animation improvements in Houdini

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jordibares
Basically I miss a solid ‘Plateau’ mode that I an trust and not being forced to touch my curve every time I add a keyframe.


Do you have any links to good videos on these curve tools in SI? Always a good reference.

Thanks!
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I will try to do a video tutorial on tuesday, if you want some references these may be good. Specially the first ones.

First the manual
http://download.autodesk.com/global/docs/softimage2013/en_us/userguide/index.html?url=files/fcurves_TheProfileCurveEditor.htm,topicNumber=d30e151200 [download.autodesk.com]

Intro by Chinny
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bSYtKCvQ5A [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZJdkgj6MEA [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy_3_jlxJd0 [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_2Im_XfiTQ [youtube.com]

HLE by Mark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut2qYKDOkrs [youtube.com]

Basic animation - long and slow and robotic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWdMC2Hvz2A [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWTKjQTkrJk [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFbb7KKHBzY [youtube.com]

Secondary shape animation, corrective shapes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLY5ae8OiwE [youtube.com]


MartybNz
jordibares
Basically I miss a solid ‘Plateau’ mode that I an trust and not being forced to touch my curve every time I add a keyframe.


Do you have any links to good videos on these curve tools in SI? Always a good reference.

Thanks!
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Gyroscope
Testing it further, it might be a bug, but those buttons don't become active until you move a handle. If you just single click on the bezier line or end on one side, the buttons are still inactive. You can still hit T however.
.

It's be worth reporting the bug to SideFX, use the Support menu above. I can't reproduce it here on OsX H13.0.359. Always test with the latest daily build too.

The best way to report bugs is to use a screen capture recording if you can.

Thanks!
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The non-integer keys could be displayed when you turn off integer frame values.

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I have long wished for an easy way to change the color of channels in the channel editor. Frequently, very similar (or exactly the same) colors are chosen, and I need to see them apart.
I'm o.d.d.
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jordibares
Basically I miss a solid ‘Plateau’ mode that I an trust and not being forced to touch my curve every time I add a keyframe.

Also if I do edits I want to keep them, every time I have to smooth slopes these change and it could be a matter of marking the edited keys so the smooth does not happen in the first operation, only after a second smooth these keys are affected for example.
Memorizing fcurves is another key elements, I want to be able to memorise my curve, do edits and see if the animation works better… but if I end up breaking it all up going back to that curve is very interesting option (in XSI this is the buffer curve)
Furthermore some destructive actions like smoothing a curve, resampling, fitting, etc.. are very important for an animator.
Also extrapolation of curves right now is truly uncomfortable task, it should be looked properly as in XSI is a no brainer.
lso being able to add custom icons and your own curve processing tools to the animation editor to me is very interesting too.


Hi Jordi,
Again, this is what i asked for on your introductory posts about Houdini few days after i ‘arrived’ in here. Well, so far works exactly as in autodesk land: we ask and nobody answers. And the same as there the community is great, not so the owners/developers. I'm not sure if i want to change one bad company with other one just the same. As mentioned already i work heavy with MOCAP data so i almost always need to tweak a LOT of curves. I managed to find out a way(i think your colleague Phil told me this) in CHOPS, but i am not very excited about it yet. I miss a lot simplify, smooth and, yes, SAVE CURVE from XSI. Why? It's simple: sometimes i want to select a portion of a curve and apply changes ONLY to that portion(this especially on sensitive areas such as hips where you need to have ‘spikes’ in curves - so i need to change before/after a region, but not the full curve). If i destroyed the curve with too much editing i want to reverse to a saved state(or buffer, but i prefer saved state). I can edit in non-distructive way in CHOPS, but i want a better toolset on Channels editor(for distructive editing). So far i am really impressed with the weight painting tools; they are as good as XSI and waaaaay better then Maya. Also CHOPS are a big deal, so i think i need to dive further. To be honest i love Houdini so far. Will try to put a full project on Apprentice to see how it handles everything.

I have one note, well two actually, for Houdini developers: who designed the icons in Motion Channels(CHOP curves graph)???? They are so small and all about the same color, that i need to hover my mouse over each of them to see what is what. And i have eagles eyes; can't imagine someone with glasses trying to work with those icons…. Can you please do something about it?
And since we are at messages for developers. Please do something about the user manual. I can't believe it misses a simple printable list of all nodes. Yea, i want to be able to have a table like list with each node for each context - with a short description next to each one - so i can print it out. Yea i know, i'm old, i like to learn from prints….. Same for VEX nodes, shaders etc. It's horrifying that after so many years this wonderful soft it's on the market, it misses such a simple tool for learning. I will do it myself, but i can't stop from projects, i need to put food on the table. Thank you for reading - maybe even change something?
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And since we are at messages for developers. Please do something about the user manual. I can't believe it misses a simple printable list of all nodes. Yea, i want to be able to have a table like list with each node for each context - with a short description next to each one - so i can print it out

Hi, Constantin,
I'm not a developer, but http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini13.0/nodes/ [sidefx.com] is this what you were looking for?
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Constantin X
Well, so far works exactly as in autodesk land: we ask and nobody answers. And the same as there the community is great, not so the owners/developers. I'm not sure if i want to change one bad company with other one just the same.

I find this comment extremely unfair and downright false.
You only have to read a few threads around to check how developers are indeed reading and getting feedback from users.
Surely, you won´t pretend EVERY user request to be instantly incorporated no matter what.

Usually my bug reports get replied in a couple of hours at most and fixed in a few days if they´re indeed bugs. Try that in“Autodesk land”.
Obviously, an RFE takes longer.
Javier Meroño
FX TD.
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And since we are at messages for developers. Please do something about the user manual. I can't believe it misses a simple printable list of all nodes. Yea, i want to be able to have a table like list with each node for each context - with a short description next to each one - so i can print it out

Hi, Constantin,
I'm not a developer, but http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini13.0/nodes/ [sidefx.com] is this what you were looking for?

Hi,
And thank you for your reply, but no, that is not what i asked for(sorry for not explaining correct). I asked for the COMPLETE documentation(if you click on a node it will open the full documentation) in a printable form(as a sub-page but better within a table like form). So a pdf or whatever with the nodes and COMPLETE information attached to each one(like sub pages if i am explaining correct this one). If i want something like this right now, i need to open one page print it, then go back and so on. It's very tedious/time consuming. Well, it looks i need to find out time to do it myself.
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Constantin X
Well, so far works exactly as in autodesk land: we ask and nobody answers. And the same as there the community is great, not so the owners/developers. I'm not sure if i want to change one bad company with other one just the same.

I find this comment extremely unfair and downright false.
You only have to read a few threads around to check how developers are indeed reading and getting feedback from users.
Surely, you won´t pretend EVERY user request to be instantly incorporated no matter what.
……

Don't get inflated over my statement. Just try first to understand what i am saying. Maybe it works for YOU as a teacher, but this is so far my impression around here. I am not talking about inserting features into the main program, i am talking about a simple answer to simple questions. And i have few serious asked questions and not counted a single strait answer other then those from community so far. To me this looks like autodesk experience all over again. Answers only to known users, teachers and/or lots of seats - sounds familiar??? Maybe i am a bit too harsh to this guys, but, well this how a felt it when i wrote it down and still is. To be fair a guy requested a bug fix and it was ready in 1 day. Now thats something, and the reason i am still here. Plus the program is very good so far, but it needs some attention in key areas. One of witch is the icons in Motion Channels Viewer(CHOP context graph). Well, maybe after i buy first seat will fill up a bug request.
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I asked for the COMPLETE documentation(if you click on a node it will open the full documentation) in a printable form(as a sub-page but better within a table like form)

then i really don't understand what is it you want

Yea, i want to be able to have a table like list with each node for each context - with a short description next to each one - so i can print it out

you asked for a “short description” not “COMPLETE”
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owlYzarc
I asked for the COMPLETE documentation(if you click on a node it will open the full documentation) in a printable form(as a sub-page but better within a table like form)

then i really don't understand what is it you want

Yea, i want to be able to have a table like list with each node for each context - with a short description next to each one - so i can print it out

you asked for a “short description” not “COMPLETE”

yeas, i describe it wrong. if you look a bit up on the paragraph, you will see i mention a table like printable file. i mean on the left i have the node, then on the right description(short) but on the next page(or a sub page if you want) full node description. this will be some serious work to be done. all the info is there on the houdini docs, but it's not properly organized in a printable form with chapters and sub chapters and so on, as a single document. now i find on internet that it is asked for many years, but looks like there are no resources for this. i will do one for myself….
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Well, so far works exactly as in autodesk land: we ask and nobody answers. And the same as there the community is great, not so the owners/developers.
Incorporating a lot of feature work into Houdini 13, which is currently being used in production, would be disruptive to users working on projects. The version in development is seeing much more testing of suggestions mentioned in this forum, as we have much more freedom to experiment there. However, we do fix bugs very regularly in the released builds, and the odd feature does get included from time to time. You can check the journal (Support > Journals) to see the changes:

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_journal&Itemid=213&page=index&journal=default&view=FULL&logfile=13.0&icon=ALL&version=13.0&buildstart=&buildend=&perpage=25 [sidefx.com]

Well, maybe after i buy first seat will fill up a bug request.
If you feel it's a problem, you can submit a bug here:

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=768&Itemid=239 [sidefx.com]

No seat needed; free Apprentice users submit bugs too.

i want to be able to have a table like list with each node for each context - with a short description next to each one
You can submit that as an RFE (request for enhancement) too. Printed manuals were retired in favour of the online help quite a while ago, but we've done a few quick reference cards in the past. A card with the most useful nodes in each context might make for a good beginner reference.
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i better show you in images then try to explain. We have the document(in this sample Channels nodes - nodes 001) and then next pages start to show up each node in detail(in this sample only the first node Acoustic - subpage) in a flowing succession. It results a pdf document with categories like now BUT, the full documentation comes AFTER the nodes, not on separate links like now. so we have:
chapter 1 - Channels. first page lists channel nodes, then next pages each node in succession within the same chapter, not on separate pages/links. right now you have the list of nodes, then you need to go ahead and open a page at a time and make it a printable document, return to nodes page, click on next one and so on…. for reading about a node online maybe it's ok, for printing full documentation and learning all nodes from zero on each context not at all. maybe i am an old fossil and try to print a manual to learn from it. This time maybe i explained a bit better.

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If you feel it's a problem, you can submit a bug here:

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=768&Itemid=239 [sidefx.com]

No seat needed; free Apprentice users submit bugs too.

i want to be able to have a table like list with each node for each context - with a short description next to each one
You can submit that as an RFE (request for enhancement) too. Printed manuals were retired in favour of the online help quite a while ago, but we've done a few quick reference cards in the past. A card with the most useful nodes in each context might make for a good beginner reference.

Thank you,
For your answers. I understand that you abandoned the printed manuals, so i will try to make one myself when i have the time… Now how about those nasty little icons(see the image attached)?

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Constantin X
Well, so far works exactly as in autodesk land: we ask and nobody answers. And the same as there the community is great, not so the owners/developers. I'm not sure if i want to change one bad company with other one just the same.

I find this comment extremely unfair and downright false.
You only have to read a few threads around to check how developers are indeed reading and getting feedback from users.
Surely, you won´t pretend EVERY user request to be instantly incorporated no matter what.

Usually my bug reports get replied in a couple of hours at most and fixed in a few days if they´re indeed bugs. Try that in“Autodesk land”.
Obviously, an RFE takes longer.

Agreed, I think there is a very positive vibe in this community and we ALL have to work to continue this way.

The guys at Side Effects work at an incredible rate and throwing an statement like that, although surely is not ill intentioned does not bring much value.


Now, regarding the motion capture, I did answer (and a very long one) which should lead you to the world of CHOPs.

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&p=143032&highlight=#143032 [sidefx.com]

I will nevertheless reiterate you have to decide where to do your mocap editing, either CHOPs which will give you a critical advantage by being procedural and will potentially lead to building a tool that manages mocap for your project in a semi automated wya.

Or via animation editor which clearly needs some love to get to the very high standard we SI users see as normal. This won't happen overnight and I am sure there is a lot of re-interpreting to do from the myriad of emails and post on the forum so I think we will need some patience.

If you have an example of your mocap I would be more than happy to pick up your clip and describe a few alternatives as doing it by the forum would be way too long.

Regarding the manual, I am also one of those that want a PDF to read on my iPad so I totally understand what you mean… but may be there is an even better way?

May be it is a matter of putting the app into an iPad? just asking anyone out there that could help with this.

jb
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Constantin X
Now how about those nasty little icons(see the image attached)?
They look marginally better in the Light scheme, but I think they're still the old-school vector icons Houdini used to have. The coloring is meant to divide up the operations into groups, and that'd be better handled by grouping the buttons and removing the BG colors, I think. I'll put in a request to get those updated, as it's likely they slipped through the cracks when the icons were redone in H9.

jordibares
May be it is a matter of putting the app into an iPad? just asking anyone out there that could help with this.
If you have an internet connection, you can use the online help, which you can use on a tablet.

http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini13.0/ [sidefx.com]

Though a formal app would help for those times where being online isn't possible or convenient.
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May be there is a converted that takes the help files and wraps them for offline web browsing… that would be great as this is normally my journey on the tube and train, no internet connection but easily an hour or two a day that I can look at things.

Normally I put videos and tutorials so keep with the pace of the industry.

thx

twod
Constantin X
Now how about those nasty little icons(see the image attached)?
They look marginally better in the Light scheme, but I think they're still the old-school vector icons Houdini used to have. The coloring is meant to divide up the operations into groups, and that'd be better handled by grouping the buttons and removing the BG colors, I think. I'll put in a request to get those updated, as it's likely they slipped through the cracks when the icons were redone in H9.

jordibares
May be it is a matter of putting the app into an iPad? just asking anyone out there that could help with this.
If you have an internet connection, you can use the online help, which you can use on a tablet.

http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini13.0/ [sidefx.com]

Though a formal app would help for those times where being online isn't possible or convenient.
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Constantin X
Don't get inflated over my statement. Just try first to understand what i am saying. Maybe it works for YOU as a teacher, but this is so far my impression around here. I am not talking about inserting features into the main program, i am talking about a simple answer to simple questions. And i have few serious asked questions and not counted a single strait answer other then those from community so far. To me this looks like autodesk experience all over again. Answers only to known users, teachers and/or lots of seats - sounds familiar??? Maybe i am a bit too harsh to this guys, but, well this how a felt it when i wrote it down and still is. To be fair a guy requested a bug fix and it was ready in 1 day. Now thats something, and the reason i am still here. Plus the program is very good so far, but it needs some attention in key areas. One of witch is the icons in Motion Channels Viewer(CHOP context graph). Well, maybe after i buy first seat will fill up a bug request.

The good part is you're seeing what you want to see and that in reality it isn't the case. It's simply confirmation bias.
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Constantin X
Agreed, I think there is a very positive vibe in this community and we ALL have to work to continue this way. The guys at Side Effects work at an incredible rate and throwing an statement like that, although surely is not ill intentioned does not bring much value.

Or via animation editor which clearly needs some love to get to the very high standard we SI users see as normal. This won't happen overnight and I am sure there is a lot of re-interpreting to do from the myriad of emails and post on the forum so I think we will need some patience. If you have an example of your mocap I would be more than happy to pick up your clip and describe a few alternatives as doing it by the forum would be way too long. jb

First, that statement was more of a feeling, not something against sidefx folks(i already mentioned the case in witch they fixed a bug in ONE day, witch is amazing by the way) and i totally agree now that this is not the case. It was more of a fear that we all get the same treatment here like on the old camp. I convinced myself that this is not the case, so let's get over it ok?
I read your MOCAP answer(thank you once more) but i wanted to say that the traditional way(not procedural CHOPS) of editing keyframes needs some love. Thank you for your offer, i really appreciate it, but i am afraid it does not work like this. I need to find myself a workflow and to become accustomed with this new application. I already find out how to simplify the data, smooth curve etc within CHOPS so i am on track with learning. To sum things up, i am really happy with the application so far and i think that all i need to do is to start to dive more deep within. Support is great and the application is amazing so i decided to purchase one seat within 1 year time frame. Will also start to recommend the application to my clients. Thank you for your support
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