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Hello!

I would like to share with you a website I have been working on for some time: www.vfxtoolbox.com

It is dedicated to houdini tools and tutorials, where anyone can distribute whatever is related to houdini, such as otls, code, tutorials and projects.

Think of it as a sidefx exchange on steroids, where you can distribute your work for free, but also sell it.

I have personally published several operators, available for free, and one crowd system video tutorial (3h40 of HD videos) for $29. I intend to publish more free operators/code and projects I have worked on over the following months as well as several paying tutorials.

Anyone who is interesting in publishing some work, just give it a go, no need to ask permission. You are entitled to 100Mo for free as soon as you register. It is not yet possible to subscribe for more (the website still is beta), but just send me an email for now.

Feel free to have a look and let me know what you think. Nothing is set in stone yet and I d love to hear your feedback about this website and its content.

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funny, d mucci was telling me about one of his friends doing a website just yesterday.... and there it is!

looks really great and has tons of potetial I think! keep it up!

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Hi there,

This is really great but the pages are loading very slowly. Anyone else experiencing similar?

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funny, d mucci was telling me about one of his friends doing a website just yesterday.... and there it is!

looks really great and has tons of potetial I think! keep it up!

Hi Georg,

I had not mentionned it directly to David Mucci I think, so good to know work of mouth was allready in progress :)

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Hi there,

This is really great but the pages are loading very slowly. Anyone else experiencing similar?

Thanks for the kind words and sorry about the slowness, this can happen sometimes. Although there are some more optimisations I could work on, they are quite low on my list. But most pages should take less than 5 seconds to load, the average time being quite lower than that.

But if there are several simultaneous connections, that could make things slower. Let me know if your page feel the pages take more than 5 sec to load, I try and find out why.

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Nice site and idea.

It's time to start adding more and more tutorials and other stuff... :)

By the way, it could be interesting to have on the site some more info on the projects... For example, in Avatar, you have some info and then redirect to sideEffects... Maybe you could have a sinopse and then if someone wnats to know more, it follows the link... Speaking of the link, it should be something like: Read more about it here or "Full story at Side Effects" instead of http;//sidefx.com/whatever.php=kgllgsl...

Some more inputs:

This shouldn't be happening... The image itself should be the link or, if you want to explicit say "Here's a link to it" it shouldn't be all the way across the screen... and the Image avatar.jpg should be hidden...

avatar.jpg

Anyway, this can all be a browser issue. I only used Firefox and IE 8... but these are the top used and you should aim for a smooth and cool look in these, specially...

These are just considerations... (sorry for being picky but I come from an webdesign background) ;) and this is all in the interest of making that website a really nice experience and a fun/educative place to hang around...

With all this said, I'm going to sign up right away!!!

PS - mightcouldb1 is right... I also experienced some time issues. I even had an internet connection fail (when you pass the time the page should be fetched...)

Edited by J.Santos

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It's time to start adding more and more tutorials and other stuff... :)

Just go ahead, I ll be very glad if that website gives you inspiration and motivation

By the way, it could be interesting to have on the site some more info on the projects... For example, in Avatar, you have some info and then redirect to sideEffects... Maybe you could have a sinopse and then if someone wnats to know more, it follows the link... Speaking of the link, it should be something like: Read more about it here or "Full story at Side Effects" instead of http;//sidefx.com/whatever.php=kgllgsl...

I personally agree, but that's entirely up to the project creator (not me), in this case Cayus.

I dont want to enforce any presentation practice, so I ll let anyone decide how to create/present tools and projects. I am sure some common good practice will emerge with time and people will tend to follow them.

This shouldn't be happening... The image itself should be the link or, if you want to explicit say "Here's a link to it" it shouldn't be all the way across the screen... and the Image avatar.jpg should be hidden...

avatar.jpg

Thanks for taking the time to make this clear. Again I entirely agree. The reason I designed this gallery like this was more thought towards a list of video, which you can give a description to. I think it works ok for the crowd tutorial when you have several video (but let me know if you think that could also be improved) but that does not work at all for images. So I ll have a think if images should be presented differently than videos or if both should be designed differently. But that is down on my list, so expect it to stay like this for some time still.

Anyway, this can all be a browser issue. I only used Firefox and IE 8... but these are the top used and you should aim for a smooth and cool look in these, specially...

That is not a browser issue, problem is the same in all browsers. But I have not work on this website for IE at all (only firefox, chrome and opera), assuming most of houdini users would be on linux. I see now that was a wrong assumption :)

I am aware of a few more UI issues, like the tags overflowing for Clash of the Titans but I currently consider those issues as low priority, since they dont stop anyone from using the website. But I am still more than happy to hear any feedback like this, this will definitely help, it is just that I wont be able to act upon it in a near future.

These are just considerations... (sorry for being picky but I come from an webdesign background) ;) and this is all in the interest of making that website a really nice experience and a fun/educative place to hang around...

You re not being picky at all, I find your comments entirely constructive :) giving a nice user experience is really key to have people use this website and share their work and, what's even more important I think, attract more people in the houdini community.

PS - mightcouldb1 is right... I also experienced some time issues. I even had an internet connection fail (when you pass the time the page should be fetched...)

I just noticed some connection issues I could not identify the reason of. so I am afraid this can happen again until I find out why. This is the first time this website experiences a regular high load, so bear with me while I get this all stable. In the mean time I ll just restart apache on the regular basis, that will be a temporary fix. That is now high on my list :)

Thanks for all your comments anyway. Really dont hesitate to give more feedback. I should mention there is also a support page (accessible through the top menu Help->Support) that might be more suitable for issues that require a long discussion. Feel free to open posts over there as well.

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very nice! Intant favourite, I have been toying around with per-point custom blending myself, it´s a nice and useful trick. Next goal: volume blendshapes, I had to tackle a shot similar to the one you did for British Airways but never got to finish the tool, I´ll submit it there when It´s done.

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Great idea! Would it be possible to get a hip-Section so one could just upload interesting hipfiles with description images etc. ? Also would it be possbile to tag der single hips/otls or sort them some way so it would be easier to find things once the site will be crowded?

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very nice! Intant favourite, I have been toying around with per-point custom blending myself, it´s a nice and useful trick. Next goal: volume blendshapes, I had to tackle a shot similar to the one you did for British Airways but never got to finish the tool, I´ll submit it there when It´s done.

Thanks! Glad you like it.

I also found that demonstrating this simple per-point custom blend is a good way to introduce houdini to new comers. It shows how easily you can customize it.

As for volume blending, I had some thoughts about it (mainly to retime them) but I could not go further than just do a simple mix. How could you blend 2 different volumes? I am curious to see what you can come up with.

Edited by frading

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Great idea! Would it be possible to get a hip-Section so one could just upload interesting hipfiles with description images etc. ?

Thanks for the feedback 0rr. About adding an "Hip File" tool type, I am not entirely sure that is the right thing. My main concern really is to keep the site as simple as possible. Currently there are allready 3 types of tools (operators, tutorials and code), along with projects. I dont feel confortable adding another type yet. Time might prove that is the right thing to do, but I dont want to jump on this yet.

Someone else also suggested I add a category for Shelves, but the code category can be a good place for them for instance.

For hip file, you could either create a project (there are "experiment" or "personal" project categories) or a tutorial (they dont have to be paying like the only one currently there). Would that suit you for now?

I created the projects as a way to "market" your tools, so people can see where it has been used, but that does not have to be only that way. A lot of people like to show some tests or experiments and that can perfectly be in projects.

Also would it be possbile to tag der single hips/otls or sort them some way so it would be easier to find things once the site will be crowded?

Do you mean crowded in your personal uploaded files? Currently there is no way to sort files in your personal list, but that is quite high on my list. You will be able to filter them by name and type. Is it what you mean?

I personnaly have more than hundred files in there, so that s a feature I myself need allready. So that will definitely be there at some point.

As for tags for files, I dont think this is needed (yet!). I am waiting to see if that is still needed when basic filtering options will be there.

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Thanks! Glad you like it.

I also found that demonstrating this simple per-point custom blend is a good way to introduce houdini to new comers. It shows how easily you can customize it.

As for volume blending, I had some thoughts about it (mainly to retime them) but I could not go further than just do a simple mix. How could you blend 2 different volumes? I am curious to see what you can come up with.

Funny you ask me this! I´ve been fascinated with your shots for british airways when I was developing volume tools last year. I ended up using fog volume / sdf copying to get the best of both worlds, a couple vops and the famous sandman level set mixing equation on top of it, but I couldn´t get actual blending or deforming (you can see the tools on my reel).

A year later, as usual with Houdini (whenever you think you´ve seen them all already...), I discovered a couple magical nodes I hadn´t seen before: Volume sample VOP, volume index to pos VOP and volume pos to index VOP.

With these It´s easy to accomplish deformations of a volume (modifying the lookup of the sample) and a more elaborate mixing, based on any attribute you like per-voxel (it´s like blendshapes vs. the point blend). I think with these nodes and point clouds you could get a volume blendshape that´s useable, but as I haven´t got the time to try it I´d prefer not to talk much nonsense here, I´ll be glad to PM you the main ideas and submit the tool if I get it to work.

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Funny you ask me this! I´ve been fascinated with your shots for british airways when I was developing volume tools last year.

cheers for that :)

I ended up using fog volume / sdf copying to get the best of both worlds, a couple vops and the famous sandman level set mixing equation on top of it, but I couldn´t get actual blending or deforming (you can see the tools on my reel).

A year later, as usual with Houdini (whenever you think you´ve seen them all already...), I discovered a couple magical nodes I hadn´t seen before: Volume sample VOP, volume index to pos VOP and volume pos to index VOP.

With these It´s easy to accomplish deformations of a volume (modifying the lookup of the sample) and a more elaborate mixing, based on any attribute you like per-voxel (it´s like blendshapes vs. the point blend). I think with these nodes and point clouds you could get a volume blendshape that´s useable, but as I haven´t got the time to try it I´d prefer not to talk much nonsense here, I´ll be glad to PM you the main ideas and submit the tool if I get it to work.

yes, you could be right. Using custom attributes or a rest pos could just do it. Feel free to submit anything even if you dont get all they way, it does not need to be perfect. At least you ll get some feedback and therefore more brain power to help all along. Good luck, I am quite curious to see this working.

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Good stuff! I'll hope to contribute some tools at some point, seems like a nice repository.

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Looking good.

Nice crowds tut.

Thanks for the efforts to make this.

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Good stuff! I'll hope to contribute some tools at some point, seems like a nice repository.

Thanks Peter. I am looking forward to see you publish some tools. We should also meet at some point, since I work only one block away from you.

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Looking good.

Nice crowds tut.

Thanks for the efforts to make this.

Thanks lisux. Expect more tutorials during this year :)

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Thanks a lot to all who registered to vfxtoolbox so far, I appreciate a lot your enthousiasm. I am now having as priority to make it a bit faster and stable, now that it is experiencing some heavy load. Hopefully that should be sorted soonish.

Thanks a lot to people who purchased my first crowd tutorial. I really hope you will find it instructive. This success encourages me to make more tutorials. Feel free to share your thoughts/comments about it in the dedicated forum at the bottom of the page.

I am really hoping this will encourage you to share your work on this platform!

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yes, you could be right. Using custom attributes or a rest pos could just do it. Feel free to submit anything even if you dont get all they way, it does not need to be perfect. At least you ll get some feedback and therefore more brain power to help all along. Good luck, I am quite curious to see this working.

Finally got the time to try to implement the volume blend, but one of the main ideas isn´t working yet, maybe it´s just a mistake on the point cloud lookup.

Any suggestion is welcome!

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