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
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
, 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
. 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.