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gamedesign1
09-27-2017, 12:05 PM
Hi All

I know this is a LightWave Forum but I have been coming here a lot and respect a lot of your opinions.
I have given Houdini a try today for the first time and I am amazed at how good it looks and the amount of features it has for such a small price. What is going on?!! haha
Based on what I can see it can do I am very tempted to buy it to add to my toolset. But before I do I just wanted to know what you guys think of it. Positives, negatives, etc.

Thanks :)

EDIT: By the way I am talking about the Indie version for $199

Ztreem
09-27-2017, 12:58 PM
I'm eager to test it myself, but havn't got time to do so, yet.

raymondtrace
09-27-2017, 01:07 PM
The perceived small price has a lot of license restrictions for commercial work...and that's a subscription of $199 per year.

Get the free apprentice version to learn. Then move up to a better license if the program suits you.

wingzeta
09-27-2017, 01:36 PM
The perceived small price has a lot of license restrictions for commercial work...and that's a subscription of $199 per year.

Get the free apprentice version to learn. Then move up to a better license if the program suits you.

Yes to the free apprentice version. Learning the basics of houdini isn't too bad, but once you are ready to go further, you have to really like nodes, a lot, to get over the next learning hurdle. That being the case, make sure it is for you, before you start spending $$$. Personally, it stopped being fun, once I got to the huge node networks needed to do something seemingly simple, but I may take another stab at it when I have time. There is no doubt it is powerful and worth learning, but a steep curve, that will take either the right aptitude, or time to push through. Give it a try for free, and see how you like it, and what you can make with it.

Marander
09-27-2017, 02:22 PM
Yes Houdini Indie is a great application, specially for $199 a year.

Having basic coding skills help also a lot for using Houdini efficiently.

gamedesign1
09-27-2017, 02:38 PM
Yeah I have installed the apprentice version to try it :)
Most of the restrictions in the indie version are actually ok with me.
I actually quite like the nodes for procedural modelling, it allows me to model things without committing which I like for some projects. The things that could make it worth buying are procedural modelling, muscles, fluid dynamics and hopefully better uv tools than LW.

Edit: also i need to make sure I can export geometry, static and animated.

pbaroque20
09-27-2017, 05:31 PM
I gave Houdini a try to test out its rigging capabilities. I'm really fond at the fluidity of it. Reminds me alot of Maya's workflow with some subtle differences like Houdini's bone system vs Maya's joints, Houdini's proceduralism and out-of-the-box presets vs Maya's engineering approach. The animation editor is a beauty to work with. Houdini has a lot of grace that I like and I'm considering eventually getting the core version for 2k just for its character animation capabilities.

gamedesign1
09-28-2017, 12:44 AM
This is all really helpful, thanks guys:)

mummyman
09-28-2017, 11:20 AM
Some really neat work... https://www.sidefx.com/community/houdini-hive-presentations/ time consuming.. 12 hours a frame??! Screw that...

pbaroque20
10-03-2017, 10:42 AM
Found this great article comparing Houdini and Maya philosophy and architecture

http://www.tokeru.com/cgwiki/index.php?title=MayaToHoudini

erikals
10-04-2017, 03:19 AM
The perceived small price has a lot of license restrictions for commercial work...
does it? the main drawbacks i see is,
- HD resolution render
- no income over $100.000

however, yes, go with Apprentice, easy to use, easy to install.

i mainly use/test Houdini for VFX simulations. for simple things Houdini can tend to get too complex.
a LightWave / Houdini mix looks to be a smart choice.


Found this great article comparing Houdini and Maya philosophy and architecture
http://www.tokeru.com/cgwiki/index.php?title=MayaToHoudini

:)   nice link


Some really neat work... https://www.sidefx.com/community/houdini-hive-presentations/
time consuming.. 12 hours a frame??! Screw that...

:)   another nice link.  yes, 12 hours is huge, the simulation is huge as well, so bound to take time.
Houdini is not known for having the fastest render. sending VDB data and render in LightWave Next could be a future idea.

dulo
10-04-2017, 07:17 AM
does it? the main drawbacks i see is,
- HD resolution render
- no income over $100.000

however, yes, go with Apprentice, easy to use, easy to install.

i mainly use/test Houdini for VFX simulations. for simple things Houdini can tend to get too complex.
a LightWave / Houdini mix looks to be a smart choice.



:)   nice link



:)   another nice link.  yes, 12 hours is huge, the simulation is huge as well, so bound to take time.
Houdini is not known for having the fastest render. sending VDB data and render in LightWave Next could be a future idea.

You are also not allowed to extract the .hipnc or .hipindie files.
Inside this file there is a nice file/directory structure which is really handy when you work with a versioning system and a lot of source code.
But only .hip files are allowed to be extracted and repacked.

raymondtrace
10-04-2017, 09:01 AM
The perceived small price has a lot of license restrictions for commercial work...


does it? the main drawbacks i see is,
- HD resolution render
- no income over $100.000

Limiting income to below $100k pretty much limits this license to a one-man shop (or up to three people eating ramen noodles...SideFX caps the number of indie licenses to 3 for any entity). With the unique file format, you can't collaborate with (or more importantly learn from) someone else using the full version. So you truly need to be "independent" to make use of the indie license.

erikals
10-04-2017, 09:06 AM
if you got $100k then you certainly can afford the full price of Houdini, $5K

Houdini is not for everyone, by far.

personally i'm only interested in the VFX side of it.


Limiting income to below $100k pretty much limits this license to a one-man shop
yes, a one-man shop / one-man VFX studio.

dulo
10-04-2017, 10:03 AM
$100.000 profit (not turnover) is quite generous .. and you can get 3 licenses for each one man shop ..

gamedesign1
10-04-2017, 10:30 AM
I am a one man band, so I never make over 100,000.
Does Houdini Indie allow the export of obj or Alembic?
I really like procedural modelling in it, but would render my scenes from Lightwave/Octane

erikals
10-04-2017, 11:00 AM
yes, more info >
http://forums.odforce.net/topic/29144-alembic-export-houdini-indie

and more general info >
https://www.sidefx.com/faq/houdini-indie-faq

Marander
10-04-2017, 11:20 AM
Limiting income to below $100k pretty much limits this license to a one-man shop

Yes agree. Personally I would not be happy if I run my own company and only earn $100k as a one-man shop but this is of course also depending on your goals, the location and skillset. But for hobby use and indie projects it should be more than sufficient. I mean you can start with Houdini Indie and get FX when the business gets better.

Edit: the FAQ reads $100k Revenue and not Net Income or Profit , so that can be quite limiting even for a one man company.

Thomas Helzle
10-06-2017, 02:39 PM
I started out with Indie and then got a Core network license when they had a half-price sale after the launch of 16.
For me Houdini is absolutely brilliant, nodes + VEX are super powerful for the procedural things I do and it's a hundred times faster than Rhino + Grasshopper which I used for a time.

For pure poly modelling it's not fully there yet and there are better/faster apps (and SideFX knows it) - I still use my old XSI license for that. UV mapping is not the best either.
But as soon as you enter anything procedural, it's ace. And if you know a bit of coding, it's ace squared.
It takes a while to get into it and get used to the basic ideas, but after that, there is little you can't do.
And then it becomes hard to go back to "normal" 3D apps, at least for me... :-)
Everything is open, there hardly are any black boxes and there isn't that "wall" where the app either does something or doesn't and if it doesn't you can only hope there is a plugin.
Most of the time you can just build it up yourself or find a solution online - the community is unbelievable helpful.
That in itself makes the asking price much more digestible - you probably do not need any plugins while some other applications need tons of support.

The only plugin I use is for rendering, since Mantra - as good as it is - is too slow for my machine. So I went with Redshift as my main renderer and Octane for some specific things. Thea Render, which I mainly used before, sadly is in a kind of stupor since they were bought by Altair and the probability that it will become integrated into Houdini are rather slim.


I went with Core since I'm not so much into simulation but wanted to be able to work remotely with clients. While one can always rent a license for a job, I prefer having a fully commercial license so all my scenes are in the shareable .hip format. And I'm also interested in creating HDAs, basically packaged setups that can be used in other software or Houdini itself - Indie can only create limited-commercial HDAs for Indie...


What kept me away from their commercial licenses (and actually the software) for a long time is their license policy.
The node locked licenses can't be moved freely (Officially "two times" in total but it's a bit vague), but I need to be able to use my license on my main machine as well as on my laptop when I'm at clients studios.
The network license is also locked to a license server machine, so either I would need to have my laptop running all the time if that would be the server or have it on my main machine and fiddle with VPN networks to reach it from afar and again have it running all the time.
So I looked into mini-PCs and initially planned to buy one such as a kind of mega-dongle (and use it for backups too when on the road).
But then I remembered my old Atom-based netbook that also takes very little power and has it's own screen.
So now I use that as a portable monster dongle, find it totally idiotic, but Houdini has become my 99% go to software so what the heck...

I hope SideFX will at one time enter this century as far as licensing is concerned, that part is still 100% based on their original big-studio-clientele. They even have stuff in their license that you can't move your license more than 100km from your main location etc. (freelancers are thankfully exempt)...

I can't recommend Houdini/SideFX enough, they are absolutely brilliant, the update to 16 was shocking in what it delivered on all fronts, but I would recommend reading through all the documents and ask their (fantastic) support about specifics if you are unsure.
They usually try to help above all one could expect, even when you only have Indie, but some areas they block completely, especially when it comes to licensing.
The yearly maintenance for the commercial licenses is steep, but you can even buy/update in rates (contact their sales department for that).

Cheers,

Tom

Marander
10-06-2017, 03:39 PM
Very good info thanks Thomas.

I was also tempted by the H16 Core Offer but similar to you, I'm not fan of the licensing. But sooner or later I will get at least Indie. Since I also code and like working with nodes, I'm looking forward to using it.

Reco
10-07-2017, 02:38 PM
I think the UV tools in Houdini are quite good. Way beyond Lightwave. A good but dangerous node is uvlayout. It's alive. It packs the uv automatically, which is very efficient. But it will repack the UV’s if you rescale the model or part of it. Too bad if you have done some texturing.

As for modeling tools. Houdini is not bad. Better than LW in many areas. Especial edge tools. The boolean tools must be the best in the industry. Below are a few examples.

But the grass is not always greener on the other side. I once modelled a complexed model. For one reason on of the nodes got corrupt. That ruin all the nodes in the network bellow. That was very frustrating. Previous saved versions did not work either. I think it was an upgrade issue.

So, I do most of my work in LW, even if I have a Houdini, Max and Cinema 4D Lite license.

I normally do this piping stuff in LW cad, but it is a nice feature in Houdini.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEauoLecZfc

Edge loops
https://vimeo.com/167151975

Boolean
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPm4EOWt_v4

My own boolean test.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwsMzw-4tik


Geometry visualizer
https://www.sidefx.com/tutorials/geometry-visualizer/

Edge straightener
https://www.sidefx.com/tutorials/edit-straighten/


Reco