Last week we announced the launch of the Orbolt store at Siggraph. We had a lot of comments and questions, and some great feedback.
Some of the most common questions were;
Q:Is this Houdini-only?
Assets can work in other software packages like Maya or Max, but they loose their “smarts” when they do so. Commercial Houdini users can export FBX files or sequenced (numbered) geometry files for use in other 3D packages.
Really though, for the best experience, you'd probably want to use Houdini digital assets in Houdini.
Q: Is The Orbolt Store a new and separate company?
Yes, it is a subsidiary of Side Effects software. That being said, we all work in the same room, have the same boss, use the same database, kitchen, and bathroom (not at the same time though -eew).
Q: Where do the Assets come from?
You, the community: Professionals, advanced students, game developers, all are welcome to participate.
Q: Is there a screening process for Assets?
Yes, all assets are thoroughly tested before being offered for sale/share.
They are screened for malicious content, there is an ongoing automated test suite, and they must meet some basic requirements:
- do what it says it can do
-be useful, interesting or cool (yep, that's pretty subjective but I don't know how else to put it.
Q: Does Side Effects sell Assets?
We have seeded the store with assets to get the ball rolling. Some a paid-for. Most are free. The paid ones exist really to indicate an MSRP to other authors. Really it's up to individuals how much, or if they charge for assets at all.
Q: Is there copy-protection?
Assets are tied to the account that downloaded them. So there is a kind of licensing involved.
Authors can opt to “lock” their files so that they cannot be delved into.
Side Effects leaves all their files unlocked because we see their value as learning tools this way. This is an option available to all Asset authors. By default, all free assets are unlocked.