Katana Infos ?

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Old 06 June 2013   #1
Katana Infos ?

Hi guys !

I am desesperatly trying to find the Price of Katana , but can't find any info about this , how much does it cost ?

I would also like to know if some people have use it in production ? and what they think about it ?
Basically it can :
- read huge amount of assets
- setup light and shaders for those assets
- organise assets / lights / shader / pass the way you want
- export this to your render engine

But what does it have that houdini doesn't have ?
- you also have a tree to manage huge amount of assets
- you can manage light / shaders / assets in a similar way
- plus you have mantra and infinite render token for free ?

So what does Katana offer that houdini don't , and why big guys like SPI,ILM,D2 or MPC use it instead of Houdini ?

Many thanks for your lights guys !

Cheers

E
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Old 06 June 2013   #2
Hi

I've only seen a couple demos of Katana and talked to friends about it.

From what I gathered, Katana is really great for setting up passes for whole sequences. It's highly costumizable (actually its probably not useable without costumization / integration). If you want to use something like Arnold with Katana, you'll need to build all the nodes yourself (like a ramp..). In theory you could use Mantra with Katana.. but again, you'll need to build all the nodes and shaders yourself.

In Katana you build a nodetree to output passes. You can't do that in Houdini, H uses passes, which switches the scene, with individual overrides. I wouldn't really compare them to begin with though. Katana is probably more like a node based clarisse.

Katana is expensive but it's really geared towards big productions. If you just want to learn it to apply for a job, FXPHD is giving classes and also offering a license during the term.
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Old 06 June 2013   #3
Originally Posted by danylyon:
Katana is expensive but it's really geared towards big productions.



Roughly how much? Im just curious
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Old 06 June 2013   #4
From the FAQ:

How do I buy KATANA?
KATANA is production proven on over 20 shows since 2004 at Sony Pictures Imageworks, however it's not your standard boxed product and requires integration with your current workflow. To discuss your requirements please contact sales@thefoundry.co.uk, or register your interest by completing our online KATANA Site Survey.

Where can I find pricing for a KATANA licence?
KATANA pricing is bespoke to each customer dependent upon requirements, please contact sales@thefoundry.co.uk to discuss your requirements.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #5
Thanks for your feedback Dany !

Originally Posted by danylyon: From what I gathered, Katana is really great for setting up passes for whole sequences. It's highly costumizable (actually its probably not useable without costumization / integration). If you want to use something like Arnold with Katana, you'll need to build all the nodes yourself (like a ramp..). In theory you could use Mantra with Katana.. but again, you'll need to build all the nodes and shaders yourself.


So basically
- it must be setup properly by TD's (in a Prman way) you don't Plug and Play ...
- thus it's really oriented toward big facilities

Originally Posted by danylyon: In Katana you build a nodetree to output passes. You can't do that in Houdini, H uses passes, which switches the scene, with individual overrides. I wouldn't really compare them to begin with though. Katana is probably more like a node based clarisse.


I'm really not a Houdini expert as i start to use it since only 1 years ... But from my limited knowledge i think you can do exactly what you describe in Houdini. In fact you can create a very complex ROP tree that will allow you to manage about everything and maybe more ?
- trigger Geo generation
- trigger Scene creation
- trigger Pass Rendering
- trigger Shader Modification etc ...
You are not force to use the pass system in Houdini , you can manage all your output in a Nodal Tree with a ROP Tree. So what does exactly Katana bring in his Node tree that Houdini ROP tree don't ?

Originally Posted by danylyon: Katana is expensive but it's really geared towards big productions. If you just want to learn it to apply for a job, FXPHD is giving classes and also offering a license during the term.


Do you have an approximative idea of the price for a single license just to have an idea ?

Thanks Again for your feedback !

Cheers

E
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Last edited by SebKaine : 06 June 2013 at 10:41 AM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #6
Very clever marketing along with Solid Angle with Arnold to make their products "exclusive"..
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Old 06 June 2013   #7
Originally Posted by thethule: Very clever marketing along with Solid Angle with Arnold to make their products "exclusive"..


It isn't about marketing. This isn't like consumer, mass-market electronics etcetera.

Being limited to large facilities means support can be provided at a very high-level of quality (and with in budget,) and a plethora of other benefits that come with targeting a small - yet, I imagine, profitable - customer base.
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Old 06 June 2013   #8
Originally Posted by DanielWray: It isn't about marketing. This isn't like consumer, mass-market electronics etcetera.

Being limited to large facilities means support can be provided at a very high-level of quality (and with in budget,) and a plethora of other benefits that come with targeting a small - yet, I imagine, profitable - customer base.



Sure, i understand that. But i suspect that there is a small portion of it that's marketing too. Marketing 101..keep your product exclusive and everyone wants it.

Anyway, i really dont want to start a big discussion about it (not saying you were either), just giving my two cents
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Old 06 June 2013   #9
.. You are not force to use the pass system in Houdini , you can manage all your output in a Nodal Tree with a ROP Tree.


Mhm. Are you sure? I've not seen anyone working like that. As far as I understand, the out context is just there to trigger different renderers / caches which are already set up.
In Katana, you can for example, take geometry, make shader overrides on certain meshes for one pass and other for another pass. In houdini out context, you can't make overrides like that. You could do it with pre render scripts or as I said with passes, but that's not really the Katana way. It would be great to have a little Katana in Houdini.. but unfortunatly I don't think it's like that.

The pass system in Houdini is very solid. So I wouldn't know why you don't want to use it? :-)

Katana really shines if you have a dedicated Team only doing look dev and lighting. The tool is dedicated to do that, crunching out shots, that's why it's really flexible and still simple.
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Old 06 June 2013   #10
yeah. A long time ago a houdini TD showed me how he handled passes. he would build the shaders in a way that would give him the results needed and would output their own passes instead of always doing it scene wide. the amount of flexibility there is insane.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #11
In terms of cost; The foundry lists the price of Ocula on their site - $10,800. If they don't list the price of Katana, that's most likely because it's more expensive.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #12
Originally Posted by danylyon: Mhm. Are you sure? I've not seen anyone working like that. As far as I understand, the out context is just there to trigger different renderers / caches which are already set up.
In Katana, you can for example, take geometry, make shader overrides on certain meshes for one pass and other for another pass. In houdini out context, you can't make overrides like that. You could do it with pre render scripts or as I said with passes, but that's not really the Katana way. It would be great to have a little Katana in Houdini.. but unfortunatly I don't think it's like that.


Well Dany , again i'm not a Houdini expert , but from what i've scene you can setup quite complex ROP tree with condition , switch etc ... that will allow you pretty impressive control .
In fact you have to spend some times to setup everything but when you ROP tree is in place , it look solid enough to me to cross the death valley with no water !

I know arnold is coming soon on H and from what i've heard the integration is quite impressive , so Arnold / Mantra workflow with complex switch in a ROP tree looks to be a strong option ...

Originally Posted by danylyon: The pass system in Houdini is very solid. So I wouldn't know why you don't want to use it? :-)

Katana really shines if you have a dedicated Team only doing look dev and lighting. The tool is dedicated to do that, crunching out shots, that's why it's really flexible and still simple.


Well i don't plan to use Katana ! i'm just curious ... if the big boys use it there must be a strong reason, and i would like to know what it offer that you don't have in H ...

The thing that i don't like so much in H is the openGL display, i have quite a lot of bugs and Maya really shine in this area for a default apps ! so maybe Katana has also a Kickass openGL previz system that allow you to have some real time open GL feedback with insane amount of geo ? just guessing of course , but if people spend a huge amount of money for Katana there must be a good reason !
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Old 06 June 2013   #13
Did you see this?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcVdvXflMYY
 
Old 06 June 2013   #14
Originally Posted by thethule: Sure, i understand that. But i suspect that there is a small portion of it that's marketing too. Marketing 101..keep your product exclusive and everyone wants it.


I actually have to disagree with this - in my own experience, software is only bought by the studio once it's been trialled relatively extensively inhouse. Big studios don't buy software based on marketing, they buy it if it plays nicely with their pipeline and adds some valuable functionality that was previously lacking.

The Foundry were really great with providing alphas and betas of Mari to big Soho studios to try out. No marketing pitch as such was necessary, because the software spoke for itself.
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Old 06 June 2013   #15
Ive used it.

Works very well. The learning curve is relatively steep and you will need a support-team of TD's to get it to work properly (probably why its mostly geared towards larger shops).
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