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16.5 Hairgen slow ?? Nov. 13, 2017, 5:26 a.m.

Hi, it's quite common to groom in other packages and simulate in Houdini.

Yes Houdini is that slow in generating curves and the viewport. You can turn off Display as ‘Subdivision curves’ and ‘Shade Open Curves’ to speed up the viewport.

Actually it's just fine in generating and modifying curves, exactly in comparison to Softimage ICE. Of course, as long as SIMD-ish engine is left to do what it can do best, all that without escapades like viewport subdivision or shading of open curves. For small example hair system I was running in ICE, in last and most popular version, literally had no one built in loop created by me. That is, had no anything comparable to relaxing, mentioned in previous post - exactly that part was elegantly left to user, to relax the emitter mesh, and already strong classic app for such tasks.
What is not so good in Houdini, looking from point of view of building a custom hair system:

- mayanish modeling style, focused only to specific workflow, where tool suddenly changes its behavior by some suspicions criteria. That is, it was a move tool that suddenly refused to be tweak tool if point of another geometry was surrounded by hair curves (or something like that). In apps like Softimage or Max, interaction is a way more consistent, making possible to use the standard modeling tools for such exotic tasks, too.

- generally slow response of viewport actions, let's say tweaking the guide curve, having a lot of ‘'post process’' on top (much much slower than ICE against Softimage viewport interaction), also not enough fast Object Merge, as possible workaround for such interactions.

Anyway, as long as hair is mainly procedural, H is probably the best still developed tool. Well, for now there are two competitors in field, not developed anymore…

To make it clear, I've commented general SOP - VOP system, not Hair system in Houdini - don't know anything about last one, since version 13.

Thoughts on mantra Oct. 13, 2017, 5:50 a.m.

@amm, Olaf Finkbeiner: I tried the SSS in the classic shader, it's not faster however. I made a test with slightly lowered noise threshold to be closer to Vrays result, see below. I did not try the deprecated mode yet.

Well I meant exactly the ‘deprecated’ mode - that is, Physical SSS. Otherwise, yeah you'll get exactly the same H 16 ‘PBR’ subsurface thing.

Thoughts on mantra Oct. 12, 2017, 7:05 p.m.

Perhaps to give a chance to Physical sss, it's part of Mantra Classic shader. Something like single scatter with enabled spectral gradient, should give a well known BSSRDF look. Still, it will need higher quality settings, but it is usable, without fireflies and such.
Subsurface shader in H 16 relies on indirect rays which seems to be over optimistic for Mantra capabilities. Also it seems to be almost impossible to get a rich spectral effect, nicely noticeable with V-Ray subsurface, unless using two or three shaders on top of each other, which is then close to impossible to get clean.
Unfortunately, IMO H 16 introduced several step-backs, compared to earlier versions, like that unhappy sss, Mat network horrible to manage, insisting on crippled (un)principled shader. Future looked brighter in times of H 14.