project "Houdini, a great modeler"

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Here's another one:

Softimage will tumble/orbit around the selected object/components automatically.

In Houdini, you have to press SPACE-Z, as I just learned, to set some kind of focus on another part of the viewport.
That feels pretty strange and awkward… or is it just me?

At least I would like to put it somewhere else… but I cannot query that shortcut in the Hotkeys Editor - the search by hotkey field only takes SPACE, without B.

Thanks!
Eugen
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To those that were interessted, UV thread is now going, here [sidefx.com].
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Tupaia
In Houdini, you have to press SPACE-Z, as I just learned, to set some kind of focus on another part of the viewport.
That feels pretty strange and awkward… or is it just me?

At least I would like to put it somewhere else… but I cannot query that shortcut in the Hotkeys Editor - the search by hotkey field only takes SPACE, without B.

I thought it was in the right-mouse menu but strangely can't find it. In the Hotkeys Manager, it is under:
/Houdini/Panes/Geometry Viewers/Operations/View Operation/Set Pivot (And Center)
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Tupaia
Hi,
allow me to chime in with a suggestion for a selection feature known from 3ds max or ACAD, which I sorely missed in Softimage all the years, and which seems yet to be missing in Houdini, also:
'selection with automatic window/crossing toggle'

There's 2 aspects to it, actually:

1) when drawing a selection frame, or a lasso, I'd like to choose if only objects/edges/polygons (sorry, primitives) that are completely INSIDE the selection ‘window’ get selected, or also those that are ‘crossed’ by it.

It's called ‘surround select’ in Softimage, but there it only works on edges or polygons.
In 3ds max, it worked for all types of objects or components (except vertices, because you cannot really ‘cross’ them too well).

2) to spare ticking any checkboxes or anything for swithing between those 2 modes, this can simply be automated by looking if the selection frame was drawn from left to right (->window) or right to left (->crossing).

Once you get used to it, it's a sincere workflow boost, because selecting is what you do all the time when modelling, and not only there!


In the Softimage beta, I asked if the ‘surround select’ feature could be improved to work with objects also (not just components), and if the auto-feature could be added, but it never happened.

So I'm asking here, again… ;}


The screenshot attached is the same that I used for the SI beta.
Hope it's clear what I mean…

Thanks for considering!
Best regards,
Eugen

This looks great, something I would have never thought of but now that I see it, it totally makes sense
Although I think it's tricky at first but once your used to it, it's probably quite handy.
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Believe me, it's the simplest thing to use, and you will never want to miss it again.

screenshot: from the 3ds Max preferences

Attachments:
3dsMaxPrefs.jpg (31.7 KB)

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Tupaia
Hi,
this can simply be automated by looking if the selection frame was drawn from left to right (->window) or right to left (->crossing).

I have been pushing this recently as I too can not live without it when selecting anything. All CAD apps use this standard where left to right selections are window and right to left are crossing.

It's incredibly handy.

Please submit an RFE for this.
There's at least one school like the old school!
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Hi guys,

It's time to jump on the band wagon.

One thing I'm finding strange in Houdini is the lack of “local space” on selections. There is only view and world.

In softimage you can choose “local” with the added bonus of moving components independently in local mode. This makes it easy to quickly move points, edges or polys on their normals, without having to use something like the peak tool in Houdini.

This makes it possible to translate on the x and z as well.

Attachments:
Global_space.jpg (72.1 KB)
local_space_indipendant.jpg (91.3 KB)

Werner Ziemerink
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www.luma.co.za
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There is a local space checkbox just above the viewport when using the edit sop. Also there is the peak tab in the edit sop as well.

Also I am curious if anyone here would like to do the polycount.com weekly hardsurface modeling challenge? It would be a good way to give practical results oriented criticism of Houdini's modeling toolset.

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132146 [polycount.com]

There is also the environment art focused ‘monthly noob challenge’

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=133117 [polycount.com]
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Lyr
.

Also I am curious if anyone here would like to do the polycount.com weekly hardsurface modeling challenge?

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132146 [polycount.com]

Definitely keen once the new snapping tools come out. Even more keen if new selection tools emerge too
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This is how Maya 2015 copied some SI modeling tools as well improved on them and its own legacy tools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJTC0YCrylo [youtube.com]

So basicaly:

- Interaction and feedback of tools is paramount
- Options like Edge flow are a real time saver
- Tools consolidation helps with modeling speed and lessens need for hotkey memory
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It's quite interesting to hear all the modelling updates too.
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el_diablo
This is how Maya 2015 copied some SI modeling tools as well improved on them and its own legacy tools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJTC0YCrylo [youtube.com]

So basicaly:

- Interaction and feedback of tools is paramount
- Options like Edge flow are a real time saver
- Tools consolidation helps with modeling speed and lessens need for hotkey memory

Oh man, this is so sexy
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Korny Klown2
Oh man, this is so sexy

We will convert you from your maya cravings
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I hardly ever use the extrude operator for organic modelling. I usually just duplicate a face using ctrl D.

I was surprised that modelling in Houdini is also pretty destructive (i.e. the edit node has no history.) some sort of history in the node would be nice. Even if you have to add a n option to destroy all the operations in order to keep the scene light. In XSI you have the operator stack and when it gets too large and begins to slow the scene down you can freeze the stack essentially deleting the operators and leaving only the result while this is destructive it is less destructive that the current edit sop. what I would like to see is (and this has already been mentioned) is a single sop with a tree inside of it which contains all of the modelling features inside of it.

I am also a big fan of the ability to move things around relative to the viewport without having to select them (like with the tweak tool) although I would like to see this king of functionality at all levels modulated by an attribute. For example with the edit tool you would move components in screen space without having to select them with the transform toll you can move objects about in screen space without having to select them .This can be very nice for blocking out scenes and animation. (I made a custom tool to do this in XSI)

Simon
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I hardly ever use the extrude operator for organic modelling. I usually just duplicate a face using ctrl D.

On softimage, duplicate IS the extrude operator, and with different settings you obtain or a duplicate, or an extrude, or even a repeated transform by subdivision.

I always dreamed about an extrude operator who substitute also to the bevel too. Bevel is sort of a duplicate/extrude/inset right ?

As i've already pointed out here (but poorly explained) in Houdini the extrude tool and bevel tool lacks some unification like:

- “keep point sharing” present on extrude but not on polybevel, resulting on unusable bevel tool with grouped polygons where we expect a bevel only on the boundary edges
resulting also on strange behavior with n-gon holle'd polygons like we could find on font polygon text (letter “e” for example)
- “keep point sharing” lacks a mode à la Softimage where the inset follow gracely the original polygon flow, where each edge stays parrallel with original edge orientation
- the bevel inset should be this way too (following original edge orientation)
- the edge bevel collision/collapse softimage way miss me a lot, the Houdini tool is just anoying..

So is there an already uber extrude tool packed somewhere ? do something like that whould be interesting to implement to ease the modeling workflow on Houdini ?
I think so because extruding/inseting/bevelling IS the tool used 90% of the time…

BTW, I really like houdini this is just that simple thing needs to stay intuitive and made simple. Using unified tools or building block etc…
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Simon__hayes
I was surprised that modelling in Houdini is also pretty destructive (i.e. the edit node has no history.) some sort of history in the node would be nice. Even if you have to add a n option to destroy all the operations in order to keep the scene light. In XSI you have the operator stack and when it gets too large and begins to slow the scene down you can freeze the stack essentially deleting the operators and leaving only the result while this is destructive it is less destructive that the current edit sop. what I would like to see is (and this has already been mentioned) is a single sop with a tree inside of it which contains all of the modelling features inside of it.
Simon

Why do you need another history inside the ‘edit’ node? If you want to keep more of your component edits ‘live’, just create another ‘edit’ node!

This is comparable to 3ds Max in a way - you can create as many ‘edit poly’ modifiers as you like.
In Softimage you can only collapse either the whole stack or the modelling part of the stack. In that regard it's less flexible actually.


Btw.: the ‘edit’ node stores only component translations, as it seems (correct me if I'm wrong).
Deleting components creates a ‘blast’ node.
In that regard, ‘edit’ is somewhat comparable to the ‘offset’ operator in Softimage, which is created automatically when you do
MCP > Edit > Operators > Collapse Operators
and that combines all selected deform operators into one (topo ops are ignored).

Best,
Eugen
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Simon__hayes
I hardly ever use the extrude operator for organic modelling. I usually just duplicate a face using ctrl D.

Simon__hayes
I was surprised that modelling in Houdini is also pretty destructive (i.e. the edit node has no history.) some sort of history in the node would be nice.
+1
It would be great if the edit node would have a stack of edits, like the attribCreate SOP can create multiple attributes. The edit node should automatically create a new editlayer everytime it recognises a different selection and when it recognises a modification on a group/selection that is already existing then it adjusts that editlayer instead of creating a new one.

Simon__hayes
what I would like to see is (and this has already been mentioned) is a single sop with a tree inside of it which contains all of the modelling features inside of it.

You mean something like a modeling network? Not that Houdini hasn't enough networks already

NNois
I always dreamed about an extrude operator who substitute also to the bevel too. Bevel is sort of a duplicate/extrude/inset right ?
Except that the bevel follows the edge flow, where extrude + inset just gives you a flat surface even if you divide it. Also, with a bevel, the faces sharing the beveled edge stay in place where an extrude usually means to move one face, doesn't it?

NNois
So is there an already uber extrude tool packed somewhere ?
I actually don't like the idea of an uber node of whatever kind. These uber tools usaully mean that you have to either spend some time in the parameters to set it up for whatever you want (extrusion, bevel, ….) or you'd have to deal with a lot of shelf tools, which I don't like at all, at least in Houdini. The twist SOP is the best example for this. No matter if you want to twist, bend, taper and so on you'd always have to call this node change its operation to the operation you need or you'd have to use the shelf tools. I would prefer to have different SOPs for each opperation, this way I could call it from the network pane and could just continue modeling instead of first setting eveything up in the parameters.
…and, by the way, this would make the workflow more intuitive. When a newbie thinks “I want to bend something” it calls the bend SOP instead of the twist SOP set to bend. When a newbie thinks “I want to taper something” it calls the taper SOP instead of the twist SOP set to taper.
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All good points.

I actually don't like the idea of an uber node of whatever kind. These uber tools usaully mean that you have to either spend some time in the parameters to set it up for whatever you want (extrusion, bevel, ….) or you'd have to deal with a lot of shelf tools, which I don't like at all, at least in Houdini. The twist SOP is the best example for this. No matter if you want to twist, bend, taper and so on you'd always have to call this node change its operation to the operation you need or you'd have to use the shelf tools. I would prefer to have different SOPs for each opperation, this way I could call it from the network pane and could just continue modeling instead of first setting eveything up in the parameters.
…and, by the way, this would make the workflow more intuitive. When a newbie thinks “I want to bend something” it calls the bend SOP instead of the twist SOP set to bend. When a newbie thinks “I want to taper something” it calls the taper SOP instead of the twist SOP set to taper.

You had to pick on the old Twist SOP.
That node goes back must be 27-30 years now. LOL!

There are a few other old nodes hanging around that have had parts of their functionality exposed as singular nodes. Twist SOP hasn't been busted apart at this time. Please submit the RFE and continue the discussion for more discrete operators for the very reasons you stated above which are quite valid. But please continue reading.

Obviously we see the validity in doing this as some multi-use SOPs have equivalent dedicated SOPs now.

The old Facet SOP is now busted up in to a few operators including Fuse. Same goes for Divide SOP but it could have a Bricker SOP, Compute Dual SOP, etc. Again please submit the RFE's and see if everyone wants these multi-use SOPs to have equivalent specific SOPs.


But… Going back to the Twist SOP. The Deform Shelf has the various different options broken down to Bend, Twist, Taper and Linear Taper. All of these tools are presets on top of the Twist SOP. These four tools on the shelf don't have a context set for exposing these tools in the network editor pane. Only the viewport pane.

You can RMB on all these four tools and choose the “Edit Tool” Option. In the pop-up dialog go to Context > Network Pane and check on SOP. Now you can tab-type Bend in the network and it pops down a Twist SOP set to bend. It even labels it Bend but yes it is still a Twist SOP. Arguably an artist may not even notice the node type but recognize the node's name and that it just does what they want (hopefully).

Again if this workflow is good and users want more nodes in the tab menu available, submit the RFE's.

Another approach is to wrap up the Twist SOP in to assets and name it accordingly and only expose the parms that are valid. Then edit the tools on the shelf to add these specific asset wrappers. If the artist really wants to see say a Bend SOP.
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Simon__hayes wrote:

I was surprised that modelling in Houdini is also pretty destructive (i.e. the edit node has no history.) some sort of history in the node would be nice.

+1
It would be great if the edit node would have a stack of edits, like the attribCreate SOP can create multiple attributes. The edit node should automatically create a new editlayer everytime it recognises a different selection and when it recognises a modification on a group/selection that is already existing then it adjusts that editlayer instead of creating a new one.

Another great point. Trust me when I say this has been hashed over many times.

Once you use the Edit SOP, you are now set on a course where you can no longer re-sort the input geometry. This makes each individual step within the Edit SOP self-contained. Currently it just saves a list of deltas on the input points. If you shuffle the input points, it doesn't know how to re-marry those deltas. What happens if an input point is actually deleted? Edit is blind to this so it is no longer valid.

Is it faster to navigate a tree of say 100 edit tweak nodes or just grab the point and move it? After just 5 minutes of editing, you can easily get up there.

In practice, it is quite easy to tab-type add a new Edit SOP and continue editing in turn. It is common to carve your object in to parts, work on each part then merge everything together at the end. There aren't too many of these strategies either. It's either fan out then merge to keep some things procedural or layers on layers.

This means you are now plowing ahead straight-up modelling adding successive operations as you go.
There's at least one school like the old school!
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….oh, and of course each editlayers group shoul have a update button to easily add/remove components to/from a group and a select button to easily access an existing group for modification.
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