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chistof

HDA or Gallery ?

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Hi guys,

 

I've been searching a lot, trying a lot and now I'd like some input as well from experienced users. Everywhere it's always about HDAs and there is really not much about gallerys but they don't seem some so useless to me. So I wrote the Pro and Cons which concern me the most and I'd like to know what you think of it.

 

The real question is not really if I should use HDAs or not, it's more about where could be the limit between gallery and otls, is it worth using otls for everything ? Then what the gallery manager is made for then ? Or is it a relic of some older Houdini versions ?

 

Gallery

 

Pros

- easy to save, modify and visualize

 

Cons

- not sure if it's memory efficient, is it all loaded with Houdini or only labels ? In which case, it would make the decision easy :)

- no versioning

 

 

HDAs

 

Pros

- versioning

- updates can be shared through scenes

 

Cons

- saving a new version is a bit painful and if you mistake in the order of doing things you may have to redo some stuff (promoting parameters from parameters interface rather than type properties for example)

- the versioning is not so good and we would probably make our own versioning system anyway

 

 

Thanks for your wisdom !

Chris

Edited by chistof

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Better later than never :)

If my memory is good, the gallery was added after otls. However, they serve different purposes to my point of view, although I would probably use the gallery a lot more if we didn't have otls (hda).

HDA

1- I definitely use HDAs for creating nodes that are multipurpose and low level. These are similar to the kind of nodes you generally find in Houdini that are used as building blocks for different kind of effects.

2- I also use HDAs wherever I need to duplicate the same logic within the same hip on multiple nodes. This prevents me from having to change a parameter on multiple location for similar part of a setup. In fact very often this HDAs is Embedded to the hip if I don't plan to use it in other shots, or I let it become mature enough on my look dev shot and make it external when I'm ready to apply the setup in other shots.

3- I make HDAs that I use as part of an FX setup for a specific sequence for example. I may have more than one of those little task assets that together, along with other standard Houdini nodes, make my whole setup. An example of one of those assets can be an emitter or the whole portion that does the simulation. The reason why I fragment it this way is because when you try to make a huge FX asset everybody always end up unlocking it to be able to fine tune it for his own shot. It's take less time to design this way too because you don't have to think about all the different variation of the effect the setup has to cover. What you want is a bunch of smaller assets that no one will need to unlock.

Gallery

So far I've used galleries to make examples of an FX setup to keep in a library. We can then use those as a starting point if we need to do a similar FX later. It also persist better over time in a studio since we put them all in the same folder and are all visible at once in the gallery window. I'd be happy to hear about more usage of galleries because I feel they are under estimated.

Thanks

Francois

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