Modeling primarily in Houdini

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What software does it offer at any time in the modeling, send only a fragment of the modeling to any operator for the particles to happen or any other madness? I think that is the essence of Houdini. I do not think they change to make it parametric, Houdini has what it takes to model, in his own way.
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GoetzingerC
trying to make Houdini similar to other applications in this regard would probably lead to horrible Frankenstein workflows

This! Because everyone has their pet ways of doing things from other packages. Packages that were developed to do different aspects of 3d animation, some very narrow in scope, with the highest fidelity and efficiency. How are you going to make them all work in a system that has at its core a different philosophy and therefore resulting structure? IMO this is what is what happened to Maya, where Autodesk is just throwing everything they can buy into the package to keep up with the times without any consideration to how those different tool sets connect to its core.

(edit: watched video and I was saying too much too soon… Maybe Houdini could expand to embrace different workflow, but with care not to lose focus on what works so well.)
Edited by Rebus B - Sept. 11, 2018 18:36:55
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Grimwolf
I've finished the video, and the tool looks kind of… limited?
I'm glad for more modeling tools, and I can see it helping a bit with some tasks here and there, like more easily filling holes and cutting in edges. But the demonstration, plus the name “polydraw” gives the impression that it's focused on actually drawing vertices in an isometric view. Which is a very archaic and niche workflow. I was actually kinda shocked to see the presenter doing that at all. So having the tool focused on that just seems bizarre.
It sounds like the hotkeys for switching modes are kinda messy as well. I doubt I could use it for a long while without having the hotkeys listed on a second monitor at all times.

There is a fundamental issue with having an all in one tool without a history and that is not having a history. In houdini having a history means nodes. having everything in one tool is basically having no history, at least not as granular as SI users are used to. So what you want is not one tool that does it all, but a set of highly efficient tool that can be combined seamlessly and without having to manually drop nodes while retaining a relatively clean network.
Edited by OneBigTree - Sept. 13, 2018 19:29:17
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This may be a problem with the language being used. Instead of calling the network “history” think of it as “structure” which is much more in keeping with Houdini's philosophy and power.
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Fco Javier
What software does it offer at any time in the modeling, send only a fragment of the modeling to any operator for the particles to happen or any other madness? I think that is the essence of Houdini. I do not think they change to make it parametric, Houdini has what it takes to model, in his own way.

A bit of nit picking, it is possible in Softimage ICE to some extent, however I don't remember that people were so excited by multiple dependent networks all around. On contrary, built in ICE particle system was allowed to do as much possible from single network, even it will be more ‘natural’ for ICE to use something like at least two, similar to Houdini SOP-DOP relation.
Have a personal experience here, was running a few free systems based on ICE, it always been demand for as much compact structure, despite the complexity of ‘one network for all’ solution.
Perhaps because users were animators or modelers, focused on final result, not on ‘beauty of code’ or network structure. Houdini user base seems to be somehow different…
On positive side, widely used procedural approach was a post process of direct modeling, relying on Softimage ‘construction modes’, things like shrink wrap executed after modeling, as an effective re-topology method, or custom symmetry options based on ICE ops, finally a ‘clone’ option, as end result of construction history of one object used as starting point in another object. In Houdini that's a full ‘object merge’, while option is possible and reliable in other apps as well, like ‘instance reference’ in Max.
One really nice implementation of post process is Blender's ability to do non destructive beveling by keeping the bevel modifier at top of stack, based on edge properties created in ‘edit’ mode, before any modifier stack.
And, even nicer example of effective, viewport based procedural approach, IMO is Autodesk Fusion 360 [www.youtube.com] around 8.00 they showing how it's possible to jump into various stages of NurbS construction.
Now back to Houdini, while it's possible to setup probably everything mentioned, in practice is different story. ‘Object merge’ is prohibitively slow when used as post process of direct modeling, Edit node behaves rigidly, it's always added on end of tree, Houdini is not recognizing the existing Edit node in middle of three and proceeding with that one (or at least this was last time I've tried in first H 16 or so).
In short, when it comes to direct (viewport based) modeling, seems to be similar story with Maya, where existing network is actually too wide, too general to allow imposing the effective viewport based rules and control over it. In same time, framework is already adopted by facilities, so they can't change it (that is, simplify it), just for sake of something almost not existing in H, like direct modeling. So only way seems to be Maya path, to implement something simple like Silo in Maya today, basically unrelated to rest of app, except a plain in-out connection somewhere in network. Better than nothing, but also not competitive to free app like Blender, today. (Long time ago when Maya started its long journey toward polygonal modeling, Blender was a way behind commercial apps).
Anyway just personally, I don't see problem there. I'm already feeling confident with three polygonal modelings in other apps, don't see any reason to put fourth one in mix, actually I'm trying to reduce that number. Houdini alone is able to keep live connection with imported geometry, so that's it, model in something else, import or reload in H.
Edited by amm - Sept. 18, 2018 17:20:30
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Thank you Werner for demonstration of using Polydraw as a faster fuse-ing. I was sorely missing Blender's middle-mouse-vertex-move and this gets me a little closer!
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goldfarb
here is a new video for you!
https://vimeo.com/286242378 [vimeo.com]

we'd really love more feedback from people about our modeling tools/workflow


Hi,

from my experience as a Houdini beginner and Apprentice User I think the PolyDraw and Topobuild are a good start! I also like Houdini´s File Node a lot, since its easy to update anything coming from Zbrush, Modo or moi! Also H´ procedural tools are complementing the other tools very well!

For Modeling in Houdini I suggest to take a look at Zbrush´s Zmodeler as a start, since its quite similar to your polydraw. Altough I think the Zmodeler is not the most elegant way for fluid modeling! But still many zbrushcentral User´s do some kickass work with it! Below I attached links to some zmodeler works.

All the best!
Christian

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209559-Tamotsu-Kishida-s-Sketchbook&p=1223506&viewfull=1#post1223506 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209567-Art-of-Nelson-Tai&p=1223571&viewfull=1#post1223571 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209567-Art-of-Nelson-Tai&p=1236956&viewfull=1#post1236956 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209559-Tamotsu-Kishida-s-Sketchbook&p=1238347&viewfull=1#post1238347 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?215868-Utilization-at-CGMovie-UE4 [www.zbrushcentral.com]
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Verial
goldfarb
here is a new video for you!
https://vimeo.com/286242378 [vimeo.com]

we'd really love more feedback from people about our modeling tools/workflow


Hi,

from my experience as a Houdini beginner and Apprentice User I think the PolyDraw and Topobuild are a good start! I also like Houdini´s File Node a lot, since its easy to update anything coming from Zbrush, Modo or moi! Also H´ procedural tools are complementing the other tools very well!

For Modeling in Houdini I suggest to take a look at Zbrush´s Zmodeler as a start, since its quite similar to your polydraw. Altough I think the Zmodeler is not the most elegant way for fluid modeling! But still many zbrushcentral User´s do some kickass work with it! Below I attached links to some zmodeler works.

All the best!
Christian

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209559-Tamotsu-Kishida-s-Sketchbook&p=1223506&viewfull=1#post1223506 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209567-Art-of-Nelson-Tai&p=1223571&viewfull=1#post1223571 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209567-Art-of-Nelson-Tai&p=1236956&viewfull=1#post1236956 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?209559-Tamotsu-Kishida-s-Sketchbook&p=1238347&viewfull=1#post1238347 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?215868-Utilization-at-CGMovie-UE4 [www.zbrushcentral.com]

Cool models!

As an addition to ZModeler you can try Z for Houdini. It can be used to edit the geometry with ZModeler from Houdini without extra movements: https://vimeo.com/307756474 [vimeo.com] https://vimeo.com/306682275 [vimeo.com]
Edited by vux - Jan. 27, 2019 11:57:16
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=14076972 [www.patreon.com]
https://vimeo.com/user43923185 [vimeo.com]
https://gumroad.com/alexeyvanzhula [gumroad.com]
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Here is a video I recorded of me playing with some of the Houdini modeling tools. We are by no means there yet, but
it's a step in the right direction.
I'm still missing the ability to translate/rotate individual edges or primitives independently on their own local axis.
PolyDraw changed the game for me. It needs a couple of enhancements, but it gives a nice destructive way to make multiple cuts and loops, fuse and others all in one tool. You can even delete all your nodes upstream if you wanted to, because it bakes everything down.

Edited by Werner Ziemerink - Jan. 31, 2019 02:02:24
Werner Ziemerink
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Coming from 3dsmax the polydraw is a great step in the right direction. Procedural modeling is nice but it can get in the way as well. And still with polydraw you can determine which and where the history points are by putting multiple polydraws in sequence. Yes it will break when you change things upstream but you can rewind modeling steps that way or branch of variations.

That being said, the two things I'd really like to see added are:

-shift-drag selection to clone selected items. (think modeling teeth in a jaw, I had to do 5 different ones, but similar in topo structure, shift-drag it and then reshaping it would have been the fastest way)

-ability to do simple extrude/bevel/insert ops. (basic box modeling tools)

Again, I think it's a great start and I hope it will keep being developed!
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i was max user for easy 15 years but a tool to “blocking out” a classics way of max modelling you can do that know with radial menus
but not what Houdini is a bout is about procedural modelling if you max user you trying find tools help you model just like max then your use-sing the wrong program use max.

in max i used to do model a part of model then make copy pasted into new layer then work on that then copy past that into new layer then work on that so could have 12 - 14 layers each part of the model i had progress i save each progression into each layer

so when the lead designer (my boss)he says “i like it in layer 8 but (You Were Only Supposed To Blow The Bloody Doors Off) sorry for joke”

any way you get the idea

so go back and start from layer 8 then copy pasted that in new layer work on layer 9 and so on

every 30 mins or so would make new copy of pasted in new layer work on so (ofc i would hide each of the layers i was not working on)

but not with Houdini more you think about what needs to be done before you start to model more you get out of Houdini
say the lead designer before he would say I want “5 chimney's” now i just make small hda were i can set the height and the width
even stone shape of each brick the jobs done later down the road i can still pull up the hda and change it

with Houdini more you think procedural-ism less work you do.

plz sidefx never ever lose you procedural work flow. then it would not be Houdini…!!!!
Edited by gfxfx - Jan. 31, 2019 12:44:02
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Agreed, Polydraw is a step in the right direction and while I agree that part of houdini's strength is it's proceduralism, I should be presented with the option to turn it off when I'm modeling if I decide to (essentially expanding the recent Polydraw functionality to all of the geo manipulation SOPs). Proceduralism is great when I want it, but slows me down when I don't; as long as managing the network is a necessary part of the workflow (locking nodes and deleting those upstream, for example), modeling will always be slower (the recent “in-SOP” Polydraw development and it's reception serves as recognition).

My recent RFE was rejected, and I'm not happy about it. Providing the option to work non-procedurally would have been non-destructive and supported the recent promise to make houdini a “world class modeler”. The recent removal of the default FileSOP goes to the recognition that mouse clicks add up over the time, and deleting a single FileSOP is far less time consuming than needlessly (when I decide that it's needless) managing the network every few minutes.
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@gfxfx: I'm not sure I agree with that. Yes, of course houdini ‘a strength is that it’s procedural to the bone. And because of that it is basically horrible for non procedural stuff, same as destructive software is bad at procedural stuff.

Ideally I don't want to go back to Max for basic modeling and polydraw is a good step in that direction.

There are already quite a few destructive things in Houdini beside modeling. All the paint tools, manual selections, grooming etc. So I don't see the problem to beef up destructive modeling abilities.

And yes, if I'd model dental stuff, or chimneys, all the time I'd make a kickass HDA for it but for one-offs it's really not worth the time. I think it's a good thing to have a workflow choice, use the one best for the job at hand.
Edited by Jonathan de Blok - Jan. 31, 2019 16:24:03
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I'm new to Houdini. Actually I'm quite new to 3d content creating. But I'm not new to some segments of art world. I finished a University of Fine Arts, I'm 40 year old and I spent all my life by dealing with art. I would be able to speak about contemporary art for hours, till the listener would feel him self like an idiot and sooner or later he would run away absolutely confused, with a promiss, that he never in his life wanna get close to contemporary art, but maybe not even would like to hear a word about it ever again - thats one of the core issues with Houdini. Since it has crazy deep layers it can easily turn a “tutorial” into coder acrobatic circus stunt. Pardon me for the supposition, but most of the tutorials are basicaly made as a selfpublicist stunt, a show off, not with noble intentions, to help a newcommer by understanding the universe of Houdini. (there are also some fantastic tutorials, that do not belong to this circle) Houdini already has a quite nice modeling layer, that can handle anything what any other 3D DCC tool can/should. But sometimes it's a bit seems like in my eye, that some old Houdini userd fear that once there will be a modeling tool (maybe it's arrived, maybe it's polyDraw…) that will shout: “The King is naked!” / Houdini can be learned, Houdini can be used as any other 3D DCC tool, the wet moat will dry up and the gates will open.

3Ds MAX is a quite ortodox modeling tool right? Now imagine, that I would start to intruduce MAX to someone who never saw it befor by constantly lurking around it's particle system (even when showing him how to do some nurbs modeling, since they can be connected true a bunch of workflow right? So why not to mix it in from the first sec?) Well… the newcomer would not chose MAX after my tutorial, even if we all know well, that it's a great tool for learning modeling, let it be direct modeling or parametric modeling or even a kind of procedural modeling.

Apropos, why a 3D DCC tool could not have all these modeling options in the same time? I read that some of you mentioned, that it's better if Houdini remains faithful to procedural ways, but than I should ask, why our poor Houdini do not allowed to handle who 3Ds MAX could (as an example from the lot) Why are Autodesk, Maxon can step true these doors and SideFX is not even allowed to have a blink into that direction?

I guess, the whole “modeling in Houdini” subject is an Indi user issue. Giant companies will buy houdini for VFX, they will buy Maya for rigging, animating, MAX for modeling, Mari for texturing, Nuke for compositing… (funny right, all these tools can be found in Houdini as well but due to their robust pipeline that has 10+ years old roots, they will work with something as the mentioned above software park) Not like the indi artist…
There are two kind of Indi artists in the digital content creator world:
1, the pirate
2, the one who found a software / softwarepack that can fulfill his needs from A to Z and he can afford it.

Right now, as the business model of these softwares is, basicaly we can say, that there is 3 kind of indi 3D artist on the field:
- who use Blender (+substance, zbrush/mudbox, quixel,Unreal, Unity, PS, Davinci Resolve)
- who use Houdini Indi (+substance, zbrush/mudbox, quixel,Unreal, Unity, PS, Davinci Resolve)
- and the pirate
(2K for max/ year,2K for maya / year, 3.6K for c4D + 500 for xparticles…ridiculous!From an Indi artist stadpoint it's ridiculous!And no, Maya LT is not a valid option)

The above is thanks to PolyDraw! That Houdini Indi can be an option as an ultimate 3D tool for indi artists, for small studios)

- I realy hope, that Houdini Indi will stay
- I also hope that the development of derect, parametric and procedural modeling tools will go on parallel, as well as the rigging, compositing, animating, simulating layers of Houdini by offering an ultimate tool for Indi 3D content creator crowd.
Edited by tardigrad3 - Feb. 1, 2019 18:53:14
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I nice way to avoid the procedural workflow for modeling is also to use the “Lock” node option. It saves the geometry of the node inside the Hip file. I tried modeling with PolyDraw but there are still alot of options missing. I found that if I just don't look at the network and interact with the viewport with shortcuts the experience is actually pretty good. Some operations(like bevel edges and polyloops) are actually faster than max.
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