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kamebr
03-26-2005, 12:58 PM
What are the other houdini community out there? It seems this one is a little slow. :)

Is there any other place for a beginner like me to search information e trade question with other users? I've downloaded the apprentice version of houdini, it's the first 3D software I'm ever using, so, I might say I'm a little lost, so to speak. Can you guys help me out? Tutorials, sites, foruns?

Thanks, until next time.

kamebr

P.S.: When I whatched 'Steamboy', the logo of Houdini and Lightwave appeared. It's was used in this beautifull anime and that inspired me. :O

dantea
03-26-2005, 01:57 PM
Some links:
http://www.sidefx.com/community/index.html - Official forums, video learning materials, mailing list, etc
http://www.odforce.net - Longest running Houdini online community. Forums, etc.
http://www.3dbuzz.com - Forums and video training materials

MG
03-27-2005, 09:50 AM
What are the other houdini community out there? It seems this one is a little slow. :)
Don't let the activity of this forum fool you, a lot is happening with Houdini! It's becoming more and more popular for character animation, and has been used more and more (even exclusively) for several films, some of which are still in production as we speak.


Is there any other place for a beginner like me to search information e trade question with other users? I've downloaded the apprentice version of houdini, it's the first 3D software I'm ever using, so, I might say I'm a little lost, so to speak. Can you guys help me out? Tutorials, sites, foruns?
First software ever? It's perhaps for the better. All the people thus far I've recommended Houdini to either dropped off because they found Houdini "too hard" (to learn). But there was this person, he was also new to 3D, he's the only person I ever recommended Houdini to that didn't give up on it.

Maybe it's good, if you're new, to start with Houdini. The learning curve might be steep, but since you'll be used with a lot at once you'll be capable of doing a lot more and generally have a better understanding of 3D itself; since, afterall, Houdini is far closer on the fundamentals of 3D graphics than most other software packages are.

od[force] (http://www.odforce.net) has to be the best Houdini community on the Internet, well, it's my personal favorite. SESI (http://www.sidefx.com)'s (Side Effects Software, Inc.) own community (http://www.sidefx.com/community) - with the "Exchange" as it's most recent addition - is also quite good, but people tend to use the forum mostly for (Houdini Apprentice) technical support.


P.S.: When I whatched 'Steamboy', the logo of Houdini and Lightwave appeared. It's was used in this beautifull anime and that inspired me. :O
I didn't know that.

kamebr
03-27-2005, 02:08 PM
Well, thanks for the tips guys. Hope to learn. Not in a rush, so I think it's better this way.

P.S.: I've authorized you MG on MSN. Talk to you there.

ThE_JacO
03-27-2005, 03:05 PM
there is no doubt that HDN IS the hardest to approach of the batch.
the whole thing hinges around "making simple things hard but making hard things simple".

however if you persist there's one thing about HDN as a first SW to be said... it will not lull you into thinking 3D is some mistified science that you shouldn't investigate and is better left to the TDs alone, and it will not turn you into a button masher like most new people in the industry seem to be.
it exposes concepts and flow the way they really work with little or no need for twisted workarounds when you're after complexity (not to be mistaken with complications).

it is a fantastic piece of SW that, once you know it well, provides you with a comfortable position of being very desirable for the market, good HDN operators are incredibly sought after.

it's a steep learning curve for sure, and to get started requires more determination then other apps, but it's also enormously rewarding and after you gain momentum your knowledge will have much more solid foundations then that you can get starting with something else.

as far as I'm concerned I can only say I wish I started using it a lot sooner then I did.

dantea
03-27-2005, 03:56 PM
there is no doubt that HDN IS the hardest to approach of the batch.
the whole thing hinges around "making simple things hard but making hard things simple".


For example? In my mind, the "making simple things hard" part is that perhaps you need 1 or 2 extra steps to do the simplest of things. And in production, most things are "hard", not simple. The teeny extra overhead you pay for in the beginning, you reap tonnes of time saved further down the line when changes (always) are required.

ThE_JacO
03-27-2005, 04:33 PM
if you want a classic example of what most hobbists do that make people shy away from HDN you can take the classic organic modeling tasks.

despite all the efforst made by sideFX over the last 2 or 3 versions HDN can still be painful for simple pointpushing.
managing viewports alone, encapsulating elements in a Geo, using footprints, templates, visibility etc. makes hibryd display nowhere as easy to manage as it is in simplier apps.

the automation of building the SOP networks went a long way, but it's still in my experience not as easy to grasp and manage as modeling is in DAG based applications like maya or XSI.

as somebody who knows HDN well you probably don't remember (or have never experienced) how confusing it is to new users just to select objects, subcomponents etc.
the wrong button pushed somewhere in the process can make the most stubborn person loose many minutes every few operations before they figure out why the viewport will insist on only allowing navigation, or why your camera, once you tumble it in the camview a few times, will revert to a different position or present a render different from OGL.

the same can be said for many things like committing your changes etc.

there are many things I learnt to come to terms with and I now love, but I still think that many HDN powerusers don't realize how unconventional (which is by no means a bad thing) HDN's structure can be.

all of the above obviously makes my day when I can fish any operator inside my Geo object and change a group's input, retype a couple numbers in a copyop, and see everything cooking away with the changes, and I agree that in production (especially with effects or special shots, which is what we use HDN mostly for) this is invaluable.

on a different note and level, but still related: Zbrush, now used widely by non technical users, went through the same ordeal with new users and its interface at the beginning. Being unconventional can be great, but as somebody who's probably fresher then you in regards to HDN experience I can also assure you that it does take some serious commitment to exploit an app like HDN vs any of the other mainstream players, it's worth it, but it sure as hell takes time before you make the first breakthroughs and get comfortable.

dantea
03-27-2005, 06:12 PM
I would contend that any artist new to 3D will also go through the process of "screwing things up" and "confusion" with any 3D package. Perhaps the underlying problem is that the other 3D packages operate more similarly than Houdini as you mention. Is this a problem for users new to 3D learning Houdini?

Even in modelling, the networks are great time savers. You can change the topology upstream and sure, things screw up but then you find the SOP that needs its group changed and you just reselect the points. Then suddenly, you have saved tonnes of time of otherwise point pulling everything downstream just to achieve the same result.

The great thing about SOPs is that one can creatively explore different ideas (ie. network branches) and then easily combining the best features. That's what the whole creative process is about. David Rindner is total organic modelling guy that has been a Houdini convert which I suspect is because of precisely this reason.

ThE_JacO
03-27-2005, 07:50 PM
you don't need to sell HDN to me mate, I already bought it :)

I'm just seeing things from a different perspective.

I stand by my position though, to do some very simple things in HDN sometimes you have to take care of more then you would want to, it's a small price to pay for all the other advantages, but you still pay it.

this will be intimidating for some beginners (total beginners or just app switchers), some others will benefit from it.

edit:
btw Kamber don't misread my post, and by all means GO for HDN

DaJuice
03-27-2005, 11:34 PM
I think that's a pretty good description: "making simple things hard but making hard things simple". I think once people get comortable and familiar with a package, they tend to forget the frustrations and difficulties they had when first learning it. For me it definitly wasn't always smooth sailing, and I think the lacking or vague documentation (it's gotten better) was part of the problem. And I agree with you Jaco, there are many areas that have extra steps because of the production-oriented nature of the program. That power and flexibility does come at a cost (complexity).

Anyways kamebr, it's so true what they said about understanding 3d better with Houdini. Unlike some other programs, it doesn't try to conceal everything from you. I'd say learning Houdini is gonna be a bit more hardcore than other packages, but it's not rocket science either. As long as you are dedicated there are plenty of learning materials and video tutorials (not to mention the forums) to take advantage of. And unless you're just pursuing 3d as a casual hobby, I think it's a great choice for a first app.

el_diablo
03-28-2005, 02:47 PM
And of course as a part of Houdini community you have access to 'edward' which is SideFX sponsored advanced AI system at http://www.sidefx.com/forum/ ready to answer your most difficult questions with concrete and 'to the point' answers.

GTudela
03-29-2005, 10:09 AM
I think that Houdini has a really nice smooth and big exponential learning curve, itīs really fun to discover the "other way" to do things in the 3D market.

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