Jump to content
Guest mantragora

What if...

Recommended Posts

Guys, you are sooo monothematic. HDK, HDK, HDK. Is there nothing else you would like to know about Houdini? o_O

 

What you would like to see in HDK then?

 

Softimage guys! Wake up! Are there some tool you would like to see implemented? 

 

 

I would like to know how use chops from beginner to advanced. There is a one book and one tutorial from cmivfx but they focus too much on sounds in chops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to go with the banan...no I'll go with HDK as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HDK and advanced shaders, even if you think that Symek would be the man for the latter :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading your post, I wanted to see where Houdini is lacking in real world modeling terms. I modeled a head and the most important tool lacking is a tweak tool.

 

From a modeling workflow perspective, Houdini needs a lot of work.

 

Here is my list.

 

1. Tweak tool (click drag on components without having to switch between selection methods like points, edges or polys)

     - In Houdini you have to press s(selection), then say 2(points) then press t(translate)...then press Enter if you want to be able to translate other points without going though the same steps. This is 4 keys to edit points on a regular basis. My wrist hurt like hell after doing the head model.

     - a Visual soft selection with on-the-fly radius manipulation would be great.

     - highlighting points, edges or polys under mouse pointer helps allot to visualize where and what you are doing.

 

2. Local space (the peak tool is ok, and I toggle with a shortcut between that and translate quickly, but not great.)

 

3. The create poly tool you made is a must for any modeler. I tried the polyknit tool and it is a nightmare.

 

4.  Edge slide that works with proportional or soff selections

 

5.  ability to temperaraly snap or move pivots, so that rotatons of selected poly or points can be made easy.

 

I am not worried about the long lyst of nodes it builds up, because at no time did I get any slow downs in the viewport. Softimage or Maya would choke with that amount of history. :)

 

I will let you know if I remember anything else.

 

Tutorials I would like to see would be how you built the Create poly tool in HDK

post-12104-0-39569100-1417097796_thumb.p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HDK and advanced shaders, even if you think that Symek would be the man for the latter :)

 

I wouldn't watch my own tutorial either, I would be scared to confuse myself even further :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mantragora

The only thing, when it comes to Mantra, that I would be interested is writing procedural for generating LEGO like stuff. Something similar to what guys from (if my memory doesn't fail me) Animal Logic done. That would be cool stuff.

But I think that I would just sell it at that point :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Symek's tutorials are sorely needed to set the bar for Houdini tutorial "scene" :) I don't know a single person who wouldn't buy it.

 

@mantragora: Also how about some GPU based solvers in the HDK? Would definitely be one of a kind for Houdini content and perhaps for 3d tutorials in general.

Edited by magneto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mantragora

Symek's tutorials are sorely needed to set the bar for Houdini tutorial "scene" :) I don't know a single person who wouldn't buy it.

I would.

Lets vote who you would like to see behind the wheel of shader writing:

- Me, someone who for the last 3 years launched Mantra maybe 10 times, and whose last line in signature says something about realtime (that is opposite of Mantra :))

or

- Symek, who for fun likes to make tests like this => http://forums.odforce.net/topic/18957-mantra-particles-rendering-test/

?

@mantragora: Also how about some GPU based solvers in the HDK? Would definitely be one of a kind for Houdini content and perhaps in 3d tutorials in general.

Have you seen any GPU coding stuff? Just explaining concept of programming with all those new keywords for people used to scripting (or only nodes) will take some time, and you want to add GPU to it? I'm not even sure is there anything build in into HDK that we could use, and I would prefer to stick inside of HDK without jumps to other libraries. I will force C++11 on everyone, and just this may be a big pain for some, because they will have to have compiler installed that support it. Adding another steps will be a pain and straight road to headache.

There is a ton of things interesting to see, but making things just because it would be cool, will not teach anybody HDK.

I can tell you this:

Each and every example that is in HDK samples is really badly written. They work. But as examples they fail miserably.

Does it mean the guys at SESI are bad coders? No. They are better than me. But their examples sucks!

1. There is a ton of things they don't show. I don't know everything too, but I hope that I will have possibility to talk with SESI a little to extract some really dark secrets that are buried deep down.

2. The code in each, documentation or private, example I'v seen doesn't tell a story. You look at it and you know shit about what it does. Stalker777 posted PathDeform code (thanks!), but when I looked inside, my reaction was big WTF?! I understand each line, each function call etc., but I don't see why all those steps are done. This was exactly the same what you can see in HDK examples. I was doing exactly the same when I started. Everybody are doing the same. And that's bad.

I took his code, chewed it and made it mine, by writing it how I'm doing it right now. Strangely, I could reuse ton of things I wrote for other extensions. Because I started to thing about what I write as a one entity, not as a pack of separate plugins.

Couple months ago I stopped and started rethinking everything. I'm at the point where I have most of my base workflow solved, splitted on logical parts, with some design guides to which I stick every time I write something. And it makes everything so much clearer to follow. Especially when you are starting to add extensions. And this is what I would like to teach (5? 10? 15?) people.

We will see what will born from this.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2. The code in each, documentation or private, example I'v seen doesn't tell a story. You look at it and you know shit about what it does. Stalker777 posted PathDeform code (thanks!), but when I looked inside, my reaction was big WTF?! I understand each line, each function call etc., but I don't see why all those steps are done. This was exactly the same what you can see in HDK examples. I was doing exactly the same when I started. Everybody are doing the same. And that's bad.

 

Agree with you. In case of PathDeform, sometimes my code scares even myself :) . I'm writing hdk code just for fun or for a specific production task, where it's actually doesn't matter how 'nice' this code is.

If you could make a tutorials on your hdk workflow, this would be very helpful! Especially i'm interesting in debugging.

 

Cheers. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably the worst people to code HDK examples are the ones who developed the code the examples use. Lots of things get left out because it doesn't even occur to them to explain it. The HDK examples are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast number of things you can do with the HDK. SESI would almost need a developer on the HDK full time for a few versions, just to cover most of the bases.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone outside really discover the best methods/practices of using the HDK though? Without being at SESI or interacting with the developers directly, I am sure a lot of things can be missed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a big push to improve the HDK documentation a year ago (or was it two? it all blurs together). Perhaps another push geared towards updating, expanding and documenting the HDK samples could help here. Especially since the new geometry library really changed how you interact with geometry. I know at least one developer is updating some of the SOP examples to current standards.

 

Beyond that, there's a general effort to document on all HDK-exported classes with doxygen, though this tends to be more reference-oriented than task-oriented.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know at least one developer is updating some of the SOP examples to current standards.

 

Does that mean all built-in SOPs in Houdini are already updated to current standards? If so, that's a massive undertaking by itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know if I can say "all" of them are, but there was a big sweep through SOPs to remove deprecated stuff and optimize. And yep, big undertaking.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of a "LEGO" tutorial, seems like it could present several challenges on the way,,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about a slide edges tool that works with soft selections?   That is a big one missing from Houdini.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rant start//
The free learning resources provided by sidefx are not up to the mark in most cases (obviously there are a few exceptions). You have made your software free for learning...thats great! But making the software free for learning only addresses one issue. Where are those in-depth free learning resources? None to be found. The excellent in-depth learning resources provided by cmiVFX, fxphd etc. are so expensive that they are out of reach for most students (even some professionals) IMHO. Now a days even cgsociety is coming out with amazing houdini learning courses. But they are also really expensive. You are providing amazing tools with each new version of houdini like VDBs, FEM solver, filament solver, ocean tools and the list goes on and on. But proper explanations and true power of these beastly tools remain a mystery. What gives? One way is to learn it the hard way by trial and error. But many a time that is not the right way to learn a tool or method. Why we have to rely on trial and error and outside resources when sidefx themselves can provide the same quality or perhaps better learning resources to the mass? It beats me.

//Rant end
 

These are some of the topics that should definitely be covered by in-depth tutorials (by sidefx themselves IMHO):

-HDK as mentioned previously

-Power of VEX
-Filament solver
-In-depth VDB toolset explanations
-Advanced Pyro Effects
-New FLIP tools
-Using Python for pipeline development
-Boid and flocking systems using the new particle tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be only for new people joining Houdini but I miss a good run through customisation.

 

I would love to give a overall view of how to customise Houdini, from Shelf management to Presets and Galleries, Linux vs Mac vs Windows config approaches, how to install new things...

 

With the view of showing artists coming from other packages how to customise it to you taste or even suggest a company wide approach?

 

Also, good Houdini practices are essential and although I have build my own world already by being around talented Houdini artists I would love to see another views, may be using qLib too?

 

Hope it is not too obvious

jb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mantragora

Right now I stopped development of anything in C++ because new selections in H14 broke so many things that all tools that I developed that rely on viewport interactions fail. I will probably wait 2 or more montshs before I decide to revisit HDK. Hopefully things settle down till then.

I got three HDA's ready (+ one that I'm working on right now) of old tools that I remade again and fixed all things that were broken when I made them 5-6 years ago, that I wanted to send to Orbolt, but with selections broken I can't be sure that they work properly. Will have to wait and see what SESI will do to fix selections.

One of the tools that I remade is CreatePolygon that now automatically fixes polygon facing based on neighbour polygons and have extended group capabilities added.
0cuovgz682csuk3zg.jpg

Second is Flatten Polygons that is useful for flattening groups of polys in arbitrary positions that would be hard to do otherwise (by for example scalling one of the axes to zero). 

EDIT: In H14 TransformSOP and EditSOP now allows local scaling, but they still shows scale values from all three axes + shear, so it's hard to just set it to zero and be done with it. With this tool I have only one float with range 0-1 which I have to set.
sspchiob6uww513zg.jpg

Another one is Allign Points for aligning set of points to some specified axis/axes of some other location which can be a point or custom location.
ll3q2gjxb7owb67zg.jpg

The last one I'm working on is new version of Bridge Polygon that will automatically fix its rotation and maybe have possibility to modify its shape with line, similar to what Stalkerx777 PathDeformer allows.

I'm not sure what would you need this Roundish tool for, but hey, why not ;)

Edited by mantragora

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×