View Full Version : Curious about Houdini
02 February 2005, 08:38 PM
I read unsatisfactory reviews about Houdini, and I'm very curious about it since I heard it's very good at animation... how does it do with modeling and rendering? Is it a traditional application like 3ds max, trueSpace etc.? Also I'm asking because I don't have a lot of extra time, although I'd like to personally try the demo version.
02 February 2005, 02:47 PM
I feel like I should let one of the more experienced Houdini users anwser that but then again who better than one like yourself? I'm a Lightwave user and I've had a wee bit of experience using the older Houdini ver 3.5 or so... But this has been some years ago and I've slept since then... Anyway... I d/l'd the Apprentice version to see what was up... Let me tell you that it's not really like anything else you've seen. It's not really a "real-time" app. Basically everything is a physically exsisting node or operator on a multi-level heiarchy. It's best left up to your own eyes... I'd venture to say that if your not willing to invest some time exploring this foriegn land I would'nt bother wasting your time or bandwidth. I would also venture to say that in some ways Houdini is a 3d animation/rendering programming environment.
02 February 2005, 04:44 PM
I read unsatisfactory reviews about Houdini, and I'm very curious about it since I heard it's very good at animation...
I really like it myself.
how does it do with modeling and rendering? Is it a traditional application like 3ds max, trueSpace etc.?
More or less in the same way, aside the whole procedural content creation system; which is where Houdini revolves around basically, and the thing that most people have to get used to.
What I really like about Houdini is the way you're free, especially when it comes to expresions, making changes, overview and the wonderful integration of all these elements: modeling, animation, channel editing/manipulation, rendering, shader writing - you name it!
Also I'm asking because I don't have a lot of extra time, although I'd like to personally try the demo version.
I'd always recommend that, it's the best way to see what Houdini is all about.
I'll get back to this thread later, I'm a bit busy at the (this exact) moment...
02 February 2005, 06:56 PM
the best thing to do would be to read the decriptions at the Side Effects site:
and if you have a bit of time > download the demo :
and have a look at the videos >
Side Effects videos:
(requires free registration)
on the front page and in the downloads section
Houdini is as fully featured and of as high a quality as anything on the market, some films that have used Houdini:
02 February 2005, 03:55 PM
Houdini is an awesome package, definately worth trying out the apprentice version. I have never used it for character animation but I do use it for a lot of rendering and particles. Houdini's built in mantra renderer is very fast and enables you to render out a variety of render passes using its deep rasters. Or, if mantra doesnt suit you, you can use Renderman (if you have it) which in version 7 is pretty much built in now that it has been incorporated into VOPs.
But the really great thing that I love about Houdini is its ability to be used with other packages. For example a project I am currently working, all of the modeling was done in LW and all of the animation was done in Maya. Houdini can read in either a .obj from LW or it can read in an entire animated .obj sequence from Maya. I created all of the particles in Houdini and then brought the camera data over from the other two packages, rendered, and was able to composite the houdini particles directly into the LW renders. Houdini is a great addition to your pipeline.
02 February 2005, 04:23 AM
houdini has a good modeling tool .
here is my shameless plug
02 February 2005, 04:41 PM
I'm impressed Day-Dreamer! Your modeled head looks really good! Maybe one day I'll be able to transport my modeling skills into houdini... It just seems too alien right now- which means nothing has started to gel in me skull.
02 February 2005, 07:43 AM
That turned out really great Day-Dreamer.:thumbsup:
03 March 2005, 09:58 PM
Actually If you havent used Houdini in a while check it out, it is like 2 different programs, first it operates like all the other 3D apps. LW Maya XSI..but then it also can be used old school Proceedurally, I have used LW and Maya, and looked into Softimage when it was 3D extreme. And I prefer H over them all, it seems harder to learn at first but actually once your into it its more powerfull than the others and you have access to EVERYTHING.
03 March 2005, 04:39 PM
I would also venture to say that in some ways Houdini is a 3d animation/rendering programming environment.
One thing, knowing houdini you can in seconds do things that need some heavy scripting knowledge in other software.
Basically you can do much much more without any scripting/programming in houdini than in any other software.
It's an incredibly intelligent software which require more analytic thinking than learning any programming language or API.
All other programs are similiar, houdini is something completely different, fascinating and definitely worth learning.
My 5 c's
03 March 2005, 09:01 PM
For me best thing about Houdini is OTLs. OTLs are custom operators that encapsulate other operators complete with a custom interface that could be 'human readable' if I was to borrow from database engenering terminology. For example, I recently made a OTL caled 'Ship', in its controls were number of masts, number of guns, cabine decks and 10s of other controls. As you can see those controls didnt have names associated wif underlaying geometry or any other 3d specific stuff.
They just described a medevil ship as a 3D layman would. OPs that were in that OTL actualy constructed the ship based on that parameters. So I could make 10s of different ship just by adjusting the parameters. On the project I was both TD and animator so I just 'gave' the OTL to myself but in actual production you would give it to animators/lighters etc. The best thing is that you could give them your first unfinished version and they could use that to place and animate the ships while you improve the OTL in paralel.
03 March 2005, 10:04 PM
You know, thinking about it (again!) I'd probably tell someone that Houdini can do anything possible with data (not just 3d-datasets) and output it (more than visual) that is imaginable.
I read on the web the other day (by following a link from one of the main Houdini sites) that DJ's are using it realtime to manipulate 3d "characters" from the output of their tracks. It's also possible to link it up to a midi keyboard (kind of like Softimage extreme 3.7) (I say this because I am idiotic on whether XSI still does this?)
Oh, I also think it's got the "coolest" name of any 3d-app.
H O U D I N I
LOL! - I wonder if they had any problems legaly using that name since it is a families name?
03 March 2005, 03:29 PM
Thank you everyone for the information. I'll absolutely get the demo and see it for myself this weekend. Day-Dreamer, nice modeling.
03 March 2005, 03:29 PM
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