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Robert Magee
10-28-2008, 09:50 PM
In reaction to the news that Autodesk intends to acquire Softimage from Avid, we have posted a "From the President" article that outlines Side Effects commitment to the community and highlights our spirit of innovation and world-class support. We also have announced a contest which encourages artists to try out apprentice and then send us their feedback. Anyone who sends their ideas and an image showing some work-in-progress, will be entered in a draw to win a copy of Houdini Master.

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1401&Itemid=316

Almir
10-28-2008, 10:09 PM
I canít help but think about our own past innovations including a product called ICE (Interactive Compositing Environment) which we released in 1992, many years before XSI users first started building networks with nodes.
cool.
Houdini is so freaking complicated though...
~sion

instinct-vfx
10-28-2008, 10:30 PM
That reads a bit weird to be honest. Making it sound as Autodesk buying XSI will stop any kind of innovation and development, while softimage was a "thankworthy" contender ? And in the same article pointing out FBX support wich is an autodesk format since quite a while.

I find it a tad weird...but might be just me...

Regards,
Thorsten

-Sai-
10-28-2008, 10:30 PM
haha... this is so awesome!! looking forward to the future of side effects.

-Sai-
10-28-2008, 10:37 PM
That reads a bit weird to be honest. Making it sound as Autodesk buying XSI will stop any kind of innovation and development, while softimage was a "thankworthy" contender ? And in the same article pointing out FBX support wich is an autodesk format since quite a while.

I find it a tad weird...but might be just me...

Regards,
Thorsten

ok list me a major innovative feature coming from maya and max under autodesk umbrella.
If I recalled correctly , maya recently added a digital asset control which houdini has it for quite a while now.I am not here to bash maya .In fact I used maya every day for past 4 years and it's quite disappointing specailly working in a smaller shop.one word. Maya software renderer. haven't updated since version 1????

instinct-vfx
10-28-2008, 11:04 PM
Well if it wasnt updated since v1 than that's surely not AD's fault is it ?

And one innovation ? Kim seems to think FBX is one...and FBX has grown MAJORLY under AD.

I didnt post that to start an appwar ('houdini has it since years') but just to point out that it sounds weird to me to praise FBX while bashing AD. Houdini is great. But the aquisition of Softimage doesnt mean innovation has to stop. Mudbox 2k9 looked like a nice upgrade to me for example...And wasnt ncloth under AD already ? no idea, am not a maya user.

Didnt mean to bash Houdini or praise AD. I was referring to this "open letter" and that i personally find it weird sounding.

Regards,
Thorsten

spacefrog
10-28-2008, 11:12 PM
to be honest - considering all the power ADESK has - FBX is not really THAT advanced ...
it's able to bring geometry, some skin weighting ( but not bones/rigs ) across eg Max/Maya
but progress in FBX dev is rather slow, the features work now for already a few years, of course it advances slow, but....
And let not forget:
Basework for FBX exchange was done by Kaydara for Filmbox I/O and after that Kaydara was bought by ADESK....

Softimage on the other hand developed Crosswalks to bring Maya/Max things to XSI, with a similar success... and thinking about the small fincancial powers of Softimage compared to ADESK's who do you thing is the winner ?

instinct-vfx
10-28-2008, 11:21 PM
Having had to exchange data between XSI and max recently : Autodesk. crosswalks lacks an INCREDIBLE amount of features...and their lack are complete showstoppers (to give on example cameras are not really supported at all, vertex normals are ignored (well xsi ignores them alltogether, so no wonder)). In addition the fbx implementation in xsi is based on fbx2006 and lacks a lot besides crashing a lot. When the sdk is freely available and crosswalk not beeing an option yet that's just weak.

And considering the Power ADesk has ? I couldnt care less how much money or developers a company has to be honest. I pay for a Software to use, not for the company to safe on developers....

Oh, and as a sidenote...once again...i wasnt referring to SideFX, Softimage or ADesk in my first post...i was referring to THIS LETTER and that i find it strange. Not praising FBX (as it is a nice effort), but praising FBX while BASHING Autodesk in an indirect manner.

Regards,
Thorsten

kees
10-28-2008, 11:52 PM
Thorsten,

It is a letter from SideFX to their customers telling them they are still here and doing well and maybe looking back a bit at Houdini's past innovations relative to Softimage.

It is also a bit of an open invitation to those who don't use Houdini, to try it out and maybe use .FBX to exchange some data between their existing software.

What is the big deal? it reads pretty normal to me.

And the daily build thing of Houdini is just super frigging awesome by itself, so they would be stupid not to point out that in any press release they do. :)

Now if only they would promise not to be bought by Autodesk, I'd be playing with Houdini this weekend!

instinct-vfx
10-29-2008, 12:02 AM
Well there is no big deal actually hehehe. It was posted as news. And it looks to a bit weird to me that's all. I just dont get the "big deal" about AD buying XSI. I mean...Microsoft has bought XSI before AVID has bought them...and now Autodesk is the end of the world ? :P

Alias has bought Kaydara and was bought by Autodesk. 3d Max was initially Yost, then Kinetix (wich was Autodesk at that time!), then discreet and now Autodesk.

Adobe has bought Macromedia and shitloads of others. It's part of the industry and none of the big players is any better then any other. If ppl wanna complain then they should complain at the Softimage guys that SOLD...if it wasnt for them selling AD wouldnt have been able to buy anything, no ?

Again. It isnt a big deal for me. I was just pointing out that i found it sounding weird. Prolly cause it's rather a nice ad and nothing more :P

Regards,
Thorsten

Robert Magee
10-29-2008, 12:16 AM
Making it sound as Autodesk buying XSI will stop any kind of innovation and development, while softimage was a "thankworthy" contender ? And in the same article pointing out FBX support wich is an autodesk format since quite a while.

It is certainly not Kim's intention to question Autodesk's intentions. As you say we are Autodesk partners via FBX and look forward to watching Max, Maya, and XSI grow within the new organization. Kim was mainly being nostalgac about the changing past. As companies like Wavefront, Alias, Kaydara and now Softimage change owners and become rebranded under a new banner, it just feels like the end of an era. Maybe some of us have just been around for such a long time that it feels a little wierd to watch the business side of things change the nature of the CG community. You are right to point out that it is normal and to be expected but it still feels like an part of our history worth marking.

Spin99
10-29-2008, 12:19 AM
Lol. So everybody start using Blender or else you run the risk of
your favourite product being purchased by Autodesk!
It's a new phobia by the looks of it..

But yeh really nice will try see if I can take up on the New Era challenge.
It's just that you probably really have to go digital tutors shopping to use Houdini?
And even then, you'll need some serious guesswork?
It really rocks though, specially looking at things like the built in muscle system,
how cool is that :)

You know if I really wanted to stop learning XSI I'd probably go LightWave first.
But am not scared of the Autodesk logo just yet, except there's already no Foundation and I bet they're killing the mod tool :(

AllegroTucker
10-29-2008, 12:36 AM
It's just that you probably really have to go digital tutors shopping to use Houdini?

Not at all! Sure Digital Tutors now offer several training products, but the fact is: Houdini training has increased drastically the past year! It's easier than ever to get into Houdini.

If you *are* interested in paying for training, there's Digital Tutors and also CardanFX, CMIVFX, and 3DBuzz. But if you don't want to invest financially to learn there's also lots of great free information out there. 3DBuzz has *hours* of free tutorials available on their site, and so do Side Effects. Aside from tutorials, it's always easy to get your questions answered on the Side Effects forums as well.

UrbanFuturistic
10-29-2008, 12:43 AM
When you download apprentice you get an e-mail with links to a load of free tutorials to get you started including four free ones from, yes, Digital Tutors (http://www.digitaltutors.com/store/home.php?cat=84), several here (http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=129&Itemid=241), over 30 here (http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=14&Itemid=132) and some 3DBuzz ones here (http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_home.php).

AndrewRaZ
10-29-2008, 12:51 AM
ok list me a major innovative feature coming from maya and max under autodesk umbrella.

Well for starters, how about the viewcube!

Ballo
10-29-2008, 12:52 AM
ok list me a major innovative feature coming from maya and max under autodesk umbrella

Buy softimage XSI. :rolleyes:

ThE_JacO
10-29-2008, 01:00 AM
While I do think that the message ha, obviously, a double edge to it in how it reminisces and also uses the opportunity to say "hello, we're here and still independent and we'd like you to give our software a chance", I appreciated the post and I think a good part of it is genuine.

I'd file it in the same folder of Paul's blog (softimageinsider), some SI employees posts that made it to lists, and some SI managers who made calls to long-standing customers. It has the obvious undercurrent of personal (company) interest, but it also speaks with candor of what some people who've been around for a long time think of this.
I don't have to agree with all of it, and I think it implies a little bit more doom&gloom than needed, but it's not in-your-face aggressive or blatantly egocentric like Lux' podcasts.

It's fairly open and unadorned communication, and Kim and sidefx just got a few cookie points in my book for it, even if it naturally pushes their agenda a bit.

iatriki
10-29-2008, 01:20 AM
that image of the little houdini fighting the 3 headed monster(autodesk) is hilarious...kindergarden propaganda

xsitar
10-29-2008, 01:53 AM
Anyone else feel this pose is a little forced? :rolleyes:

http://www.sidefx.com/images/stories/blogs/from_the_president/new_era/kim_davidson.jpg

-Sai-
10-29-2008, 02:21 AM
Anyone else feel this pose is a little forced? :rolleyes:



wow. very professional.:rolleyes:

aesnakes
10-29-2008, 02:44 AM
The pic at the top seems to be Max, Maya and XSI trying to battle Houdini haha,

I am a Maya user, used to be a Max user, and want to be a Houdini user. I agree it is a BIG program, I hear they need to update their internal compositor a bit but fact is they have been the pioneers of a lot of advancements in 3D. I have used and am comfortable finding my way around its just the making materials and the little bit of coding I have to wrap my head around but what Ive seen inside Houdini I really like.

My first impressions of this letter were good ones, I feel they just want to let their users know that they are not turning their backs on them and selling out anytime soon. I'm glad to hear it and I will continue trying to get used to Houdini.

Oh and yes the pose in the pic could have been a bit more relaxed lol

Wirebird
10-29-2008, 02:55 AM
Side Effects will be bought by Autodesk also. And Luxology. And Newtek. And Apple. And Microsoft. After that, Autodesk will self implode and reincarnate into one single nifty little postcardware app called ThreeDee. This will be the end of days for all the lovers of Powerpoint.

Grgeon
10-29-2008, 03:35 AM
Very cool! I will give houdini another go next month and enter the raffle.

Thanks SESI!

-GC

DuttyFoot
10-29-2008, 04:16 AM
i actually downloaded houdini 3 days ago to give it a try, and i like it so far. easy to navigate, and i like the UI. it comes with tons of tutorials to get started.

aesnakes
10-29-2008, 04:30 AM
I bought the tuts from CMIVFX the Houdini Fundamentals and Houdini procedural modeling and they are amazing. The other ones I found helpful were from 3D buzz, the bridge asset and tornado were both great.

http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_video.php?v=666
www.cmivfx.com

Rob

Hassaan
10-29-2008, 04:33 AM
cool.
Houdini is so freaking complicated though...
~sion

and so freaking dear!

R10k
10-29-2008, 04:40 AM
Houdini, great. People behind Houdini, great. Price for Houdini, not so great.

But, you get what you pay for, I guess.


Anyone else feel this pose is a little forced?

Not at all. His head isn't actually resting on his hand... that's his 'Get ready for a knuckle sandwich Autodesk." pose.

DuttyFoot
10-29-2008, 04:51 AM
yeah i checked the price when i downloaded it, i had no clue the master version cost that much. the escape version is about the same as maya complete, but it dosent come with particles or rigid body dynamics.

sciics
10-29-2008, 05:10 AM
Sidefx have come down their prices from far high. well from the last time i had checked. making the product more competitive as "others" & Ad products.

And as someone mentioned about Mod Tool being Axxed. i recommend reading the interviews and press release. ;)

Mod is here to Stay and so is XSI & FR.

sacslacker
10-29-2008, 07:13 AM
I like the post but here's my perspective (as insignificant as it may be). I Bought Alias Maya to move from another (purposely unnamed software) package. Maya gets bought byAD and previous experience with AD makes me unhappy. After a year or two I get the opportunity to move from AD Maya to Softimage XSI. Blammo, AD buys XSI... Holy shit you gotta be kidding me. Well, I still love XSI. Take another risk on Houdini? It'd have to be a super good deal since I've never used it professionally. There is no question that it's a great package with a great, independant company behind it. I've purchased Houdini HD and do like using it but I have to say, throwing down another 8k isn't going to happen. Unless there is a great deal, and I mean great, I'm going to have to stick it out with AD XSI and hold my nose once a year when I pay more for maintenance than I ever did with Softimage.

Gawdamn

boomji
10-29-2008, 08:17 AM
Anyone else feel this pose is a little forced? :rolleyes:

http://www.sidefx.com/images/stories/blogs/from_the_president/new_era/kim_davidson.jpg


yeah.They must have got kim to pose at gunpoint :)
Guessing he's not used to doing press so ^cough^ AUTO-matically.
Good to know sidefx guys are still a private team.
I wish them a great new year and lot more sales.


b

digitallysane
10-29-2008, 08:24 AM
And one innovation ? Kim seems to think FBX is one...
If you actually read the article you'll see that FBX is mentioned in the context of Houdini's ability to communicate with other software and be part of a multi-software pipeline. There no praising or bashing of FBX, nor any mention of it or its implementation in Houdini as being an innovation or something.
QUote from the article:
Equally important is how well Houdini works with other software, with support for the FBX interchange format and integrated Python scripting

Dragos

dnashj33
10-29-2008, 09:39 AM
i actually downloaded houdini 3 days ago to give it a try, and i like it so far. easy to navigate, and i like the UI. it comes with tons of tutorials to get started.As a Max user, I have to say that UI has to be the most elegant in the biz. It really makes Maya's UI look toy-like in comparison. Modo comes in a close 2nd, with a really clean, and modern look.

Apprentice aside...that price for Master is scary! $3k/yr upgrade?!
I guess it's like flame systems and Inferno's...targeted solely for the mid to larger studios who can afford it

cresshead
10-29-2008, 10:50 AM
ok list me a major innovative feature coming from maya and max under autodesk umbrella.


take alook at the feature list per release starting around max 3 or 1999...there's quite a few if you REALLY want to look.

ThE_JacO
10-29-2008, 11:35 AM
take alook at the feature list per release starting around max 3 or 1999...there's quite a few if you REALLY want to look.
Max has -always- been AD anyway.
3ds for dos was written by the yost group, with ui specs to make acad users feel at home, and published by AD.
MAX, the nt port of 3ds, was financed and published by kinetix, which has -always- been the media division of autodesk.
After autodesk bought discreet, since discreet had a stronger brand and a more loyal userbase than their own home brand, they decided to merge kinetix into discreet and make discreet, with all its products, their new media division.

So, at any given point in time, max was sponsored, owned and published by AD. And after 2 even the yost group got out of the picture and the team was restructured internally.

So could people, please, stop saying how max changed since AD, a company that always owned it in first place, got it?
Talk about Maya if you want and if you have a faintest clue, that changed hands a few times. Max didn't, so if you feel like posting it changed hands at some point, have a cup of STFU and think it over for a couple minutes first :)

P.S.
Not addressing you Cresshead, just quoting you for continuity :)

DuttyFoot
10-29-2008, 02:25 PM
Sidefx have come down their prices from far high. well from the last time i had checked. making the product more competitive as "others" & Ad products.

your'e right, back in the day houdini was in the double digits, so the price did come down a heck of a whole lot. i didnt realize it cost so much back in the 90's.

Phrenzy84
10-29-2008, 02:34 PM
I have seen a lot of post regarding the price of Houdini.

here is a little insight.

Houdini Escape:

Nodes & Assests
Modelling
Animation
Character
Lighting
Rendering
Compositing
Scripting

Price $1995

Houdini Master

All of the above including
Dynamics and Particles

Price $7995

Yes Master is for those with a few more bills in their pockets but it is more than reasonable.

But who can tell me that they wont benefit from Escape? You still have particles in it, albeit SOP particles, and if your wondering how good can Particle SOP's be then go watch Titanic, the whole film that used particles was SOP particles in Houdini.

So although we would love to have unlimited and buy Master, its not like you are getting a bum deal with Escape.

edit:// just seen DuttyFoot (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=13446) post.

Yes your right but also a lot of other packages were expensive. I think if i can remember Softimage at one time cost 40k? Can that be right? I remember it from an old 3dworld with the software pricing on the back. Either way, many companies have reduced their prices including SESI (along with including more with Houdini Escape).

djorzgul
10-29-2008, 02:56 PM
Just to point out something that can be useful, and it's about houdini pricing.
First, about escape, and master:
Besides things that are already mentioned, with both you get UNLIMITED mantra render tokens (for those who don't know, mantra is very powerful houdini's rendering engine), and that's in my opinion already more than enough to compete with all other packages on the market (considering the price)... except blender of course ;)

Next very-super important thing you should not forget is that you can get Houdini Apprentice HD version for 99$. It is completely the same as master, with three limitations (if one can call them that way):
1. it uses the same non-commercial file format as Houdini Apprentice and artists can share files between the two versions;
2. maximum resolution of 1920x1080;
3. it is meant to be used for personal work only.

so... bottom line, you can get master for personal use for 99$... and you can't compare to anything out there, except blender again...

rock
10-29-2008, 03:06 PM
I think that in terms of UI, Houdini has the most modern interfaces of all the 3d apps, with Modo a close second, making XSI, Max, and Maya interaces feel like something from the 1980s. Houdini screen space design seems to have no wasted space and its interactive node-based content seems scalable. But all workflows in all 3d software have both strong and weak points.

digitallysane
10-29-2008, 03:14 PM
The annual fee doesn't only provide upgrades, but also a technical support service which is among the best in the industry.
Also, as already mentioned, you get unlimited render licenses which is amazingly convenient, especially for a small studio (like mine, for example).
It's also to be noted that the price of Houdini Master, while not small by any means, gives you access to a toolset which hasn't been yet matched in terms of breadth by other applications.
If you were to choose another package, you'd still have to get RealFlow, for example, to have fluids functionality, while in Master it is included.
In Houdini Master you get an equivalent of ICE functionality (VEX/VOPS: on a more diverse dataset besides points, like compositing and channel stuff), the equivalent of RealFlow SPH, the equivalent of Maya Fluids (levelsets) and a very powerful renderer with unlimited licenses. To me it's not bad at all.

Dragos

sciics
10-29-2008, 04:02 PM
But keep in mind that XSI has "also" a more artistic approach to it than Houdini. if it comes down to training new talent (future of the industry) then XSI ( or something relevant) would be a lot more easier.

and XSI with implementation of ICE can not just be a stepping stone to houdini but it will also get programmers from Non CG background to understand the Computer graphics workflow far faster and easier than houdini.

i am not stating XSI is this and that, but hell, i have seen some insane things by some technical artist at the softimage community site. those guys are insane.. and when a new "kid" joins the XSI pipe studio equipped with ICE (XSI 7 +) he/she/it would just need to fiddle with the functionalities that the TD had give to the nodes in that huge library of compounds which are accessible in the Menu or on that server where all the assets have been stored.. may be take one home for Christmas.

i just realized my post makes it at an OT.. gosh i crossed the line talking bout XSI so much.. but i guess point made.

digitallysane
10-29-2008, 04:08 PM
i am not stating XSI is this and that, but hell, i have seen some insane things by some technical artist at the softimage community site. those guys are insane.. and when a new "kid" joins the XSI pipe studio equipped with ICE (XSI 7 +) he/she/it would just need to fiddle with the functionalities that the TD had give to the nodes in that huge library of compounds which are accessible in the Menu or on that server where all the assets have been stored.. may be take one home for Christmas.
i just realized my post makes it at an OT.. gosh i crossed the line talking bout XSI so much.. but i guess point made.
Are you talking from your personal Houdini experience? Because everything you wrote applies to Houdini even more than to XSI, and did so for many years.

Dragos

Rhs_CG
10-29-2008, 04:09 PM
Next very-super important thing you should not forget is that you can get Houdini Apprentice HD version for 99$. It is completely the same as master, with three limitations (if one can call them that way):
1. it uses the same non-commercial file format as Houdini Apprentice and artists can share files between the two versions;
2. maximum resolution of 1920x1080;
3. it is meant to be used for personal work only.

so... bottom line, you can get master for personal use for 99$... and you can't compare to anything out there, except blender again...

Yeah the HD Apprentice version is eye-poppingly cool for learning and creating stuff (non-commercially, of course). The maximum resolution you put down is for animations only; still renders don't have a size restriction, only animations do. And the "restriction" is pretty high up there. 1080p rendering (with NO water-marks at render time) and access to Houdini Master is a sweet, sweet deal.

punchatz
10-29-2008, 04:32 PM
yeah.They must have got kim to pose at gunpoint :)

b
http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=134482&stc=1

hehehe

unchikun
10-29-2008, 04:40 PM
I'm glad that Softimage finally implemented ICE. Its what they should have done from day one of XSI development (Sumatra), but instead they have now been assimilated.

Its all good and well that Sidefx developed node based workflow in 1992 but today Softimage has used that concept and will take it to the next level. Sidefx should really look at ICE (in addition to other aspects of XSI) and address the shortcomings of houdini, mainly the overly complicated workflow.

I'm not too sure if Sidefx wants to maintain the "niche market" status, but with productions getting more and more intensive, we need to hit the ground running without the steep learning curve.

ICE is quite versatile at version 1.0 but at 2.0 or 3.0 when it gets more integrated into rigging, fluids, modeling etc it will be a powerhouse. Hopefully Sidefx won't be playing catchup. These days once you blink.... you lose ;)

sciics
10-29-2008, 05:21 PM
Are you talking from your personal Houdini experience? Because everything you wrote applies to Houdini even more than to XSI, and did so for many years.

Dragos

Well speaking for Masses. todays world of internet gives to ability to try and buy. dependiding the time of research, mentality, understandibility etc. (of course that varies from person to person) makes my point for the masses view more ideal im assuming. of cousre when you posting on CGtalk. you dont want to bullshit right ;)

nah. just a point of view from my experience thats it. not to offended ant houdini users out there. i love it but its hard for me to use it rather than XSi or 3ds Max/Modo.

lehmi
10-29-2008, 05:44 PM
I am going to save that and put it on my backup drive, and then quote it when they got bought by Autodesk.

They make it sound as if the guys who made XSI are all dead and the Software disappeared into nonexistence...

Anyway I am glad that there's still Competition going on. Pricing policy from Autodesk is barefaced (Europe). Although Houdini is expensive too. XSI Foundation was the best offer anyone ever had - and Autodesk made it disappear...

cheebamonkey
10-29-2008, 05:52 PM
As a Max user, I have to say that UI has to be the most elegant in the biz. It really makes Maya's UI look toy-like in comparison. Modo comes in a close 2nd, with a really clean, and modern look.

Apprentice aside...that price for Master is scary! $3k/yr upgrade?!
I guess it's like flame systems and Inferno's...targeted solely for the mid to larger studios who can afford it

as a max user I could see why you think the Houdini interface is nice. I think it's toyish myself. XSI and modo would be my top two... houdini below Maya and max completely last.. err wait, make Zbrush last.

cheebamonkey
10-29-2008, 05:53 PM
Anyway I am glad that there's still Competition going on. Pricing policy from Autodesk is barefaced (Europe). Although Houdini is expensive too. XSI Foundation was the best offer anyone ever had - and Autodesk made it disappear...

Correction... Softimage and Avid made XSI Foundation disappear.

lehmi
10-29-2008, 07:37 PM
Correction... Softimage and Avid made XSI Foundation disappear.

In the "Autodesk Signs Agreement with Avid Technology to Acquire Softimage (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=59&t=688242) " Thread someone quoted that XSI President who said that Autodesk was already talking to Avid / XSI about aquiring XSI way before siggraph. Maybe it was XSI / Avid who pulled the Version, but I doubt it. It doesn't fit into Autodesks product line having one product for starting at 400 Dollars and all the others at 4000+

What other reason for pulling the Foundation Version do you see then? It's the best way to hook starting artists / freelancers.

The Houdini Version for 100 is not allowed to be used commercially, you can get a student version of max for 100 bucks too (atleast since version 5) so Houdini Apprentice is nothing special (it's even worse because you are limited with all sorts of things (rendering resolution etc.)). Foundation was special... :(

kawallo
10-29-2008, 07:55 PM
The Houdini Version for 100 is not allowed to be used commercially, you can get a student version of max for 100 bucks too (atleast since version 5) so Houdini Apprentice is nothing special
But not everyone are students, so Houdini for 100 bucks IS special!:cool:

cresshead
10-29-2008, 08:12 PM
But not everyone are students, so Houdini for 100 bucks IS special!:cool:

exactly!

same thing with the motion builder 5 standard version which wasnt just for your spotty students but also for spotty grown ups too!

and foundation was tempting to 'take a punt' on...i did for xsi foundation 4 though for me it didn't convert me from 3dsmax/lightwave commercial to xsi at the time.

it'll beintersting to see what autodesk do with the xsi line up including the mod tool...interesting how soft could manage to keep xsi mod tool but had to let xsi foundation slip into the lake.

who really opened up the stop cocks on that boat to scuttle it we may never know.

did you see anyone on the grassy knoll?

Phrenzy84
10-29-2008, 08:55 PM
The Houdini Version for 100 is not allowed to be used commercially, you can get a student version of max for 100 bucks too (atleast since version 5) so Houdini Apprentice is nothing special (it's even worse because you are limited with all sorts of things (rendering resolution etc.)). Foundation was special... :(

Apprentice is special because its completely free. Where is the free version of Max again?

And you say you are limited to all sorts of things. Please quote the list because Rendering resolution is the main one. Others are a small watermark and a different file system so you cant use it in production, the restrictions in place are very non-intrusive.

Its Houdini Apprentice HD that is $100. Unlimited sized frame render, and a HD animation resolution restriction (i think its 1080).

Plus alot of people still think Houdini is expensive, yes it is for one person who wants to use Master and doesn't know how. Escape is more than enough for even the experienced user. Where as if i wanted to buy Max, thats a nice 3000 pounds (yes pounds).

kemijo
10-29-2008, 09:50 PM
It'll be interesting to see what the future holds for XSI users and I hope innovation doesn't stangate either. On the contrary I think some of the new features in Maya 2009 (while under the Autodesk umbrella) look really nice, as it seems to be balancing new features and "catch-up" of old features that other apps have had for some time. I personally think Maya has done better under Autodesk than before. I hope the same happens with XSI, as although I don't use it regularily I would love to see it gain more ground, it seems like a great app with a great workflow.

It's also interesting to see all the debating about Houdini from informed and misinformed people. I would wager that a large percentage of people have formed opinions without trying it either enough or at all. I am primarily a Maya TD, but I use Houdini when I can, I did some character modeling in XSI, and I started on Lightwave and Caligari. So I do have experience with my share of apps. I tried to learn Zbrush and so far that has been tough...but I bet Zbrush users would say "oh it's not that bad." I still haven't given up though, it's only a matter of time.

Houdini DOES have a steep learning curve...but I don't think it's any steeper than any other app. Learning CG is damn hard, just try explaning how it works to a layperson and I garuntee you their eyes will glaze over. In my opinion, the only thing harder than learning your first app...is learning your second. Especially if it works in a fundamentally different way from what you're used to. Houdini isn't so much harder, it's just very different, and it's hard to break the paradigms and habits that we're used to. But ask anyone that's spent any time with the software and they'll tell you that it's worth it, especially if you have any interest in the technical aspects of CG. It's not that hard to grasp, it's just hard to get used to. You don't need a degree (I don't have post secondary education at all), you don't need to understand math, you don't need to learn scripting. All of these things will help greatly of course in becoming a power user, but the same is just as true for Maya or XSI. If you like to rig, do FX, light and shade, or just tinker and build functioning setups and systems, and make them easy for newbies to use (i.e. no prior exp necessary to use a well design interface), you will love Houdini. The old standby excuse of "there's not enough learning material" used to be true, but not anymore. There's TONS. Go through it slowly. Go through it twice. Ask around. Its how you learned your first app. You may or may not love it, but if you aren't stuck in your habits, you will find it rewarding.

Apoclypse
10-29-2008, 10:17 PM
Well there is no big deal actually hehehe. It was posted as news. And it looks to a bit weird to me that's all. I just dont get the "big deal" about AD buying XSI. I mean...Microsoft has bought XSI before AVID has bought them...and now Autodesk is the end of the world ? :P

Alias has bought Kaydara and was bought by Autodesk. 3d Max was initially Yost, then Kinetix (wich was Autodesk at that time!), then discreet and now Autodesk.

Adobe has bought Macromedia and shitloads of others. It's part of the industry and none of the big players is any better then any other. If ppl wanna complain then they should complain at the Softimage guys that SOLD...if it wasnt for them selling AD wouldnt have been able to buy anything, no ?

Again. It isnt a big deal for me. I was just pointing out that i found it sounding weird. Prolly cause it's rather a nice ad and nothing more :P

Regards,
Thorsten

Well in MS's case it was a positive move. MS forced Softimage to port their software to commodity hardware that in turn made the price go down drastically from what they used to charge per license minus the cost of the hardware needed to run it in the first place. MS business practices may be questionable but in their bid for OS supremacy they have enabled certain technology to be accessible to your average user without it being prohibitively expensive. MS bought Softimage exactly because of this, they needed to show that the NT platform was a viable alternative to SGI (whch at the time, hardware wise and software wise it wasn't). XSI (then sumatra) was being worked on at Softimage while MS owned them so I think your comparison is wrong. Nothing major has happened to Maya since the buyout and nothing major has happened to Max since discreet took over development (unless you call buying third party plugins and updating the version number a feature).

Venkman
10-29-2008, 10:36 PM
Apprentice is special because its completely free. Where is the free version of Max again?

Its Houdini Apprentice HD that is $100. Unlimited sized frame render, and a HD animation resolution restriction (i think its 1080).

I still think this was an amazing move on Side FX's part, and I wish other programs would follow suit. Not everyone has access to educational pricing, and even then, some companies require you to be taking a CG course load- being a mere student isn't always enough.

I was hoping more companies would rise to the challenge offered by Side FX pricing for non-commercial use. It doesn't look like that's happening.

FreakWizz
10-29-2008, 11:03 PM
What other reason for pulling the Foundation Version do you see then? It's the best way to hook starting artists / freelancers.

And of course freelancers are where all the money is?

Foundation is a goodway to get people to notice XSI, it's to take marketshare and future jobs and training and make it have an XSI slant, This means people are aware of the product and will dabble in the foundation version. It's about brand association and likely help XSI move forward in the market. It did this.

It was always a temporary measure to make people upgrade to Essentials when enough people were hooked. It's not sustainable to make it that cheap unless you are trying to bolster your up and coming numbers. They did and sold it to Autodesk. You can hardly blame Autodesk for a Softimage decison in this case.

cheebamonkey
10-29-2008, 11:48 PM
Apprentice is special because its completely free. Where is the free version of Max again?

And you say you are limited to all sorts of things. Please quote the list because Rendering resolution is the main one. Others are a small watermark and a different file system so you cant use it in production, the restrictions in place are very non-intrusive.

Its Houdini Apprentice HD that is $100. Unlimited sized frame render, and a HD animation resolution restriction (i think its 1080).

Plus alot of people still think Houdini is expensive, yes it is for one person who wants to use Master and doesn't know how. Escape is more than enough for even the experienced user. Where as if i wanted to buy Max, thats a nice 3000 pounds (yes pounds).

you can download max from autodesk.

Houdini is expensive if you use it for production work. I'm assuming you don't read the other fine print on Apprentice HD which also restricts its useage to personal projects and portfolio work. As for Escape, it's not more than enough for the experienced user because it is in fact missing core elements which people WANT to use Houdini for.. particles and dynamics.

dnashj33
10-30-2008, 12:31 AM
Apprentice is special because its completely free. Where is the free version of Max again?

And you say you are limited to all sorts of things. Please quote the list because Rendering resolution is the main one. Others are a small watermark and a different file system so you cant use it in production, the restrictions in place are very non-intrusive.

Its Houdini Apprentice HD that is $100. Unlimited sized frame render, and a HD animation resolution restriction (i think its 1080).

Plus alot of people still think Houdini is expensive, yes it is for one person who wants to use Master and doesn't know how. Escape is more than enough for even the experienced user. Where as if i wanted to buy Max, thats a nice 3000 pounds (yes pounds).If you are a student with an academic license of Max, you can upgrade it to FULL COMMERCIAL for about $1400 (at the education reseller studica.com)...meaning, for a student, it's overall about $500 cheaper than Houdini Escape,
The two huge things Max has going for it is its unrivaled 3rd party support, and the size of its market footprint in a variety of fields. Nevertheless Houdini certainly has impressed me lately (I had been considering learning XSI after v7 was revealed, but that UI of big round buttons, reminds me of a childs toy...look at a child's play phone, for example, and then look at XSI's UI and you can see the resemblence).

DuttyFoot
10-30-2008, 12:48 AM
back in the day when gmax was around was really good. it was a good way to learn max until they discontinued it. maya ple is on AD site, which came over from alias so thats a good way to learn maya if you cant afford it. i wish they would do something like that or even like mod tool so that those who want to learn max and cant afford it would be able to.

I'm assuming you don't read the other fine print on Apprentice HD which also restricts its useage to personal projects and portfolio work.

i think someone mentioned it before.

R10k
10-30-2008, 02:25 AM
...but that UI of big round buttons, reminds me of a childs toy...look at a child's play phone, for example, and then look at XSI's UI and you can see the resemblence

You mean it doesn't look like Excel 2002? :)

Phrenzy84
10-30-2008, 03:27 AM
If you are a student with an academic license of Max, you can upgrade it to FULL COMMERCIAL for about $1400 (at the education reseller studica.com)...meaning, for a student, it's overall about $500 cheaper than Houdini Escape,
The two huge things Max has going for it is its unrivaled 3rd party support, and the size of its market footprint in a variety of fields. Nevertheless Houdini certainly has impressed me lately (I had been considering learning XSI after v7 was revealed, but that UI of big round buttons, reminds me of a childs toy...look at a child's play phone, for example, and then look at XSI's UI and you can see the resemblence).

ok, while the student version sounds good

1. I live in Europe. We generally dont get a break when it comes to buying software. Forget about simple conversion rates. They dont apply for some reason. (sounds good from a US standpoint though).

2. Not everyone is a student. Its been said many times. And 30 days just isn't enough. Well...not for me at least.

And of course this is all based on the assumption that the only reason i use a particular package is because of its price tag.

The two huge things Max has going for it is its unrivaled 3rd party support,
hehe Wonder why there is all that unrivaled support :)

Houdini doesn't have much 3rd party support simply because it doesnt need it, the program provides enough for people who aren't even that technically minded to make tools for themselves.

But you are right in the market terms, and this is why autodesk will never make a PLE or non-commerical version for Max. (they simply dont need to)

you can download max from autodesk.


30 day trial if i remember correctly.

Houdini is expensive if you use it for production work. I'm assuming you don't read the other fine print on Apprentice HD which also restricts its useage to personal projects and portfolio work.

Im assuming you mean Houdini is not expensive for production work.

But you assume wrong about my knowledge of Apprentice HD. Its hardly a fine print, its common knowledge. I never said you could use it commercially. (seems you dont read the not-so fine print on these forums)


As for Escape, it's not more than enough for the experienced user because it is in fact missing core elements which people WANT to use Houdini for.. particles and dynamics.

More assumptions on what people want.(are you in fact pointing out what you think Houdini is only good for)

I am beginning to wonder do you use Houdini? Then you would know about the particle SOP. Which may not be as powerful as POP's. If you know what you are doing and very familiar with Houdini can yield almost any effect you like. Albeit with some work.

Fact is, this pricing convention is not new and its not out of this world. SESI have put a price on their engineering and final product and if you really knew how much time it saves production companies/freelancers then you wouldnt bother questioning the price tag.

Im not questioning Face Robot's price tag. Or Massive even though Autodesk dont own them









yet. :)

dnashj33
10-30-2008, 07:18 AM
You mean it doesn't look like Excel 2002? :)
Well, I don't use Excel, so I don't know, but XSI's UI is the closet thing to a Romper Room/Toy's R' Us Interface you can find in just about any content creation program. That's not a knock on it's capability, just it's appearance...something you have to sit and look at all day, every day.

Maybe sticking a Barney the Dinosaur stuffed toy or Fred Flintsotone action figure next to the monitor will help it fit in :)

R10k
10-30-2008, 07:35 AM
Heh...

XSI's UI is the closet thing to a Romper Room/Toy's R' Us Interface you can find in just about any content creation program.

When all the buttons are flouro colours and squeek every time they're pressed, I'll agree to that analogy. Otherwise, it's a normal looking program with slightly rounded buttons, in my book.

On a side note, you should just hide the side panels and use the pulldown menus. All the functionality, with all the Win98 database look you could hope for.

dnashj33
10-30-2008, 07:39 AM
I still think this was an amazing move on Side FX's part, and I wish other programs would follow suit. Not everyone has access to educational pricing, and even then, some companies require you to be taking a CG course load- being a mere student isn't always enough.

I was hoping more companies would rise to the challenge offered by Side FX pricing for non-commercial use. It doesn't look like that's happening.If Houdini held a much larger piece of market share, there would be some movement along those lines. Look at Lightwave droping in price dramatically, back in 05, from $2k to $800. No one paid any attention to that either. Lightwave is being developed at a pace that's as slow as frozen molasses.
There's just not much demand for it. But XSI was on the rise, and when they dropped Advanced from $7k to $5k, Maya followed suit, I believe.

As far as addressing the "why" Max has such a large 3rd party community...2 reasons:

1) Twice as many registered seats of Max than Maya

2) It's SDK is as open as any in the biz

gent_k
10-30-2008, 09:43 AM
Houdini, great. People behind Houdini, great. Price for Houdini, not so great.

But, you get what you pay for, I guess.

That's hardly the case for software like this.

Houdini is priced this way because they think this is the pricepoint that will allow them to remain profitable.

To be able to decrease the price they would need a drastic increase in userbase, that will at least match the profits with the current prices.

But I'm betting the Side Effects guys know that Houdini isn't for everyone.

3DDave
10-30-2008, 06:07 PM
To me it looks more tailored to FX instead of 3D modeling and animation.

The rendering engine looks great though.

arctor
10-30-2008, 06:08 PM
as a long time Houdini user I'll point out a couple of things about the OT and some of the things that have come up in the thread...

Kim's message, IMO, was mostly for Houdini users...just a note to let us know that they were still there and not going anywhere in the future...and some honest reflections on the changes that he's seen in the industry...and also an invitation to users of other apps to give Houdini a try...
Side Effects doesn't promote Houdini as much as I think they should...and when they do it's never with the same kind of noise that others have...

as for the price of Houdini Master...
yes it's slightly more than other packages...but as others have said 'you get what you pay for'. Houdini, just out of the box, can do many things that other apps can do only with plugins or with third party applications, also Houdini is a very strong pipeline tool, and can be use for all kinds of things not directly related to the scene in the viewport...

if anything this whole Autodesk thing has caused people to really think about the tools they use and look around at the industry...I think that's a good thing.

Titus
10-30-2008, 07:04 PM
Side Effects doesn't promote Houdini as much as I think they should...and when they do it's never with the same kind of noise that others have...

You don't promote a Rolls Royce the same way you do with a Civic.

aesnakes
10-30-2008, 07:12 PM
To me it looks more tailored to FX instead of 3D modeling and animation.

The rendering engine looks great though.

This is true but if you check out the modeling id from CMIVFX it looks a lot more stable for doing certain operations in modeling and having nodes to reference from is great. Im not a ful on Houdini guy yet but I look forward to being able to use it properly in production.

Robert Magee
10-30-2008, 09:51 PM
Graphics Chums lampoons Sidefx, 3D artists in general and and Mxsiya...

http://www.graphicschums.com/category/tagging-chums/computer-graphics

tburbage3
10-30-2008, 10:43 PM
Lightwave is being developed at a pace that's as slow as frozen molasses.

This has nothing to do with Houdini, of course, but the pace of current LightWave development is really fairly aggressive. It was just that the current team took a long time to get their steam up after most of the original team, including architects, left to form Luxology (Modo).

Hope the Houdini team can create a product that artists as well as TDs find both accessible/enjoyable to use, and that is reasonably affordable for the independent artist.

Tamis
10-30-2008, 11:04 PM
To me it looks more tailored to FX instead of 3D modelling and animation.

The rendering engine looks great though.

Your statement is partially true, FX definitely is the strong side of Houdini because of its procedual work flow. But let me note that Houdini is a great package for animation.

It is true that modelling is no good in Houdini, this is because modelling is a linear process. But one should not think of Houdini as a modelling tool kit but rather like a tool to do everything besides modelling. Houdini's procedual power allows the user to build tools that automate processes. Often Houdini is referred to as to technical, actually the opposite is true. Houdini makes the technical side more accessible to the user. Often Something more experienced users have to dig deep to find in other applications.

dnashj33
10-30-2008, 11:26 PM
You don't promote a Rolls Royce the same way you do with a Civic.I'm not a fan of Maya, but I wouldn't classify it as a Civic.

I'm curious. If it's this well endowed, then why hasn't it made it into the college campus? You would think the industry would generally trend toward the very best tool available (Houdini does have a strong case to make, it appears), and then schools would follow that trend.

They really out to push it more heavily in schools that teach VFX, if it is the defacto standard by which other programs are measured

unchikun
10-30-2008, 11:37 PM
Graphics Chums lampoons Sidefx, 3D artists in general and and Mxsiya...

http://www.graphicschums.com/category/tagging-chums/computer-graphics

"Have you brought the vaseline with you?" .... Ahahahaha!

Spin99
10-30-2008, 11:52 PM
You know I'd even try get learning more animation with Houdini.
But am definitely not going shopping for the nice tuts right now.
Also don't know about having a muscle system if you have to code your rigs before you use them.
It's just too steep for me right now.

Wouldn't really be looking too forward to coding as part of doing simple animation studies.
XSI becomes a whole lot easier in comparison with the character kit.
Cheers.

arctor
10-31-2008, 03:29 AM
there is no coding needed for rigging or muscles in Houdini.
other than simple expressions(+-) and a few utility scripts I've never done any coding* in Houdini.
I don't know where this idea that you have to be a programmer to use Houdini ever came from...definitely not from anyone who has ever used it.
if you really are interested, go to the Tutorial section of the Side Effects site LINK (http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=14&Itemid=132) and have a look at some of the videos...no coding there...

and people who are very new to Houdini might find these lists interesting:
http://odforce.net/wiki/index.php/ProductionsUsingHoudini
http://odforce.net/wiki/index.php/CompaniesUsingHoudini



* well I did write an auto-rig but that's different ;)

R10k
10-31-2008, 04:45 AM
In regards to Houdini pricing-

As a lone artist who doesn't need unlimited render nodes, or have a desire to work on portfolio pieces, or learn a program in order to be hired by someone else, or have the funds to fork out AUD$10-$20K for a program (and never will, I suspect) I wonder if SideFX will ever cater for someone like myself? I'm guessing not, but that's a question I ask every time I hear about Houdini.

I don't personally see Houdini as competition to anything Autodesk has, because even though the power is there (depending on what it is you're trying to do, of course), it's seemingly not targeted at someone in my situation.

Grgeon
10-31-2008, 05:12 AM
Isn't Houdini Escape the same price as maya complete and cheaper than xsi essentials?

Houdini Escape: $2k
Maya Complete: $2k
XSI essentials: $3k
3ds Max: $3.5k

R10k
10-31-2008, 05:29 AM
Sure, providing you're happy to skip on dynamics, scripting and particles (amongst other things), which are most of the things which would make Houdini worth buying over one of the 'Autodesk three'.

ThE_JacO
10-31-2008, 05:34 AM
Isn't Houdini Escape the same price as maya complete and cheaper than xsi essentials?

Houdini Escape: $2k
Maya Complete: $2k
XSI essentials: $3k
3ds Max: $3.5k

XSI essentials these days is more like max' single packaging. It has -everything- in it.
Advanced only offer a neigh discontinued app (behavior) that can be replaced with ICE ops and a larger number of batch licenses for the farm. This makes ess the xsi version to buy, and adv the infrastructure support one if you need to populate the farm.

Houdini Escape is cheap, but imo it misses the point of houdini as a first license.
Yes, you can do a fair amount of particle and effects work with sops, but it's downright painful, misses non-replacable (with sops) stuff, and not having all the features that are missing from it means giving up on the best qualities of houdini.

Escape is more something you buy when your shop is covered for effects, Houdini wise, and you need additional and cheaper licenses for animators, trivial work and those rare occurences where you won't miss having master. It's more similar to maya in terms of feature packaging with complete and unlimited, except maya complete still covers a lot of available positions in the industry, 90% of the jobs you get asked to do in Houdini (in my personal experience) will require you to use master.

Grgeon
10-31-2008, 05:57 AM
ah, i see. cool :)

-GC

arctor
10-31-2008, 04:04 PM
In regards to Houdini pricing-

As a lone artist who doesn't need unlimited render nodes, or have a desire to work on portfolio pieces, or learn a program in order to be hired by someone else, or have the funds to fork out AUD$10-$20K for a program (and never will, I suspect) I wonder if SideFX will ever cater for someone like myself? I'm guessing not, but that's a question I ask every time I hear about Houdini.

I don't personally see Houdini as competition to anything Autodesk has, because even though the power is there (depending on what it is you're trying to do, of course), it's seemingly not targeted at someone in my situation.

Apprentice HD - $99
full Master feature set
unlimited single frame rendering
HD animation renders
very small watermark

Rhs_CG
10-31-2008, 04:32 PM
In regards to Houdini pricing-

As a lone artist who doesn't need unlimited render nodes, or have a desire to work on portfolio pieces, or learn a program in order to be hired by someone else, or have the funds to fork out AUD$10-$20K for a program (and never will, I suspect) I wonder if SideFX will ever cater for someone like myself? I'm guessing not, but that's a question I ask every time I hear about Houdini.

I don't personally see Houdini as competition to anything Autodesk has, because even though the power is there (depending on what it is you're trying to do, of course), it's seemingly not targeted at someone in my situation.

My feeling from dealing with SideFX is that if you're a small freelance artist, I'm pretty sure you could work something out with them. I know they let you pay to rent licenses for 1 month periods, and that money can go towards a full commercial license.

They're understanding, so if you're really interested, contact them and see what they'll do for you. If you have an apprentice license, you can figure out how to do everything, then when you need it for a gig, rent a license from them for however long you need it.

Venkman
10-31-2008, 04:36 PM
Apprentice HD - $99
full Master feature set
unlimited single frame rendering
HD animation renders
very small watermark

No watermark on the renders in the $99 HD version.

With Houdini Apprentice HD we have taken away the watermark and put our focus on giving artists, enthusiasts and students the perfect tool for developing personal art and animation on a shoestring budget.

R10k
10-31-2008, 04:39 PM
Apprentice HD - $99
full Master feature set
unlimited single frame rendering
HD animation renders
very small watermark

I already said- I use programs for commercial work. Plus, I'm coming from XSI7. Why would I want to switch to something with a watermark? (for the record, I wasn't aware Apprentice HD had a watermark. Either way, it is limited to non-commercial, so...).

They're understanding, so if you're really interested, contact them and see what they'll do for you. If you have an apprentice license, you can figure out how to do everything, then when you need it for a gig, rent a license from them for however long you need it.

Perhaps one day I'll go to the trouble, thanks. I'll see what Autodesk do with XSI, first.

EDIT: Thanks Venkman, I didn't think it did.

aesnakes
10-31-2008, 04:54 PM
I already said- I use programs for commercial work. Plus, I'm coming from XSI7. Why would I want to switch to something with a watermark? (for the record, I wasn't aware Apprentice HD had a watermark. Either way, it is limited to non-commercial, so...).



Perhaps one day I'll go to the trouble, thanks. I'll see what Autodesk do with XSI, first.

EDIT: Thanks Venkman, I didn't think it did.

Read one post above yours, Houdini Apprentice HD doesn't have a watermark.

arctor
10-31-2008, 05:14 PM
ooopps...sorry...
forgot about that...yeah no watermark on HD....

circusboy
11-04-2008, 02:07 AM
What other reason for pulling the Foundation Version do you see then? It's the best way to hook starting artists / freelancers.



kinda sorta OT. For me its pretty obvious. Nothing in v7 was an evolution of the Foundation feature set. In fact there was nothing *new* for those parts of XSI since v6.2 (which is why nobody has any version of Fnd newer than that). Sure you could argue deformations-but how do you add ICE deformations *only* ?! It gets very messy and expensive to package.

We will have to wait till ICE features make their way into say modeling and animation fundimentals-then possibly something like Foundation could be offered again. But then this is now up to ADSK.

R10k
11-04-2008, 02:43 AM
Nothing in v7 was an evolution of the Foundation feature set.

Really? I went from 4.2 to 7 and found there were hundreds of improvements and additions right throughout the program.

circusboy
11-04-2008, 02:20 PM
Really? I went from 4.2 to 7 and found there were hundreds of improvements and additions right throughout the program.
Well of course you did. There were both v5 and v6 features and fixes revealed to you for the first time (you seeing them now in v7). As I said before nothing changed for Fnd *after v6.2*. You skipped over quite a bit of history there R10k!

But if you extract *just the v7 stuff* then nothing plugged into Fnd (except for mr v3.6 come to think of it).

Several folks have mentioned Escape. Sorry but the whole point of Houdini is whats in the Master feature set. As an sim fx specialist I am not gonna find Escape features sufficiently motivating to switch on their own. So Houdini remains the most expensive option to get the complete set of features that make it considerable.

Now if SideFX would extract all the major features for somebody like me used (say everything simulationy and dynamically inclined) and packaged them in a less expensive version then they might have something...

aadams
11-11-2008, 01:09 AM
good grief.

sidefx has bent over backwards in terms of making their tools accessible for *everyone* ... for years.

the too complicated criticisms no longer sticks...the documentation criticism no longer sticks...and the price point criticism no longer sticks...

here is why:

from version 2.5 ---> 9.5 they ramped up on the interface...but in 9.0 --> 9.5 they got dead serious.

they dropped their prices by more than 50%

if you didn't have ANY money they let you use apprentice(with a respectable unobtrusive) watermark.

if you wanted to use the HD versus to build up a portfolio its just 100$ (hd res and unlimited print rez)

If you wanted to understand faster than normal there are ALOT of places that give away or sell tutorials...and not just how to use it...but also nice intermediate to advanced tutorials too.



furthermore:

I know the team and I think they are a great bunch of honest and sincere people.

is houdini finished being developed??? not by a long shot.

but if you look at the *trajectory* of development

then most of the posts I read here are off topic(no offense to anyone)

what makes me sad about this forum is that cgtalk never had(for whatever reason) a forum for houdini.

the film/video game industry has accomplished a great deal with this software, despite the subvoluntary smear camp against its ease of use.


SO.

to all those who like to claim its too hard to use:

it isn't...it designed to take you as for as you need to go in a logical format.

think of it like unix/linux for 3d in a graphical matter. ICE is now doing the same thing. good for them...but in houdini it pervades every aspect of cartesian space.

is it perfect...nope

is it privately owned...yes always is and has been.

is there an advantage to that:

its double edged:

a) they seem to have done a great job for themselves and should be commended(look at the film credits)

b) to say you are trained is easy enough to achieve...and if you get a contract you could probably even rent the seats necessary.

c)their tech support is extremely responsible

d)render engines are a compartment to houdini...it was a shock when they supported maxwell

against houdini (for being privately owned)

smaller footprint in terms of global image...so publicity is always taking a hit...in terms of what is the truth about "ease of use" and "evolution of the software(tragectory)"

so if you dont like it...you dont have to download it

if you are curious...you can...

if you are lost...the proper authorities exist...






and cgtalk:

why is there no houdini forum on cgtalk?

R10k
11-11-2008, 10:10 AM
Sorry aadams, but that sounds like a lot of fan drivel to me. No offense to you- that's just how it sounds.

sidefx has bent over backwards in terms of making their tools accessible for *everyone* ... for years.

I don't disagree Sidefx have worked to make their tools accessible to people, but they haven't made it accessible to everyone. If you're looking to use the program for work (of some description) the pricetag is too steep for many people. Plus, the way it currently works and is controlled makes it immediately inaccessible to some people. (see below for my reasoning on this).

they dropped their prices by more than 50%

That's great, but 3D software prices have been slashed by more than 50% over recent years.

if you didn't have ANY money they let you use apprentice(with a respectable unobtrusive) watermark.

I like how you say they 'let you'. It's a PLE version used to hook people into learning the program. That's all it is... it's not a gift to the world.

what makes me sad about this forum is that cgtalk never had(for whatever reason) a forum for houdini.

That is a bit strange, I agree. Houdini deserves one.

it isn't...it designed to take you as for as you need to go in a logical format.

Fyi: You can't tell people something is easy to learn. They decide for themselves whether it is or not. To say that the majority just don't try, or to put forward the idea there's a, "subvoluntary smear camp against its ease of use" (as you put it) is just rediculious, and insulting to the many 3D professionals who've no doubt looked into the program and come back with the assessment. Artists aren't always left-brained, logical people. I'm not, and I know from experience how hard it is for someone like myself to tackle programming, while my brother who is left-brained and highly logical has no issue with it in the slightest. It's all about how your brain is geared.

EDIT: Sorry, it's not all about that, but you get the idea :)

think of it like unix/linux for 3d in a graphical matter. ICE is now doing the same thing. good for them...but in houdini it pervades every aspect of cartesian space.

You're on another planet to that of most artists, and you've also missed the point of ICE. ICE was designed to be a bridge for artists who struggled with programming/scripting side of things, and do it in an environment which could harness the already existing workflow of XSI (which on a side note, is a great deal more flexible than Houdini) utilising multiple cores. In doing this artists could learn quickly and create effects faster, without having to struggle to learn scripting syntax and the like. The point wasn't to beat Houdini in terms of control, or effects. Most artists I know wouldn't know (or want to know) how to, "think of it like unix/linux for 3d in a graphical matter.". It's just not how their brains work. With ICE, the possibility is there for them to start to bridge the gap in an artist friendly manner.

Don't get me wrong, Houdini is obviously a great program (despite some imperfections, which we agree upon) but to say the program is designed for, available to, and easily learnable by everyone is just silly fan talk. It's not... but that's no an issue to get worked up about, because its complexity is also its strength.

nimajneb
11-11-2008, 01:18 PM
Just a few thoughts to add here. Cheaper is not always better in the long run for the application or its users. Development costs money. New features and in my opinion even more importantly, fixes and refinements on existing features require investment. Now, there is of course a balance to be struck, but when your user base is small and you're a private company without the deep pockets of a huge multinational to offset your margins, you have to cover your costs. When you drive prices down on an application, quality almost invariably suffers. R&D's budget is limited. For each sexy new feature that you can add to a bullet list on a promo, there's a half dozen fixes that should have been done that won't be because they simply won't help put more butts in more seats of your application. Having used Adobe products for going on 15 years almost now I can attest to this personally. So, while I appreciate an affordable application, I don't see that 3D companies should be cutting their throats. Commercial licensing should be just that, a business investment of appropriate scale.

That being said, I think that SideFX's HD apprentice was a very good move to address the problem of a higher seat cost for Houdini. For someone starting out Houdini's price point is too high for entry. For a student or starting freelancer to get work, they need to be able to show something of professional quality on a demo, w/o distracting watermarks. Putting Houdini out there in the HD version for that very low price point is a very intelligent thing to do to get folks on board. Making it available as a public offering as opposed to a limited academic one makes it so that ANYONE can start to learn Houdini who has ambitions to do 3D professionally. It makes it preeminently convenient to begin learning Houdini on a small budget. I'm really surprised that the big three haven't made similar moves to get their tools out in the hands of the masses. Foundation XSI was a good start, but it was too hobbled for most folks to take seriously, and now with 7 it's gone the way of the dodo. I think it would make much more sense to Autodesk to mimic the little guy and make it easy for folks to learn XSI without breaking their bank.

And a side thought. Okay, I know none of us want our favorite application to go away but how long is Autodesk going to continue splitting the 3D budget between their three applications? Maybe they're just going to keep their word and keep building them all, but I'll really be amazed if that is what happens. I expected a consolidation and a phasing out some time ago, so I guess I know nothing, but I'm surprised that there's not been some sort of "get out of Max and Maya" special so that they can get the userbase under one tent. Maybe the market research says no, but I'm surprised that it's not happened and will be even more surprised if it doesn't now.

circusboy
11-11-2008, 02:37 PM
Anybody who has been using software long enough to be truely attached (aka Softimage users) to it probably are not doing it for a hobby nor a student with less than two years experience. So Houdini Apprentice does not qualify as a new software for an established pipeline for professional work. So just forget it as a price option ok? It is extremely circumstantial as to who can use it.

To fit its perfect nitch in existing pipelines I still say Master is overkill (and overpriced) and Escape is underkill. Something inbetween FX dedicated would fit pretty good IMHO.

As for ease of use. Yes they've really improved it a bunch. But its still the most hostile 3d software to learn. No you don't have to script anything. But you have to use expressions *everywhere* in Houdini which is not that much different to a user who is just used to 'ticking a box' to read an image sequence instead of a still (yes Houdini needs a simple expression for this)!

aadams
11-11-2008, 09:01 PM
R10k:

I am a fan of visualization for the multimedia industry....in order to make a living I had to adopt the use of a bunch of software...I have had the pleasure/pain of using houdini since its inception...1.0

that doesn't make me the best in the world but I cant consider myself a fanboy...I consider myself *fair*(i.e. moderate)

about XSI:

I was excited and dumbfounded by ICE...beautiful technology...no joke.

about autodesk acquisition ... I like what they did for studiotools...but I am not so hip on what they did for maya(pre 2009, cuz I cant change over mid production)

about houdini's take on the matter

this was a heartfelt olive branch going to the world...yet was there primarily for the community...not much more or less.

cgtalk user reaction:

people are talking from points of inexperience...joking for at the picture of the president...lol...but not really having a clue about the tool...this is not every person, but so much was off topic...and kinda patronizing....NO OFFENSE TO ANYONE HERE....YOU ALL GET TOTAL RESPECT FOR YOUR EFFORTS IN YOUR DAILY LIVES.

consensus about houdini from people who are free to download it whenever they please....and say certain things like "you have to be a programmer"

all together fictitious...houdini lets you work in a straight ahead format if you like to...and if you know how to program its too your benefit...and that holds true in any computer graphics package.

apprentice: free...completely free...and they are nice enough to not put the logo everywhere on your viewports.

HD version: $100 buck for full access...just use it for art and portfolio developments(individual or group portfolios)

production version: first get the contract and then the animators and then based on the financial management you buy the software.

the important thing is that they give you ample opportunity to succeed.

as a small business they have done just about all they can do with the time that they are given.

but what is disturbing is the way people assume things based on what they read in 3d world 2 years ago....the transfer this perception onto others and it really isnt like that.

houdini isnt hard...learning 3d animation is hard...and learning how to tap into differing philosophies is hard as well.


and in no way did I insult the people...its just some comments get old quick....

houdini 1.0---->7.0 was difficult but getting easier with every step

8--9.0 major interface changes that made houdini (left-brained philosophy) alot easier to digest.

9.5 houdini now really shines on its own.


my point is this:

wings3d is probably on the other side of the spectrum as houdini...super duper fast and intuitive , yet limited to modelling polygonal volumes...its upgrades tend to focus on ergonomics...

houdini primary focus was production philosophy....and that is where you find its success.

instead of trying to be the best program...it simply allowed users to adopt the animation strategies of other programs...and would simultaneously add new features as well as fixing obvious bugs...i.e. daily rebuilds.

these things dont get talked about in the magazines or people who dont really have more than a passing glance at the software.....AND I AM FINE WITH THAT....

except for when the same perception doesnt transform with the hard fought upgrade that a great collective of people working real hard to give 3d animators a change in philosophy.

so houdini isnt so radically hard....its just that for many years you have corporations campaigning to convince what is hard and what is not.

I enjoy looking at xsi...and for certain things their programmers should be lauded.

but I admire the makers/owners of houdini a bit more...for their ingenuity, adaptability, and independence.

"is just rediculious, and insulting to the many 3D professionals who've no doubt looked into the program and come back with the assessment. Artists aren't always left-brained, logical people. I'm not, and I know from experience how hard it is for someone like myself to tackle programming, while my brother who is left-brained and highly logical has no issue with it in the slightest. It's all about how your brain is geared."

actually houdini has some extremely intuitive tools...and so does xsi and so does maya.

but intuition is best when intuition has a good relationship to logic.

and programming in houdini can be entirely visual if you please.

or you can use simple expressions, too.

but first you really have to find the time to ask yourself to get into it....that being said I am not a programmer...im an artist. so I understand what you mean...but I feel you really need to lay judgement on houdini after you check out the latest build.

not what you read on these forums because....

CGTALK GAVE WING3D A FORUM BEFORE HOUDINI....im sorry but its ridiculous...so therefore the majority of perceptions about houdini is kinda bogus. and its not to insult so many 3d professionals...but it is kinda bogus.

why?

a) houdini is a legit piece of production software and the people who make it want to empower digital artists and designers.

b)because people make assumptions on ease of use(myself included) based on public perception...NOT ON FACTS

C) list of facts.

FACTS LIKE:

price point of software(private, personal, and production use)

user base (cgtalk you guys should really help if you are serious about being representatives of the world of computer graphics___as in give sidefx a forum for houdini users that connects with other software vendors.)

quality of manuals(this was a weak point in sidefx for quite some time)

books--->video tutorials(extremely important...not just the introduction to software but also on it points that are harder to understand)...this was houdini weakest point...but they are working to fix it at an exponential pace.

daily rebuilds----> if *any* user has a valid problem...how fast can a programmer fix a bug?

architectural expandibility----> can I get data from one uber animation software to another with how much ease? how easily can I take enviroment/scripts etc. from one user to another(shelves, assets, etc.)...this is how houdini wracked up all dem movie credits...because it was great for cutting production costs.

--------------------------------------

these things are just some of what makes the software a great piece of software.

not POWER TOOLS....the power tools come in second...because now every sees that houdini is insanely powerful in the ability to control data....and each incarnation they focus first on stability and then give you another huge tool...

the complaint has been accessibility...and while this argument could have been justified a few years ago...I am sorry but to me it doesn't make alot of sense now.

---------

room for improvement:

plenty

do you need to program???

always helps when using a computer to do anything...but no its not necessary...you just have to use it....not for the 30-day trial period(which is what we are used to)....but you actually have to take advantage of their gift to the world(cuz there is alot worse things someone could be doin with their math degrees)

lastly...

I do not want to be insulting in expressing my opinion...but I dont think what I said is ridiculous....after you have a artistic fascination with computer graphics and you read so many BOGUS articles on the web and in magazines...that aren't really accurate...well someone needs to stick up for sidefx.

not because they wont do any better...*believe me*...but some of the off topic comments really sucked...the big three have merged under autodesk and people from everywhere are *concerned*

and the way this community called cgtalk percieves or represents sidefx needs to be discussed in a different way.

so I dont want to defend...but alot of our movies we enjoyed the most would not have been possible with them.

ok back to work

take care

unchikun
11-11-2008, 10:13 PM
I'm not too sure what is intuitive about the terms Impulse Activation and Constant Activation. Particles per second and Particles per frame.... now thats intuitive.

When I do exhelp exp:

Returns logrithmic exponentiation of the argument.

I can see a layperson saying... forget this!

I wish expression editing would be easier. A simple debugger would be awesome. Just trying to click and highlight in the expression field is a major pain. The expression editor is not much better. I'd rather use notepad or Vim.

Dops and pops need to be seamlessly integrated.

Multithreading.... hellooooo!?!? We are closing in on 2009 and simulations aren't threaded in the package? Kinda sucks to have 8 procs and only one is cooking.

There should be much more documentation on Mantra, but basically you are suggested to learn renderman then come back.

Houdini is definitely powerful but when they say it's easy to use or intuitive be skeptical (unless youre some kind of freak prodigy). ;)

aadams
11-11-2008, 11:32 PM
listen I think you missed out on houdini digital assets(check out the shelves)

impulse activation is an on/off switch...you can animate with graph editors, chops or expression

logic: sometimes you need x amount of particle @ x period of time(dust and debris)

constant activation you can animate with graph editors, chops or expression

logic: sometime you need a flow of particles @ set period of time(gaseous and liquid)

first type exhelp:

it should give you a list of all the expressions available....and exp is short for exponent...if you go to edit---> preferences--->scripting you will find the ability to activate various syntax mechanism...(i agree with you, I cant live without it)

and expressions is not scripting

now type help: you will see all the hscript commands...when you type in on command the textport shows you how to use it...now that is extremely considerate of a software to do for you...


on mantra it is a great WIP, and is designed in the same fashion as renderman, but actually is shockingly powerful the more you read up on it...this is when two monitors rock.

to help you in 9.5 the gave us a HUGE material library...this is nothing super shocking...but you can take any of those materials and dissect them to get the look you want.

"Houdini is definitely powerful but when they say it's easy to use or intuitive be skeptical (unless youre some kind of freak prodigy). ;)"

actually there are many people who say they use maya and other software kits that people think they know how to use because the function *seems* to work...but they dont know what to do when a specific situation calls for specific action...so they run to houdini to save the project....this is especially true with particle dynamics...I am not talking about get something quick out the box effect...but like a higher level effect shot...please read about digital assets.

very productive and no programming really...and if you dislike redundant work (which also stifles intuition) you should check it out...as in read up on it.

so its not about freak prodigy...that isnt really funny neither...houdini has become much more intuitive but one must consider it a language like any other software.

also houdini reincarnates about twice per year...multi threading will be here sooner than you think.


on threading please look at this link:

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&t=13712&highlight=multi+threading

ICE is not entirely threaded...but like I said before it is very fast.

ThE_JacO
11-12-2008, 09:21 AM
what makes me sad about this forum is that cgtalk never had(for whatever reason) a forum for houdini.
and cgtalk:

why is there no houdini forum on cgtalk?
Because everytime that we open one and then put -considerable- effort into trying to get it off the ground, the Houdini userbase sticks to ODforce (understandble, it's a valuable and long estabilished resource) and sideFX doesn't really seem to care much about it (never seen a single developer or rep posting in it over several months, while Avid, Maxon, and even AD employees, those cold, heartless bastards, don't seem to have a problem making appearances in different forums).

It's also funny how the same people who asked for it in the instances where one was created before ended up having exactly 0 posts in it. That is, unless somebody dared say the application might not have been God's gift to man, in which case they would find time off their busy schedules to come and tell the impure how wrong they were.

That just about sums it up.
Oh, and I'm a part-time houdini user and ex professional user of it who also happened to adovcate that forum and moderated it on its second opening.
It wasn't a particularly pleasant experience to be honest.

not what you read on these forums because....

CGTALK GAVE WING3D A FORUM BEFORE HOUDINI....im sorry but its ridiculous...so therefore the majority of perceptions about houdini is kinda bogus. and its not to insult so many 3d professionals...but it is kinda bogus.
BS, you just haven't been around longer than 8 months, or you didn't even notice you had had what you're asking for available.
As I said we -did- have a Houdini forum. It's been closed due to inactivity and pointless/abusive participation of the veteran userbase, not because CGS doesn't care about Houdini. Some of the mods actually use it you know?

ICE is not entirely threaded...but like I said before it is very fast.
Do you even know what you're talking about? Because from a programming stand-point that makes no sense at all as a statement.

R10k
11-12-2008, 01:05 PM
I'm not too sure what is intuitive about the terms Impulse Activation and Constant Activation. Particles per second and Particles per frame.... now thats intuitive.

Ehm, although I agree with your point, those examples are pretty obvious :)

...even AD employees, those cold, heartless bastards...

LOL :D

nimajneb
11-12-2008, 01:23 PM
Just another thought seeing that little burst of crossfire vitriol. I don't think advocacy for the various applications is of any value to anyone. The different software packages attack the problem of 3D from a multiplicity of points of view. People select their package based on what feels intuitive to them. The tool in itself is not "intuitive." It just fits that specific user's idea of how things should work. Application evangelism is as silly as as the Apple Vs. PC war or Coke vs. Pepsi. Brand loyalty, IMO, is crap. The application is a tool, like a wrench. You select the wrench, you use the wrench. Maybe the Craftsman brand has a nice handle that fits your hand, but it's no better or more well designed that the Husky brand one that fits mine. In the end, whatever tool works for you is the best tool for you, threaded or not, small vendor or big vendor supplied.

And secondly on the matter of a Houdini Forum, no, one is not needed here if it's not used. I mean how much time do I have in a day to steal from my employer so that I can keep up on the discussions on my favorite application? *<= rhetorical alert for the humor impaired* If I have a Zbrush question, I goto ZBrushCentral. If I have a Max question, I goto Area. Houdini, SideFX Forums (or now that I've been informed about it, Odforce). To be honest, I don't see that a place like CGTalk should do application specific forums at all, but supply follows demand. I would say the vendor's forum is the best place for that type of discussion, and a place like this should be more about art and people's work. What CGTalk might do would be to have a series of quicklinks to vendor support forums or the like to encourage an all in under one tent mentality for application problems. Anyway, I know that's not how it is, but it would make more sense I think. Coming round to the point though again, I don't see that CGTalk should waste time trying to put up a resource that folks don't need or use. If the Houdini community has a place to discuss their software issues, why would it need to happen here as well?

jiversen
11-13-2008, 02:23 AM
I'm not too sure what is intuitive about the terms Impulse Activation and Constant Activation. Particles per second and Particles per frame.... now thats intuitive.


I agree - there are some terms that could be dulled - but I don't think there are too many of them.You can see the programmer named it that, and that was that. Thankfully people learn this type of thing so fast that it's assimilated before you know it. (Not excusing it:))


When I do exhelp exp:

Returns logrithmic exponentiation of the argument.

I can see a layperson saying... forget this!

What else should it say? "Returns the 'log exponent'. It's a math thing. Look up it up on Wikipedia."

Heh heh, that'd be a good one..


Multithreading.... hellooooo!?!? We are closing in on 2009 and simulations aren't threaded in the package? Kinda sucks to have 8 procs and only one is cooking.


Actually, simulations are threaded. The SPH fluid solver is very threaded as well as the grid-based fluid solver, although not as thoroughly. They've said several times that they're very aware of places to improve multithreading, and that usually means they're working on it:)

For more info on multithreading as it stands in 9.5:
http://odforce.net/wiki/index.php/FrequentlyAskedQuestions#Q:__How_does_Houdini_use_multiple_CPUs_or_cores.3F_Does_it_multithread.3F


There should be much more documentation on Mantra, but basically you are suggested to learn renderman then come back.
I think we're pulling away from this notion due to the Physically Based Rendering introduced in Houdini 9 - here is where Mantra is finding it's own path and it shows great promise - especially to those not wanting to be too familiar with traditional shader writing. Watch this space!

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