PDF tutorials please!

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Hi all,

I'm not a huge fan of video tutorials (especially ones that last longer than 10-15 minutes), my old HCI lecturer would give the authors hell for that, and was wondering if anyone knows of some PDF tutorials for Houdini 12.5 so I can read them and learn at my own pace.

That's pretty much it …thanks
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Not 12.5 but PDF:
http://preset.de/count-as-one/ [preset.de]
this is not a science fair.
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The getting started lessons come with PDF booklets:
http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=192&Itemid=351 [sidefx.com]

Click on the “Download Chapter” button.
Robert Magee
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Does anyone know how to convert the whole “Help” website(http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini12.5/) [sidefx.com] into a pdf file?
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Well its been a while since I posted and thought I would give my observations towards what I have found to be Houdini's main weakness seriously hampering so many willing users.

It's enormous lack of decent training material.

Hanton's sarcastic remark about turning the whole help file into a PDF made me laugh but it wouldn't be worth it, the help files are OK as a reference but not much use when it comes to teaching….it would be like learning to use a DVD player just by reading the manual, dull and boring.

Although the example part of the help file where you can instantly load a scene and see what was going on was a nice touch.

Couple of “personal” observations.

The books I have bought from Amazon, hard to believe there are so many available…TWO!…..are sadly very out dated but got to give cudo's to Will Cunningham for at least trying being that it's his first book.

Now some of the training videos on this website….waffles on for HOURS….get a clue please….there are very few people who would want to sit around being dictated to by a video for over 15 minutes let alone 2 hours at a time and i don't know anyone that will remember all the steps in a 2 hour video, stopping pausing rewind, no no no no!….and I feel really bad to say this but Ari Danesh's voice does not belong on tutorials, It's very harsh on the ears, I have the utmost respect for the guys excellent knowledge but some things are just not meant to be.

There was a glimmer of hope though in my searches to learn Houdini, every now and again I came across little tutorials that actually teach, they were fairly brief, easy to follow and got too the point with an impressive result and really nailed the correct way Houdini should be taught.

(attached an example)

This was exactly the kind of thing I requested when I first made this post, sadly not many about, maybe that can be changed?

Houdini is awesome!

Peace.



P.S Thank you to all that replied and shared links in this post.

Attachments:
breaking_ice.zip (131.4 KB)

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a few things…

- the comparative lack of training material simply reflects the number of Houdini users in the world compared to some thing like Maya or max…try finding training material of any kind for Massive…

- the lack of books for Houdini can be explained by two major factors -
1- cost, books are very expensive to produce and only become economical when you can sell high numbers of copies - this has never been possible with Houdini, there are simply too few users to justify the production of a book (there were many discussions about this when the books that do exist were being written)
2- a general move to videos as educational materials - videos are very fast to make, compared to books or even e-books (pdfs etc), they are very fast and easy to update (record a new section, edit into existing video, publish, or record new audio to fix a mistake, sync with original, publish), and they are far better at showing people actual workflows, little details that are very often overlooked in written material.

- the video tutorials on the Side Effects site are designed for a VERY specific audience - new users - as such they are/can be VERY boring for users looking for a specific piece of information…
- for experienced users things like the Masterclasses provide the depth - but again the authors have to try to be as inclusive as they reasonable can be…

third party videos are often very direct and detailed (see fxphd and cmi)…and having watched almost all of these I can tell you for a fact that very few of them could ever be presented in written form (book or e-book), at least not without becoming simply a list of steps to produce a specific asset/effect - and few people who actually want to learn how to use Houdini are interested in simply reproducing a tutorial, we want to understand how Houdini works using the tutorial as an example…

I don't know what your specific needs are but you're better of now than when that Ice Breaking tutorial was written…
Michael Goldfarb | www.odforce.net
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SideFX
www.sidefx.com
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Clearly Sidefx wants people to use its product and people really should be, and by your own words it’s not worth making a book for it, I really don’t agree there and all books do not have to incur the cost of being printed, electronic copies would be absolutely fine, after all this is a product that is used in pretty much “every” FX movie made today so I believe you are greatly underselling the user base.

You almost make it sound like a lost cause.

We all know about video tutorials and the point I am making (for the 2nd time) is 2 hour video tutorials are NOT the way to go, they are too long and the length is why they are not popular, I have done a great deal of research in this area, no one remembers 2+ hours of study video, its impractical and lets be brutally honest here, mind numbing after the first 30 minutes people switch off, especially if there is no interaction so the key is keep things brief before the audience falls asleep.

I would gladly pay for more PDF tutorials as well written and comprehensive as the ice breaking one and I have a feeling I wouldn’t be alone.
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Hey Her0,

You should check out the schools that train Houdini. The teachers their will definitely be able to help you out

https://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=116&Itemid=217 [sidefx.com]

Good luck and may the Houdini be with you!
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Have you checked out the Xsi to Houdini Guide from Jordi Bares? It's quite comprehensive, and is well suited for non-xsi users as well.

https://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2711&Itemid=345 [sidefx.com]
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Her0
Clearly Sidefx wants people to use its product and people really should be, and by your own words it’s not worth making a book for it, I really don’t agree there and all books do not have to incur the cost of being printed, electronic copies would be absolutely fine, after all this is a product that is used in pretty much “every” FX movie made today so I believe you are greatly underselling the user base.

You almost make it sound like a lost cause.

We all know about video tutorials and the point I am making (for the 2nd time) is 2 hour video tutorials are NOT the way to go, they are too long and the length is why they are not popular, I have done a great deal of research in this area, no one remembers 2+ hours of study video, its impractical and lets be brutally honest here, mind numbing after the first 30 minutes people switch off, especially if there is no interaction so the key is keep things brief before the audience falls asleep.

I would gladly pay for more PDF tutorials as well written and comprehensive as the ice breaking one and I have a feeling I wouldn’t be alone.

I for example love video tutorials, especially if someone explains in detail, even 2h long. I find books too limited, sometime it takes 4 pages of images to explain where that tool is located, and than they have to cut corners here and there to be able to fit into desired number of pages … Seen that numerous times. Plus in books everything is perfect and than in middle you figure out that steps are not working for you, after digging 10 other tutorials you figure out that author jumped over one step because he thought that is something not necessary to document, in video you see everything. Also I just remember better when I see that in video than when I read about it in book. Maybe it is me …. Oh and I fall asleep after 10 pages too

Good videos are usually cut into sections, so you do not need to watch it in one go.
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And I quote “Good videos are usually cut into sections, so you do not need to watch it in one go.”

I have nothing more to add.

P.S if you find any cool PDF's put the link's below
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Given all you're written here Her0, how do you think people actually learn Houdini then?
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