Houdini Indie Suitable as Primary Tool for Short Film?

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Is Houdini Indie suitable as the primary software (i.e, animation, simulation, lighting, rendering, etc.) for a short film? In other words, would Houdini Indie be a viable replacement for Maya in creating short films?

Please note: The target context is a small studio.
Edited by JabbaTheNut - April 30, 2019 16:51:01
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Would you be here if it wasn't?
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That question somehow makes less than no sense.

“Is a Golf IV suitable for taking my daughter to school? Note that the question is targeted at a primary school.”

One would wonder how big your daughter is, how well in shape the Golf is, how far the school is from your daughter's bedroom, whether cars are allowed to access the school, whether cars built by a caught-in-the-act cheater are allowed access to the school, whether your daughter would want to be seen in any connection with a Golf IV and, last not least, whether you actually have a daughter or just a cat.

If you were able to define WHAT you want to do with a tool instead of saying “is it suitable for the purpose it has been made for”, one could be tempted to try to answer the question. I can assure you from my own experience that Houdini (including Indie) has been used for short films, in small studios and any kind of mixture thereof. Whether that has any relevance whatsoever to your situation is up to Grandma Ellie's guess. But she's still riding her motorbike out in the chicken coop.


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Hi JabbaTheNut welcome to Houdini.
Houdini is a full DCC (digital content creation) to put it very simple Houdini stay side by side Maya and 3D Studio Max, Blender, Cinema 4D etc…
Houdini is capable to animate and rigging character, modeling cars and cities render and make simple composting.
To be honest if you will do a very small production I will recommend Blender to you this package is small powerful and it is free probably very god choose in a small budge.
But if you want to do big things with beautiful simulation like: Water, Fire, Muscle, Wind, Destruction, Motion Graphics, Crowds etc… WELCOME TO HOUDINI.
Let's understand the big difference in Maya and Houdini
Maya pro
- a lot o training
- nice tutorials for real beginners in 3D world
- better in character animation
- more responsive in 3d view port for animation
- a lot of plugins
- a very good render for realistic character in the box
- a friendly community
- a lot of good reference

Maya cons
- for small production it is expansive
- destructive way to work not good for little people in a teams.
- plugins need time to master and is an extra payment and can have bugs during some integration…
- your help (company's help) can be a little lazy
- (probably other user can appoint more issues)

Houdini pro
- a very good help (company's help) the better I ever see
- forgot plugins all you need is in the box
- modeling, render, lighting, animation, simulation all is procedure very good to small or big teams.
- a very nice community to help you
- a lot of videos to help you (not for real beginner in 3d)you need to knew something ;-)
- very powerful builtin render very close to Pixar RenderMan

Houdini cons
- To learn alone is not good (find a master to guide you)
- Different way to think (in the start scary you in the end you love it)
- For Houdini Indie you can buy a limited number of copies…
- The documentation is very hard to understand at first try (use videos tutorials and ask the community)

JabbaTheNut I am sorry for my poor English but if something is not clear you can make more questions here.
But if you talk more about what you want to do probably a lot of user can help your question.
Example if you want to make a movie like BAHUBALI or Galaxy Guardians or League Of Gods the community can understand your needs to help you and your team.
For all the three movies you can use Houdini and probably more movies too
No software is perfect all depends your effort but SideFX is a company that listen their user.
Until right now we don't have a very fast render…until there(Houdini 18??) you have some solution like Redshift 3D or GridMarkets to help your production.
Any way you are welcome to our community.
Whenever is possible we'll try to answer you question.
Edited by harryabreu - May 1, 2019 09:36:23
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Is Houdini Indie suitable as the primary software (i.e, animation, simulation, lighting, rendering, etc.) for a short film?

Yes…and no. Let's take one of these individually:

Animation - No problems, Houdini has a pretty robust animation backbone which is comparable to other DCC's.

Simulation - This is where Houdini rules them all actually, so you're good to go here.

Lighting - Lighting tools are pretty much the same across all DCC's.

Rendering - Mantra is very comparable to Arnold in quality, but it's decisively more complicated. It's also pretty slow. Depending on your needs, you might want to look into Arnold or Redshift.
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harryabreu and Midphase - Thank you. That helps me a great deal. I mostly use Maya and have very little experience with Houdini. Much of what I have come across typically represented Houdini as incredibly powerful. However, it also only showed Houdini in a supporting role. I was looking for some reassurance from more experienced users that Houdini would be suitable to take the leading role in a short film. I believe that it can and am definitely interested in further pursuing Houdini as a replacement for Maya.

malbrecht - Do you feel better now?
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