Hello all enthusiast,
I ain’t intend to start a war or comparison whats good or whats bad. Just doing a reality check here. I am here to share the fact that I have been going through as an Maya Effects artist. Believe it or not Every Major Studio has switched completely to Houdini because of its awesomeness.
I have been using Maya since I started my career 8 years back. Its a been a very interesting ride & great learning experience & I am still trying to master few areas as my learning goes on. but now I am quite worried after all this years of experience I have to master another tool. No matter I might quickly grasp the tool as most of the fundamentals in particles, fluids or rigid bodies remains same but I am not sure If I will have same level of confidence of what I have gain through years of experience using Maya.I know for the fact as being an VFX artist, one must always stay updated with latest tools & technology & learning multiple skills is no harm but I feel sad on the part I have spent so much time on Maya particles-fluids & now I have to try things in a newer way by using Houdini.
As what I heard & Know Houdini is really a great package/tool & on the other hand Maya is great & robust in few areas but unfortunately its not an complete effects package in terms of effects rendering . Maya’s updates are too weak, Particle Rendering has always been an long lasting issue. Rigid bodies are still so terrible to use it in production.
People end up writing their own tool or script to make it work in Maya as a plugin : they have to be, because the Maya architecture itself is just not made to handle technologies like that using the core architecture. That’s where Houdini is different: nothing is a plugin/black box, everything is controllable. And that’s essential for high-end production. So I guess I am loosing my steam over Maya’s future.
Its hard to find a job at big VFX houses based on maya ground at the moment but I am making all my efforts to quickly switch over this tool " houdini" which is in so much demand at the moment. I know learning never goes waste but I might still say after mastering houdini that my fav prefernece of tool is Maya as I like doing it that way but it doesnt matter how you do it & what you do. What matters is Output.
& for the folks who say Tool is not important Its An Artist of how he approaches to achieve the effects. I am so not buying this word. My worst Experience I faced in my interviews by one of the biggest VFX house recruiters. ( dont want to name but Its one of the big players in market). They post the FX td job details as " Needs To Know
Full knowledge of Maya (Mel knowledge a plus) and/ or Houdini
Effects animation experience
Familiarity with pipeline issues
Experience in producing effects such as smoke, fire, clouds, water, steam and explosions, plus experience with particle rendering and voxel based systems
Minimum of 6 months demonstrable experience in effects work on feature films
A good general TD background is desirable "
I qualified almost all the points except the Houdini part, the discrepancy was My knowldege of Houdini was less or say very specific. The recruiter didnt even bother to set up my interview with any fx related person. She took the whole interview on her own. I knew what I was dealing with but the sad part was throughout whole interview she didnt ask even anything about my reel & the knowledge or skills I showcased in my portfolio. All they wanted to know " how Much I know Houdini ? " " Can you do all those effects in Houdini because we are looking for people who are strong in Houdini not in Maya " . I being honest I admitted that I am not an houdini Pro & My knowledge is very adequate in Houdini. Guess what happened ?? I guess My application went to trash.
So folks I am not here to encourage any tool but as being an Fx guy like many of us here. Switch your gears or you might face same of what I went through. I am Moving already but My love for Maya will always stay Young & Bright. Hope Autodesk do something about it to make it a complete Effective Effects Package.
Freelance Effects Artist