Restricted fbx/collada export for HD?

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Hi!

While I completely understand the decision to
exclude full fbx and collada export from apprentice and HD…

What do you guys think about a restriced kind
of support for exporting these files out of Houdini
Apprentice and/or HD?

Quite a few game engines or realtime 3D programs
provide fbx and/or collada import directly or at least
via some conversion tools.
E.g. Adobe Director/Shockwave 3D, Unity3D, DX Studio, Stonetrip Shiva, …

Couldn't a scaled down exporter (only allowing a limited
fbx feature set, like only low polycounts, …) attract game
modders and indie game developers to houdini?
The torque exporter seems to be the first step in this direction…

What do you think (may someone from SideFX could give a comment) ?

Cheers,
botti
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Hey,

I know this thread did not find that massive echo… )

But I wanted to pull it out of the unknown after H10 is here and
there's quite some competition with Softimage's Mod Tool and
blender in this area.

Maybe there are some new users from the (torque or others ?) game creation side who want to comment?

BTW, I'm using HD on linux 64-bit, so I don't know if the situation
may have changed e.g. with the win32 releases.
The feature page still states fbx import only.
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Hi Botti,

This sounds like a great idea. While I can't make this decision myself, I've forwarded it to those who can.

It may or may not be implemented, since we do have to carefully balance our products, what exactly is offered in each one and how it is done, but if we end up adding limited FBX export to Apprentice, know that it is your post that led to it.
Oleg Samus
Software Developer
Side Effects Software Inc.
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Nice that you like that idea.
And thanks for forwarding it.

Once more, I am impressed with that openess in communication.
I wish, some other software companies would treat their customers like that.

Cheers oleg,

botti
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Any news yet?
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Not that I know of.
Oleg Samus
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Side Effects Software Inc.
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bah! humbug!!! :shock:
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imensah
bah! humbug!!! :shock:

I didn't catch the humor in this…

Try getting any other $99 application to do what Apprentice HD already does…

But, then again, if my brain is in a slow-state, this comment probably was nothing but hilarious…
“If your life is not NOW, you're already dead…”
From Chrizto's book of truths
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I know apprentice hd is a ‘steal’. I just believe it will be a great idea to add even limited fbx exports. It will be good outlet to test houdini's interoperability with other appsUDK cough! ..and may potentially lead to full purchases for commercial purposes.
Any way it was my attempt at a humorous way of bumping this post hopefully to get some feedback from Oleg
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I second that. Or third or whatever number this thread is on. I'm currently researching using several applications to export collada meshes to be used for a proprietary system and WISH I could include Houdini in that evaluation list.

I'd certainly like to add Houdini to our pipeline as the ONE tool for all our content creation.
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If you talk to any sales person (see Company > Contact Information), an evaluation license can be probably be arranged if you're looking to use Houdini commercially.
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It's easy to see why there is torque support. It's proprietary and was written by a member of the torque team (unless I'm mistaken on that point).
For the most part I'd say that the only thing in game development you can't use HD for is character animation. Which is a shame of course, but HD is fantastic still for a large chunk of game related art and design. Sure it might take a little elbow grease but it's not that bad.

Personally, I'd be perfectly happy having FBX or Collada be an addon product for HD. Another $99 or something.
I'm not a commercial customer and probably won't ever be able to justify $1500 for a years worth of access to software I'm using for hobby and personal development purposes (I mean, it may be 3-4 hours tops that I have free to even use it, some weeks no time at all).
Or actually, the more I think about it, a $500 indie license or something like that would fit my budget. But I still think an ActorX ROP would be the coolest! Someone tell Epic to hurry up with that.
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Sure HD is a steal but the thing is that the jump to the next level of cheapest Houdini licence is steeeeep. I am not complaining about their pricing scheme, they can decide howeverever they want. But it would have been nice to have some inbetween.

Maybe modular plugin method might work. So you buy HD version but then if you need limited fbx you buy the fbx plugin.
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Found this thread when researching Collada possibilities. Photex, not sure why you stated that HD couldn't be used for character animations… Was the scope of this comment include use with Torque? I could swear I saw a short tutorail where a bones animation was exported into Torque. However, I have to admit I've personally not hit this area of investigaion yet… but definitely plan to. Regardless, I can see that there are definitely some Houdini animation techniques that might have a high likelihood of faling outside the realm of Torque exportation
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Yeah, I just meant that without fbx support your only real option for character animation is either rolling your own exporters to whatever engine you use, or suffering Torque.
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I here that… I been messing around most of the day, attempting to construct some very simple architecture… A wall with a window. Never thought that that would be so tough!

A good number of my attempts were based on a boolean subtract to get the window. But the poly count was higher than needed or the normals on the model would hose. However, the issue here is Houdini reverses the normals, but still displays them… I didn't know what was going on until I turned on the primitive normal display.

Next tries were with a grid with a window hole in it. The extrusion wouldn't leave a copy of the back side of the wall. I finally made a copy of side, reversed the normals on the other, PolyKnit them together, reduced polies, and cuspted the edges. There's got to be a beter way to make a silly wall with a window/door :shock:
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