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hoknamahn

Takes and a real state of things...

How useful takes are?  

64 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think about takes?

    • Takes in Houdini is a killer feature. I'm using it every day.
      22
    • I would use takes with "Auto Auto Take" option turned off.
      25
    • Takes need some improvements to be useful
      17
    • The whole idea of takes was a big mistake. I will never use it.
      1


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Last days I was surprised / confused / (add whatever you want) by opinion some people have regarding to takes. They think takes are useless. Other people believe that takes have serious bugs. I was told that "nobody use takes" :rolleyes: And so on. So I decided to make a poll just to check how frequently people use takes do they like this feature etc.

Could you vote and write a couple of words what do you think?

Cheers.

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Hi,

I use Takes every day. :) Takes are very useful but users have to be aware of certain things like putting down a node in a take will turn on Auto Takes. Due to a lack of visual cues, users will happily continue to work in the take & realise 30 mins later that all they've done was in a take.

In addition, most users are not aware you can drag & drop a take to merge or override values. They think if they make changes in a take, they can't bring the changes back to the Main take which is incorrect.

Last but not least, if you have many hip files with the same objects for different shots and you set up Takes for render passes in one hip file, you can save out the Takes and load the settings in all the other hip files thus saving you set up time.

Cheers!

steven

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I use Takes every day. :) Takes are very useful but users have to be aware of certain things like putting down a node in a take will turn on Auto Takes. Due to a lack of visual cues, users will happily continue to work in the take & realise 30 mins later that all they've done was in a take.

That's what we call here as "Auto Auto Take" :lol:

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hey

i voted for the first one, i must however just say, they do need some love from sesi, there's couple of irritating "quirks" that usually get me:

auto-takes that get enabled if you drop a node while in a take!! this is a major killer for me, i often end up with all sorts of changed i didn't want in a take!

following on from the auto-takes is that when enabled, one can modify to main(default) take, i feel that it should be locked(greyed out) in auto take mode!

there should also be a option to disable using takes on output drivers, this gets me sometimes when i'm versioning/setting up in a hurry.

on the positive side, i find takes really quick and easy to set up, i always thought (coming from an XSi background) that XSI was really good at it's passes approach, but that changed when i started using takes in Houdini!:)

jason

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I also vote for some kind of option or notification to deal with the auto-auto-take mode. It was confusing when it first happened, then just kind of annoying after that. Maybe there can be some kind of user preference, such as "revert back to the main take when placing new nodes", "pop up notification when entering auto-auto-take mode", or something of the sort.

At times, I've also wanted to view one take while actually working and adjusting parameters in the main take. Could be confusing for some, but having the option would be nice.

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i choose 2nd, i use them every day but never with auto-take turned on. They should really add some visual clues...

I also started another debate regarding questionable storing if rop parameters in takes

Edited by kumpa

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I voted the 2nd option.

The way I found using takes seems to work fairly well is by turning everything off (in terms of visibility) for the default take and use a different take to include the different objects. It is an "additive" workflow.

This works better for me as by doing it this way I don't have to worry about including parameters that should be turned off, I know they will be turned off by the default. Also if I add new objects to the scene I don't need to include them in all my takes. I'm not sure if that is the way takes were originally meant to be used, but that seems to work well.

Thanks for the info about the creation of new nodes! This has caught me out a couple of times and I didn't really know what was doing it. I just became really alert on the auto takes flag when working with them.

Perhaps using a more obvious visual clue would be better (a little red font or perhaps different colors for each take) especially when auto-take is turned on (- very comparable with auto-key in other animation packages).

Edited by pclaes

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oooooh, i love takes. it is a really incredible tool, but would need some minor additions, which could help it a lot.

i really miss some high visibility warning to let you know you are on a take. a 3dsmax-like big red animate button and red viewport framing would be fine i guess.

(now, i'll have to check out how to add takes from other hip files too)

also, being on the main take and setting a parameter on a different one would be handy sometimes.

also, a better take overview/manager pane would be handy, because the take pane is just not enough as it is now. it does not provide a clear enough

overview about what objects and properties you changed so far, or selecting objects which are changed on the current take, and such.

also, seeing changed values could be handy.

basically the take pane can move/merge/delete takes, and delete added parameters, nothing more. no selecting or jumping to changed nodes/objects, no changing/listing values.

also, sometimes i want a take which is based on the main one, sometimes completely independent. one may do a clean take with everything turned off and add in child takes

under that, but it doesn't seem too clever.

ps: i am quiet new in houdini, so i may have overlooked something, in this case just let me know

Edited by villain

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I voted for option one, but I hate auto-takes, or rather the bug that lets it get turned on without telling you. And I think with more work takes could be even more killer.

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Of course voted for the 2nd option. :)

I actually love takes and use it a lot. It just saves you time and makes your life easier.

However, as hoknamahn mentioned that famous "bug" which we call "Auto Auto Take" here, just made me paranoid about takes.

I just don't feel safe when I've got a take based houdini scene. Because, I have to check if the "Auto Auto Take" is on or not every 5 mins :)

Having This Function actually make sense but there is one fact that makes it really frustrating,

During shows, there are times that we have to work for long hours / late nights to run the shots , - as the nature of the indusrty lets say :) - where you lose your attention to small details like "watching the "Auto Take" toggle :) . As a result it becomes really easy to fall into the "Auto Auto Take" trap and lose a nights work - as I did before a couple of times :)

So I think we are all at the same page in terms of having at least an indicator when this function turns on automatically.

PS: There are also know bugs & workflow issues that are RFEd already and waiting to be fixed for the next versions I guess.

cheers,

selcuk

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hey,

Now, there is an indication when you fall into the "Auto AutoTake trap" in H.10... :P

it colors the non-edited parameter fields out when the "AutoTake" is turned on..

I think this is going to help a lot.

thanks for adding this feature SESI :D

cheers,

selcuk

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thats so true, you can't use takes with tierd eyes specially closer to deadlines. basically it just like render layers as maya and max have but due to houdini node based flow this function might create big confusion. I will poll third option. (takes need some improvements) all though its still very cool but would be nice to make it more handy.

Cheers,

Junaid

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One thing that's always bugged me about takes is that you can't easily copy them from one hip file to another. I'll often be using takes on objects, then copy those to another hipfile and 20 minutes later I realize that all of my takes are missing. If there were some sort of relationship between objects and takes that would stick with the object, I'd be a happy camper. Actually, this is true for copy pasting within the same file as well.

-z

P.S. Actually, I haven't used takes in quite a while, so feel free to correct me if this actually works now.

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Takes are good, and the new visual in-your-face "Autotake is on" colour in H10 is very helpful.

Since they came out, I've been harping on one main thing: Lack of a Takes Spreadsheet so you can visually see what values are set to what in each take, together. So if I have 5 takes each changing some Shader values, I want to see in a spreadsheet all those values for each take together. Yes, it's possible to create this myself but coding a spreadsheet GUI isn't trivial in any UI builder I've seen :(

The fact you can use Takes for _any_ parameter including full Animation channels is far beyond what I've seen in other packages. There is decent scripting support as well which is good.

A bit of love, and some heavy promotion to woo back those scared away by previous Autotake disasters would make them a solid feature IMO.

Cheers,

Peter B

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We use takes on every thing we do, since we switched to H at v8. But yeah I fall in the Auto Take trap at least once on every project...

One thing I wish it were able to do is to edit Take'ed parm values from within the take list editor. So instead of seeing just the list of parms you would see buttons/sliders/fields. This would of course let you edit parms while being in a different take, which in turn let you avoid activating computationally expensive takes or takes that cause a crash or something like that.

S

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I love the concept and idea behind takes.

Auto Take is evil but useful in some situations, so should be there, new ways of avoid misunderstund and forget you are actually using auto takes will be welcome, as the new stuff in H10.

But the thing that really concern me about Takes is the implementation.

As I have said the concept is really good but for the implementation fails. The global design is good, nobody has a global parameters layer feature s Houdini, but to really exploit takes to the maximum you have to provide another layer to optimize the use of takes in different situations.

For instance, for rendering, takes a super useful, you can mimic any kind of render passes workflow, but there is no interface to do this you have to take track of what objects are renderable, what a re in ghost for this take, what ROP is going to use the take, etc... I feel that some kind of interface for render passes that in an easy helps to manage the main render properties per object, light linking and ROPs per take will be great. Basically with takes you can di whatever you need about render management for an scene, but people says oh! Houdini doesn't have nothing for render passes, no you have everything but there is a lack for a specialized tool to do it that basically uses takes under hood but makes things easier.

Of course, studios always want to have their own render workflow, so give tools in the python to manage takes so studios also can make their own render management tools if they want.

Another example, animation layers, I love animation layers in XSI, you can get pretty much the same with takes, wih a little of effort from you of course, in XSI is soooooooo easy to create and manage anim layers, to assign weights tothem etc ... Why takes doesn't support some kind of wighting, so I can have a take which basically inherints the values from other takes but with several ways of composite these values and weighting these values? Why there isn't an specialized ui, a pane for instance, that helps animatord to create an manage animation layers, basically takes, but in an easy way.

And we can continue with different ways of using takes ...

So keep the global concept and desing, quite good, but with some optimizations in some areas like rendering or animation takes will be much usable and useful for artists.

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I absolutely agree with the idea of being able to weight takes so that we can mimmick animation layers behaviour. Otherwise that feature is as good as non-existant for animation purposes (remains useful for rendering though).

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I recently had 2 scenes with 6-7 takes in each, and I noticed when I merged the files it seemed to blow them away. It would be cool if there was some way to control this (although I do realize it is a marginal situation .. it took a lot of time to recreate those takes).

-ranxx

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Personally, I don't think Takes should be used to mimic animation layers. Pretty soon, you will want to do more advanced things than simple compositing operations. What then? Create a Take OP context? But we already have a flexible animation layering context, it's called CHOPs. IMHO, the right way to do animation layering in Houdini is to add a better GUI to CHOPs, not add more infrastructure to Takes.

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dd a better GUI to CHOPs, not add more infrastructure to Takes.

Amen to that :)

Still, having the option of maybe fetching channels from a different take with the Fetch CHOP or create Channel CHOPs in a different take than the current one might be useful.

But I agree, this is minor compared to what a nice interactive CHOP GUI would bring.

Dragos

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