Node Reference Videos | Feedback

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Joined: July 2015
Hey everyone,

SideFX published a new video series explaining nodes: []
Since this is a node reference I expect some good depth to every video, explaining most if not all options you have.

A lot of the videos are great (especially the ones from Mike), but some lack a lot of info that goes further than the basic options. I will try to comment on every initial video and give some overall feedback.

Please add timestamps for the main topics. Additionally next to explaining the parameters, please consider showing common workflows. Also it would be awesome if the microphone quality on all videos would be as good as on Mike's videos.

Attribute Create SOP
Great! A short comment about Precision would be great.

Atribute Randomize SOP
This is one of the lacking ones. A lot of even basic information is missing as well as general structure.

Blast SOP
Great! Short note about expressions would be great ie
. Maybe do another video about expressions and link to it. This is used alll the time in production.


Circle SOP
Really good! Maybe show how to create 1/4 or 1/2 of a circle? Not really necessary, but that is my only criticism.

Color SOP
Awesome! It would be awesome if you could mention, that nowadays you should use the Visualize features to visualize things in the viewport instead of the color and add a link to the Visualize SOP. I still see so many artists control their stuff with @Cd, which is less efficient and is generally pretty inflexible. (See the Copy and Transform SOP video, where he has to adjust the range.. )

Copy to Points
Great intro!

Copy to Points | Instance Attributes
Please, please, please start with this doc, or a link to it: []
I see so many issues from artists who don't know all the attributes or their priorities. Just mention it, put the link in the description and move on. A lot of artists will have enough info to go on already.
Besides that it would probably be good to create a quick series on how to create and adjust transform attributes sorted by their type. Translate, rotate, scale, skew and a combination of all of them. Quaternions, Matrices etc. How to rotate along one local space axis for example.
The current iteration gives a short insight, but I think it lacks depth and a bit of structure.
Also mentioning when you would need to resort to the new for loop copy stamp workflow would be good.

Copy and Transform SOP
A very common workflow here is to reference some upstream information here. Like using the BB.y to translate in Y, so stuff perfectly fits ontop another. Another common usage is to put
or similar in the Y rotation, so you always have a perfect amount of copies to build a circle/sphere/whatever.

Delete SOP

Group SOP
Good! The unshared edges part is crucial, but the explanation is a bit confusing.

Line SOP
Very good! It would be great to mention the Curve SOP if someone would need more than a straight line. Showing the viewport handles would also be a plus.

Mountain SOP
It's really just point noise.
That is just plain wrong. It is deforming points along their normal.
The video also lacks structure and is a bit of dragging sliders here and there. Deeper explanations like what a Lattice Wrap actually does would really be necessary. Also an explanation when to use the Mountain SOP and when to use the Noise SOP would be great. (Especially if it would only be point noise.. )

Null SOP
Really great! I love the workflow usage here. BUT the two parameters of the node itsself are missing..

Scatter SOP
A bit lackluster. It's missing a bit of structure as well as quite a bit of features. How to scatter inside of an object (what if it has open holes?), how to use textures, how to use channels from COPs (how to select a specific channel like Alpha). Mention that the relax iterations are basically like the relax sop. I'm sure I'm missing something still.

Sphere SOP
Awesome! A common usage for the Sphere SOP is also to extract the bounding sphere center of an object (maybe worth mentioning).

Switch SOP
Good, but please also cover the Switch If SOP in the same video.

Transform SOP
Great, maybe a bit long. When covering the local attributes, it would be essential for me to also cover the downsides of them. Like not being able to reference the paremters that use them elsewhere. Showing the classic
here would be awesome.

Tube SOP
Great! Please mention what nodes you would use to create a tube with specific arc angles. I've had this question couple of times during a course of mine.

Visualize SOP
Good! Please show what actually happens behind the scenes and where to find the visualizer in the viewport options.

I hope this all makes sense and will find some open ears.

Manuel Köster - Technical Procedural Artist @Crytek
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716 posts
Joined: Jan. 2018
Agreed, great addition, I hope they keep going. They should figure out a way to integrate those in the Help for each node.
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5338 posts
Joined: July 2007
seems like Attribute Create | Local Variables, not only mentions Local Variables a lot but even encourages using them
and here I thought they are being successfully phased out for the greater good and new users will not even know about them, shouldn't SESI be teaching new fast and safe methods? Or at least warn about the dangers of using Local Variables like slowness and noncompileability?
Tomas Slancik
FX Supervisor
Method Studios, NY
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122 posts
Joined: Aug. 2013
Anim i think user for example where not know what work in houdini stangers they can understand what you know but can not put in scenes.
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