Project "Houdini, a great scripter"

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It will be nice to have the softimage script editor behaviour in houdini. Scripting will be simpler for casual programmer.

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Just a question, does this scripting “echo” also happen in SI when you select one node in ICE, such as setdata? or when you select a node inside a compound?

A long time ago I also thought this kind of behaviour was needed, then I discovered the drag-and-drop behaviour of nodes and parameters over the Python shell in Houdini and all my fears were gone. You don´t know the name of a parameter? drag it over the shell. You want to assign a node to a variable? drag it over the shell.
You want to know the code for creating a geometry and add a deformer SOP? drag it over the SHELF, and read the code. It´s really that simple.

Houdini´s python implementation is amazing. It makes things really easy even to people with little scripting knowledge. The folder-structure of the software only makes things simpler when dealing with any script. You just have to see what your options are…


…and study a bit of Houdini before requesting features…maybe there´s something better already there. Just my opinion, of course.
Javier Meroño
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You started from the wrong side. If you look for similar behavior, Maya will be better choice for you.

Don't expect from Houdini to work like Softimage.
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This isn't going to make it more like XSI, but I can't recommend this enough if you're going to be doing scripting in Houdini.
https://vimeo.com/14612897 [vimeo.com]

The other thing that's great about that video is it starts you off in a way that's more similar to the XSI object model, as opposed to just grabbing XSI command output. In general almost everybody doing scripting in XSI usually starts off with commands and then if you want to do anything more than that then you will usually have to go figure out the OM equivalents… anyway that video is a good guide to getting started on the right foot.

But if you really want some console output, you can open the Textport and type:
commandecho on
then you can get some feedback on newly created objects, although chances are you'll get a lot more mileage in the long run by using the Python Shell/Python Source Editor.

cheers,

-T
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mantragora
Don't expect from Houdini to work like Softimage.

I think this SI forum area allows for the benefit of doubt. Best to treat question and suggestions as non-assertive and worthy of consideration.

Other forum areas are different though it's the Houdini way or the highway!
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If you write a tool that recreates a node/network/objects/scene, then you could potentially have the same functionality, except it wouldn't be interactive and wouldn't record tool selections of course.

It would be a tool that traverses the requested entity and rebuilds it using Python.

I don't know if SESI would want anyone to write such a tool though as it would undermine non-commercial license protections
Senior FX TD @ Industrial Light & Magic
Get to the NEXT level in Houdini & VEX with Pragmatic VEX! [www.pragmatic-vfx.com]

patreon.com/animatrix | vimeo.com/animatrix3d
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I got a question. Most of the time when people start journey with new application, they start from basics and move from there. Scripting and programming comes at the end. Have you watched some fundamentals first?

If you start from scripting chances are big that your opinion about application will be skewed and you will never appretiate it's workflow. YOU DON"T NEED SCRIPTS IN HOUDINI.

Learn nodes and expressions. Scripting is the last think you should worry about. Go thru tutorials first. This is not another Autodesk application from which you can transfer you knowledge without blinking.
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Netvudu
Just a question, does this scripting “echo” also happen in SI when you select one node in ICE, such as setdata? or when you select a node inside a compound?

It doesn't read the ‘select’ bits but it does spit out the connecting bits. For instance, to create a point at 0.0.0:

Application.GetPrim(“PointCloud”, “”, “”, “”)
Application.ApplyOp(“ICETree”, “pointcloud”, “siNode”, “”, “”, 0)
Application.AddICENode(“$XSI_DSPRESETS\\ICENodes\\AddPointNode.Preset”, “pointcloud.pointcloud.ICETree”)
Application.ConnectICENodes(“pointcloud.pointcloud.ICETree.port1”, “pointcloud.pointcloud.ICETree.AddPointNode.add”)
Application.AddICENode(“$XSI_DSPRESETS\\ICENodes\\3DVectorNode.Preset”, “pointcloud.pointcloud.ICETree”)
Application.ConnectICENodes(“pointcloud.pointcloud.ICETree.AddPointNode.positions1”, “pointcloud.pointcloud.ICETree.3DVectorNode.result”)

As for nested nodes you can connect/disconnect as well:

Application.DisconnectICENodePort(“pointcloud.pointcloud.ICETree.Emit_from_Position.AddPointNode.oncreation4”)

Oncreation4 is the 4th node inside the Emit From Position Node.

One thing I made use of was exporting an ICE compound so that I could import it onto various objects in my scene. I would guess that's pretty simple to do in Houdini.
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MartybNz
mantragora
Don't expect from Houdini to work like Softimage.

I think this SI forum area allows for the benefit of doubt. Best to treat question and suggestions as non-assertive and worthy of consideration.

Other forum areas are different though it's the Houdini way or the highway!

I don't have problem with their questions . It just they really sound like people that came here without spending at least one month with tutorials and start posting demands that are based not on their experience with application but just on simple “I can't do that like in XSI, ergo, Houdini sucks”.

Go thru tutorials first guys. Start understanding Houdini workflow and why this app is so good.
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mantragora
I don't have problem with their questions . It just they really sound like people that came here without spending at least one month with tutorials and start posting demands that are based not on their experience with application but just on simple “I can't do that like in XSI, ergo, Houdini sucks”.

Go thru tutorials first guys. Start understanding Houdini workflow and why this app is so good.

Well, the Softimage death-notice came less than a month ago, so establishing this forum so quickly is going to get a lot of stupid questions I'm certainly appreciative of this place and treating it as a way to accelerate my understanding of Houdini. If this is a central place that all the stupid XSI-based questions get asked at least they only have to be answered once.

I'm also not saying Houdini sucks - there are things it's very good at and things it could improve on. Obviously anything an XSI user says as a possible improvement is coloured by their experience.
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SI users here are like immigrants/refugees heading to an enclave before heading out into the society. This is a place to feel comfortable and ask basic questions and say what sux about the new country I reckon. I'm open to learning what they offer.

I have no doubts that if SI was revived they would flood back
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I don´t complain about any of SI users questions. Not at all. As you see around I´m trying to help as much as I can.
I complain about FEATURE REQUESTS that are NOT based on actual experience of what´s already there.
For instance, the ongoing Modelling thread is based on an SI user FIRST trying the modelling tools and THEN based on that experience asking for features. That´s fine in my book. In fact, it is very good for all.

But other users, such as katana in this very thread, seem to be asking for features without taking any time before to do their homework and check what´s in Houdini. They seem to disregard the possibility that Houdini already has a better approach to the problem, while in fact there is a strong chance that it is that way for several topics.

So, stupid questions? bring them all. No probs.
Feature requests…first, check how Houdini solves it.

Going back to the current topic after some time of python experience in Houdini, and having tried the solution it offers, I would never EVER want to go back to the Maya-style “command echo” model. Not only it is a worse solution, but it promotes badly-structured scripts…even for beginners. And I can say this, AFTER trying both systems, not before.

PS: and regarding beginners, please allow me to play here the “instructor” card, as I have to teach scripting to beginners at least twice a year. I think that after a few years I´m starting to understand what´s good for them.

Tom Kleinenberg
I would guess that's pretty simple to do in Houdini.
Javier Meroño
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Netvudu
I think that after a few years I´m starting to understand what´s good for them.


Maybe, may be not
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Saying shortly: echoing commands is missing in Houdini, because Houdini doesn't use its scripting language internally for every action. I can see how this is helpful for starters, but being honest since any node in Houdini scene is a representation of internal object model things to know about scripting in Python in Hom are easy to grasp in 15 minutes, it's either a node or a parameter. Period. Want to create an object, middle mouse on it, see the name, use parent.create(name). Drag and drop works nicely also as mentioned above. Primitives are represented as primitives, anything is an object or an action of it.

Having painful and dreadful experience with scripting in Xsi I say almost any aspect of programming is better in Houdini. So as much as I'm happy for interactive/modeling insight from SI people, ICE expertise, animators demanding comfort and pleasure and plush, please stay opened as things are really good here (which is expected from TD tool after all). The script editor sucks (most use own external favorite anyway), but auto completion, logic, full acesss to anything, consistent single object model, completeness, total reliability is on Houdini side. Xsi is my nightmare in that department.
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Thanks Symek - that is a great comparison and experience. More please like this everyone!
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MartybNz
SI users here are like immigrants/refugees heading to an enclave before heading out into the society. This is a place to feel comfortable and ask basic questions and say what sux about the new country I reckon. I'm open to learning what they offer.

I have no doubts that if SI was revived they would flood back

I can only talk for myself, I moved to Houdini 100% a year ago for many reasons… do I miss XSI? yes, a lot… would I go back? depends on the project.

I would probably settle for a pipeline where I can use both.
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Thanks Jordi!, good to hear.
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I just want to chime in for a sec. here and express a thought or two.

First, I understand perfectly the position seasoned Houdini users are often find themselves when 3d newbies (not only in Houdini) start asking for things that might already exist in Houdini, some perhaps being even better than anywhere else.
I know I wouldn't probably take it so well if the floodgates opened with Max or Maya users on Softimage forums, I gotta say I'm very pleased, but in retrospect I guess it's a side effect (or sideFX? ) of a small community in a niche part of the industry which is in contrast to a huge user-base like 3dsMax's for example, where inevitably you'll meet lots of unprofessional trolls.

With that aside, let me assure you that whatever question I will ask or improvement or even change (sometimes improvement involves change not just adding on top) I propose I will try to document myself as best as I can before doing so. On top of that I always bring rational arguments for what I say and I'm always open to counter-arguments provided they're rational as opposed to “it's the way it is, get used to it, never mind the fact that it could be better” type of reasoning.

In the next few months I'm going to invest in some training (I found some generalist stuff which seems to cover a lot - http://www.3dbuzz.com/training/view/houdini-fundamentals/h9-fundamentals [3dbuzz.com] ) and in the meantime just good old testing and reading the F1 documentation. I'd put into this a lot more than I already do, but time is never sufficient.

What I cannot guarantee you is that I will never ask a stupid question. Hell, we ask stupid questions by the virtue of being humans, let alone some of us being newbies in Houdini.
See ya! :wink:
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jordibares
MartybNz
SI users here are like immigrants/refugees heading to an enclave before heading out into the society. This is a place to feel comfortable and ask basic questions and say what sux about the new country I reckon. I'm open to learning what they offer.

I have no doubts that if SI was revived they would flood back

I can only talk for myself, I moved to Houdini 100% a year ago for many reasons… do I miss XSI? yes, a lot… would I go back? depends on the project.

I would probably settle for a pipeline where I can use both.

Sad part to me is there will never be anything like the Houdini Engine for Maya in Softimage. That would be fantastic.
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Tom Kleinenberg
Sad part to me is there will never be anything like the Houdini Engine for Maya in Softimage. That would be fantastic.

Actually, after you complete your journey thru tutorials, you may jump in into HDK and just implement HEngine in Softimage yourself. Till then we should have some documentation finally available for this API (HAPI). But just like with scripting, HDK is not a place where you should start your journey with Houdini.
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