Asset Browser for own projects

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Hi, I've played around with the asset browser and orbolt and I like how it displays information inside Houdini.

If the assets browser could be used for a local folder structure and display its contents according to some filtering rules it would be a very efficient way to import assets into a scene. Point the assets browser to a project folder, do some magic and display the content.
The filtering rules could be set in a config file at the top of the folder structure so this would not have to be configured at every workstation.

I can imagine file extension filters and folder names with wild cards.


# example houdini_assets.config
exclude.foldername=cache, sim_data, management, editing
include.foldername=textures, OTLs, HDAs, Assets
include.fileext=*.otl,*.tif,*.exr


Just an idea, I'd love some input and grow this into a feature. I'll even do a nice mockup ;-)

Andy

P.S.: Do Houdini users call it a directory or a folder? :-)
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I recall a thread, may have been last year on OD|Force, where (I think it was Jeff/old school) was talking about the Material Gallery implementation and how it could be suitable or interesting to open up for other things such as a DA browser with renderable thumbnails.

Can't remember if he was saying it was possible now, or a future possibility but it would be a nice feature I agree.
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Thanks Adam,

but I can't seem to find that thread. Anyway, I'd still love more input ;-) Maybe this is something I'll hack myself. Though I think this would improve usability and quick access to assests for everybody.

Andy
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I am also very interested in this. Did you make any progress with this?
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Hi;

I have been trying to find a proper way to assemble scenes with multiple assets as well. For houdini, what would be the exact way to replicate Mayas reference system for example, currently I am creating Gallery Objects. An alternative way would be to create Mantra Archives I beleive. A Mantra Archive would inherit the lookdeved material shaders etc right.

Anyone?
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a big topic and one that is highly dependent on the overall pipeline…

one of the ways to manage all this stuff is to make everything you possibly can into an asset.
models, materials, rigs, lighting rigs etc
everything else can exist as scripted out stuff - animation, render setups etc

you'll have two branches: Assets, Shots
and within each you'll have working files and published versions (write protected and backed up etc)

assets can have assets within them - a prop might have a material asset inside

for Seq/Shots you could have managed lists (cast list, call sheets - call them what you will), these are very simply lists of assets that are required for each Seq/Shot. These lists would be made and managed by production and referred to by artists.

you can use environment variables to control the paths of things - set $JOB/$PROJ, $ASSET, $ASSET_VER, $SEQ, $SHOT etc - and then use these in your Houdini scenes.

many users have built loaders/publishers (python makes this pretty straight forward) that can be run in Houdini that can interrogate the scene file and look for assets, determine their version, compare to the ‘latest’ version available etc and prompt the user to update etc
then when work has been done these tools can publish the changes (write out the animation of an asset to a file, then publish the file or publish a sim cache or send a render to the farm…)

I'd start at a very high level and see if you can build an environment that contains the information you need first, then worry about how to get stuff into and out of Houdini later.
Michael Goldfarb | www.odforce.net
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filesystem. you get it for free with the OS.
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arctor
a big topic and one that is highly dependent on the overall pipeline…

one of the ways to manage all this stuff is to make everything you possibly can into an asset.
models, materials, rigs, lighting rigs etc
everything else can exist as scripted out stuff - animation, render setups etc

you'll have two branches: Assets, Shots
and within each you'll have working files and published versions (write protected and backed up etc)

assets can have assets within them - a prop might have a material asset inside

for Seq/Shots you could have managed lists (cast list, call sheets - call them what you will), these are very simply lists of assets that are required for each Seq/Shot. These lists would be made and managed by production and referred to by artists.

you can use environment variables to control the paths of things - set $JOB/$PROJ, $ASSET, $ASSET_VER, $SEQ, $SHOT etc - and then use these in your Houdini scenes.

many users have built loaders/publishers (python makes this pretty straight forward) that can be run in Houdini that can interrogate the scene file and look for assets, determine their version, compare to the ‘latest’ version available etc and prompt the user to update etc
then when work has been done these tools can publish the changes (write out the animation of an asset to a file, then publish the file or publish a sim cache or send a render to the farm…)

I'd start at a very high level and see if you can build an environment that contains the information you need first, then worry about how to get stuff into and out of Houdini later.

This is already how studios work,and it is a good way to keep large amount of assets in order, but a freelancer may not have the sources nor the time to create such tools.
As I mentioned, Mayas referencing system is a good builtin tool, it moves shaders as well. So What would be the closest solution to above, without creating a database at home writing our own project management tools.

Would it be the galleries, or literally making Digital Assets, with shop nets etc inside.
Edited by tricecold - Oct. 2, 2016 21:31:26
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making assets, I would argue, is easier and safer (and opens up other, future opportunities) than referencing in the Maya sense.
there are already a large number of environment variables that Houdini recognizes out if the box, so taking advantage of them is easy.
tricecold
This is already how studios work,and it is a good way to keep large amount of assets in order, but a freelancer may not have the sources nor the time to create such tools.
it doesn't have to be some huge system - and if you can properly manage 1 asset then managing 100's is just a matter of scale.
and you could use meta data instead of a database - simple text files to record assets, shots etc
Michael Goldfarb | www.odforce.net
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Hi,

has anything changed since 2016 concerning asset browsing?
Orbolt seems to do exactly what I would imagine my asset browser to be, but is it possible reference private directories with my own assets from inside the Orbolt asset browser?
That would make my life much easier.

Thanks in advance.
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