Mirko Jankovic

Mirko Jankovic

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Character animation Sept. 28, 2017, 3:34 a.m.

Workflow wise it takes some time to get used to.
For example I've started first on 3d studio (dos version, not even max), after some 3dSMax jump into Maya 2.5 and that was already huge improvement and felt much better workflow wise. And then again going from Maya 8 to Softimage 7 was again huge improvement, but over all it was like using what you are used too but improved version. But overall it was close enough to make fast jump.
With Houdini it is not really that simple as there is a bit bigger difference in whole logic so it is taking a bit more time. There are strength in Houdini but being so different from others is what makes jump a bit slower. Just slower not impossible.
On the other hand, Blender that for who knows what reason introduces completely nonstandard view port interaction for example was harder to me then Houdini You go to somewhat familiar interface with viewport and all and you can;t start even going around the scene in somewhat logical and what is used to be way in all major applications… Really bad. For me at least. In Houdini at least fundamental things are same and then just need to build around new logic.

As said like a while ago.. for exmaple:
In Maya you workaround,
In Softimage you work.
And yes SI feels like a glow. But again that could be because of getting used to but also having really nice organised workflow.
I'm still lacking time spent in Houdini to be able to figure out if it is workaround or work model
Hope it to be second one. Again I do not NEED to learn Houdini nor having some immediate pressure but for future proofing it seems to be on a better path then Maya and honestly every day having to use maya for work is PAIN!
So why not try something else just to keep sane.

Back on Houdini and character animation, you may be perfectly right BUT there is still lack of pool of riggers. Let's say I have a project and need nice rig done in Houdini. Where to find rigger?
As a matter of fact I did had project and even twas thinking to use it for testing animation in Houdini as it is rather simple but riggers.. no go. So back to Softimage.

I could use this to call out for any Houdini riggers as well to add to my page www.cgfolio.com
Just something I created a while ago to kinda have nice pool of people and be able to filter out fast the skill needed and availability and get in contact with talents needed faster then standard post ad, wait for reply, go through emails… contact them .. etc.. was looking days if not weeks searching for people like that.
So any riggers and other skillet around with Houdini talents are welcomed to add to the list

Character animation Sept. 27, 2017, 3:57 p.m.

I'm not on Houdini yet, I'm looking into option of switching to it more and learning it more as well.
Softimage, unfortunately is on it;s way out.. workflow wise and a lot of stuff in there it will still be best option for another couple years but jobs looking for SI guys are dropping fast, finding SI people is harder and harder and tech is simply going over it… to start with missing 4k scaling support and gap will just go bigger and bigger.
Not to mention that all other developer of 3rd party stuff is just ignoring SI so for example getting stuff from SI to some game engines.well most of them is problem already. So even having SI covering most of stuf now better then others.. time goes fast…

Maya for small team or single guy generalist is big NO, so retarded workflow is hard to imagine…
Max is crappy plugin for autocad, Houdini is already better in character animation then Max
Blender is opensource mess… bunch of probably good things tied loosely together in an inconsistent UI…

Do I need to add more.
Simple as times goes buy SI will be phased out. From simple character animation point Maya is unfortunately here to stay, but hopefully new kid on the block will start changing that.

I mean it is just fst rumbling of ton of stuff it is hard to just put in something that is not a wall of text or an evening of beer and chat but…

At the end.. why not learning another software that proves to be progressing. Yes, there is less and less time to learn new stuff, and other reasons but .. why not

It wasn't meant to be critique of Houdini character animation state but more of exploring where is it now, what is missing and is it on the way to become viable character animation package.

Character animation Sept. 27, 2017, 6:05 a.m.

Well honestly I do hope that Houdini will keep progress like seen in last versions ie, improving modeling and UI user experience, and to spill that on animation and other areas.. really after Softimage is killed a lot of people are still looking for nice similar all in one solution. Houdini is known of t's steep learning curve which is being kinda helped out lately and filling in gaps hope to get to a nice generalist tool as well and not only VFX go to solution.
But also all other areas have many different options, modeling got ton of misc solution, from all standard maya, max, blender, modo to sculpting and other retopology options. Even shading and rendering is in there but character animation feels so neglected that Softimage and Maya, and now only maya are kinda only viable customer ready solutions. And maya is known crap to anyone that used Softimage so we are left without any choice really. Maya if you wanna be relevant as character animation freelance pool, or Softimage for some personal projects or stuff where you are working on your own and not in maya centric studio. Max is complete crap in that field and others .. even more. Couple animation only projects failed miserably.. like that what was it.. nakayama nok.. something like that..

So hopefully Houdini will be able to fill the gap.