Learning Houdini / Using it over Maya for Rigging; Worth it?

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  12 December 2011
Learning Houdini / Using it over Maya for Rigging; Worth it?

Hi everyone,

I'm a character TD experienced in Maya and it's my last day of school today, after the holidays I will be working and it was suggested to me that I should look into learning houdini as well, as I have a decent grasp of OOP (python) and rigging concepts, because the people who can do this in houdini are very employable.

I'm downloading the free watermarked version now but I have a few questions about it.

What are the advantages of character rigging in Houdini over maya, or, why should I rig my character inside of Houdini instead of maya?

I understand Houdini is the answer to dynamics, so I'm expecting to be able to spend a few solid weeks practicing to get nice results, and am I wrong to expect far superior results (depending on myself, of course) to maya?

I thought I had more to ask, but to be honest, the primary reason for this thread is the first question.

Thanks everyone
  12 December 2011

Where can I find a fast paced crash course in Houdini?

I don't need to know the meaning of a polygon or how euler rotations work. I know all this, I just want the fundamentals to using this piece of software.
  12 December 2011
as much as i like h , having had a look at rigging in it...i'd still take maya over that anyday.
though i'm sure if one dug deeper, things would pretty much level out.
yet there's a reason this industry still rigs and animates on maya...
with that said, u could take a look at the rigging dvds from 3dbuzz

  12 December 2011
I see,

So houdini would be primarily for dynamics and effects?
  12 December 2011
Pretty much yes. In a couple places it is also being pushed for some lighting and rendering, but that's about it. For now at least.
  12 December 2011
Originally Posted by JaredTaylor: Also,

Where can I find a fast paced crash course in Houdini?

c m i V F X Houdini Fundamentals is the best introduction to Houdini I have seen (not sure why these forums persist with blocking this company hence the double spacing, Side Effects website has useful links including the aforementioned), this will give you the basic concepts and makes some comparisons with Maya.

Beyond that it makes sense to get to know different packages, everyone works in a different way, so no one package is best for everyone.
  12 December 2011
Houdini is actually pretty great for animating and rigging, it is just a different mindset than Maya etc...
The main reason is the procedural approach, obviously, but also because one of the main brains behind Houdini was a character animator. There are some great tools, and it is a pity it is not used more.
I would greatly encourage you to dive into the animation rigging tools. You can quickly apply an auto-rig to a character and then modify it to your needs.

In terms of dynamics and effects, Houdini has the capacity to mix dynamics and keyframes very easily, which is extremely useful as you can drive certain animations based on your set keyframes, but then dial in the dynamics to taste

  12 December 2011
I have been looking to get into rigging for years but never committed. So much so, back in the days when i used Maya, I purchased Jason Schleifer's Animator Friendly Rigging and Hyper Real Facial Rigging. Both are amazing resources.

Now that I am giving rigging a second look, this time with Houdini, i have purchased the Character Rigging Set from 3D Buzz and they take you in out and all around the rigging toolset of Houdini with regards to bones, capturing (really in-depth) and techniques like, dynamically driven joint chains, stretchy IK, Space switching, Auto Tool generation with Python (they ease you in with a simple tool and get progressively more intricate).

It has really opened my eyes to what can be done in Houdini with regards to rigging and ut my mind at rest that it is able to so everything Maya/XSI etc can, really the possibilities are pretty much endless (especially when creating your own deformers with nodes).

Essentially, Houdini can do much more than what people are using it for. The only drag in Houdini at the moment is animating isnt a fun process. The manipulators are ridiculously thin and hard to control. And some pose space deformers would be realy nice out of the box.

But things are set to change in H12 with pre-selection highlight with geometry and manipulator handles along with speed increase with Cloth. I think more people with be using H in character driven stuff. I know i will.
  01 January 2012
rigging in houdini

Hi, just saw this thread and i would like to tell what i think about subject.

Im maya user for almost a decade and start loving Houdini at first sight. Bad thing is that rigging is not primary aim for sideFX but even if looks like that is H really poor with rigging tools, there is no limit what you can make.

What i love most in H is that you can build your rig in such way that works as autoRigging solution. You just need to think a bit and with smart use of expressions, nulls and math, you can make rig that you can change in propotrtions and fit in any character. Or build modular parts of rig that you cimbine as you need.

In maya or any other software you need to write tons of scrip for that.

Also vopSop's and CHOP's are great tools that are really powerful and fun to use.. Almost addictive!

I just hope that H one day will be primary software in rigging like maya these days. But im not sure when it's gonna happen. So far H need to stay just spare time learning software for me.

Andrew did you managed to finish you body rig that you started long time ago? I was really helpful when i started digging in rig in H.

  01 January 2012
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