Softimage to Houdini guides

   193179   335   9
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Both documents, Node flags and Organising Scenes have been now fixed. thanks everyone.

You will notice what has been tweaked by looking at the date of the page itself for for example the node flags page regarding the COP mistake has today's date rather than the previous one.


And a major view of the organising Materials now ready too.
Edited by - March 11, 2014 07:18:26
User Avatar
Member
16 posts
Joined: March 2014
Offline
Hi Jordi,

Just wanted to add my thanks for this initiative!

If I could make one suggestion, perhaps there is an order that you feel these should be read, in which case adding some kind of numbering to the PDF names might be beneficial.

Not a biggie, the names themselves give you an idea of a logical order, but just thought I'd mention it.

DAN.
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
My plan is to bundle every block once I finish it so you will have it properly ordered with page numbers.

I have put the number in the filename so you can read it in the right order… of course I may renumber things as I go along so I will announce these reorders and reviews.

Sorry for the improvisation.

danyargici
Hi Jordi,

Just wanted to add my thanks for this initiative!

If I could make one suggestion, perhaps there is an order that you feel these should be read, in which case adding some kind of numbering to the PDF names might be beneficial.

Not a biggie, the names themselves give you an idea of a logical order, but just thought I'd mention it.

DAN.
User Avatar
Member
4 posts
Joined: Oct. 2007
Offline
Really loving the guides, Jordi! Keep up the good work.

By the way, just a teensy little note: the word “Philosophy” only has one Y, at the end. It's spelt wrong on the first filename and its first page, but then correctly on the second page.
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Thanks, will fix it ASAP

alanf
Really loving the guides, Jordi! Keep up the good work.

By the way, just a teensy little note: the word “Philosophy” only has one Y, at the end. It's spelt wrong on the first filename and its first page, but then correctly on the second page.
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Today's guide to render, this one is the first of three so stay tuned.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/22l2sx82m75buxj/H-0buUQAUP [dropbox.com]

HoudiniGuides_GeneralConcepts_8_OrganisingRenders.pdf
Edited by - May 6, 2014 09:44:52
User Avatar
Member
1 posts
Joined: March 2014
Offline
Awesome! thank you !
User Avatar
Member
30 posts
Joined: Oct. 2013
Offline
Wow Jordi, this is so helpful. Thank you!! I just worked your examples in the “organizing scenes” and I really like Houdini's methodology - the subnet as “model” makes perfect sense. Also, the mental checks about how geometry is duplicated therefore taking up more memory - this is all good housekeeping.

Scene organization is SO important. It's one of the key reasons why I switched to SI several years ago. With it's excellent explorer I felt like I could always “see” every single item that made up the scene. This became crucial with complex rigs, referenced models, animation clips, blendshapes, etc.

Thanks!!
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Thanks Keith

Well, finally finished this one… a bit more complex to put together due to further details on tools.

I would also like to ask houdini seasoned people your opinion, specially on the takes approach.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/22l2sx82m75buxj/H-0buUQAUP [dropbox.com]

HoudiniGuides_GeneralConcepts_9_OrganisingOverrides.pdf

Enjoy
Edited by - May 6, 2014 09:44:57
User Avatar
Member
99 posts
Joined: July 2007
Offline
Well, my take (pun intended) on this would be that takes as you've said are overrides and they should be used like ones. While in certain cases you definitely can override whole material (i.e. rgb mates).
I'd rather brake object into separate discreet objects, assign materials in object level, and use overrides for some parameters.
But as you've said - it all depends on the case.
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Indeed they override values, yet they are not the Softimage Overrides we are used to and it is an extremely hard thing to describe so I may fail.

In Softimage Overrides are properties to be attached to the object, not a scene level status. This means I can use them just of one object and encapsulate it on a external model.

Imagine you could do an override that can be stored in your HDA… which is one of the reasons in order to achieve similar results we have to attack each individual case in a different fashion.

I have seen attribute propagation, shader overrides, object switching, object merging (described here) and takes along with even more convoluted ways to get the result, possible certainly and probably even more powerful but seems the core concept should be architected in a different manner.

It does not help either in Houdini the fragmentation of interface tools, specially now that we have the Data Tree I feel that is the right place to incorporate such a concept and some form of consolidation of these various interfaces would be welcome.

I guess my limited view makes me thing on those terms but this is one of the key areas Softimage got really right and it is worth studying it more.

Lots of philosophical questions too from it.

:-)

owlYzarc
Well, my take (pun intended) on this would be that takes as you've said are overrides and they should be used like ones. While in certain cases you definitely can override whole material (i.e. rgb mates).
I'd rather brake object into separate discreet objects, assign materials in object level, and use overrides for some parameters.
But as you've said - it all depends on the case.
User Avatar
Member
4189 posts
Joined: June 2012
Offline
Overrides makes sense -they appear similar to using proxies for workflow then you switch to the full res for rendering
User Avatar
Member
99 posts
Joined: July 2007
Offline
Is it by any chance something like creating local material parameters on the object itself?



jordibares
In Softimage Overrides are properties to be attached to the object, not a scene level status. This means I can use them just of one object and encapsulate it on a external model.

Attachments:
overrideMaterialParams.JPG (43.9 KB)

User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Well, you can create ‘spare parameters’ on the object itself and then use that data.

I will try to develop these techniques later on, in the meantime the manual has some amazing documentation regarding this and HDA interface construction.

In fact this is super-powerful as you can attach scripts to the menu in a very elegant way and more.

Hope I understood well and this info help.

Good luck

owlYzarc
Is it by any chance something like creating local material parameters on the object itself?



jordibares
In Softimage Overrides are properties to be attached to the object, not a scene level status. This means I can use them just of one object and encapsulate it on a external model.
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Some have expressed interest in having my desktop configuration… here it goes may variation on Phil's desktop.

Attachments:
Creation_Desk2.zip (2.6 KB)

User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Also I have done a serious review and added extra stuff on the interfaces document to better illustrate the Explorer and other ideas.

HoudiniGuides_GeneralConcepts_3_ComparingInterfaces.pdf

More tomorrow.
User Avatar
Member
7008 posts
Joined: July 2005
Offline
jordibares
I would also like to ask houdini seasoned people your opinion, specially on the takes approach.

I personally like and use Takes. Unfortunately, they are missing some key bits of functionality that would make them more useful. The main one is (IMO) a spreadsheet of some kind (Parm spreadsheet? Take View?) that will show you parms, and their values _in each take_ so you can easily see what each take's differences are.

You can get this info fairly easily by scripting, and there are tricky ways over hack the Parm Spreadsheet to show you this (creating dummy nodes that all have the same parms but each containing a take's values) but nothing native.

What does Softimage use for viewing the various Overrides in a single view?
User Avatar
Member
385 posts
Joined: Nov. 2008
Offline
pbowmar
What does Softimage use for viewing the various Overrides in a single view?

It's possible to use Scene Search and filter by Type or Name (but afaik it scans only Scene level. Than feed result of the search (Selection) to new Tree View (Explorer) and display parameter values directly in this Explorer.

Overrides on Partitions are separate entity and can be visible only from current pass. But they can be accessed with scripting also from other passes at once). Problem is that any property could be override (Override Property, Display, Geometry Approximation, Material etc.). The Properties that are local (unique to object) are in normal font. Properties shared across more than one object are in italic.


Unfortunately overrides in XSI have bad habbit to slowdown the scene (especially switching passes (and sometimes interaction) became really slow with growing number of overrides in any complex scene).

Attachments:
overrides.JPG (123.6 KB)

User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
Good points, to me the most important issue in Houdini with how to overrides is that it is a scene level and therefore really verbose. You have to go object by object while in XSI is a property that can be attached pretty much to any object.

This means that if I attach it to a group everything inside the group inherits the property override, if these objects don't have that channel available, then nothing happens… that is the true power of Passes/Partition/Overrides

So if you are overriding a (let's say) visibility flag every single object in the partition (a type of rendering group) everything inside that partition will be visible. But if you override a nurds parametrisation and in the group there are meshes, then they won't be affected.

I am happy to pay the processing of the scene to get all this done and yes, although it has an impact on performance at least is linear.
User Avatar
Member
654 posts
Joined: Feb. 2006
Offline
No problem… I haven't dived properly on the HtoA but what the guys at SolidAngle are doing is by far the best implementation of Arnold so I assume you are going to love it.

more soon!

nick angus
Thanks for some really timely and useful info once again Jordi.
Something I like in Softimage is the ability to apply Arnold properties to groups and partitions. You can just have a big group of objects you want to subdivide at rendertime and put a single Arnold parameter on the group to do so.

Or applying Arnold matte or visibility properties to partitions for instance. I am sure the Solids have something similar for Houdini though.

Cheers, Nick
  • Quick Links