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XSI

Quality Houdini Art

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Hmm... i came from art background myself. But between work, trying to keep up the techniques and the technologies, and trying to have a life (and my recent new interest in photography) -- can't say I have enough energy to try to sit in front of my computer at home to try to whip up something... :( That's just me personally though. :'(

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I'll bet that if you compare the size of the Houdini user base to that of the most popular 3d apps, there will be a distinct relationship between that and the amount of "art" being produced.

And as Jason and others have said - of that relatively smaller user base, most seem to be dedicated pros working on high-level projects, who I'm sure have less spare time to tinker and create arty images, or can't post their work due to contracts etc.

I used to believe that Houdini was an arcane and impenetrable app, and I know that perception still exists - so many people I know don't consider trying it because they don't percieve it to be an artist friendly tool. I for one, since being on the Apprentice program, have done a complete about turn regarding my opinion of Houdini, and I hope it won't be long till I know enough to become a full-time Houdini user. I love it!

So I'm sure that as the perception of Houdini changes, the user base will grow and a lot more work will filter out.

Watch this space!

Matt.

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

don't forget to leave out the hands, feet and head...

and then let's see another buffed naked eunuch.

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Hey Matt_K,

"And as Jason and others have said - of that relatively smaller user base" I was the only one to bring it up, and your the first to agree so far.

I think the conclusion we could draw is that Houdini has a small user base and its ratio of professionals to nonprofessionals is high.

Also, if your purely a modeler it makes more sense to start with Modo or Maya or something, so fewer people with low level requirement

filter through to Houdini.

Edited by XSI

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You may have been the first to bring it up in this thread, but you're certainly not the first to think of it :). A lot of us have been trying for years to get the word out about Houdini, and we're hoping Apprentice (and now Apprentice HD) will be the catalyst for a bit of a revolution.

The userbase of other softwares is huge, and it's only a very small percentage that produce great pieces of art, making it really hard to compare the two.

And as for why no one answered your question about using other modeling packages, it comes back to the point about the majority being professionals. Most of us don't model. Personally I'd love to have more time for modeling, I really like it (and yes, I'd do it in Houdini) but the FX business generally has a pretty jam packed schedule... so sadly there's no time. oh well.

Feel free to be a pioneer in great Houdini artwork :). I'll wait in joyful anticipation.

M

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"You may have been the first to bring it up in this thread, but you're certainly not the first to think of it" Definitely.

The impression I seem to be getting though is that your all to busy doing FX work professionally to produce gallerys of art.

I suppose this underscores one of my prior assumption about Houdini not attracting more traditional artists. (such as modeling and animation)

I mean if I say "you guys are fishing all day but never catch anything, your not true fisherman are you?" and you say "we hardly ever fish, we do other stuff"

well then either way your still not fisherman....

But having said that there is nothing wrong with being technical/FX artists...its still art. Art is not arbitrarily restricted to a ZBrushed pig-demons.

Edited by XSI

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i am not a super houdini guy. not even a houdini moderate guy. what is art and what isn't is not my business. but people always tend to watch or see something hihgly visual. you give them a bullet proof visual, they immediatly ask "does it move?" and so on.

in the early age of my adventure with cg my aunts wanted to see what i am capable of. as a big big mistake,i show them a piece with pride,i still remember the weird,dislike "what the f***" impression on their face. but ladies i just showed you a calculation.

how fast you do things?, can you fool the eyes in dynamics? a cerature is not something from this world,your eyes may have been fooled with it. but if the case is dangerous effects animation,it is realy dangerous. your eyes catch any tiny bit of mistake in it. as long as you fool the eye this is the art.

how can you fool the eye with the least cost formula? i think this is the question.

i am not sure TD's are doing their magic on ready to go models. they probably do things on ugly dummies.and bring up with a node.and whatever you plug to it,behaves as you told it. what is this if this is not an art?

cg is not only what we interested,it is a huge huge world. i never expect to see houdini made super creature(doesn't mean it can't). but when i see an fx shot,and as a result of their kindness,when they share their hips. my ass jumps to the ceil

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"Feel free to be a pioneer in great Houdini artwork. I'll wait in joyful anticipation."

Give me a month or two...have to learn the poly tools. Thankfully poly skills a very transferable.

I also make no claims about being a gun modeler, and I don't use mudbox/zbrush either...I'm old fashioned!

Wont bother with any advanced node features...Id probably have to hire one of you guys to do that in this time frame!

So ill model something and render it...wait and see

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I think XSI's points create some interesting observations with respect to H9's new direction in fishing for new users. The more familiar feeling UI, Apprentice HD, new pricing etc are all a move in the right direction, but for people new to CG (the kind of people I gather SESI would like to appeal to as a future investment), their first area of interest is usually in modelling - which are why forums are chock to bursting with orcs and faeries - there're just so many modellers about. From a noob's perspective, you need models to animate, shade, light and render.

Compared to other apps, first-time impressions of modelling in Houdini must be disappointing. Right there SESI have lost 90% of potential adoptees - people who prefer the experience of modelling in other apps, so do so, and when they come to graduate past modelling they're already sitting pretty with their chosen app... and SESI lose out. Hopefully as H9 is only Part 1 in the new 'make Houdini easier' strategy, SESI will be looking at modelling in the future... well I think it'd make sense anyway.

The thing is though, as has been brought up before, there're only a few areas which if improved, would do so much in speeding up the modelling workflow - the tools themselves are (more or less) sound. Just off the top of my head:

- Better tweak mode where the handles don't keep popping up and getting in the way.

- Efficiencies such as quick Edge Loop and Edge Ring selection by double clicking using the LMB / MMB respectively on an edge (see Silo).

- Component Align options.

- Multi Selection mode where whatever the mouse is over (point / edge / prim) will automatically be a candidate for selection without any switching required.

- More standard image plane setup (currently this scares them off before they even get to do any modelling).

- A few new tools which modellers expect from other packages - e.g Append Poly (see current SESI thread), Slide etc...

As a start, these are pretty much all minor things but would go so far in making the whole experience more fluid.

Finally, SESI need to release a video or two showing modelling in the viewport without any other panes open to dispel the notion that modelling in Houdini is for techheads only. Once it looks easy (which it is) and they've got more people using Houdini (if only for modelling), that's half the battle won, and with any luck modellers will stick around long enough to poke their noses around the rest of Houdini as their interest develops (game, set and match!) - at the very least they'll mention Houdini in forums and that's your free, self-perpetuating advertising taken care of.

Silo is a great modeller and sells for $159. Apprentice HD could be a serious consideration for anyone new to CG wishing to start with modelling - it's only $99 (free for regular Apprentice) but comes with so much more. It should be a no brainer...

:)

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" i am not sure TD's are doing their magic on ready to go models. they probably do things on ugly dummies.and bring up with a node.and whatever you plug to it,behaves as you told it. what is this if this is not an art? "

Good One :)

:thumbsup:

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I mean if I say "you guys are fishing all day but never catch anything, your not true fisherman are you?" and you say "we hardly ever fish, we do other stuff"

well then either way your still not fisherman....

...er not quite. To carry the analogy further, we're the ones manning the great big fishing trawlers catching gobs of fish for money, while the 'true artists' are the ones sitting in the wee rowboat trying to catch something else for themselves. There's nothing inherently wrong with either, but coming to the conclusion that because we do commercial art (ie art for someone elses vision and getting paid for it) doesn't make us artists means that you're asking the wrong question.

M

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XSI ... I'm guessing from your post that you haven't been on the forums enough to get tired of software wars so I'll be brief. And, this is an interesting post since it's more of a personality issue about the people using Houdini, and less about the software functionality.

First off, where's your artwork?

Everyone has a different perception of what good art is.

Next, have you really dealt with 3D art snobs? I've found it's a never ending competition and will stifle the best ideas over who has the best modeling and texturing reel. I've seen a lot less of this in the Houdini community and I'm very grateful for it. I would say that Houdini users have a lot more great ideas overall and are a lot less concerned with wagging tails and sniffing each other's butts.

Also, have you been to fine art school? I think you might be talking about commercial or demo reel art, fine art generally looks a lot more like what you see from the Houdini community and is more conceptual (when they aren't working on feature films anyway).

Edited by andrewlowell

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I think you might be talking about commercial or demo reel art, fine art generally looks a lot more like what you see from the Houdini community and is more conceptual (when they aren't working on feature films anyway).

Quite an excellent point.

Dragos

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With all that being said, I'd still love to see more pretty pictures coming out of the Houdini community and I hope the increasing userbase satisfies my desire to see such things ;).

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Finally, SESI need to release a video or two showing modelling in the viewport..

Agreeing all the great comments Moose has made, it seems to me that Houdini has really only a few VITAL things to address and suddenly Houdini could be made into a very capable modeler. My favourite axes to grind would be:

*/ Improve selections. To this day, selecting geometry in Houdini is quite unreliable. This need to be bulletproof - and have better selection features.

*/ Allow multiple objects to be edited simultaneously. Eg. selecting points in multiple objects which should create multiple Edit SOPs bound to the same handle. This is *essential*for hard surface modeling.

*/ Add those extra tools like Polygon building, Point Sliding support in the Edit SOP, etc

*/ Improve snapping along an axis - to align points. Also essential for hard surfaces.

- after this, I think it'd be in much better place.

Then some UV tools like, Relax, select UV boundaries, etc.

....

However, philosophically speaking, it seems that if you give people a reason to model in another package (say Maya or XSI), then you need to provide a damn convincing reason why they should come back and finish the production in Houdini. As Houdini gets more exposure to the general market, the fact that Houdini is not a strong modeler is a real disadvantage for SESI since people know they to start their project elsewhere.

In larger/feature pipelines this is not felt so acutely because the tasks are highly segmented as it is. The rigger never models anything. The animator never rigs. In smaller deployments of Houdini, the artist must performs all of these tasks and he will probably just choose a single easy solution he can start his project with, master it and never look back.

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I would have to think the major decision over a primary app would be somewhere in between the animation/effects/lighting/rendering areas. I think sesi is doing the exact right thing by pushing the character animation / dynamics / and rendering.

Also I would think that non-procedural modeling would be an extremely difficult market to penetrate. Houdini wouldn't have to be as good as the other apps in this department, it would have to be "better." to make people go out and learn Houdini to model with. And the whole "culture" which this thread kind of highlights would have to shift. People don't think of Houdini when they think of modeling, and I'm thinking it's going in the direction of not even thinking of Max/Maya now ... more like silo / mudbox / zbrush / etc. Of course I'm not a modeler so I don't really know.

It's already the best procedural modeler though, but the more improvements the better; but personally I'd like to see more stuff like plants, cities, crowds, geography etc. Those are things that the other apps can't compete with, and won't be able to anytime soon. They would have to make their apps procedural like Houdini, which isn't going to happen.

Edited by andrewlowell

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With all that being said, I'd still love to see more pretty pictures coming out of the Houdini community and I hope the increasing userbase satisfies my desire to see such things ;).

Agreed. :)

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you now what I really like about houdini community? there is not a single sign of flaming in this discussion, something that is almost impossible in any other software vs. software forum discussion...

respect to that :)

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you now what I really like about houdini community? there is not a single sign of flaming in this discussion, something that is almost impossible in any other software vs. software forum discussion...

respect to that :)

Yep, I totally agree.

That's one of the best parts of odForce. ^_^

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