project "Houdini, a great modeler"

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Freeze the operator stack in Softimage was valuable in the sense that things could get really slow sometimes so the idea of a clean zeroed out geometry has always been (and for a while will be) very desirable.

I have learned to live without it by caching out the geometry and although I miss the ability to collapse serial operations in one big operation the truth is that these concepts we may want to play with before putting too much passion… it truly makes sense the Houdini way.

Regarding modelling and proceduralism I do have an issue with the fact that by definition explicit selection and manipulation defies the very notion of procedural workflow, which is the reason I am very much interested in one big fat modelling node that has all the tools inside rather than stopping my workflow dropping node after node… plus modifications implies knowing which node has done what…

I guess like Pixar realised long time ago, procedural texturing was a great on paper but very bad idea once you try to use it, we must think on the artistic aspect of our work a bit more.

Destructive manipulation is fine sometimes.

my 2 cents
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jordibares
Destructive manipulation is fine sometimes.

+1
There needs to be a balance between proceduralism and direct manipulation.
No sense in stacking up 100s of modelling nodes for a character's skin, but for geometric stuff it may be exactly what you want.

Seems to be a somewhat hot topic as of now, and each application seems to have it's own approach and flavor. Opinions seem to diverge.


3ds max - if you are editing components, you can work inside one single ‘Edit Poly’ modifier, but you can add as many Edit Polys as you like, and also plenty of other modifiers that do specific parts of Edit Poly (weld etc.).
No problem in resorting modifiers, too (if feasible).
I'd say that's a quite good approach (besides some quirks of max in general).


Cinema4D has good modelling relations (= Generators, operators that need input from other objects), and a Deformer stack, but no stack for topology changing ops, at least not in the traditional sense.
Interestingly, generators like Mograph Extrude, show that procedural topo changes are technically possible.
Maxon seems to be aware of the shortcomings regarding proceduralism, and I believe more of the good stuff can be expected.


Modo, on the other hand, offers almost no proceduralism at all, except some modelling relations in Mesh Fusion. That's not so good in my book, but many people seem to be happy with it's way nonetheless.


Softimage, as we know, has it's own (peculiar) ways, too. Topo ops have to be kept under the modelling region of the stack, which can be frozen on it's own. Besides that, deformers can be collapsed into one operator, too, if needed.
It successfully avoids various quirks doing so, but in a way it is less flexible that way compared to Houdini or max, and there's the stupid (and often requested for fixing) restriction that the stack cannot be kept live while editing somewhere down below. Bad for symmetry modelling workflows, for example.


Don't know Blender well, but last time I looked topo-changing ops can be kept live and thus parametric, but the generated mesh is not directly editable until it is dropped/frozen.


Maya I don't have much clue, except it must be very flexible since the DAG can be manipulated directly, but I heard this is can become a quite tricky and fiddly thing to do… ; )



To sum it up, it seems that Houdini has a very, if not the most, powerful and robust approach, but some level of direct manipulation would be desirable.

Best regards,
Eugen
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Tupaia
3ds max - if you are editing components, you can work inside one single ‘Edit Poly’ modifier, but you can add as many Edit Polys as you like, and also plenty of other modifiers that do specific parts of Edit Poly (weld etc.).
No problem in resorting modifiers, too (if feasible).
I'd say that's a quite good approach (besides some quirks of max in general).
Best regards,
Eugen

Hi Eugen,
From what i see so far we can replicate this behaviour in Houdini. I can add an ‘Edit’ node and manipulate points and polys inside it as much or as little as i want. Once i done some manipulation, i can add a new ‘edit’ node and so on. So i have a form of destructive workflow in Houdini too. This can be good sometimes as Jordi notes, because i might need to reduce the network size(organic modeling for example) and i can do it this way.
Constantin
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Constantin X
Hi Eugen,
From what i see so far we can replicate this behaviour in Houdini. I can add an ‘Edit’ node and manipulate points and polys inside it as much or as little as i want. Once i done some manipulation, i can add a new ‘edit’ node and so on.n

Yes, but the Edit node does not digest topology changes, like deleting a polygon, only point ‘relocation’.
The 3ds max Edit Poly modifier can do ‘it all’.

Best,
Eugen
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Tupaia
Yes, but the Edit node does not digest topology changes, like deleting a polygon, only point ‘relocation’.
The 3ds max Edit Poly modifier can do ‘it all’.
LOL! It's the old Model SOP taken to extremes where it is in itself an entirely different application running inside of Max. It can even do animation of some features. All of it a hands off black box by the looks of it.

So yes the old deprecated and removed Model SOP or the 3DS Max edit poly modifier are in themselves a separate modeller running inside the app where you can edit, create and destroy geometry.

From what I see it suffers from the same fundamental issue but please prove me wrong if I am full of it: You can't change the topology feeding in to these types of operators without it being a destructive edit. Is this true?

If that being true, we are back to the same issues wrt proceduralism and modelling.
There's at least one school like the old school!
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MartybNz
Good suggestions Constantin.

Not sure if McNistor is going to update the original page, it's quite out of date, compared to the forum posts. Should we RFE suggestions too as well as posting up here?

I'm not dead Marty, I'm lurking for the moment - just checking in once a day or two.

Unfortunately I've been swamped last few weeks but I'll update the page sooner or later. It's not like they're going to implement these next week or month. If ever.
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jason_iversen
You might want to look at the PolyKnit operator, perhaps?

I find out that there are tools for all operations i mentioned: PolySplit; EdgeLoop; Fuse(for point weld if you go to unique tab it welds points at center) and PolyKnit.
Thank you very much,
Constantin
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Hey McNistor, Nice to hear you're around.


McNistor
It's not like they're going to implement these next week or month. If ever.

The glass is definitely half full. I'm more than confident in the team at Sesi, they all rock; maybe we bribe them with chocolate too
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MartybNz
maybe we bribe them with chocolate too

I thought they preferred baklava and candy floss for dat insulin spike This should be specified somewhere on this site.

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Bribery is not required, but not discouraged either

There are many changes happening behind the scenes, just not in 13.0 production builds. We can't radically change software that is in use in production, but we are looking into how many of these suggestions would fit into Houdini. Some have already been implemented.
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twod
Bribery is not required, but not discouraged either

Inb4 everyone sends a box of treat to SESI headquarters
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MartybNz
maybe we bribe them with chocolate too
There is indeed some bias towards all things chocolaty at the office.
Halfdan Ingvarsson
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That's great to hear Twod; will also help those with SI detachment depression!

Halfdan - this is excellent information to know!
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why was the model SOP deprecated? Can I still create one via script? I would be curious to check it out..
-G
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Have any of you guys played around with Clara.io? I'm coming back to it again and again, and finding much of the flexibility of Max and Softimage's modeling system, in a very intuitive interface. It's still in development, but the guys at Exocortex (Soft guys) are doing a fantastic job. It's coming along great, and the integration of Vray into the engine is pretty neat. Try their version of the “operator stack”.

(I am not paid by Exocortex, by the way. Just a fan.)
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Good news for the Transient keys addicts - you can press ‘j’ at any time to modify a scoped channel via mmb in the viewport 8)

Why was the model SOP deprecated? Can I still create one via script? I would be curious to check it out

Yes - it would be cool. I wonder what Old School meant when he wrote once that things are always accessible from the past even when there were .mot files before .hips

http://forums.odforce.net/topic/17105-short-and-sweet-op-centric-lessons/ [forums.odforce.net]
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Another thing that could use some love is the Bevel SOP. I do spend a decent amount of time cleaning up bevels in Houdini (in Maya as well actually). Some RFEs:

1. Support for odd numbers of sides

2. Control over the fillet shape or at least more circular bevels. The Bevel SOP produces noticeably “pointy” bevels.


3. Make the Bevel SOP more robust. I think it used to be more reliable. :?
Some images to illustrate:







4. And, probably the biggest one for me, the bevels should have co-planar faces with the rest of the geometry. What I mean is, the first side and last side of the bevel should have the same angle as the faces they connect to. This way you're not smoothing normals across potentially large faces which are supposed to be flat. To illustrate:

Box 1, has a standard bevel applied. Notice the distorted reflections.
Box 2, I went in and massaged the model to look more like my ideal kind of bevel. It has co-planar faces which keeps normals in check.




And their respective wireframes.


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Is there a way to increase the scroll wheel zoom speed in Houdini? Maybe with a environment variable? Shift with scrolling slows it down, how about speeding it up?

I find that it is very slow compared to other 3d applications.
Werner Ziemerink
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Werner Ziemerink
I find that it is very slow compared to other 3d applications.

SI user's must be drinking lots of energy drinks to see Houdini as slow

Houdini is tumbling the same as Nuke & Blender on osX IntelHd3000, Amd 7950 and RaedonGT 120. OsX and Linux.

Which software and os & graphics card are you using?

Edit: RMB and drag is quite quick too. Does SI use ‘Mouse acceleration’? Houdini is very quick when you move the wheel quickly and more subtle when slow, at least on OsX
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MartybNz
SI user's must be drinking lots of energy drinks to see Houdini as slow

Houdini is tumbling the same as Nuke & Blender on osX IntelHd3000, Amd 7950 and RaedonGT 120. OsX and Linux.

Which software and os & graphics card are you using?

Edit: RMB and drag is quite quick too. Does SI use ‘Mouse acceleration’? Houdini is very quick when you move the wheel quickly and more subtle when slow, at least on OsX

I find the mouse zoom increments slow in Houdini. I know that alt + RMB zooms in quicker, but once you get used to the scroll wheel zoom, it's hard to let go.

I'm sure there must be a way to tell Houdini to increase or decrease the amount of zoom by setting the increments it uses.

I've been playing with Houdini a lot over the last two weeks and love the power that it gives. We can all agree that the workflow, modeling and animation side needs some work, but I'm sure it will change over the next year or two.

All I can say is that it is allot more enjoyable then my trail and error of maya. Man that thing is a bloated old ship.

I am running Win7 on a GeForce GTX 560 Ti…which works well with Houdini
Werner Ziemerink
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www.luma.co.za
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