Modeling and Houdini.

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Dear Sidefx,
I've been trying to model in Houdini for quite some time. And I like both procedurality and good tools. Huge potential, it seems to me. I would love to dive deeper. I see no reason why Houdini couldn't be a great or just a good modeling tool. You can forgive a large number of bugs and create your own HDA, which should have been there in the first place. But one node devalues all modeling capabilities more complex than a couple of boxes, if not completely, then close to meaningless. Polysplit. A poor craft, an alien from the past, inconvenient, ineffective, unfinished, without snapping. Trying to use it to adjust the geometry is more difficult than a cube - it’s easier to just go to a sadomasochistic party. But creating many new edges is a constant activity in modeling. And there is no way around it. And a polysplit nullifies all the efforts of developers to create tools, and all the efforts of the user in trying to use them. Everything is fine until you get to the point of editing the geometry, and you will inevitably come to it. Please close the program immediately.
You will say - use topobuild. Yes, the knife there really is implemented in a much more modern and convenient way, although it also has loops without snapping. But topobuild caches the geometry and thus destroys all the advantages of Houdini in procedurality and the ability to go back and change the position or size of the "cube" in the input. And we get a pathetic parody of Blender. Again, pointless.
And so I’ve been playing with wonderful tools for a whole month, admiring your program, but all the time I run into polysplit, which makes modeling meaningless. This is very upsetting. I urge you to concentrate and make this damn knife a normal, convenient tool, like everywhere else. It’s a shame to see how one abandoned node drowns an entire program block.
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I recommand the Modeler 2023 tools,it's great.Can't count on Sidefx to change the whole modeling part.
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It would help if you describe what's wrong with polysplit specifically. Personally i've found it decently usable, is there any particular thing you don't like about it ?

Also note that the knife tool in topobuild does seem to do snapping for loops.
Edited by gumsax - 2023年12月10日 00:54:19
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As wanglifu said, give modeler a try.
https://alexeyvanzhula.gumroad.com/l/modeler2023 [alexeyvanzhula.gumroad.com]

Beside when you start to manually add arbitrary vertex/edges/loop on an assets, any upstream topology changes with break the output anyway, except if you create parametric rules for every selections or operation you made. So you either build a parametric asset, or you simply direct model 'stuffs', and for the later topobuild caching is not a bit deal imho.
Edited by PaQ WaK - 2023年12月10日 13:10:38
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any upstream topology changes with break the output anyway
Any changes that do not change the number of input points do not interfere with destructive methods. And these are the advantages. I changed my mind and changed the position, increased/decreased the extrusion, moved it here, turned it there and everything continues to work. Isn't that why we love Houdini? Topobuild turns Houdini into a very bad version of blender. Yes, topobuild has its place of application, but using it only for slicing is a rather pointless move, IMHO.
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Ideally we should have a node that:

1. Can only do PolySplit like things (cut and edge loop)
2. Can do what multiple PolySplits do, in a single node
3. Has procedural parameters, like PolySplit
4. Has a Python state similar to TopoBuild, but only "Cut" tool

It's probably already possible to make such a node, but my houdini knowledge (especially python state) isn't going that far.
Edited by kodra - 2023年12月10日 16:33:16
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Again try Modeler, the "polypen" tool made by Alexey is more capable than topobuild/split, and you don't end-up with a cached geometry.
Edited by PaQ WaK - 2023年12月10日 17:21:07

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I totally agree! (Even if i haven't played with it yet) usually people first try stuff that they will use all the time. Like modeling or editing animation curves, they do not care about sophisticated algorythyms for simulating white water when they decide if Houdini will be good for them.

So yes, for modeling few tools are used constantly and must be piece of art:
Symmetry, cut/split, extrude (polygon or polygonS extrude), collapse (collapsing few vertexes into single one also welding it, so it actually is only one point), move brush (with soft selection) enlarge or shrink brush also with soft selection on (softselection is affection other vertexes in whole mesh but with lower weight. And inser loop for controling density of polygons after polygon divide (turbo smooth, tesseletion or whatever its called in H.)

So for BOX MODELING you only need those nodes: Symmetry, cut, extrude, collapse, insert loop and brushes.

  • Those are enough and you can model anything.
  • All those tool i mentioning must be perfect and piece of art. Like fe. New bazier spline node is!

Then everyone that test Houdini for first time can fall in LOVE in it
.
Edited by oldteapot7 - 2023年12月11日 03:51:36

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Again try Modeler, the "polypen" tool made by Alexey is more capable than topobuild/split, and you don't end-up with a cached geometry.

Isn't it amazing that one person easily and simply surpassed the 20 years of work of an entire team? Perhaps sidefx is hiring the wrong people?
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Пак Вак
Again try Modeler, the "polypen" tool made by Alexey is more capable than topobuild/split, and you don't end-up with a cached geometry.

Isn't it amazing that one person easily and simply surpassed the 20 years of work of an entire team? Perhaps sidefx is hiring the wrong people?

You should know this fact - The Modeler's many tools are depended on Houdini native nodes and 20 years hard work.SideFX just needs to learn from this plugin,make the modeling process and tools much easier.
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I must note that over the past 10 years, SideFX has done a lot to enable developers, for instance at studios, to create convenient modeling tools, although there are still problems. Python States have greatly facilitated the creation of interactive tools. Radial menus can significantly simplify the gestural launch of tools. Quad Remesher, once completed, has every chance to become the most powerful remesher.
Edited by Alexey Vanzhula - 2023年12月11日 05:48:37
https://gumroad.com/alexeyvanzhula [gumroad.com]
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@Alexey can you tell what are limitations of Houdinis SDK or API from Developer point of view? Iam not coder but artist but iam very curious how its all build under the hood? I feel that it all moving in good direction tho

I have feeling that there is problem with building customs UI. Id love to see nice and well designed Icons and stuff not just boxes with text like in Your plugin (sorry for saying that) Big wall with rectangle brics can make modeler artis tired very quicky. Brain must to find right button in all that looks the same. Process of picking cost too much energy when you do it all day.

I think all Devs will gain from easy to code custom UIs that also can live on screen as HUDs, but in parameter pan too. Hell even i could code something in VEX and create custom UI for it ) but i never seen such option anywhere. All is too generic and looks like only coders "designed" it but not artist and graphics...

Anyway are there brush tools in Your plugin? I Am not talking for replacing Zbrush but more advanced brushes with masks that can freeze parts of geometry so its possible to quickly do custom morphs for animations or fix animation poses for more expressive style.

Also i think that it would be cool if you will work as SideFX employee and integrated your plugin into core of Houdini. But not as single node but more like fixing all modeling nodes. You proved that you are deep into modeling

I would like that option instead of buying extra plugins like in Autodesk frankenstein products xD

.
Edited by oldteapot7 - 2023年12月11日 07:15:52
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Id love to see nice and well designed Icons and stuff not just boxes with text like in Your plugin
What boxes are you referring to? The 2024 version I am currently working on has a completely redesigned UI that now harmonizes seamlessly with the Houdini UI. I can't show much, but you can see the differences in the picture.
Edited by Alexey Vanzhula - 2023年12月11日 07:39:09

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https://gumroad.com/alexeyvanzhula [gumroad.com]
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@Alexey can you tell what are limitations of Houdinis SDK or API from Developer point of view? Iam not coder but artist but iam very curious how its all build under the hood? I feel that it all moving in good direction tho

I have feeling that there is problem with building customs UI. Id love to see nice and well designed Icons and stuff not just boxes with text like in Your plugin (sorry for saying that) Big wall with rectangle brics can make modeler artis tired very quicky. Brain must to find right button in all that looks the same. Process of picking cost too much energy when you do it all day.

I think all Devs will gain from easy to code custom UIs that also can live on screen as HUDs, but in parameter pan too. Hell even i could code something in VEX and create custom UI for it ) but i never seen such option anywhere. All is too generic and looks like only coders "designed" it but not artist and graphics...

Anyway are there brush tools in Your plugin? I Am not talking for replacing Zbrush but more advanced brushes with masks that can freeze parts of geometry so its possible to quickly do custom morphs for animations or fix animation poses for more expressive style.

Also i think that it would be cool if you will work as SideFX employee and integrated your plugin into core of Houdini. But not as single node but more like fixing all modeling nodes. You proved that you are deep into modeling

I would like that option instead of buying extra plugins like in Autodesk frankenstein products xD

.

It's a long story about the limitations, but what I'm missing is the control of standard handles using Python, issues with hotkeys, etc.

Regarding Modeler tools, I can note that they contain a lot of VEX code and Qt UI tweaks. There is a Move Brush tool, similar to the one in ZBrush, with built-in smoothing with Shift and so on.

I also want to point out that BOX modeling is not just a narrow set of tools, but also more convenient component selection, improved navigation, quick responsiveness of tools, and so on.
Edited by Alexey Vanzhula - 2023年12月11日 07:36:02
https://gumroad.com/alexeyvanzhula [gumroad.com]
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Now UI looks cool!

That big gray box that took half of the screen looked very not ergonomic for longer work with it, great that you have chenged that.

Is there help file i could read, iam curious what tools are there (i only saw some videos on YT) byt iam old school and prefer written documentation xD
Edited by oldteapot7 - 2023年12月11日 07:53:21
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Now UI looks cool!

That big gray box that took half of the screen looked very not ergonomic for longer work with it, great that you have chenged that.

Is there help file i could read, iam curious what tools are there (i only saw some videos on YT) byt iam old school and prefer written documentation xD
Of course, here is the link. But the modeling tools themselves are detailed in the plugin when you hover over the tool. In my opinion, this is more convenient than reading the description in a document.

https://www.notion.so/Modeler-2023-for-Houdini-6ade5b9af5c142b5870f506bca666703?pvs=4 [www.notion.so]
Edited by Alexey Vanzhula - 2023年12月11日 08:17:58
https://gumroad.com/alexeyvanzhula [gumroad.com]
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When will 2024 be released? Will this be a paid or free update?
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Ah yes, for working with plugin is way better to have quick tips.
But i haven't bough Your plugin yet, so id like to know as much as i can before buy
I think from marketing point of view is better to have good documentation and afaik there isn't link to it on gumroad site.

So concluding Houdini + Alexey's plugin makes it great modeller.

I hope that there are some plugins for animators too

I cant stand that standard animation curve editor where you even cant tear off animation layer part of UI and put it on second monitor

I wish that something like in OTOYs tool for working on cached animation would be build in Houdini. Ehh a bit OT now so i end

Good luck with Modeler 2024!
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Good luck with Modeler 2024!
Thank you! You can ask any question in the Modeler Discord channel. We will answer any questions related to Modeller and modeling in Houdini in general: https://discord.gg/Ud7xUcQfMu [discord.gg]
https://gumroad.com/alexeyvanzhula [gumroad.com]
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When will 2024 be released? Will this be a paid or free update?
There is no exact release date, but I think it will be soon. The update for current users is paid because it's a major update.
https://gumroad.com/alexeyvanzhula [gumroad.com]
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