Jump to content
XSI

Quality Houdini Art

Recommended Posts

Why is the general quality of Houdini art so comparatively low. Most smug Houdini users never show anything worth rendering in the first place.

The powers is there, but all you ever see is rudimentary particle effect and Physics.

Ive never seen a Houdini user gallery that impressed me. I've seen renders on lowly apps by real artists that make me jealous of there

talent...but never on Houdini. Why?

Pretty ironic when you consider that some of your forums consist of nothing more than gloating over the perceived superiority of Houdini,

and the constant snide comments made about other apps which produce, by several orders of magnitude, more quality art.

One thing Ill say about Houdini is that its new GUI eats XSI's alive, it does look great.

What are you thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're obviously not considering the feature films out there, right? You're only considering casual artwork and student work. Take a look at the feature work on many DD, Sony, R+H, Framestore (and so on) shows.

As for casual "wow" art pics: If you consider that Houdini is almost strictly professional - and for the longest time, really expensive - it's no small wonder that it doesn't have a huge casual artist base. Also Houdini excels at FX and such systems that are fairly late in the production pipeline; things which are hard to do at home.

I think you'll find more and more good looking professional work coming from smaller facilities now that the price is more reachable and the product gets a bit cooler.

Relax, don't take this so seriously! :lol::blink: Young'uns starting in the industry are prone to make stupid remarks and its probably just one proud youngster thats got you all aggressive. Be professional (if you are a professional, I don't know) - or just take it easy.

If you had to believe all the crap out there, you'd think Houdini or XSI or Cinema4D could make you lunch and give you a sponge bath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it might be a case of:

having nothing to prove,

having no time to do personal work on top of commercial work,

or considering making personal work for the purpose of milking

adulation from strangers to be a bit too... sordid.

now what was that about a sponge-bath?

(clickety-click)

-cpb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks,

Dont mean to sound too abrasive but I am am curious nonetheless.

I was not considering Pro work...more user submitted. Pro work on any system is dam good. I don't think expense is an issue

as there are cracks of most programs and I would say that most user uploaded art is indeed done on this...but thats a guess.

The point I think I could have articulated better is that I honestly think Houdini attracts more technical less "artsy" people.

People who think that art is just a node network away. Though thats probably a stereotype you have to deal with all the time.

I would like to see real art soon. Well formed characters, not just procedural citys that seem little more than proof of concepts.

Art that is common on cheap or free programs, and more so on Maya and Lightwave etc....

Mind you, the order of Houdini's node structure is cool to work with. It does seem logical to me...you do something and a clearly labeled node appears.

I can already see the usefulness of this way of thinking. My problem is I'm a modeler and these needs are meet better on other apps...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well cpb, by the power of Occam's razor you could probably deduce that the quality is low because the software attracts more technical

artists....and less outright artsy types.

There is, however, nothing wrong with being a technical artist. Rest assured - if my computer went down I would not be picking up

a paint brush and reflecting on the Renaissance.

Edited by XSI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The point I think I could have articulated better is that I honestly think Houdini attracts more technical less "artsy" people.

People who think that art is just a node network away. Though thats probably a stereotype you have to deal with all the time.

I would like to see real art soon. Well formed characters, not just procedural citys that seem little more than proof of concepts.

Art that is common on cheap or free programs, and more so on Maya and Lightwave etc....

I disagree with you -the "quality" is not lower if it's becomes more technical.

I have *no doubt* that an artist could produce any such "well formed characters" - as I know quite well the scope of the characters tools in Houdini (well, the base tools, not the Autorig - which would no doubt be rebuilt by a pro feature place) - and they exceed those simple default character tools supplied by Maya, etc. And moreover, its open enough a solution that if you cannot solve a certain issue, it's probably YOUR failing, not Houdini's, mostly.

As for attracting the artsty crowd:

That is no doubt true - it doesn't attract the artsy crowd. Houdini is definitely not Mudbox or Max/VRay or whatever. Houdini is a harsh mistress and I get the feeling that even within Side Effects there is a battle between saying "Fuck that! We're a hardcore professional tool" and knowing that they have to appeal to the market share of people that want one-click canned loveliness. The sheer overwhelming tide of people from this side of the industry culture does dictate that they heed these desires, but as we all know this is finickity market of amateur forum babble and noisy crosstalk.

Like Houdini ... or lump it. No point in stressing about it. But take it for granted that it can do whatever you want it to. Take the high road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I have *no doubt* that an artist could produce any such "well formed characters"" Definitely, the question then becomes why is there no cultural inertia to do so?

Also, you mention something that has a lot of currency in Houdini circles, that being that other apps have canned solutions - "one-click canned loveliness."

I see your point, however if we follow this logic to its conclusion - that being canned is bad - then shouldn't Houdini users lern to code, as nodes are nothing more than

canned, homogenized pieces of code - ready to use and be GUI friendly.

Just a thought

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys

I am taking a little break after Golden compass and Fred Claus:)

As this art "issue" keeps popping up these few weeks let me add my 2cents.

I am MA degree painter and have over 6yrs exp. in maya but as an artist last two years I use only Houdini

at home and at work whenever possible.

As for quality of art check Steamboy, Ghost in the shell, work from DD or Framestore and you will see that it is very hard to get to that level

at the same speed ....

I know you miss gorgeous models and renders like on vray or zbrush forums

but maybe this is happening with houdini somewhere else

just stick with it and you will be rewarded with enormous flexibility in your work process.

For me as a strictly non coder person H is very user friendly and with community and mailing list on support

I feel confident to tackle tasks that would require pages of mel script to get it done in maya.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My problem is I'm a modeler and these needs are meet better on other apps...

If you are a modeler then I doubt Houdini can offer you something very interesting. There's a lot of specialized apps which can do subdiv modeling faster if that's what you're looking for.

You are here because you are actually interested in learning Houdini? Your posts sound quite trollish to me. What are you trying to prove, actually?

Dragos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow Zoki your a dead ringer for Nick Nolte!

A few of things -

-I wasn't aware this issue comes up a lot....thought I was raising something new.

-Not concerned with pro art...we all know its good stuff.

-As for the code/node thing, I was just saying that you cant condemn canned solution when nodes are canned, GUI friendly code.

-And as for the gorges models on Zbrush and the like, my point is that great art is everywhere. From cheap/free apps to Maya Unlimited, just not much on Houdini.

For example, I'm an XSI user and I avoid going to XSI user gallerys because it shakes my confidence in my own abilitys. And I assure you that Im no slouch

at modeling either. Thing will probably get better for Houdini in the coming years though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

digitallysane. I am very keen on learning Houdini. On some levels I've always thought like a Houdini user, being frustrated ate the limitations of other apps and the sometimes arcane way you have to generate association between objects and effects. Its just that I see no real content by users that makes me stall. This is why I ask these questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its interesting what you say about canned solutions, the irony is that studios that use houdini use its asset technology to make "canned" solutions, they just happen to be studio specific cans. And really its the best tool to do that with. The trouble is no-one is selling them. Hopefully Sesi will get more time to make their own canned solutions and post them up on exchange or include them in the package. Either that or if the user base gets bigger enough people will start to see a real financial incentive to sell them. The question of whether Sesi spend time doing that or working on the core product does come up time and again. Its very chicken and egg.

Since Sesi seems slightly more interested in attracting more "artsy" types these days I think the initiative should come from them to have a kick arse gallery. I think the rest of us who work with the package all the time aren't too bothered. But I think there are obviously a lot of people out there like yourself who probably will never concider using Houdini until they see a gallery full of pictures that somehow prove to you that the product can deliver what all the others do. I think its a fair point really. Whenever I evaluate a new piece of software I always look at all the examples if they aren't very impressive its lot trickier to convince yourself its a good tool. A picture still speaks a thousand words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im using apprentice at the moment and must say it looks slicker and feels much more professional that XSI.

The last version of apprentice I used was 7 and this has a far more conventional feel to it, more user friendly than the last few version.

A step in the right direction as long as they don't sacrifice its core structure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey everyone,

We discussed this phenomenon with various people on the odForce IRC chan to the great frustration of many of us ;)

My version is that Houdini gives you such a steep (in a good sense: challenging but rewarding) learning curve when you switch from another software for a long time (1-2 years or more) that most people find it way too interesting to just play around with tools and various ideas instead of actually finishing up a polished piece.

I notice this a lot on the forums as well and I think it's definitely a good thing for experienced people. They feel lot more capable and that alone gives confidence in tackling bigger problems. These people have the eyes and the skills to finish up art but they don't do on their freetime, which is acceptable (and I have good exprience cross-training them as well).

Houdini's reputation might suffer slightly but I don't think this is a major industry force to be honest (except maybe amongs the smaller shops).

On the other hand, I also see a similar approach with people either making their first steps in CG or having very limited experience with the visual side. And I think it's a bad thing. These skills take far more time to hone than learning software. And most students mistake playing with Houdini with finishing projects to an extent they're too proud of being Houdini users like if this would give them the privilege to forget about the goal of the entire process: creating visuals.

Also, because of the relative lack of Houdini trained people, this second group still manages to land jobs (even before considering cross-training people with developed visual skills trained on another package) that gives further confirmation of this approach to an extent that they realise too late that they can't light a sphere or animate a bouncing ball but know the most esoteric CHOPs.

cheers,

Andras

Edited by kodiak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is similar to asking: why there are no breathtaking PRMan renderings around? The web is full of cool mental ray, vray, brazil, maxwell etc renders, but less PRMan, yet everybody says it's the best renderer.

And the answer is like the one for Houdini: it is (or was until recently) mainly used professionally. You just have to look at many features and you'll see gorgeous PRMan renderings (or Houdini art).

Dragos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am starting to work on a Houdini naked chick right now!

:P

(meanwhile... need to read all of this... it is a deep deep post :))

Edited by Symbolic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes digitallysane, this is a fair point. The only thing I might say against it is that there have been initiatives by SideFX, competitions and such, that have yielded prizes,

yet the quality of imagery has been not too stunning. Another point no one has made is that the user base of Houdini is tiny, and I think this could have a lot to do with it.

As I said earlier, if I knew this topic was brought up a lot before I probably would not have mentioned it.

Ill also ask again as I am curious - does anybody use any other apps for modeling - something auxiliary?

Edited by XSI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes digitallysane, this is a fair point. The only thing I might say against it is that there have been initiatives by SideFX, competitions and such, that have yielded prizes,

yet the quality of imagery has been not too stunning. Another point no one has made is that the user base of Houdini is tiny, and I think this could have a lot to do with it.

As I said earlier, if I knew this topic was brought up a lot before I probably would not have mentioned it.

Ill also ask again as I am curious - does anybody use any other apps for modeling - something auxiliary?

Personally, I'm a professional features FX person - with strong interests in lighting and rendering. Other people model stuff for me:) (which is usually in Maya - very occasionally Mudbox)

I'd also like to ask you: what do you consider good CG art? If I have to see another gnashing monster head profile, or a bendy goofy character on an infinite white plane all ambient occlusion-ey, I think I'll scream. As for stills, those artists don't want to care about texture-filtering and point-clouds and stuff: they just want intuitive shaders and a pretty render as fast as possible.

There is three segments to the industry, it seems: features, commercials and student. (And games, but whatever) Maya has saturated all three right through. Houdini is strongest in features, upcoming in commercials (due to the extra features that have plugged many of the gaps -quite recently) and only a few students that feel that they resonate with Houdini. Some students actually want to be feature FX people, (thank God)... not everyone wants to animate and render robots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I'd also like to ask you: what do you consider good CG art?" Anything from a "gnashing monster head profile" to a beautifully rendered forest- but I don't know until I see it.

But under any criteria I've yet to see anything from Houdini's camp that takes me there.

If we concentrate on the programs strengths we should be seeing more dynamic effects and such, rendered and presented. So mabey thats something to concentrate on.

It seem that Houdini's culture is one of being technically proficient, but not one of necessarily making a statement.

I might also add that a lot of the art elsewhere is, at times, adolescent. Like demons and such that look good and are modeled well, but are still corny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×