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arctor
05-18-2006, 03:55 PM
'06 is going to be a big year for Houdini...and it starts NOW :

Side Effects Software is pleased to announce the public beta of Houdini 8.1. This new version features an artist-friendly Auto Rig, Muscle System, Character Picker, and Pose Library, as well as enhancements to the Rigid Body and Wire dynamic solvers.CG artists from around the world can download the Houdini 8.1 public beta and run it for free as part of the Houdini Apprentice Program and learn about all the new features. In addition to the new software, we have posted a new tutorial video to demonstrate how the Auto Rig tool works and a sample file in the Exchange that shows how the Muscle tool works.

We thank you in advance for your participation during this beta period and look forward to your feedback.

Robert Magee
Product Marketing Manager
Side Effects Software Inc.


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-Sai-
05-18-2006, 03:59 PM
hehe.. arctor
you are a minute late.. im kidding.

MOD..Please merge my Other thread to this one please.

Ls3D
05-18-2006, 04:40 PM
Gee that's great for some but for me it would be like learing to adjust the valves on a Ferrari that I can't drive (afford) anyway. What's the point unless you are looking to work at a Houdini shop.

Visual Effects | Complete Pipeline - $17,000 USD*

* Prices are in U.S. dollars and do not include annual upgrade plan and other options that may be available for each product. Prices may change without notice.

arctor
05-18-2006, 05:15 PM
there have been plenty of discussions about the relevance of software cost...it's not an issue...it's the person in the chair driving the software that is the most costly...
all I can say is that I learned Houdini on my own, then got a job using Houdini, and now I am more valuable than I was before...and I think more valuable than I would have been had I just continued using the software I was originally trained in, but that's just me...


if you're not interested in Houdini - that's cool...and frankly that just means less competition for me in the marketplace...

-Sai-
05-18-2006, 05:17 PM
also don't forget that you Don't need master for everyone.May be for a couple of TD .

Select Modeling | Lighting | Animation $1,299 USD*
Escape Character | Lighting $1,999 USD*

mstram
05-18-2006, 05:32 PM
Gee that's great for some but for me it would be like learing to adjust the valves on a Ferrari that I can't drive (afford) anyway. What's the point unless you are looking to work at a Houdini shop.

Visual Effects | Complete Pipeline - $17,000 USD*

* Prices are in U.S. dollars and do not include annual upgrade plan and other options that may be available for each product. Prices may change without notice.

The (free) Houdini Learning edition has a very unobtrusive watermark, and the unlike the Maya PLE, the 3d window is not massacred with giant WaterMarks... (guess they're afraid of screen captures? :))

It will render up to 640x480, and other than that I believe that most(all) features work.

That all said, I've found the biggest problem with Houdini, as a hobbist is the crummy documentation. It's almost like you're expected to know how everything works before you read the docs.

That auto-rig sounds interesting, so maybe I'll take another look :)

Mike

tauf
05-18-2006, 08:15 PM
That all said, I've found the biggest problem with Houdini, as a hobbist is the crummy documentation. It's almost like you're expected to know how everything works before you read the docs.

The documentation has been much improved since it's pre-6 pdf days. It's easier to search and find what you need. Houdini documentation is in some ways similar to a reference manual of programming in that you have each node's (OPs) parameters documented with it's data types, so those people with programming experience (or perhaps just a technical / programming mindset) of passing variables and data types between nodes (OPs, Objects, etc.) (similar to functions or classes) will likely find it more natural. Houdini is more like visual programming, whereas perhaps in another package you would actually have to start coding to achieve similar results.

Papa Lazarou
05-18-2006, 08:24 PM
How widespread is Houdini? Which studios are using it?

...and without meaning to start an app war, does it have any particular strengths over the more popular(and cheaper) packages.

-Vormav-
05-18-2006, 08:34 PM
Sweet! :D
I'll definitely be setting this up this weekend. Just as soon as I finish up my Houdini final... :bounce:


And yeah, Houdini's documentation is pretty good now. Their help system is by far the best I've used, since you can quickly and easily navigate to the help file for whatever operation/node you're working with in a single click - and a lot of the help pages come loaded with sample files that can quickly be loaded into a second Houdini window, or directly into your current file. It's a great system, and the few gaps that are left are easily filled with odforce and the sidefx forums.

...and without meaning to start an app war, does it have any particular strengths over the more popular(and cheaper) packages.
So many advantages I couldn't possibly cover them all in one post... But basically, entirely node-based, entirely procedural. If you're not doing anything that would benefit from proceduralism, then there's not much point (apart from simply having a great pipeline). But otherwise, nothing else compares.

arctor
05-18-2006, 09:27 PM
How widespread is Houdini? Which studios are using it?

here are a couple of lists:
http://www.odforce.net/wiki/index.php/CompaniesUsingHoudini
http://www.odforce.net/wiki/index.php/ProductionsUsingHoudini

skello
05-18-2006, 11:15 PM
mmm! muscle system eh!! downloading now :buttrock:

ambient-whisper
05-19-2006, 02:40 AM
also don't forget that you Don't need master for everyone.May be for a couple of TD .

Select Modeling | Lighting | Animation $1,299 USD*
Escape Character | Lighting $1,999 USD*


though with select you dont have chops. so no fancy animation unfortunately.:/
however it is what im mostly using as far as houdini goes, and it works out great.
and ill side with arctor, it sure gives you an advantage in the marketplace when you can use more than just one application ;)

jiversen
05-19-2006, 05:45 AM
though with select you dont have chops. so no fancy animation unfortunately.:/


When he says fancy, he means advanced post-processing and generation of raw channel data / animation. These are features that no other software has save for some of their more simple filtering and blending capabilities. Full keyframed animation and expression-based animation is completely supported - i.e. the type of animation found in other animation software such as Maya, XSI and Lightwave.

icedeyes
05-19-2006, 11:14 AM
I really love houdini so i will dl this right away... It really has the best learning edition ever... I would like to try and get more familar (at least) using houdini but my work just takes up just about all of my time right now (and the bills wont let me quit it)...

Arctor: At CORE, are you using a pure Houdini pipeline? I think i read you used maya as well... Is there any place in the market for houdini modellers or texture artists or is the houdini market just used for vfx work? Is the Houdini market moving (i mean new talents, jobs etc.)?

As a sidenote, i really think the documentation lacks in certain places... And some of the tutorials should be updated...

arctor
05-19-2006, 02:00 PM
Arctor: At CORE, are you using a pure Houdini pipeline? I think i read you used maya as well... Is there any place in the market for houdini modellers or texture artists or is the houdini market just used for vfx work? Is the Houdini market moving (i mean new talents, jobs etc.)?

As a sidenote, i really think the documentation lacks in certain places... And some of the tutorials should be updated...
C.O.R.E. uses Houdini primarily and other stuff when required (ususally modeling)...
I would say that while there isn't really a market for Houdini modelers specifically - being able/skilled in modeling in Houdini would be a plus....

as for the Houdini market...I'd say is growing all the time, in the last couple of years I've heard of more and more places using Houdini...but whether that translates dirrectly into more jobs is anyone's guess...


as for the documentation...SESI has always known this is an area for much needed improvement...the new help system is a start and I know they are working hard to get more out...

westiemad
05-19-2006, 09:21 PM
looks great to me, and off I go to download it.

arctor
05-19-2006, 09:43 PM
Andrew > liked you bi-plane crash...check out Houdini'd DOPs....

westiemad
05-19-2006, 10:11 PM
Thanks Robert!

I'm all over houdini, I love it. Where I work we may be using houdini for some of the upcomming projects, I think a couple of your guys (the one who wrote dops and another guy) are coming to london to meet with one of the main men there, hopefully I'll be there at the meeting/display or whatever. We have a guy from NY Mill with us who is a Houdini master (no pun intended :P ), opened my eyes to some features already and I'm yet to have a proper sit down with him.

AnDy

Nichod
05-19-2006, 10:38 PM
Can anyone give a REAL breakdown of the differences between the Houdini choices?

arctor
05-19-2006, 10:41 PM
Thanks Robert!
I'm all over houdini, I love it. Where I work we may be using houdini for some of the upcomming projects, I think a couple of your guys (the one who wrote dops and another guy) are coming to london to meet with one of the main men there, hopefully I'll be there at the meeting/display or whatever. We have a guy from NY Mill with us who is a Houdini master (no pun intended :P ), opened my eyes to some features already and I'm yet to have a proper sit down with him.
AnDy

heh...nice catch on the name :)

"...a couple of your guys..." not sure who you mean...but it's cool to see Houdini possibly coming to the mill...

Cronholio
05-19-2006, 11:36 PM
Can anyone give a REAL breakdown of the differences between the Houdini choices?

You can download it and get all the different licenses and see for yourself, but here's the deal in a nutshell (Keep in mind you can open any file in any version of Houdini and everything will work)...

Select - You get modeling tools (SOPs), Object Animation, Shaders, VOPs (Expression language operators so you can build shaders and modeling tools) and you get Mantra Rendering.

Escape - Everything you get in Select plus Character Animation tools and Motion and Audio tools.

Esacape+ - Everything in Escape plus third party rendering solutions (RMan and Mental Ray, etc)

Halo - VEX compositing tools builder and compositing tools only.

Master - Everything above plus particles and dynamics.

westiemad
05-20-2006, 11:25 AM
heh...nice catch on the name :)

"...a couple of your guys..." not sure who you mean...but it's cool to see Houdini possibly coming to the mill...

I assume they are Sidefx guys, I can't remember their names tho :(

boomji
05-20-2006, 02:25 PM
hi,
Cronholio: you said
""Master - Everything above plus particles and dynamics""
comsidering that for VFX work we tend to use particles,dynamics in one way or another...
i HAVE to buy master and that is just not feasible :( .

coincidentally before this thread poped up just 3 days back, out of the blue i wanted to jump into this app, got all pumped about the apprentice 8.1 (the docs are pretty good).
Then i had a look at the price tag,Then i had a look at studios using the app from from a few posts above...that just rained on my parade :( .

How do i justify to my boss that this is worth 3-4 seats of max and that there are things in houdini that cant be scripted max/maya (not considering the down time of efficiently using the app and cost of training employees ) .

i hope like maya, the prices drop considerably.Being a vfx guy i would have loved to have this tool integrate in our work.


b

RFX
05-20-2006, 03:10 PM
Select and Escape also come with the Particle SOP and VOPs, and belive me, you can still pull off some great stuff using those, POPs is used for more complicated particle animations, and as for DOPs, that's Master only.

Nichod
05-20-2006, 04:08 PM
Select and Escape also come with the Particle SOP and VOPs, and belive me, you can still pull off some great stuff using those, POPs is used for more complicated particle animations, and as for DOPs, that's Master only.

And can someone explain that for us non-houdini people.

mstram
05-20-2006, 04:54 PM
Side Effects Software is pleased to announce the public beta of Houdini 8.1. This new version features an artist-friendly Auto Rig

Has anyone here gotten the auto rig to work?

What is the "capture-rig" used for?

Do you still have to go and add a "capture geometry" item from the TAB menu, and attach it as usual to the geometry + rig ?

I've spent about 5 hrs trying to get it to work, and have a thread on the Houdini forum, but still haven't got it to work.

Mike

-Vormav-
05-20-2006, 06:16 PM
How do i justify to my boss that this is worth 3-4 seats of max and that there are things in houdini that cant be scripted max/maya (not considering the down time of efficiently using the app and cost of training employees ) .
You also get unlimited Mantra rendering licenses with the purchase of Houdini Master - and Mantra is pretty awesome, so that might help. ;)

And can someone explain that for us non-houdini people.
The Particle SOP is kind of like a simplified particle setup. It has all of the basic forces (external forces, wind, turbulence) and collisions, which in combination with other SOPs and attractors is enough for most basic effects. If you have POPs, you do get a pretty ridiculously greater amount of control over particles..but like Ratman said, the particle SOP can still do a lot. And for that matter, you can even build your own particle systems entirely with SOPs without ever touching the particle sops, if you know what you're doing.
VOPs are visual VEX operators; think of it as a way of visually programming your own custom operators for SOPs and whatever other contexts you have access to. So, it's kind of a powerful feature to have available.

Cronholio
05-20-2006, 06:25 PM
And can someone explain that for us non-houdini people.

There's basicly two ways to create particles in Houdini; you can do it in the POP context or you can use the Particle SOP in the SOP context.

The POP context only is accessible in Houdini Master. It's Houdini's advanced particle system editor which has all sorts of nifty tools for creating event based particle animations and some dynamics.

In the SOP context you have the Particle SOP, which is available in every version of Houdini including Select I believe. The Particle SOP should allow you to do anything you can do with any other piece of software, and you can use the other SOPs and expressions or custom VOP SOPs to mimic much of the functionality you'd find in the POP context. A VOP SOP is a custom modeling operator you create with Houdini's expression language either by hand coding or by piecing it together visually in the VOP context. Until fairly recently the Particle SOP was Houdini's particle system, and to this day it still gets a lot of use. Much of Houdini's reputation as a particle animation tool for effects is directly attributed to the Particle SOP. On the surface it's a very simple looking operator, but coupled with clever use of Houdini's modeling tools and VEX (Houdini's expression language) it's really quite powerful.

It does require a lot more work to achieve the same results with the Particle SOP that you can piece together in minutes with POPs, though.

Cronholio
05-20-2006, 06:40 PM
You also get unlimited Mantra rendering licenses with the purchase of Houdini Master - and Mantra is pretty awesome, so that might help.

AFAIK you get 5 distributed Mantra Licenses and and 2 Master Licenses for 17,000 but I could be wrong. I believe that's what I was quoted last year. Just so you know you can open as many Houdini sessions as you want on a single computer without using extra licenses. I routinely have 3 open, have had as many as 7 or 8 open.

Also, any file or asset you create can be opened in any version of Houdini and everything will work even if you are opening say a particle system or a physics simulation in Select. You won't be able to edit the networks for these simulations, but you will be able to use them. If your particle system or dynamics sim is a Houdini Digital Asset (that is it's bundled up into a new Operator that Houdini can load and users can use as if it were a standard tool in Houdini) and you export all the required parameters to the top level, then users on other versions of Houdini can manipulate those assets almost as if they were using Houdini Master themselves. So you could have a team of effects artists, give one or two of them Master and have them build tools, give the other artists on the team Select or Escape and have them run the shots using the tools the Effects TDs create in Master. You'll save a ton of money, probably even more than having outfitted your department with Max or Maya Unlimited and associated plugins.

arctor
05-20-2006, 07:07 PM
"Then i had a look at the price tag,Then i had a look at studios using the app from from a few posts above...that just rained on my parade :( .

How do i justify to my boss that this is worth 3-4 seats of max and that there are things in houdini that cant be scripted max/maya (not considering the down time of efficiently using the app and cost of training employees ) . "'

not sure I understand this....what about the studios using Houdini the rained on your parade?



as for scripting...what in Houdini can't be scripted? in most cases you don't need to script anyway :)

ambient-whisper
05-20-2006, 07:14 PM
as for scripting...what in Houdini can't be scripted? in most cases you don't need to script anyway :)

yeah thats the nice thing about houdini. typing in expressions into whatever input you want. or using the copy sop in some crazy ways, or creating OTLs, or using any of the math nodes in chops really defeats the need for simpler scripting like you would need in maya for example.

mstram
05-20-2006, 07:41 PM
"Then i had a look at the price tag,Then i had a look at studios using the app from from a few posts above...that just rained on my parade :( .

How do i justify to my boss that this is worth 3-4 seats of max and that there are things in houdini that cant be scripted max/maya (not considering the down time of efficiently using the app and cost of training employees ) . "'

not sure I understand this....what about the studios using Houdini the rained on your parade?



as for scripting...what in Houdini can't be scripted? in most cases you don't need to script anyway :)

I'll guess that the studio's listed were "big" = $$$$$ , and as for the scripting, it looks like he meant "what is in Houdini that can't be scripted in Max or Maya"

How 'bout my autorig questions ? :)

Mike

Nichod
05-20-2006, 10:34 PM
Thanks for the particle explanation. Seems like Houdini is starting to bust out of its box and more into the marketplace. Anyone know what versions will have the new muscle simulation, autorig, etc. ?

Nichod
05-20-2006, 10:39 PM
Another nice advantage of Houdini is the number of OS choices you have:


Windows XP Debian 64-bit Linux (sid)* Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Debian Linux (sid)* Ubuntu Linux 5.10* Red Hat Linux Fedora Core 4* Red Hat Linux 9 Red Hat Linux Fedora Core 2 Debian Linux 3.1 (sarge) SuSE Linux 9.3* Irix* Solaris*

Though I don't see an OSX.

-Vormav-
05-20-2006, 11:16 PM
AFAIK you get 5 distributed Mantra Licenses and and 2 Master Licenses for 17,000 but I could be wrong. I believe that's what I was quoted last year. Just so you know you can open as many Houdini sessions as you want on a single computer without using extra licenses. I routinely have 3 open, have had as many as 7 or 8 open.
Eh, I could be wrong. I've never actually been in a position to purchase Houdini myself. Just quoting what I've seen on odforce a few times. ;)
Of course, distributed rendering and standard rendering licenses might be considered separately.

Spin99
05-21-2006, 02:51 AM
Heh it's a bit like CG maths??

The tut seems amazing though, and so does the OpenGL.
It takes you right through animation using particles ;)
The water mark is unobtrusive, but your renders are limited to 640x480.
Now if only I was on my machine..

It's all ok if you're a prospective customer(?) but it's really big league software lol.

neuromancer1978
05-21-2006, 03:33 AM
LOL! I just downloaded it. I feel like I did when I got Maya, I am staring at the screen going - WTF do I do? Also my computer does not like it AT ALL! I use XP which may be half the problem. But using a non-commercial beta of Houdini Master.... I am not complaining! Ah well. At least "if" I get a new computer and some Linux distro... I got something to look forward to test.

RFX
05-21-2006, 04:15 AM
Houdini doesn't run so bad under WinXP, but under Linux it runs extremely good, because of the supperior ram management it runs much faster, and caches better. Still need to check how it runs with my new system under linux, but in WinXP it runs good.

-Sai-
05-21-2006, 05:18 AM
LOL! I just downloaded it. I feel like I did when I got Maya, I am staring at the screen going - WTF do I do? Also my computer does not like it AT ALL! I use XP which may be half the problem. But using a non-commercial beta of Houdini Master.... I am not complaining! Ah well. At least "if" I get a new computer and some Linux distro... I got something to look forward to test.


there are a few thing you can do to improve you viewport interactivity.

Press D on viewport <Display Setting> .
under <Misc> tabturn off specular .
<Optimization> <culling> turn on Remove Backfaces.
<Wireframe> tab turn off Smooth Lines .
In <viewport> tab reduce Level Of Detail to .1

You will also want to turn off Draw Lines smoothly in Main Menu >Setting >Preferences> under General User Interface.While you are at , you might also want to switch to 80's style Eular Tumbling in 3D viewports.

kemijo
05-21-2006, 01:40 PM
While you are at , you might also want to switch to 80's style Eular Tumbling in 3D viewports.
If you're a Maya user, this is a very good idea as it'll be what you're used to. However my co-workers that have been using Houdini for many years often come to my machine to do something and end up screaming cuz they aren't used to that setting. Then again, they don't trust any of the "post version 5" Houdini features (manipulators/operations in the viewport, takes, etc). Buncha dinosaurs!

mstram
05-21-2006, 02:33 PM
there are a few thing you can do to improve you viewport interactivity.

Press D on viewport <Display Setting> .
under <Misc> tabturn off specular .
<Optimization> <culling> turn on Remove Backfaces.
<Wireframe> tab turn off Smooth Lines .
In <viewport> tab reduce Level Of Detail to .1

You will also want to turn off Draw Lines smoothly in Main Menu >Setting >Preferences> under General User Interface.While you are at , you might also want to switch to 80's style Eular Tumbling in 3D viewports.

I tried applying all those settings.

I'm still getting an effect of "disapearing mesh", i.e. parts of the geometry of my character are displaying with "giant holes' (this is in smooth shaded mode).

Mike

arctor
05-21-2006, 05:39 PM
Houdini isn't very friendly to video cards that have poor openGL...I have a FireGL 8800 and it's not as good as the gforce2 that I had years ago....

mstram > I posted a reply to your question over at the SESI forums...I haven't had much time to use the auto-rig in the past couple of weeks but I hope it helps...I might have more time on monday to get you a better answer and maybe a step by step mini-tutorial on how to do the proxy creation and the capture process...at least something untill the next video tuts from SESI

-Sai-
05-21-2006, 06:00 PM
I tried applying all those settings.

I'm still getting an effect of "disapearing mesh", i.e. parts of the geometry of my character are displaying with "giant holes' (this is in smooth shaded mode).

Mike


my wild guess is you have a Near/Far Clipping Planes values somewhat out of the range.
It's in display setting(press d) > Optimization >Culling >.I usually set it to 0.1 and 10000.

Jozvex
05-21-2006, 11:01 PM
Aww, no 64-bit version for Windows! Damn I need to get linux going again.

stephenrebeiro
05-22-2006, 05:06 AM
"Then i had a look at the price tag,Then i had a look at studios using the app from from a few posts above...that just rained on my parade :( .

How do i justify to my boss that this is worth 3-4 seats of max and that there are things in houdini that cant be scripted max/maya (not considering the down time of efficiently using the app and cost of training employees ) . "'

not sure I understand this....what about the studios using Houdini the rained on your parade?





sorry,i should have explained better.
there's no one using houdini where i'm at (Bombay INDIA).
there were like 2 or 3 odd entries in the asian region.

the general rebuttal i'll get is "if houdini IS so good wh isent anyone here using it"
It's a little difficult convincing them that "That in itself is a good reason" ;)

b

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