" H " has taken over all Effects Jobs, almost all of it. is it good or bad ?

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Old 02 February 2012   #16
basically what everyone else is saying:

really bad interview dont let it get to you.

learn Houdini it will only help you.

just think, 8 years from now something better well be out and it'll be this all over again.
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Old 02 February 2012   #17
learn houdini

Hi Vik,
Learn Houdini.

It will take a while and to be truly great at it you will need to dig deep. You will need to understand computer graphics on a deep level to get the most out of it.

There are starting to be some shelf tools and some presets, but they are meant as starting points that you can then open up, learn from and modify further.

Eventually to create really custom effects and handle huge datasets you will need to go low level and design your own tools. I am talking about vectors, matrices, ray intersection, ray marching, clipping algorithms, fluid microsolvers, sampling algorithms, pointcloud filtering operations, ...

I used to work in Maya, but switched to Houdini about 5 years ago. I have never regretted it and I learn new things every day.

Using the right tool for the job is important. The thing with Houdini is that if the tool does not exist, then you can quickly make a prototype. And then iterate and improve and roll it out as a digital asset that more junior effects td's can use.

Here are few main reasons why I prefer using Houdini:
*) In my opinion Maya has the level of data abstraction wrong. It does not give you easy access to point information such as normals, up vectors, quaternions, matrices,... near the end of my maya useage I was scripting all the time. Pages of expressions and mel scripts to automate entire setups -- not very maintainable or quick to work with. You really need that data to create complex effects, you also want to process it quickly. Ideally multithreaded without the use of a scripting language. Houdini can handle points and voxels through VOPs which are multithreaded and offer low level nodes to control your data. Vops are eventually automatically compiled which is why they are so fast.

*) There is no concept of copy stamping in Maya except for the instancer which is quite limited. Copy stamping allows to create one setup, and modify parameters along the way for each copy.

*) There are no volume manipulation tools in Maya. Volumes are the future, from volumetric fracturing, to creating terrains with addaptive detail, to ways of distributing points in a volume, measuring distance to surface quickly,... To obviously building your own fluid solver.
If you have not used volumes for anything else but fluids, there are many other applications for them.

*) There is very little concept of feedback loops in Maya. Feedback loops and chaos (theory) generally helps to create some of the most complex effects, based on simple rules. Houdini has a sopsolver, which allows you to perform a set of operations over time on the same geometry as the last output. The closest in Maya I can think of is probably a soft body or a cloth object... but that is again limited to those contexts.

*) So you might have played with Peter Shipkov Soup tools for Maya? And you like what they offer? --> Those are almost straight ports from operators in Houdini. I am glad Peter Shipkov made those tools as it might open up more setups to Maya artists as well as perhaps make them aware of what they are missing out on.

*) There are no daily builds for Maya. Sidefx listens to their customers and if you in production need something fixed that is crucial for you, it can sometimes be fixed within a week. If it is something small, sometimes within a day. -- And the next day you download and install the new build with the fix. There is a reason why Houdini is called Houdini 11.1.201 .

*) Sidefx is a private company, so no shares, no shareholders to please. No release until the product is ready for release. -Extensive alpha and beta testing by professional Houdini td's all over the world, giving feedback and improving the tools. Sometimes directly, as very experienced Houdini td's get hired by sesi to implement some advanced tools into Houdini. Those Td's have years of production experience and a solid understanding of CG.

*) Houdini plays well with other packages, like Maya, Prman. It has a decent python api and if you still need more there is the HDK to create plugins or rendertime procedurals.

*) It has unlimited rendertokens for mantra for the farm. Mantra is micropolygon renderer, a raytracer and a physically based renderer - and is quite fast for what it does.

*) In regards to destruction effects and fracturing workflow - Houdini has pretty much all the tools that are mentioned that ILM has.
http://www.fxguide.com/featured/art...lowing-crap-up/

*) Houdini 12 is well on its way to become one of the most important updates ever, I foresee it will have a big impact on the scale of effects that it will be able to handle. Also with research and development agreements like this one: http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?opt...=2002&Itemid=66
more innovative technology will become part of houdini.


I do not work for Sidefx - I probably would if I had the time . But I am happy with the tool they have made. I highly recommend you to learn it. So if you do want to spend the time and learn Houdini, see you on the other side: http://forums.odforce.net/

Peter Claes
Lead Effects Artist
Method Studios
 
Old 02 February 2012   #18
Same kind of cold war is running between Realflow & Naiad.I am totally tired with this industry,every next morning we get new weapon and we waste lot's of time to learn that instead of doing creativity.
 
Old 02 February 2012   #19
Beware though, its called "slowdini" for a reason
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Old 02 February 2012   #20
HI folks ,
thanks for all the heads up & Info, I really appreciate it a lot. Thank you very much.

@ Peter Claes
Thanks for the insight Mate, it's very helpful & Informative. I am quite little familiar to SOP, DOP , POP , CHOP, COP , also bit of FLIP solvers & done some work with Volume operators too.

I have deal with low level particle data set, rotations along normals, all kind of Volume manipulation including voulmetric fracturing, volume propagation at per voxel level etc etc but they were mostly inhouse proprietary stuff that have used in production & are very similar to Houdini's workflow & some of them also exist in SOUP or as third party plugin in Maya too.

My bad was that I have to go through only recruiters for interview & they gave more emphasis on the tool over talent. If for some reasons SOFTIMAGE ICE , Cinema 4d or even blender or any new thing takes over in effects than all we will be doing is just switching & learning & I don't see any harm in that. I am already loving the workflow of houdini & honestly I have started learning it more but my charm for Maya Fluid is still on top because I see this as a matter of preference & comfort that any artist would seek & discover himself after certain level of mastery achieved regardless of his fav tool whether its Maya , houdini or something else. Its always good to stay updated & to be ahead in tools.

So I am hoping by the end of H12 release I would like to see myself on the other side too.
Thanks again for all suggestions & friendly advice, It really helps me a lot.

talk to you soon Peter on the houdini forums .

Kind regards,
-Vik

Last edited by viki164 : 02 February 2012 at 12:43 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2012   #21
Originally Posted by ah-fx: just think, 8 years from now something better well be out and it'll be this all over again.


hahaha so true. So true. Can't wait.
 
Old 02 February 2012   #22
Originally Posted by pclaes: Hi Vik,
Learn Houdini.

It will take a while and to be truly great at it you will need to dig deep. You will need to understand computer graphics on a deep level to get the most out of it.

There are starting to be some shelf tools and some presets, but they are meant as starting points that you can then open up, learn from and modify further.

Eventually to create really custom effects and handle huge datasets you will need to go low level and design your own tools. I am talking about vectors, matrices, ray intersection, ray marching, clipping algorithms, fluid microsolvers, sampling algorithms, pointcloud filtering operations, ...

I used to work in Maya, but switched to Houdini about 5 years ago. I have never regretted it and I learn new things every day.

Using the right tool for the job is important. The thing with Houdini is that if the tool does not exist, then you can quickly make a prototype. And then iterate and improve and roll it out as a digital asset that more junior effects td's can use.

Here are few main reasons why I prefer using Houdini:
*) In my opinion Maya has the level of data abstraction wrong. It does not give you easy access to point information such as normals, up vectors, quaternions, matrices,... near the end of my maya useage I was scripting all the time. Pages of expressions and mel scripts to automate entire setups -- not very maintainable or quick to work with. You really need that data to create complex effects, you also want to process it quickly. Ideally multithreaded without the use of a scripting language. Houdini can handle points and voxels through VOPs which are multithreaded and offer low level nodes to control your data. Vops are eventually automatically compiled which is why they are so fast.

*) There is no concept of copy stamping in Maya except for the instancer which is quite limited. Copy stamping allows to create one setup, and modify parameters along the way for each copy.

*) There are no volume manipulation tools in Maya. Volumes are the future, from volumetric fracturing, to creating terrains with addaptive detail, to ways of distributing points in a volume, measuring distance to surface quickly,... To obviously building your own fluid solver.
If you have not used volumes for anything else but fluids, there are many other applications for them.

*) There is very little concept of feedback loops in Maya. Feedback loops and chaos (theory) generally helps to create some of the most complex effects, based on simple rules. Houdini has a sopsolver, which allows you to perform a set of operations over time on the same geometry as the last output. The closest in Maya I can think of is probably a soft body or a cloth object... but that is again limited to those contexts.

*) So you might have played with Peter Shipkov Soup tools for Maya? And you like what they offer? --> Those are almost straight ports from operators in Houdini. I am glad Peter Shipkov made those tools as it might open up more setups to Maya artists as well as perhaps make them aware of what they are missing out on.

*) There are no daily builds for Maya. Sidefx listens to their customers and if you in production need something fixed that is crucial for you, it can sometimes be fixed within a week. If it is something small, sometimes within a day. -- And the next day you download and install the new build with the fix. There is a reason why Houdini is called Houdini 11.1.201 .

*) Sidefx is a private company, so no shares, no shareholders to please. No release until the product is ready for release. -Extensive alpha and beta testing by professional Houdini td's all over the world, giving feedback and improving the tools. Sometimes directly, as very experienced Houdini td's get hired by sesi to implement some advanced tools into Houdini. Those Td's have years of production experience and a solid understanding of CG.

*) Houdini plays well with other packages, like Maya, Prman. It has a decent python api and if you still need more there is the HDK to create plugins or rendertime procedurals.

*) It has unlimited rendertokens for mantra for the farm. Mantra is micropolygon renderer, a raytracer and a physically based renderer - and is quite fast for what it does.

*) In regards to destruction effects and fracturing workflow - Houdini has pretty much all the tools that are mentioned that ILM has.
http://www.fxguide.com/featured/art...lowing-crap-up/

*) Houdini 12 is well on its way to become one of the most important updates ever, I foresee it will have a big impact on the scale of effects that it will be able to handle. Also with research and development agreements like this one: http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?opt...=2002&Itemid=66
more innovative technology will become part of houdini.


I do not work for Sidefx - I probably would if I had the time . But I am happy with the tool they have made. I highly recommend you to learn it. So if you do want to spend the time and learn Houdini, see you on the other side: http://forums.odforce.net/

Peter Claes
Lead Effects Artist
Method Studios


Very informative for us Maya based users. thanks.
You basically nailed 100% of the points and I think Vik's main idea is the hope that Autodesk will implement some of those things that houdini allows over Maya.
Makes me want to learn Houdini even more.


-Dan
 
Old 02 February 2012   #23
learn how to use Houdini,,,it's not to hard, and H12....oh...can't wait!!!
 
Old 02 February 2012   #24
Houdini is great and I love mantra, even if it would be nice if it could read archvies like renderman compliant renderers.

I work for a maya based company and during the last years while I'm learning houdini, I always searched for a way to replace any part of our pipeline, even a small one, with houdini. I couldn't find one. The reason is that if you know maya quite good, you are really fast in creating things. The fluid simulation allow you not too much control, but they are fast. e.g. I've done some comparisions and I think maya was about 5 times or much faster than houdini. So in a everydays work where you do not have too much time to do your effects, you don't have the time to use houdini. Same with liquid simulation. I did the same shot with houdini and with realflow and you guess it, realflow was faster and delivered a better result.

Of course these were simple scenes and my knowledge of houdini is still not very deep. But it shows a bit the problem of a switch to houdini from any well known software.

But I will not stop to try to include houdini in our pipeline because its soo cool!
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Old 02 February 2012   #25
I started out using just maya but quickly noticed the shift in fx positions to majority houdini. I agree with everything you are all saying and I think there is no harm in learning new tools. H12 is going to be a big game changer I must say.
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Old 02 February 2012   #26
lol.

this is a funny thread.

like i said SLOWdini.

its good if you have a month to develop a vfx shot, however if you are a generalist working on a faster paced production, its maya or 3dsmax all the way.

I am also eager to see what 12 brings to the table, it just may be fast enough to use.

keeping my fingers crossed.
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From Russia, with love @ stooch.tv
 
Old 02 February 2012   #27
Vikas,

I hope you're doing good mate!

The answer is Learn Houdini and get there, as I have been telling you from last 3-4 years now and you just love Maya too much, but honestly sometime they prefer candidate whom they don't have to provide visa, sometime its also a matter of time and luck or sometime they just don't feel right about someone, I got which company you talking about from the requirement description you mention. I worked with them in past, I love their culture really, they use both Maya and Houdini, and all effects TD's uses both Maya and Houdini. Though every studio is investing money in Houdini, simple for the fact that Houdini is way better then any other 3d application for Effects purpose.

I just feel that you may be had bad luck, keep trying you never know.

Cheers,
Junaid
 
Old 02 February 2012   #28
houdini = fun

Originally Posted by stooch: lol.

this is a funny thread.

like i said SLOWdini.

its good if you have a month to develop a vfx shot, however if you are a generalist working on a faster paced production, its maya or 3dsmax all the way.

I am also eager to see what 12 brings to the table, it just may be fast enough to use.

keeping my fingers crossed.


SlowDini LOL

SO NOT TRUE

if you know how to use it is damn faster than any other software, if you wanna use it like other software you suffer.

I use it all day for 1 week shots to any size shots, never breaks on me and more importantly it gets the job done, and Mantra ROCKs!!, it just got an oscar.

I was a maya user for 10 years, since I use houdini I'm happy again, and I used maya at work long before I worked with houdini, and the sufering was hard, knowing that I could do the stuff I was doing in maya, was so much easier done in Houdini.

Houdini might not be for the weak of heart cause it rocks Damn hard!!

yeah, I love it, but only cause it made my live as a VFX artist so much fun again.

just my 2c.

Cheers!!
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M I X S t u d i o
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cmiVFX Houdini Hip Tricks Volume One and Two
 
Old 02 February 2012   #29
Quote: I was a maya user for 10 years, since I use houdini I'm happy again


This is the third Houdini user ive heard this from...and I really do bang my head against a wall far too often with Maya...time to look into Houdini I suppose.
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RnD
 
Old 02 February 2012   #30
Quote: its good if you have a month to develop a vfx shot, however if you are a generalist working on a faster paced production, its maya or 3dsmax all the way.


I disagree completely > If you want to do do anything remotely complex in Maya you need to be using Mel whereas if your using Houdini you can quickly assemble very complex interactive shots that pull and push data to drive effects between pops / fluids / dops / etc etc straight out of the box which you can tweak and replace at ease .So to make those complex shots unless you have the tools supplied to you from R&D your going to be spending a few days writing some Mel. On a side note I just hope Houdini's growing popularity does not ruin it. As being a Houdini td still carries a certain respect when it comes to getting paid top rates.

b
 
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