, but then for some reason they've been ignoring this request. We've been asking for edgeloops forever... I'd assume they know how to do it because of how the polysplit sop works, but maybe it's much more complicated than that. Who knows. :(

As far as I know there's no such plugin available.

-Zig

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I used to use LightWave, for modeling. I still use it, but I mostly use Houdini nowadays. Even though it might not be as quick as LightWave, as far as polygon/sub-divisions modeling goes, Houdini does have the ultimate pro of automatically processing every action into a parametric netwerk.

About the "plug-in". Firstly, please don't call it like that! :) Secondly, I don't think there is one for what you're looking for. Thirdly, since you aren't the first one looking for such functionality in Houdini, I'm thinking of trying to make a script or custom SOP to do this. (Not sure if it's even possible at all, but I've got something in mind... ;))

Finally, the hotkeys. Hotkeys can be assigned in the Aliases/Variables (ALT+A) panel.

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Another thing I noticed about Houdini vs. say Mirai and even XSI is that you first chose an operation and 2nd chose the vertex/face/edge.

That is not going to change because how systemic it is in Houdini, but it is odd. It does slow down the flow quite considerably.

Btw, when I said plugin I wasn't even thinking SOP, I was thinking like an HDK based plugin that would integrate with the interface, but I don't know jack about how that works in Houdini.

But I really hope SideFX gives a little more love and care to the modelling tools for polys. Its almost there, but it definitely is short in some crucial areas.

As far as Edge loops, I am not sure of how it works, but I think that Mirai and Wings benefit from the winged edge data structure that they abide by, which Houdini and XSI do not. I think its still possible to do edge loops and rings in Houdini and XSI, but I just don't know if its as intrinsically easy.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge of that stuff can comment..

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Btw, when I said plugin I wasn't even thinking SOP, I was thinking like an HDK based plugin that would integrate with the interface, but I don't know jack about how that works in Houdini.

You are new to Houdini, right?

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Another thing I noticed about Houdini vs. say Mirai and even XSI is that you first chose an operation and 2nd chose the vertex/face/edge.

Actually you can hit 's' and select your geometry first. Then when select your operation, it'll apply instantly to that geometry.

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You are new to Houdini, right?

Oh yeah, can you tell ? :unsure:

Am I missing something then?

Actually you can hit 's' and select your geometry first. Then when select your operation, it'll apply instantly to that geometry.

Get out, really? I will have to give that a go. I thought s just invokes whatever is your stored operation in the top left corner.

Btw, yet another thing I really like in Mirai is how when you hover your mouse over points, they are highlighted, thereby giving you feedback that you "got em".

With Houdini and XSI and many other apps, its hit or miss. You guess where that point is and pray.. Then reselect, etc..

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Hi sharpie,

Also, I noticed that after doing a polysplit op and using quadstrip and close path, the edges in the loop are highlighted. But if I then go do an edit op Houdini doesn't retain that selection. Anyway around this?

I've found a solution, I'm not sure if it's the official way, but it seems to work:

Solution one:

before performing a polysplit, go into selection mode "s" then hit "2" to go into EDGE selection mode. Houdini remembers the last selection mode. Now press "ESC" to get out of selection mode. Now you can perform a POLYSPLIT then EDIT with the edges created from the POLYSPLIT.

Solution two:

If you have performed POLSPLIT already, activate the previous OP, e.g. a polgonal tube, then hit "s" then "2" then "ESC". Now you can continue with an "EDIT" OP and affect the edges created from the POLYSPLIT OP.

Hope that helps. If you can't get it to work I'm happy to upload some screen shots.

I have been using houdini for over a month now. Coming from XSI, I must say I found the modelling tools a little confusing at first. But after a little while it all came together. I actually prefer modelling in houdini than XSI :)

cheers,

shade.

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Shade, thanks for the tip, it sounds like (correct me here) your first solution is the quicker one.

Also glad to be able to comisserate with an XSI person. I am comforted that you prefer Houdini for modelling over XSI, but have you tried that plugin that fellow created for doing edge loops/rings, poly loops, etc. in XSI? That kind of changes the picture a bit.

Appart from that though, what is it that has you enjoying modelling in Houdini better than in XSI?

Just curious and thanks for the great answes on this board.

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Hi sharpie,

You're right, the two solutions are the same, I included the 2nd one just incase you had already performed a Polysplit on your model and didn't want to redo it.

I havn't come across the plugin that you mentioned, but then again the last time I used xsi was last year at uni. Maybe it's a new plugin. I agree that edge-loop selection would be a very useful feature, especially when you have a very dense polygonal area that you want to fine-tune.

I enjoy modelling in houdini mainly because of the powerful "network" workflow. At a glance you can see your entire modelling history and then later go back to it at any time to tweak. I remember when modelling in Xsi, as the construction history grows everything tends to slow down alot, forcing you to freeze the history. One thing that is really cool in houdini is the ability to save out a geometry file at any section of the network.

As for the houdini modelling tools, I think I could create anything I wanted using them :)

One thing I think needs improvement is in the modelling tools PDF manual. Information on some of the surface operators are a little difficult to understand. Maybe a diagram on the modelling results would be cool.

cheers,

shade.

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Thanks for the encouragement shade, I'll give it another go. Like all things houdini I have a feeling some things take a while to adjust to.

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There are many other selection options that would speed up modelling workflow. We will be investigating these in the near future.

Edge loop selection would be a nice feature but may be difficult to resolve in some branching conditions. Mirai uses edge loops as a built-in feature when modelling. You define your "patches" inside the loop boundaries this way. It is nice that these loops are rendered a bit thicker. Helps in planning your model building.

There are also the MJ Poly Tools MJ Poly Tools that are used to a fault by Maya and Max users that provide some nice functionality for selecting and dicing up geometry.

We are aware of the top modelling techniques out there. Remember that there are other good poly modellers other than Bay Raitt using tools that don't have the handy features in Mirai but he is lightning fast as he should be. I wouldn't expect less. Speed kills. :ph34r:

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oldschool,

thanks for the reply, i was hoping you'd read this thread. that's great to hear that you guys are cognisent of the other modelling featuresets and techniques.

i am coming from xsi mainly and some mirai but i do see that houdini's tools are very good. its just those few extra little workflow changes that would help. but good to know you folks are on it. may i suggest just one other thing that i think is killer and hardly found anywhere?

its the automatic component highlighting. for instance, as you move your mouse around during selection mode, the edge/point/face/object is highlighted so you know exactly when to click for a selection.

this is only as far as i know in Mirai, Nendo and the freeware modeller Wings. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to click near a point and miss it, and end up selecting the wrong point, etc.

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I'm actually kinda puzzled why Houdini doesn't do that already. For instance, when you use PolySplit, it pre highlights the edge you hover over in blue and puts a red X where the split will be placed, and over a vertex it puts a red circle around it. I'd think it'd be easy to extend this to selecting components.

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