Jump to content
veeraa

Why Houdini Is Not The King(or Knight @least) Yet?

Recommended Posts

EDIT:

Hi guys,

This is my second post to the group. I'm very new to Houdini and infact animation domain itself. I'm just learning the ropes. I downloaded the eitire vislab(houdini video tutorials) site and am trying to learn it. i'm using 3dbuzz and the Houdini book by will as well.

Animation is only my hobby. I mostly use lightwave and love/hate(sometimes) it. I've used Maya and XSI a bit but not much(Could'nt help hating max workflow for some reason). Coming to Houdini, its touted one impressive peice of softwares. Firstly its completely non-destructive(or procedural) and the second is that its node based and mainly reusable.

Things I gathered from other forums are such,

1. The trouble with houdini,esp for bouquets(small studios) is that although it provides all the tools, there is almost nil off the shelf components like shaders, OTL's, etc. let alone examples, books, tutorials, videos.

2. Most of the guys who applaud houdini abt the easy learning and amazing work flow were guided if not hand-held by experts in their respective studios or pointed them in the right direction.

3. In the past learning material on houdini was almost NIL or very limited like the vislab videos. Even that came about post version 5. Now its not the same with digital tutors, 3dbuzz, gnomon, etc although its not in the same league as Maya or 3dsmax or for that matter not even upto XSI's level.

4. Yeah houdini can just do anything and everything and that too within the cost/budget and timeline without too much of coding or plugins/addons. But the catch is that you've to be an master if not an expert at houdini.

5. Houdini's success comes not only from its procedurality but also reusability.Which means that you've to have a proven tested production with loads of OTLs as part of your history and experience.Look at digital domain. They've mastered houdini and can flex it(Houdini) as they choose. If anybody thinks that they are going to start a studio and will be able to do a stealth within a short is going to be up against a wall and a very high wall at that.

6. True other packages have to rely heavily on scripts for the same and mostly start from the scratch. Houdini is used by the top brass not without reason. If not for anything it works as a data interchange mechanism between many applications in a pipeline. Again the main reason why houdini is not used by the small fry and we don't see it being used by any or many freelancers is because it requires a lot of baggage in terms of in-house OTL/shaders libraries which is mostly build out of past experience.

7. To top it all the houdini community is very small and closely knit.

8. Man looking at houdini I realised this is it. Sidefx is either having bad luck or very bad at marketing or whatever. Houdini is laughing at the face of maya and makes it look like plugin. Mind you with all due respect for maya's capabilities and its flexibility, I've used maya and am familiar with its nuances and limitation. But going forward any package which does'nt adopt this kind of procedural appraoch is going to be left out.

9. Look at XSI. They've been criticised for the lack of SFX for a long time. If the best innovation thingy they could come up with is a duplicate of Houdini's POP/VEX system I'd rather learn houdini.

10. Yeah houdini community is growing but at a snails pace compared to maya and 3dsmax, which have the largest presence out there and Even XSI is slowly catching up with these two. Houdini is yet to find a home other than the top brass.

IMHO, staying consistent with your thing is one aspect. But the fact that Houdini is not king itself is criminal SideFX part.By king, I don't mean world domination but presence in the market in both terms of both quantity and quality. Quality, yes its there. The kind of effects(or any application)it is used for is great but not in the same league as, say Maya given the caost and the timeline. I see Houdini being used mainly for particle effects. Take the case of X-Men where all the non-linear morphing were produced with Maya using,I guess, complex and arcane MEL or third party plug-ins, while it has been there in Houdini(from what I've heard/read) since Prism. Agreed Houdini was used in X-Men, but again for particle effects(Senator Kelly disintegrating into a fliud and flowing away).

One more aspect is that, if you guys love/dote Houdini so much, then why can't you write a decent review about it asa a new version comes out, especially the veterans who have migrated from other packages like 3dsmax,maya,sofftimage|xsi,softimage|3d or anything else out there? Most of the reviews out there are written by half-baked or biased and written by people who are either very new to houdini or biased(total/partial) towards other packages or against houdini. If Peter Bowmar and Will Cunningham can write a book, why not a review? Look at the way Ed Harris covers almost every aspect of XSI asa a new version comes out.

I have a request for you guys, especially the Houdini experts who have migrated from other packages like XSI or maya or lightwave.

1. Please do write a review. If SideFX pays you or you do this for the Houdini community or for yourslef, the end result is that Houdini user base may grow in number because of what you've done. You don't have to necessarily compare houdini with other packages but since you are familiar with other packages, you might be able to put in the best of both worlds.

2. Why there are no examples and off the shelf components which truely show houdini's capabilities and others can pick up and use? True you guys can't shell out proprietary things custom CFD solution, hair solution, etc. But how about shaders, procedurals, vex examples, etc? Please do share whatever you can.

3. I looked at XSI and it comes with loads of examples for almost every aspect of it. It has a good amount of examples plus libraries(like shaders). I don't think this is very dufficult to do.

True sidefx site now has 2 blogs and a bank of tutorials. But still too few. Compared to the options which sidefx provides for the licensing itself like master,escape, apprentice,HD,etc. this is too few. say what'll I do with the apprentice license if I'm not able to find learning materials and I'm located far away from the places where you conduct courses. Infact even if it is offline content I can atleast download and use for learning. Online materials like 3dbuzz are fine but we'd need an offline version of the same as well.

This is not a "My-package-strongest-and-biggest" flame. Rather an observation of a guy who is having more than a pssing interest in it.

Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee............................

P.S. -

1. How fast is Houdini dynamics compared to Maya or XSI dynamics?

2. How stable and how many polygons is houdini capable of handling in terms of scene/simulation complexity?

3. Why is it so slow esp while scrubbing? XSI and Maya, although to a lesser extent, have no problem with RT playback.

4. Ability to run on lower end hardware like laptops with NVidia 7300 would be really appreciated. XSI is fabulous in this area. Handles a lot of polygons(truely gigacore) and pretty complex simulations with aplomb even on modest hardware. Makes your hardware look like its highend workstation.

5. Any pointers on using mental ray and other renderers with houdini.

6. Any chance of getting a Frpime/rendition like solution for houdini?

Edited by veeraa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have nothing against the sidefx guys.But why are they not building a wrapper UI through which can do the same like drawing a curve, i.e. a wrapper UI which will help you build the network in the background while you build stuff interactively. I'm sure this can be done on top Houdini's power house engine.Why can't they do this? Freedom and Choice is both a power and responsibility. Hopudini provides both. But not make it a bit more task-friendly instead of project/design-friendly alone. The approach Houdini takes is admitedly the best there is but why not refine it a bit more. IMHO SideFX has to catch up with times.

23593[/snapback]

Maybe you haven't used houdini much yet but that is exactly what you can do already. You don't build a curve in the node editor you do it right in the viewport just as you would with any other app. Same with pretty much all nodes. It the background the network is created, you can even navigate around the network straight from the viewport if that is how you like to work. For me I've been using it so long I find it more powerful to mostly work in the node network editor , but even so I still draw curves straight it the 3D viewport, how else would you do it, I certainly wouldn't be typing in the coordinates one at a time. ....

Is there a kin to Artisan and paint effects in Houdini?And btw how fast is Houdini dynamics compared to maya or XSI dynamics?

No real fully fledged paint tools yet, still hoping for H9.

Dynamics DOPs are band new to H8 and seem to really rock. As with all Houdini stuff they are designed so you can really get in there and do powerful stuff with no coding, plus it is designed to be easy to add your own solvers (mostly for big shops) and also so that all forms of dynamics can interact with each other - eg solid bodies interact with cloth etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well there are the sculpt and paint SOPs, which behave far better than Maya's artisan tools as far as I'm concerned.

As for paint FX... well I've never really heard anything good from Maya's paintFX. Most people I know regard them as little more than toys, not really for serious production. Has that changed in recent versions? Or is it still pretty gimmicky?

And with the curve SOP I would probably ignore anyone you see complaining about the new curve SOP. The people who do are still thinking about modeling from Houdini4.0 terms. I do agree that the curve SOP could use a little more refinement, but it's certainly not a reason to completely disregard all the improvements made to modeling and general interactivity.

My 2c

Marc

P.S. I fully agree with you about the review thing. If only there were 28 hours in a day ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... If only there were 28 hours in a day ;)

23617[/snapback]

Yeah! Where do I submit that RFE? :P

George.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maya. I see Houdini being used mainly for particle effects.

While that may still be true, in my experience thus far, I've been using Houdini for "effects" modeling and animation quite a lot. By that, I don't mean mere "particle effects". If anything, I find Houdini to be more true to say that it is more of a "effects modeling and animation" package than "particle effects" package. In a lot of things that we do, I find many cases where modeling and animation has to go hand-in-hand together so that you can't tell where the line ends for modeling and where it begins for animation, and vice versa. And to top it off, needing large amount of variation to the models and animation, need to pass and manage data around, without coding much.

Such is the power of Houdini. Gotta love it. :)

Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yes.

23660[/snapback]

Yes they've made it even more gimmicky? Well, I can see that happening, I guess... it didn't ever seem like a serious thing.

Thanks for clarifying.

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes they've made it even more gimmicky? Well, I can see that happening, I guess... it didn't ever seem like a serious thing.

Thanks for clarifying.

M

23676[/snapback]

In "Ryan" Chris Landreth used paint effects and was happy about them, but since he is aliases "maya master" it can be misleading:)

In "making of Ryan" and he also glorifies maya's construction history, which is funny.

Nonetheless the movie is amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes they've made it even more gimmicky? Well, I can see that happening, I guess... it didn't ever seem like a serious thing.

Thanks for clarifying.

M

23676[/snapback]

sometimes, people's ignorance and haughty are making me sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes people's cryptic responses and lack of humour make me puzzled.

But if you're not going to expand upon your incredibly well thought out response, then my original opinion on the whole topic stands.

:ph34r:

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, i am not going to discuss with you PaintFX.

Does not matter what i will say, you will find a way to disagree with me.

It is all about the attitude.

If PaintFX technology was part of Houdini, in most cases you would like it. But because it belongs to Maya you qualified it as useless, without even tried it yourself.

Let's stop here. I'm taking my "yes" post back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark, i am not going to discuss with you PaintFX.

Does not matter what i will say, you will find a way to disagree with me.

It is all about the attitude.

If PaintFX technology was part of Houdini, in most cases you would like it. But because it belongs to Maya you qualified it as useless, without even tried it yourself.

Let's stop here. I'm taking my "yes" post back.

23690[/snapback]

I believe Marc uses Maya on a daily basis - but I do think he was just taking the piss, nothing to be taken seriously. Also you'll notice that Marc has equally derisive comments about Houdini ;) And his job, car, supermarkets, fish, rabbits, technology, religion, blood corpuscles, beans, things that are a puce colour, and most other things in general. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh c'mon simon.. how can you sit there and not be suspicious of rabbits.. sitting there with those big ol' ears always perked while silently chewing whatever it is they chew.. i swear they are just listening in on everything and waiting for the perfect attack on world domination.. :unsure:

i for one welcome our new large-eared, furry over lords.. :notworthy:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for paint FX... well I've never really heard anything good from Maya's paintFX. Most people I know regard them as little more than toys, not really for serious production. Has that changed in recent versions?

yeahh... paintFx, just check: http://www.a3d.co.uk/

and look at tree stuff, U can also compare there houdini and maya trees

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oh c'mon simon.. how can you sit there and not be suspicious of rabbits.. sitting there with those big ol' ears always perked while silently chewing whatever it is they chew.. i swear they are just listening in on everything and waiting for the perfect attack on world domination..  :unsure:

i for one welcome our new large-eared, furry over lords..  :notworthy:

23695[/snapback]

Monty Python :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark, i am not going to discuss with you PaintFX.

Does not matter what i will say, you will find a way to disagree with me.

It is all about the attitude.

If PaintFX technology was part of Houdini, in most cases you would like it. But because it belongs to Maya you qualified it as useless, without even tried it yourself.

23690[/snapback]

You may actually have a point though. I really don't like Maya at all.. :P . However, I wasn't basing my opinion on complete hearsay, I was basing it on the opinions of people who do use maya and say that they aren't/weren't worth much (this was a few versions ago).

The thing is though, you haven't actually discussed them with me. All you said was "yes"... which doesn't really explain much of anything. I welcome any opportunity to revise my opinion, as well as welcoming our new rabbit overlords.

Anyway, lets drop this... apologies for hijacking the thread.

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was basing it on the opinions of people who do use maya and say that they aren't/weren't worth much (this was a few versions ago).

M

23706[/snapback]

Marc, Marc, Marc... They just don't understand how to use this stuff B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The a3d site contains work of superb quality!

I love these trees, they are almost perfect! (ok the maya one is really ugly :))

Thanks Rafal for this link!

Who is this guy and is all the work done by himself or a bunch of people?

And why is it so hard to find this kind of links? :):)

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

×