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Houdini 19 Wishlist


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39 minutes ago, ikoon said:

Hi @Maurits,
as regards 1. I would suggest to try the https://www.autohotkey.com and/or to buy a mouse, which has a driver, which allows you to bind custom hotkeys. (I have a Roccat mouse and the driver is quite good for that.)
as regards 3. if you have the Python Shell Pane open, it supersedes the Console pop up.


I tried/used that for 1 week and I found very well also, if I remmeber well, you can use a special button and setting inside some different tools for each software you used (it's like a circular menù in Houdini, but you can use one for Houdini, one for Maya, for e.g., or others and in all cases it's different). Price is high also because you should buy the pad so price not less, but is very good product.



On Atohotkey scripts good to knoe I use it for fix alwayse on top some application/floating windows in Win10.





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On 10/23/2019 at 2:01 AM, ikoon said:

as regards 3. if you have the Python Shell Pane open, it supersedes the Console pop up.

Hey @ikoon

I will check out the first thing you mentioned.

For number 3: I'm aware of the python panel and often use it when I need to print python help data, as it has no limit to the amount of data shown. The downside it that it has as far as I know no options to clear or mark data. Both of which I also use allot.

I use the console / prints allot for making and debug complex vex script, as houdini does not really have anything like breakpoints or step through whit variable inspect.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Integrate in the auto rig tool, very clean base mesh for :

- biped : male / female human

- quadripeds : feline / dogs / horses


For each model have by default integrated :

- clean skin mesh topology

- clean optimised muscle geometry 

- clean skeleton 

Like this :




 - Create a restricted feature Muscular FEM solver where all that is not needeed is ditch from the solve, optimise interpenetration and self collision between msucle to get ziva FEM speed. 

- Having all the muscle constrain already set on the default skeleton base mesh 

- push and simplify a workflow were muscle in the Muscular FEM are based on modeling in Zbrush instead of having to draw muscle with the houdini muscle tool.

- ability to export poly geo of skin / muscle / skeleton to zbrush and edit them directly with a GOZ like real time connection

-  Ability to retarget those base mesh to different type of characters 




Edited by sebkaine
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On 10/22/2019 at 9:42 AM, Maurits said:

A better option for the Houdini console window. Currently it's just popping up and always in the way. If this would be a proper panel it could be doct like any other panel.

whats with the eh? it was only the last month or two that i found out right clicking the title bar and deselecting Always on top solved much of my frustrations of constantly moving it out of the way.... but yea its seems like a no brainer to make it a dockable panel.

My request, a simple function to rotate node inputs and outputs from vertical connection to horizontal connection so we can have the option to work laterally like in vops.  hotkey would just switch the input and output dots to the sides of the node, the title and comments to top and bottom, as well as orange dependency links .  im aware of shift+A+drag will nicely lay them out laterally, but the wiring in both normal wire and S curve format is rather "messy".  this option could be set PER node under the Flags menu.

+ Drag and drop images into vops, shop or mat view and have a menu appear (like 3ds max) to select whether to drop them as color maps, or mantra/redshift/other render texture nodes.

other simple network view layout things, within the display options:
+ ability to adjust the default distance, in pixels, to which a new node is placed when shift+enter is used to drop a node on a wire or from existing selected node.
    (and/or snap the new node to the closest grid line when grid is active.)

+ the above feature would also be amazing without the grid active.  as we all operate on various node view spacing workflows.

+ ability to adjust the magnet strength of all network view snapping

+ a function to clamp the zoom range of the network view.  currently zooming out to infinity and zooming in to gigantic node size seems impractical.
    (im sure theres probably already a way to alter this with a python script or something)

+ the ability to add user color set presets in the right click menu of the network color swatches.

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Looking at the amount of ground Houdini developers can cover between releases, I'm going with the idea that they should develop a full blown desktop operating system for desktop computers next. I'm only partly joking though. When learning Houdini, it is often advised to think of it similar to an operating system. That comparison makes me hurt everytime I have to do anything in Windows instead of Houdini. My thought is that a team of SideFX developers, or a group of people more knowledgeable of how Houdini is built should start creating an actual operating system for people who value the amount of control over what processes are currently running on their machine and the team would use the same customer feedback based approach for developing innovative and intuitive never-before-done state-of-the-art tools. Just distilling down the development of new releases of an operating system to the action of the expanding of a tool set that would be useful and innovative, in accordance with the user needs, that is centered on the interests of people who value having a robust access to different processes running on their machine, would be a huge deal. Just the dividing of the "application" abstraction down and concentrating on the managment of processes could be a game changer in that field, and that is something that SideFX seems to have ample experience with. One could argue one of the main powers of Houdini is the ability to divide surface level objects(programs) into individual processes. 

Seriously, I have been told by people who do not know Houdini, that the answer for such an operating system would be Linux, but I don't think it is quite correct. To me the analogy runs more in the vein of Windows equals Maya, Mac equals Cinema 4D, Linux equals Blender. I haven't had much to do with either Linux or Mac, perhaps there would be an analogy for Houdini, but there doesn't seem to (unless it exists in a not-very-well-known Linux version). Not such that is being designed with the philosophies, aims and innovative/experimental ideas of SideFX. The energy of SideFX would probably follow, because doing ground-breaking things, I imagine, is exhilarating. I think this is a true pain and a great loss to the whole of humanity that there seem to be no such forces working at that market, at least to the eyes of an average user.

In my imagination, it would be unimaginably powerful if an operating system ran separated into different contexts as Houdini does - There would be the surface level, or object level, quite similar to Windows based desktops of today, where folders and links and programs exist, but I can't stop imagining different contexts for managing what objects on the surface would actually do. I imagine it a node-based programming context, like contexts in Houdini, and you have different types of information running through the stream of each context, you can manage them by attributes, and have different types of tools, with the tool set constantly evolving and expanding. Getting to understand a complex environment similar to Houdini could of course become a never-ending journey, but just to imagine what one could do with such a set of toolboxes, the boos it could be giving to users' imagination and ability to automate the building of innovative new tools for themselves and others.

The idea of exactly into what contexts such an operating system would be best divided into, would probably develop in the making, but I envision a context (1) for file and folder manipulations, a context for managing network connections(2), and then perhaps a combination of contexts for image, video, text manipulations. Each context would be a tool set, just as in Houdini, where one could automate all sorts of processes running on their machine.

In the context of network connections(2), one type of data that would be running through data streams would be the list of incoming/outgoing connections, and for example a user could generate node-based firewall programs, that would define what would happen to different connections based on some attributes or criteria, people could perhaps also write automated programs to upload some things from their system or create scheduled programs to download some things from certain servers when some criteria is met.

In the file/folder managing context(1) I would imagine a user having access to a wide range of options to edit the information and contents of files and folders on the device. An example would be that perhaps he/she would have the tools to create for example small programs that would change the colour of a folder icon based on the medium age of files in the folder, the age of the files relative to a specific time, or based on the the number of files in the folder, the file type, etc. Imagine files and folders being created en-masse like particles, with different attributes attached that could be used to determine aspects about the creation or just the look of them. Seriously, at least the colour and size of folder icons should be connectable to their age, or different math operations based on different parameters of the included files.

This kind of operating system would perhaps introduce new kinds of security problems, but if these would be difficult to overcome, is difficult to envision, but I'm really annoyed by the lack of innovation in the operating system world and the unwillingness to try things differently from the standard parameters by any of the big players (Android for mobile devices included), at least from the point of view that SideFX developers have for their products - not many people seem to be innovating with the aim of giving users robust sets of tools and control over what their computer is doing, as the innovation seems to be instead mainly in the direction of giving companies, governments and other paying entities control over the data that flows through someone's computer, and understanding and accessing of all that data is being made more and more difficult for the users, the process of trying to get some control over what happens in your computer is made progressively incomprehensible, unintuitive, etc.

Seriously, what is taking SideFX this long to get into the operating systems business?


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Inside of the actual Houdini program though, I'd say the Sculpt SOP, Creep SOP and Font SOP could do with a slight update (like  the Bend SOP and Sweep SOP seem to be getting in this release), and I would love the idea of them expanding on the sound based CHOP tools  (as could be seen in this video: 

 ). A robust and intuitive tool set for experimenting with 3D audio setups or presets for running 3D audio simulations would perhaps appeal to a very small niche in the user base, but I do think this niche has great potential to grow, once the developers put some light on this side of using the program. Yes, many 3D programs have the option of animating something based on sound, but there is perhaps some potential in running actual sound simulations, giving physically based material properties to 3D objects, etc, the procedural music generation capabilities of Houdini.

Edited by Jaanus
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7 hours ago, hved said:

More specialised Toolsets, not only Game Development, but Motion Design, City Generation, Architectural Visualization, User Interface and more.


That's one of the main reasons that the Gamedev team has rebranded as SideFX Labs - so that what they produce isn't just seen as content for games. They're really driven by the community.

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Why would they? 
Sop solvers are just wrapped dops. Removing them means that they have to rewrite the whole fx context inside sops for the purpose of not having dops or just removing the access to them which equals hcore. Both approaches are very counter intuitive - every TD wants to have access to the solver and the ability to modify it.

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1.revamped  save/load dialog - ability to drag and drop images and textures from the operating system inside houdini

2.curve sop update - ability to select more than one point at the time, and tangent control.

3.creep sop update - some stuff in the game dev tools but not even near

4.update to the flipbook dialog - ability to change name on the flipbook previews, more easy to use sequence list

5. vellum rbd - integrate rbd's in the vellum solver

6.keyframe/timeline editor - power up the the editor in general, too many missing features

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0. Updated code editor. That's the biggest dream. I freaking love coding for Houdini, but that's one of the aspects what still feel like pre-16 version. Maybe the team can integrate Electron framework or something. You don't want people to go and use external editors for anything more then a few lines. 

1. COP3 context. Houdini 5.5 gave us COP2. It was in 2002. It's still in 2002. I do believe what Houdini can shine with 2D too, both in procedulal generated images, and even with compositing. But it's not. Most of us just try to find other ways around instead of going there.

2. Physics-based Animation. Solaris gives us a fantastic method of doing layout work based of phisics. It's trully amazing. Why not to impliment the same approach into animation. There is a team what is doing it already, making Cascadeur app (https://youtu.be/nj_Dtj7c0Lc). I'm pretty sure SESI can do even better. It's a chance to get a tiny piece from nearly impossible task of taking Maya's pie. 

3. Texture painting. Hear me out, nobody expects Mari/Substance  level of painting, it's not for that. But a lot of times it's beneficial to paint something basic and not be dependant on topology. For example: I don't wanna go into painting app just to put a few tiny dots and the cat's face in order for fur to be colored by it later.

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