Houdini fx v/s Max

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Hi guys,

I have been a lighter for a long time and now want to get into fx world , on one side i think there is steep curve of learning houdini for fx in specific v/s going through fume fx ,realflow ,thinking particles ,i wonder what you guys think and compare both of these against eachother , I wonder if you are worknig on tight deadlines for tv commericials what would be more viable option in terms of speed of setting it up etc here are my questions specific

1) setting up houdini v/s max( realflow ,fumefx -thinking partcicles ) which one would take less time ( if you were to know both equally well )

2) how is the learning curve for people who came from max background or no background of fx at all like myself and are not the most technical people in the industry

3) does houdini require more ram etc than other simulation software ,mine at home seeems really slow with 16gb ram ( i7 -64bit win7 )

4)there are many links for houdini learning ,any useful links for people who are just starting out from fx point o f view

5) also in your opinion how many people doing tv commercials end up using houdini as ther main workhorse for fx.


any kind of response would really help….

cheers

:?
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The short answer is whilst Max is capable a lot of people prefer Houdini as it's very logical and clean to work with.

Pretty sure no one moves from Houdini to max
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1)
Think about the possibility to work inside the same software and consider it's interoperability. It's difficult to compare setup between realflow and fumefx, but theres no doubt you will take advantage from houdini procedural workflow along the way.

2) its hard in the beginning, but is up-to-you! you'll think about give up and start play more with the old tools , another guy here in the forum told me something that changed my thoughts about that:

– Learning Houdini requires the patience to really learn the application; but you never get diminishing returns with the time you put in to learning a new node or workflow.
checkout here:
http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&t=28815&highlight= [sidefx.com]


3)
Yes and no, if you have unlimited resources, heres the important thing houdini wont crash because you reach a limit count of particles or whatever you are trying to do, I never experienced this.. but if you don't have enough resources and the scene requires a lot… no problem, it will make use of all resources that are available, you'll just need patience. I think this what ppl call solid and robust. I use i7 two years old, 32GB ram and linux works better for memory management. After that, I use macbook pro 2014 i5 with intel iris pro I can keep going on studies and sandbox scripts, isn't for production, but works and I can run it.

4) I could suggest start from videos at sidefx.com.
And theres a lot of resources on internet!

Sorry for english mistakes, I hope it helps
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Hey,

that helps ,currently working as a lighter very keen on houdini workflow and many small time studio in la and otherwise are getting on it , i will have a look at the videos and see where it takes me ,its just that you got bunch of stuff at cmivfx and some very useful videos out here ,but gnomon & digital tutors the most known online tuts don't have much too offer as far houdini goes ,most of their houdini is old bit ,but well Thank you ,get back to you once i dive in and see if it takes me anywhere…
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Tutorial are great to begin with but check out these posts for when they run their course.

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&t=32326 [sidefx.com]
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I'm not a VFX artist, but I recently made the full-on switch from Max to Houdini, and I can't understate how surprised I am at how much I enjoy using it for my real work vs when I was just learning and experimenting.

The transition has been interesting, as I think the most striking thing isn't what the applications can do, but the way you do them. Houdini is a lot like working on paper, with everything laid out in front of you. It's incredibly reassuring, but it does mean you need to learn to be organised if you're not already.

There are still things in Max that I miss - a few modelling features such as UV mapping, and it's spline editing (well, only Fillet & Chamfer), but I find myself opening it less and less, and when I do I just find it rather clumsy and frustrating.

Ultimately it was a tough switch because games (my biz) are so focussed on Max & Maya, but Houdini does work well in concert with them both, so you don't need to throw anything away. Two knives are better in a fight than one, so I'm told
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In the other softwares like Max you need to some plug-ins like Fume FX , Real Flow , Ray Fire or etc for creating perfect VFX project.

But you can do all (Flip Simulation , Pyro Simulation , Perfect Destruction and … ) in only 1 software , HOUDINI.

Because all of these tools are for Houdini (Not external Plug-in or Software) , So you have perfect relationship between them , for example using Flip , Particles , Fire and Explosion , Cloth and Rigid Body with together and perfect reactions !

Maybe in some different situations you take perfect result with Fume FX , But sometimes you need to create very customized Fire or Explosion , In this case you can customize your Pyro node and edit it's network , Because PyroFX or other Solvers are not a (BlackBox) with some external parameters like FumeFX , They are editable nodes.

You have same features in the Rendering and shading too , You can edit and customize your Pyro shader and use some special cool features like Displacement on it.
Also you should know that Mantra is one of the cool engines for rendering volumetric like Fire , Smoke and …

1. I believe that working with Houdini is really different with other 3D software , not only Max guys or Maya guys , So you should practice with Houdini very hard.

2. In the Houdini you have too many way for simulating complex effects such as Fire or Flip with less RAM and CPU , because of procedural and customizing feature , you have too many way for simulating a big explosion / Flip or … with normal hardware.

3. I think cmiVFX tutorials and SideFX tutorials are perfect for learning Houdini.

4. And again because of it's procedural feature , Houdini is great software for TV and Commercial projects , you can create impressive Motion Graphic effects with this software , something exactly like Softimage ICE , So you can see that some of the softimage users jumped to the Houdini !
https://www.youtube.com/c/sadjadrabiee [www.youtube.com]
Rabiee.Sadjad@Gmail.Com
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From the FX artists I've talked to, all have the same idea, that Houdini is an amazing tool, but that, for a single artist, with 3ds Max and Plugins you'll get the job done faster.

It's a tool that let you create FX faster, with lower turn-around. Houdini is more powerful, you have more control, but you take longer to get the job done.

Again, that's the input I got from some top guys working in FX for large studios. I asked some this because of the launch of Houdini Indie.


In any case, I'll teach myself Houdini because Indie is so freaking cool.

Cheers.
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Max's Plug-ins (such as Ray Fire , Fume FX , … ) are great and really fast, I'm Maya user too and I can make some impressive Pyro simulations with Maya Fluid Effects and FumeFX.
But sometimes we need to make a very customize effect , in this case we can do some changes in the Pyro network to achieve new tool without any need to write new tool with C++ or other languages .

I really like Houdini VEX , It's really powerful , but hard to learn !
After learn it correctly , I bet you can create too many project very faster than others (Of course not all ). 8)
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I think Max will iterate faster, but Houdini you'll end up doing less iterations… kind of evens itself out. For a single user (FX artist in this case), Houdini is a lot cheaper, more stable, and less hassle than dealing with Max and all the plugins you'd need to try and match Houdini.
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From the FX artists I've talked to, all have the same idea, that Houdini is an amazing tool, but that, for a single artist, with 3ds Max and Plugins you'll get the job done faster.

The key thing here is… Max or Maya will get the job done faster… once. Maybe even twice.
(If it's something reasonably straightforward that it's designed to do out of the box, or with a dedicated plugin… you're stuck if you want to do anything off the beaten track)

The next time you use Max or Maya on a similar task, it'll take the same amount of time… and it'll take the same amount of time the the time after that, rinse-and-repeat until you're bored witless and not an awful lot more productive :-P

The more you learn of Houdini, and the better you get to grips with your ideal workflow, the less you'll find yourself doing the same thing twice. You'll solve a problem, and next time you'll either have the solution, or you'll spend the time improving it rather than building it all over again. Every project you work on will improve and accelerate your workflow, and you'll be able to get further and further with each successive project.

You can't help but steadily build an ever more effective personal-pipeline with Houdini. That's where the real power of it lies.
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No need to sell me on Houdini, I'm already sold. Just started last week playing with the apprentice.

I'm sick of Autodesk and it's own crazy policy and customer relationship. Gladly, I never bought AD software, I just used the student version or the commercial version at a prod. company.


I just need to decide what would be the perfect companion to Houdini. C4D or Modo.

Freelance wise, I need to be able to make some logo-thing now and then.
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It is actually a very interesting situation, both Modo and C4D are very interesting alternatives.

For me the future with a Modo integrated well with Nuke and Mari is something extremely interesting so I am investing time on it when I can but C4D is so easy to use and so powerful straight away it is hard to ignore.

Take both for a spin and make a decision, surely enough will be fun.

hope it helps
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