Q | Can I use PDG if I do not use Houdini?
A | Definitely. Although PDG is hugely beneficial for Houdini workflows, there are many workflows involving common pipeline processing and data transformation that can be implemented in a very simple and straightforward manner without involving any Houdini. The data-augmentation workflow for ML or a photogrammetry pipeline are examples of this. Pipelines like this are easy to implement with the standalone PilotPDG application and will benefit from PDG’s built-in scale, automation, and performance-monitoring capabilities.
Q | Is PDG accessible for Artists?
A | Yes. PDG can bring benefits to FX artists, technical artists, and even CG generalists. It can help scale and automate common workflows such as wedging, and help automate mundane pipeline tasks like data conversion. It uses a node-based interactive workflow that is very artist-friendly. You may need a little help setting up the farm but once you start using PDG, the workflows are very accessible.
Q | Can I use PDG in Houdini Indie and Houdini Apprentice?
A | Yes. Houdini Indie can access PDG using Task Operators to distribute tasks to a small compute farm using up to three Houdini Engine Indie licenses. PDG is also available in Houdini Apprentice for learning purposes but only works with the local scheduler to process tasks on the computer running Apprentice.
Q | How do I use PDG if I don't have access to a farm or the cloud?
A | PDG can used to fully utilize the cores on your local machine. This requires no setup at all and will work out of the box.
Q | How does PDG compare to a scheduler such as Deadline?
A | PDG makes use of existing schedulers, such as Tractor, Deadline, and HQueue, but is not a scheduler itself. PDG merely tells the scheduler(s) which tasks are ready to be worked on, and leaves it to the scheduler to match task requirements to available HW resources.
Q | Can we use PDG if our studio doesn't use Tractor, Deadline, or HQueue?
A | Yes. It’s easy to bind your custom scheduler to PDG - it only takes a few hundred lines of Python code. We have tutorials to help guide you through the process, and the existing scheduler bindings to Tractor, Deadline and HQueue can be used as reference.
Q | How are licenses used on the farm when a PDG graph is cooked?
A | When you cook a PDG graph, tasks are distributed to the farm based on the rules set up in your chosen scheduler. If that task is a generic TOP node a non-interactive PilotPDG node will be used. If the TOP node is referencing either Houdini networks or Houdini Digital Assets then a Houdini Engine license will be used. If the task involves another application such as Autodesk Maya or Adobe Photoshop then a license will be needed for that application.
Q | How can I use PDG for Gamedev beyond big scale environment creation?
A | Although PDG is a great solution for environments creation, it also excels at pipelines in general. There are plenty of data processing / transformation tasks in a games pipeline that can benefit from PDG outside of environment creation.
Q | Does PDG integrate with Shotgun's project management system?
A | Yes. There are a number of stock nodes available to download, find, update and upload files to and from Shotgun.