Martin Matzeder


About Me

Technical Director


Recent Forum Posts

Blackbox otls by python? Sept. 18, 2019, 6:01 a.m.

Can we create Blackboxed HDAS with python?
Could not finde anything in the documentation.

thanks Martin

PDG/TOPs grounded - Open letter for SideFX June 30, 2019, 6:57 a.m.

Still learning, but my impression of TOPS is a bit different, but I guess my expectations are also quite different.
I see it more like a scheduler on steroids, that greatly increases You throughput on farm. To have all this fine controlled dependencies is just amazing.

Just some examples:

- Clustered and sliced simulations, in addition with wedging in a custom scheduler environment was doable, but You had to use environment variables, that communicate the wedge/slice/cluster information to the batch process. It is working, but would break much easier and was kind of tricky in developing state. PDG on the other side was just working and with a huge artistic usability.

- All kind of repetitive workflows are now much easier to set up, without the need to code a lot. You can plug Your workflow together and modify it on the fly. You can create Digital Assets from this workflows and create higher levels of abstraction for this, so that one node does in fact do several things. Coding and maintaining this is of course doable, but can get quite difficult as soon as You have multiple deep dependencies, that should be parallelized on farm, to use all the resources.

- But even without farm computers, we see now cpus with up to 64 cores in a single cpu setup, You have to use that resources as well.

For example, You process all the collision geometry preparation in the background, while already working on some other parts of Your scene, or even let PDG completely build all Your hips to that point, that all necessary assets are loaded, and the mandatory steps are also done in background, as well. You open a hip where everything is done to that point where You and Your artistic skills are really needed.
After this PDG takes care of all the other stuff that is necessary in a production. It can free up a lot of Your time for the stuff that no machine can do. This means You are faster and more productive. A lot of work is still very repetitive and if You can shift it to PDG, great.

I might miss a lot here, but that is my initial impression of PDG. Probably it is much more, but step by step

Making TOPs less confusing June 27, 2019, 2:34 p.m.

we are switching our tool set completely to TOPS right now, still keeping our old submission tools available. The PDG system is quite new and I guess it will evolve quite fast. that keeps one busy but I think it is totally worth it. So far I just love it, but having a fall back is kind of relaxing.

We are not using tractor or deadline, but muster as a scheduler. and the muster developer is picking up stuff quickly, but I do have some rather basic questions, as the tool right now is heavily work in progress on the scheduler side.

When I cook a top it seems to be bound to the houdini running it, is there a way to submit a top tree to be processed in a more old school way.

To be more specific and that is just my impression, right now the top cooking is bound to the current houdini session, that's very cool for fluid working and developing, but I miss a way to just submit a dependency tree to the farm, and then I can close houdini or open a new scene. while the top processes are calculated on the farm.
Is that possible in hqueue already?
Am I missing here something or is that right?

thank You