project "Houdini, a great modeler"

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McNistor
Frustration among old Houdini users might be unavoidable if SESI are serious about improving Houdini.

Yup, to be the best in today's world, the maxim is you have to change and re-evaluate all the time.

Despite that many old-timers deny it, the brain is plastic and flexible
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McNistor
Frustration among old Houdini users might be unavoidable if SESI are serious about improving Houdini.

Amen
+1 (+1, +1, +1, +1,….)
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McNistor
Frustration among old Houdini users might be unavoidable if SESI are serious about improving Houdini.

Yup, to be the best in today's world, the maxim is you have to change and re-evaluate all the time.

Despite that many old-timers deny it, the brain is plastic and flexible

As long as there are clear gains from any improvement artists, old and new, will accept it straight away.
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Good call. It's travel immunizations, worth the pain for the gain
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A quick one: is there any way to disable(hide) that big monstrous red axis in the middle of the scene w/o hiding the grid? Didn't find anything in display options.

edit: thanks twod
Edited by - May 12, 2014 17:47:27
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A quick one: is there any way to disable(hide) that big monstrous red axis in the middle of the scene w/o hiding the grid? Didn't find anything in display options.

It's in the Display Options, Guides tab: Origin Gnomon.
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if you can not make a sketch of what you want to do. Even if you have all the tools available in 100 years. You will not achieve anything
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chevita.
if you can not make a sketch of what you want to do. Even if you have all the tools available in 100 years. You will not achieve anything

Houdini has very good tools already, we just want to rev them up to be more productive.

For example, there is a great Hard Surface Essentials video from Grant Warwick in 3dsMax, and if we can get the same fundamentals at speed in Houdini then we are cooking.

http://vimeo.com/10941211 [vimeo.com]
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Softimage is better than 3dsMax when it comes to poly modeling. I've worked with both (Maya as well, but irrelevant in this case) - modeled lots of stuff in both. 3dsMax was my first s/w when I got into 3d and it was the only one for about two yrs.

Ergo, if we need to get inspiration from somewhere (and we do for many things) then we'd better adopt as much as possible from Softimage in this area.
I'm not arguing that Si is the best because Si is my s/w of choice - this would be simply bias.
It became my s/w of choice because it is the best for things that I'm interested in - modeling and some quick and simple character stuff. I've tried them all and with a few I've worked quite a lot (Max and Maya), not just open app, make cube, close app.

You could argue that it's just me (my opinion/preference), but I know a lot of people that tried lots of 3d apps and once got into XSI they never wanted to go back.
I literally know no one that started with XSI and then discovered 3dsMax and was in awe, so much so that they wouldn't want to go back to Softimage.
Call this anecdotal evidence or however you want. What you can't do is ignore it.

p.s. I'm not fighting anyone BTW, despite my opinionated tone. 8)
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Still kind of new to Houdini myself, and yes traditional modeling tools are lacking in Houdini. I am definately in awe of the modeling tools seen in Softimage, and can only imagine how powerful they would be in Houdini. We have VOPs how feasible would it be to implement Softimage modeling tools into Houdini with VOPs?

Powerful things can be done with VOP's, these old video's still impress me and show the kind of power that is waiting to be realized in Houdini on a wider scale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzAVN2Rjrlw [youtube.com]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeYCw0yvKZ4 [youtube.com]
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to model in houdini, I think, you have to be a bit smarter.
The skill comes with experience. And nobody has ever learned something with this “this is the best.”(coincidentally houdini is the best) but it serves sometimes to persuade, eh.
How to model a barrel? for use in unity?how do you make it?
Edited by - May 22, 2014 17:11:08
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Ya - my mistake for adding in “3DsMax” it should have read - "look how X models - and how they use the tools to be efficient.

No need to look to any current toolset to copy or be inspired, only at what makes an artist efficient.
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I am definately in awe of the modeling tools seen in Softimage, and can only imagine how powerful they would be in Houdini

You know, in Softimage there's no tool other than the Tweak tool (which I really love to see in Houdini) that's original.
Pretty much everything else is found in other apps, most of them in Houdini as well.

What makes Softimage great for modeling among others, is how those tools work and how “snappy” and responsive the interaction with objects/points/etc. feels. It's really hard to describe it, as it's one of those things only to be experienced in order to be understood.
Take add edge for example - when you LMB on points and edges it simply adds edges between clicks with the tool active on the last LMB, but when you MMB, the tool remains active with the previous click. I'm pretty sure that with the exception of Softimage users, nobody understands what I'm talking about. A small video/gif would make it clear I think.

Softimage has its drawbacks such as lack of interactivity - you have to go to a panel/property page (just like in Houdini) in order to set all values of a bevel for example. Of course not all values/settings can work interactively, but some do.

For starters in Houdini I'd like to see a solid selection with all the things I've mentioned previously. A short recap:

- selection memory

- shift for add to selection (not shift+ctrl, that's good for selection invert)

- robust loop/ring edge selection - make alt key a modifier key for these; space is better for navigation anyway, ergonomic and everything and besides, it's the tool with the most redundancy in Houdini. You can access it with: space, alt, Esc key, click on the icon. Icon and one key is enough and I hope in a future version when sticky keys will be implemented, space will take the place of Esc key by simply tapping for permanent activation. Reserve Esc for something else - I have something in mind, to be discussed in the near future, a tool that lacks in Houdini AFAIK and it's one that baffles me to see that it's missing.
Alt is a very useful key and it's a bad idea to “waste” it by assigning to a tool that already has plenty ways to be accessed - I strongly advise to be used as a modifier key, preferably for what I suggested.
Make an option in the prefs that would swap space with alt. When ON, alt will be for navigation and space the modifier key, if you want to cater to max/maya crowds with their the wrist painfully and awkward navigation, although encouraging bad habits might not be the best thing to do long term. Sorry, I couldn't help it

- a raycast like type of selection

No amount of tools will make Houdini be not frustrating and more importantly slow to model in until these basic things are done right, with attention to small things.
As they say: the devil's in the details.

edit: almost forgot - alt would be a great modifier key, context sensitive as well so that when you have a transformation tool activated, you press it and quickly place the pivot where you want it (an interaction pivot, not the object's pivot) with the help of snapping.
It's tremendously helpful to be be able to move/rotate/scale a set of points/edges/etc. with a pivot quickly placed wherever you want.
I don't know how the world keeps on going without this.
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i think would be very good if sculp sop have the ability “grab” like mudbox.
these could be amazing. and some love to sculp sop.
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Make an option in the prefs that would swap space with alt. When ON, alt will be for navigation and space the modifier key, if you want to cater to max/maya crowds with their the wrist painfully and awkward navigation, although encouraging bad habits might not be the best thing to do long term. Sorry, I couldn't help it
I'm always all for the make-optional-philosophy.
As a Maya user I obviously disagree because I'm so well used to the “almighty Shift-Ctrl-Alt-triangle” that spacebar for navigation is painfull for me.
When it comes to usability I'm always thinking in priorities. I see the “almighty Shift-Ctrl-Alt-triangle”, meaning my hand in the very bottom-left corner of the keyboard, as the default position for my hand. Just as in Max, C4D, Zbrush and probably other apps as well. So with my hand on the “almighty Shift-Ctrl-Alt-triangle” I now gradually assign priorities to my commen actions. Something I do often, get's a high priority and should be accessible either right from the almighty triangle or very close. Something I don't do that often has lower priority and thus it can be further away from the default hand position.
So what do I do most of the time? Navigating! So navigating has one of the highes priorities and thus I want it right at my fingertips. Selecting the component type and the components comes next followed by calling commands and so on. I call Maya well designed because my left hand pretty much never leaves the left third of the keyboard and most of the time it doesn't even leave the “almighty triangle”. In Houdini it feels like my hand is jumping all over the place due to the need to press enter all the time, “L” for looping, redundant key combinations originating from the viewtool space+… and what not.

McNistor
No amount of tools will make Houdini be not frustrating and more importantly slow to model in until these basic things are done right, with attention to small things.
As they say: the devil's in the details.
Agreed!
Although I came across a few cool, new modeling tools throughout this thread is wasn't aware about before, designing a stable, efficient base has to be the first and most important step.
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Korny Klown2
When it comes to usability I'm always thinking in priorities. I see the “almighty Shift-Ctrl-Alt-triangle”, meaning my hand in the very bottom-left corner of the keyboard, as the default position for my hand. Just as in Max, C4D, Zbrush and probably other apps as well.

When you lay down your hand on the table, the natural pose it will as if your hand is with the thumb on the space key.
With the thumb on the alt key your hand twists a bit and that combined with the fact that transform tools are E,R,T will result in wrist strain.
I've had enough alt navigation + W,E,R transform keys in Max/Maya as well as Softimage and now Houdini hand in natural position to know which is better as far as biology goes.
Each of us have preferences and I'm not here to say that you should give up on what I consider to be a bad habit since I cannot prove “preference”, but I can prove ergonomic design since that's based on biology. :wink:
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McNistor
When you lay down your hand on the table, the natural pose it will as if your hand is with the thumb on the space key.
With the thumb on the alt key your hand twists a bit and that combined with the fact that transform tools are E,R,T will result in wrist strain…
…Each of us have preferences and I'm not here to say that you should give up on what I consider to be a bad habit since I cannot prove “preference”, but I can prove ergonomic design since that's based on biology. :wink:

Who's talking about placing the thumb on the alt key? In my entire time, modeling digital 3D, I've never used the thumb for anything. The attachment shows what I consider to be a natural hand position.

Attachments:
almightyTriangle.jpg (95.5 KB)

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Yes, that's a natural position alright, but there's a mile between your fingers and the other shortcuts (transforms, point, edge, etc.) you have to constantly go up and down for a distance of about one hand.
If that's the way you usually work you gotta have a pretty big left deltoid.

People I know, me included, don't work that way. When I put my hand on the keyboard the goal is to have it resting comfortably while having access to as many hotkeys as possible. Like when you put your hand so that the thumb is sitting on top of the space and the other fingers find themselves right on top of E,R,T
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McNistor
Yes, that's a natural position alright, but there's a mile between your fingers and the other shortcuts (transforms, point, edge, etc.) you have to constantly go up and down for a distance of about one hand.
If that's the way you usually work you gotta have a pretty big left deltoid.
Well in Houdini you are actually right, in Maya however I rarely leave the position you see on the pic. Actually just for Q,W,E,R everything else is done through context menus and the hotbox.

McNistor
People I know, me included, don't work that way. When I put my hand on the keyboard the goal is to have it resting comfortably while having access to as many hotkeys as possible. Like when you put your hand so that the thumb is sitting on top of the space and the other fingers find themselves right on top of E,R,T
Yes, I know that position but it felt uncomfortable right from the beginning so I dropped that quite fast. Because Maya has these context menus and the hotbox I never had the need to access plenty of shortcuts. All I need is three mouse buttons and the “almighty Shift-Ctrl-Alt-triangle”. With the combinations of these 6 buttons (7 with the hotbox on spacebar) among each other I reach about 75%-85% of the software, which is nothing to sneeze at, I think.
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I never liked the marking menus inside Maya and besides, in Houdini there's no such thing and it will never be because marking menus are patented AFAIK.
To me it's no biggie, I'm a sucker for keyboard shortcuts, much more straight forward to me than dancing with the mouse in all directions while pressing a combo of shift, alt and ctrl, but I can see why many do like it.
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