Softimage development team swap

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Houdini anyone?

There seems to be a lot of concern/discussion with Autodesk's gutting of the core development team from Softimage and hiring a team in Singapore.

I've come to speculate (yes speculate) that it looks like they are taking the brains behind ICE and adding them to “Maya FX” team in Montreal. These guys re-wrote XSI and will probably be very helpful in getting Maya more up to speed.

More Node based I bet.

Seeing Maya's addition of a sort of node editor in 2012 SAP, it is clear they are trying to get more node based methods into Maya and Max. Problem is that is, they are still a few years out. Give Side FX a few more years and you have what happened to Softimage when it was being re-written and Maya was coming up to speed. Maya then drops the price and hits Softimage where it hurts and overcomes them in market share.

At least that is how I remember it going down. Could be totally wrong on this.

Autodesk also appears to be going the suites route. Give you 5 apps to do one job. This does put a suite in the price range of Houdini Master, but man in these times that number sounds very foreboding.

I do see this as another opportunity for Houdini to grab a better foothold into the market while Maya spends its time trying to catch up. I sense Max is trying to get more nodal as well with the agreements with the Particle Flow developers and slate material editor.

I don't want to start a flame war but wanted to express the idea that I think the continued Autodesk shake ups may provide an opportunity for SideFX to grab some users.
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There have already been a thread created about Autodesk doing stuff with Softimage and I couldn't care less. This is a Houdini board.
Drive, monkey, drive!
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That's cool. If SideFX is not interested in why new customers might be more interested in their product now, then just delete this thread. That is all I was trying to do here.
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Since this happened expect many XSI users to run away from autodesk and come to houdini land(For now I know 5 that are planing this ) where the company listens to their users and spends the time on developing and not just buying and making bundles of dozens tools that do one thing, and in buggy way .Not the quantity but the quality is what is important.Autodesk thinks that can handle both aspects…but never really did.(I mean the quality part)

So it's time SESI to improve the animation capability of Houdini because most of the Softimage XSI users will look that part first.
Maybe could start from real animation layers…..
I know you can use takes or chops but it has limitations and is not very user friendly.
Edited by - May 13, 2012 08:08:05
https://vimeo.com/timmarinov [vimeo.com]
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infinity_spiral
..

So it's time SESI to improve the animation capability of Houdini because most of the Softimage XSI users will look that part first.

..

SESIs good will and exXSIers expertise meeting( Collaborating )in an environment like Houdini sounds very promising indeed ..

im not yet excited , just hoping .. .

but let see ..
except the things that cannot be seen , nothing is like it seems .
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I agree, I am an ACI in Softimage and the one thing that I miss the most while transitioning to Houdini are the character animation tools. Animation mixing, bringing in MOCAP and transferring it to other rigs, autorigging (something akin to Ikinema or CAT would be fantastic), synoptics, etc. Hope SideFX focuses on this in the upcoming releases.
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dont like autodesk and luckily at the moment i dont have to
as i mostly do my stuff in h12 and nuke
but i just want to second that animationa and a mocap would improve h12 even more!
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As an XSIer who had the chance to try houdini, I can say I am extremely happy I have found very little that houdini cannot do (there is a reason why it is known for its flexibility)

Even if out of the box it does not have retargeting tools, I bet you could set something up in chops or another context to do some clever retargeting. Houdini strength, I have come to realize, is not on it “black boxes” but on the puzzle pieces that they give you

My recommendation to anyone coming from XSI though is to remember that houdini is strong at procedural workflows, data persistance, and, again, at quickly prototyping any workflow. If your goal is to “just model”, then it may not be as different as other packages (with maybe some pluses or minuses) The Edit SOP reminds me a bit to the Mod tool as a modeler, which is very nice.

I personally feel that Houdini works great in combination with other small packages such as 3D Coat to support both the static workflow, and the procedural workflow

enjoy your transition hope you find benefit from it like I did!
-G
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One of the beauties if Soft + ICE was that you did not have to leave the comfort of the traditional ways of doing things and then if you were eager you could venture into procedurals/ICE. Once you get into it, you discover the power of it.

I think, this is one of the areas for improvement for training offerings in Houdini. So many of the tutorials throw you/new users very deeply into the procedural method and things easily get overly technical that it perhaps scares the more traditional workflow people away. Sometimes you just need to model a bar stool and not make a fully customizable adjustable for every situation bar stool. I know if you think a few steps ahead this is easily added with procedurals but at times when I made the switch I found myself thinking just this.

I know that is a possible weakness of a learneer, but you have to take them where they are at. I think there could be better transitional learning methods for training people into Houdini. Show them the normal workflows, a polygon is a polygon is a polygon, then introduce the more non-linear workflows that the procedural workflow offers.

Cause let's face it a majority of them have spent years learning it the traditional linear workflow way. Just my two cents.
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in that case, have you tried the Go Procedural startup guides?

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=192&Itemid=346 [sidefx.com]

Lesson 1 and 2 get into Houdini basics as well as some simple modeling. Lesson 3 then exposes procedural workflow and digital assets at a simpler level.

after that, the PQ houdini tutorials are pretty nice!

http://vimeo.com/channels/54102 [vimeo.com]

I think whether Houdini is right for you depending on what you are trying to accomplish… The true advantage is if you can really leverage its procedural nature and parametric capabilities more than the traditional way of doing things. It is a bit like learning Nuke or Shake after having used photoshop your whole life.

My recommendation would also be into trying to learn more about what nodes do what. Most of the times I just look over tutorials just for the purposes of learning new nodes and what they do. I know a lot of times people refer to doing stuff in Houdini as overly technical, but in reality, everything we do in any 3D package is VERY technical we just happen to know one package better than other (I remember the first time I was learning how to use GATOR, it took me a bit to wrap my head around how it all worked… I came originally from Maya)
-G
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I am in full agreement with mnemonicimage regarding character animation tools in Houdini. Any pointers on complete character animation tutorials in Houdini (from rigging to animation with lip-syncing, and a bit on pipeline workflow - like retargeting, animation + cloth and such)?

TIA.
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