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VEX or VOP's

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Hi all,

not having much experience with houdini I started wondering about the following. How to save a shader... I started writing a few VEX shaders and so far I just wrote it into a single file and there it is.

However though it would take a bit more time most parts could be transfered into a VOP network and the whole thing is a bit more modular / easier to edit if you don't fancy jumping into the actual code. If there isn't an existing VOP that does a specific sub-task you need for the shader, do you create this new VOP's until you can build the shader as VOP network ?!

I started on NPR shaders again and intend to share those; so far it's all messy VEX code, but if everyone says: "Oh no, we always do nice VOP networks" or alike I'd try to convert those.


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Personally I love them as VOPs. The SSS shader suddenly becomes useful and so easy to add as "Just the Subsurface component" in the middle of a VOP network.

Excited to see your NPR shaders out there.. bring em on! :)

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Hey Jens,

I also think it's more useful if you convert components into VOPs. The question is which part do you convert? -- which bits can become reusable components, and at what level?

Say you're doing some NPR shader, and say it needs some funky antialiased uv-based "triangle wave" pattern... do you turn the whole shader into a VOP?... or just the AA pattern, with the shader as an HDA?

My personal choice would be to do both things as VOPs -- one VOP for each reusable low-level (and possibly multi-context) component (the triangle pattern), and another VOP for the whole shader (assuming that the whole shader can be used as a high-level shading component).

It's really just a question of personal taste, but I'm pretty sure that the one thing we'd likely all agree on is "Whatever you do, don't just leave it as a shader!". Shaders are static and can't be combined with other shaders. This was always a big headache in the "old days", so now that we have VOPs it shouldn't become a problem again. And on the flip-side, HDAs become useless as references once they grow beyond 20 nodes or so (it actually turns into a wonderful code-obfuscation device after that :P ).


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