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greent
04-17-2009, 03:12 AM
It's out!

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&Itemid=322&id=1449

DiedonD
04-17-2009, 03:45 AM
Wow they now offer Twisted Metal solutions!

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&Itemid=322&id=1482

Wonder how much calculation time it takes to tear and make those VFX!

cresshead
04-17-2009, 04:27 AM
so...cloth tearing...took em 10 years to catch up to clothreyes for max 2...Hmm not really that impressed to honest on that particular "new feature"...and 3dsmax 3 got clothreyes for free back in 2001...

houdini overall does look pretty good...but 8K is a lot of money!

see clip>>

http://www.reyes-infografica.com/imagen/cloth/avis/palo_1a.avi

Netvudu
04-17-2009, 06:25 AM
Cress, as much as we know you donīt work for Autodesk, you really make an effort to make it look otherwise.
So, you get a link to 10 videos, and about half of them picture stuff you canīt even try to do in MAX (can you distribute the calculation of fluid simulations there? I donīt know about if thereīs an ODE implementation in MAX but I doubt so...just to randomly mention two of them) and you decide just to concentrate on something that a MAX plugin does? gotta be kiddinīme...

For starters Lightwave can also create ripped cloth, but you didnīt seem to mention that (as well as many other features showed in those videos, such as edge loops, etc....), and secondly, as usual with MAX everything is half-assed. Did you see the denting feature for dynamic objects in Houdini? well, thatīs nothing but a new ready-made tool for the improved cloth dynamics. Now use your clothreyes for a dynamic solution that has to interact with rigids, fluids and particles at the same time. Iīd like a link to a video of clothreyes doing that...

The bottom line being, if I refrain from posting cool stuff of Houdini not to annoy Lightwave users with ad-like posts that have nothing to do, what the heck is a cheesy max video doing at this thread?

cresshead
04-17-2009, 06:47 AM
Cress, as much as we know you donīt work for Autodesk, you really make an effort to make it look otherwise.
So, you get a link to 10 videos, and about half of them picture stuff you canīt even try to do in MAX (can you distribute the calculation of fluid simulations there? I donīt know about if thereīs an ODE implementation in MAX but I doubt so...just to randomly mention two of them) and you decide just to concentrate on something that a MAX plugin does? gotta be kiddinīme...

For starters Lightwave can also create ripped cloth, but you didnīt seem to mention that (as well as many other features showed in those videos, such as edge loops, etc....), and secondly, as usual with MAX everything is half-assed. Did you see the denting feature for dynamic objects in Houdini? well, thatīs nothing but a new ready-made tool for the improved cloth dynamics. Now use your clothreyes for a dynamic solution that has to interact with rigids, fluids and particles at the same time. Iīd like a link to a video of clothreyes doing that...

The bottom line being, if I refrain from posting cool stuff of Houdini not to annoy Lightwave users with ad-like posts that have nothing to do, what the heck is a cheesy max video doing at this thread?



the reason i mentioned clothreyes was that it was the first cloth sim to tear cloth..and that was 10 years ago and it won an award for it's tech back then...the reason i didn't mention lightwave was that clothreyes did it first nearly a decade ago and my point was to demonstrate that cloth tearing is nothing new so isn't such a 'wow' feature thesedays.
as for you opinion on 'cheesey' i beg to differ and in fact the tearing clip i linked to looked better than the 8k houdini 10 clip in regrads realistic tearing of the cloth.

as i wrote and you decided to dismiss out of hand...houdini 10 does look like a good release and some of it's features are very good...the 1 feature i did not find new or wow was cloth tearing..which why i posted.

when i make an observation or point i always try and back it up with either a picture or video.

have a nice day n all

btw clothreyes was created in spain, your homeland..there's some amazing people in your country...not by autodesk or kinetix or discreet...but by reyesinfografica..give them their due, they did this 10 years ahead of houdini.

:)

Netvudu
04-17-2009, 06:55 AM
My point was nobody including SideFX pretended all the features to be new for everybody, just new to Houdini. If I am to believe your reasoning (no reason not to) you should have brought some other video from some app (maybe Lightwave, maybe XSI...I donīt know) for the edge loop thing which I canīt believe you find it a breakthrough feature. But you didnīt.

The IPR shows FPrime functionality, but you didnīt bring a Worley video. Iīm guessing because MAX canīt do it.

Once again, I get cloth tearing is nothing new. I still donīt see why a max video made it into the thread. You always post MAX stuff and frankly, it bugs me A LOT, because having tried most packages I personally rate MAX at the lower end of the whole CG sector, with only FumeFX, Krakatoa and Vray plugins being redeeming qualities for an otherwise subpar piece of...software

cresshead
04-17-2009, 07:06 AM
so basically you don't like 3dsmax and wish that anyone who uses lightwave and 3dsmax to never ever mention 3dsmax ever here [newtek forums]?

but houdini is okay...

Netvudu
04-17-2009, 07:12 AM
oh, I would settle with someone not mentioning max for EVERY post I read in which he/she is involved.

cresshead
04-17-2009, 07:19 AM
wow you've read all 7,465 posts of mine..you must be a fan then!

:D

i am thinking of changing my first name from steve to m*x!

Netvudu
04-17-2009, 07:21 AM
yes, Iīm your "bestest" fan.
By the way, Iīve tried some of this stuff at the 10 beta stage and uprezzing the fluids really rocks my socks.
The stereocopic thingy was less spectacular (to me at least) but quite convenient. I could have used that on a couple of works last year!!

cresshead
04-17-2009, 07:25 AM
oh, I would settle with someone not mentioning max for EVERY post I read in which he/she is involved.


your 'fan' status needs a reboot...
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97826

not one mention of m*x
though i did mention xsi!!!:devil:

Netvudu
04-17-2009, 07:41 AM
You seem to insist on the off-topic max thingy (which I brought because of your out of place video). Just for the records, a quick search on the forum tells me you mentioned MAX on nearly five hundred (473) posts which is twice the number of posts I have. I can trace you doing MAX references back from year 2003.

can we now go back to Houdini 10, please?

cresshead
04-17-2009, 08:04 AM
yawn...

numbers...my posts/threads...search...

lightwave> crashes the search...too many to handle i think..eeek!
3dsmax>434
maya>341
core>217
zbrush>147
modo>103
houdini>60
vue>60
mudbox>58
bryce>42

Kuzey
04-17-2009, 08:08 AM
Just for the records, a quick search on the forum tells me you mentioned MAX on nearly five hundred (473) posts which is twice the number of posts I have. I can trace you doing MAX references back from year 2003.

It might be a lot for you but it's not for him with almost 7500 posts...now, if all those posts mentioned Max then you might have a point :D

I for one don't mind people comparing one software to another. Also, Cresshead has used his knowledge of Max to help people in the Core to get up to speed.

:thumbsup:


Kuzey

dballesg
04-17-2009, 08:48 AM
btw clothreyes was created in spain, your homeland..there's some amazing people in your country...not by autodesk or kinetix or discreet...

:)

Yep, products like Real Flow, Maxwell Render, Fry Render, Glu 3D and sure a few more that I forget.

I am surprise how they manage to do it, without I+d support from the Spanish Government.

To my knowledge Reyes Infografica dedicate themselves now to their Fashion 3D Software: Virtual Fashion. In fact their web page names the plugins for MAX 6????

And about the houdini videos, i really liked the Number 9, they way you can group nodes, put Sticky notes on your networks, etc... Really nice! :)

David

cresshead
04-17-2009, 09:48 AM
It might be a lot for you but it's not for him with almost 7500 posts...now, if all those posts mentioned Max then you might have a point :D

I for one don't mind people comparing one software to another. Also, Cresshead has used his knowledge of Max to help people in the Core to get up to speed.

:thumbsup:


Kuzey

:cat::bowdown:

i created 37 tutorial vids on core made so far...more to follow!

Netvudu
04-17-2009, 10:04 AM
I saw a couple of those videos (we have a CORE account at the studio, though not for my nick) and many other cresshead MAXīs mentions at the CORE forums. Although I donīt like watching that MAX stuff around the core forum either, I didnīt say anything there, because I reckon that:

a) Those videos might, and probably do help many people even though they are useless to me.

b) Everyone has his/her own rights to ask for other softwareīs features to be built into Core, so cressheadīs proposals do have a place there, even though most of what he asks similar to Max are big nonoīs in my wish list for Core.

...still beats me why we are discussing all this stuff at this thread....

OrvilleB
04-17-2009, 10:07 AM
I am in 3d just to learn and play. A little a year ago, I found Houdini Apprentice. I spent several days learning it, and was about to give my $100. Then, a new update came along that I installed. The thing would not run on my computer. I eagerly awaited 10 to see if it would load. Well, it will load, but now it won't quit. Of course with my free version, or with the $100 version, I can expect no support, but that thing has got to run on someone's computer.

cresshead
04-17-2009, 10:21 AM
I saw a couple of those videos (we have a CORE account at the studio, though not for my nick) and many other cresshead MAXīs mentions at the CORE forums. Although I donīt like watching that MAX stuff around the core forum either, I didnīt say anything there, because I reckon that:

a) Those videos might, and probably do help many people even though they are useless to me.

b) Everyone has his/her own rights to ask for other softwareīs features to be built into Core, so cressheadīs proposals do have a place there, even though most of what he asks similar to Max are big nonoīs in my wish list for Core.

...still beats me why we are discussing all this stuff at this thread....

i'm not a big fan of personal attacks and i believe it's not the done thing here...there are tools to help when such matters arise and i'm about to use one...it's called the ignore list.

Netvudu
04-17-2009, 10:58 AM
OrvilleB, Houdini does work flawlessly both in my desktop and my laptop, so obviously somethingīs wrong on your side.
At home I use the 100$ Aprentice HD edition and it also runs properly.

Cresshead, I see no personal attacks on my posts at all. If I happen to be wrong, please point them and I will appologize for them...

...unless you are taking my MAX reaping as something personal, of course.

EDIT- I just spotted a "language barrier" thing. When I wrote cressheadīs videos were "useless to me", I meant useless FOR me. Sorry, Iīm not native to english...

AbnRanger
04-17-2009, 11:08 AM
My point was nobody including SideFX pretended all the features to be new for everybody, just new to Houdini. If I am to believe your reasoning (no reason not to) you should have brought some other video from some app (maybe Lightwave, maybe XSI...I donīt know) for the edge loop thing which I canīt believe you find it a breakthrough feature. But you didnīt.

The IPR shows FPrime functionality, but you didnīt bring a Worley video. Iīm guessing because MAX canīt do it.

Once again, I get cloth tearing is nothing new. I still donīt see why a max video made it into the thread. You always post MAX stuff and frankly, it bugs me A LOT, because having tried most packages I personally rate MAX at the lower end of the whole CG sector, with only FumeFX, Krakatoa and Vray plugins being redeeming qualities for an otherwise subpar piece of...softwareMax has had for years both cheap and free plugins that go well beyond adding loops with a single click...do you need some links for those? Max 2010 just integrated and improved the best plugin of the group.
Max has also had an FPrime-esque preview renderer called Active-Shade, for years now...it was just a bit more limited than FPrime. You now have near render quality viewport display with Max 2010. Both VRay and finalRender have waited for 2010 to ship before releasing their IPR's (both versions seem much faster than what was shown in Houdini).
They are expected to be released any day now.

The point being, Houdini, as nice as it is, is not so superior to its competitors that it justifies double and triple the pricetag, IMHO (I think Cresshead feels the same way)...especially in the current economic climate, and especially since those competitors offer numerous features it still does not.
When people make the case about LW's price/feature ratio in relation to Max...well, to a degree, they have a point.

So, everytime I go, "Wow, Houdini"...I'm brought back to reality by it's pricetag. That's why I'm keeping an eye on CORE. I think it has the potential to match up nicely with Houdini in the near future, albeit, at a fraction of the cost.

OrvilleB
04-17-2009, 11:11 AM
Thanks Netvudu. I assume it is some problem with my Nvidia 8800 GTX or its driver. I read some post at Houdini's site. I am not going to change anything right now because I spent a night trying to get Photoshop CS4 to work with it, and that program is a lot more important. Houdini 10 is running on my machine. I modeled something, imported a Collada file from Lightwave, made a short video, and ran particle simulation this morning, and they all worked. I just wish the program would quick, but it saves files, and I can force it to quit in Task Master. As I said, I am retired, and I do this strictly for fun and Houdini is so complicated, I could never hope to learn everything. I will play with it, and if I can get it to work properly, I plan to pay my $100. I am really considering something like this now, because I fear with Core, Lightwave might get too expensive for me to keep up.

Lewis
04-17-2009, 11:18 AM
Looks great to me. Distributed rendering and simulation calculations looks great and WEB/Online version sounds fantastic (i could render at home through my machines at work ;)). also they got NATIVE IPR (Fprime) which works with EVERYTHING. also those Fire effect / presets are great. Stereoscopic rendering, yeah nothing new but works in OpenGL well that's way beyond we are used to have in LW :). Dynamics looks great also, especially those with CARs ;). Only thing i don't like in Houdini is modeling :) but rest is amazing.

OrvilleB
04-17-2009, 11:58 AM
Sorry, but I had to give up on it. I said I rendered an object. Well, I added a material to a simple object. 10 minutes later it still hadn't rendered a single frame. My computer might not be powerful enough (Intel QX6700, Nvidia 8800GTX, 2 Gig RAM, Windows XP Pro), my drivers might be wrong, or some program might be interfering, but I don't have time to work with it

oogway
04-22-2009, 07:16 AM
I am in 3d just to learn and play. A little a year ago, I found Houdini Apprentice. I spent several days learning it, and was about to give my $100. Then, a new update came along that I installed. The thing would not run on my computer. I eagerly awaited 10 to see if it would load. Well, it will load, but now it won't quit. Of course with my free version, or with the $100 version, I can expect no support, but that thing has got to run on someone's computer.

Sidefx isn't in business to leave you hanging, so while the Apprentice version doesn't come with the same support as a commercial license, they are quite willing to help.
Best place to do that is on the Sidefx Apprentice forum. There is a pinned topic that outlines the type of information they would like to see from you.

Regarding versioning, Sidefx is unique in that they do a daily build of the application and that is available each day. If you go to the Support section of the website there is a Journal that will tell you what has been fixed and what has been added, updated pretty much each day.

oogway
04-22-2009, 07:25 AM
Sorry, but I had to give up on it. I said I rendered an object. Well, I added a material to a simple object. 10 minutes later it still hadn't rendered a single frame. My computer might not be powerful enough (Intel QX6700, Nvidia 8800GTX, 2 Gig RAM, Windows XP Pro), my drivers might be wrong, or some program might be interfering, but I don't have time to work with it

If you are attempting to render through the IPR viewer you need to add a Mantra render node to have that work.
Go to the top left, Render/Create Render Node/Mantra.
Then in the Render View where it says Choose Rop..., click that and choose the Mantra node you just created.

wacom
04-22-2009, 10:17 AM
I'd think the biggest difference between Houdini's cloth tearing sim and the max one is that it plays VERY well with everything else. This is not a plugin- it's something you can work with to do all sorts of things since Houdini is node based etc.

And BTW- I'm fairly certain I've seen "cloth tearing and cutting" done in Houdini before, this is most likely just a new, out of the box, officially supported, and tightly coded sim that can run in real or near real time.

There is a lot more going on here than just dis-connecting verts and slapping a cloth sim on it when it comes to Houdini...

Max users alway say "oh we've had this half baked or expensive plug-in solution for eons" and just don't get what makes Houdini special because it's so far outside their sphere.

That said, Houdini still needs more modeling tools that are quick to work with...these latest ones are a step in the right direction though...

To be sure, there are good things about MAX that other programs don't currently have (even if they are expensive plugin solutions), I just find it funny when people start comparing it to a real film FX program vs. a viz app that was adopted by game studios for modeling and level design...all you have to do is go on the Area forums to hear Max users outside the viz market beg and whine for features to see that!

As far as the price of Houdini- we must be talking about the version that does all the sim work. There is no other program currently, sans Maya and a ton of scripters and programers, that can come close to that level of simulation AND its flexibility to work with all the other parts of the application. Most studios AFAIK, don't buy 10 copies of Houdini master- they buy several escape licenses and maybe one or two masters as it's really the TD focused version. So if you have say...ten employees working and only one is a TD...well then it's cheaper to buy 9 escapes and one master than 10 copies of max pre-plugin. This argument is totally ridiculous though IMHO, because these two programs are at their base targeted at such VERY different groups of 3D user. I don't think any one using Houdini thinks it does everything MAX does (nor do they need it to) but at the same time...I think Max users have been brain washed into thinking MAX does everything under the sun by just looking at a feature list of plugin set.

Besides- the modeling argument is also silly. Pay 3.5k in the US just for a modeling app? Uh...why not just get Silo and Modo and save a chunk if you need modeling tools on par or better than MAX and then use what ever you want? Besides...it's important to have some modeling tools work as animation and procedural propagation tools.

Netvudu
04-22-2009, 10:23 AM
Regarding the modelling issue, as a Houdini user I must say I donīt even think SideFX are pretending people to model in Houdini anymore. If you check the "modelling tools" video they start along the lines of "many people like to import models from...".
This being said, there are times when procedural modelling is just what the doctor ordered and saves huge amounts of time. I certainly do all my organic modeling in LW, thatīs for sure.

AbnRanger
04-22-2009, 10:35 AM
I'd think the biggest difference between Houdini's cloth tearing sim and the max one is that it plays VERY well with everything else. This is not a plugin- it's something you can work with to do all sorts of things since Houdini is node based etc.

And BTW- I'm fairly certain I've seen "cloth tearing and cutting" done in Houdini before, this is most likely just a new, out of the box, officially supported, and tightly coded sim that can run in real or near real time.

There is a lot more going on here than just dis-connecting verts and slapping a cloth sim on it when it comes to Houdini...

Max users alway say "oh we've had this half baked or expensive plug-in solution for eons" and just don't get what makes Houdini special because it's so far outside their sphere.

That said, Houdini still needs more modeling tools that are quick to work with...these latest ones are a step in the right direction though...

To be sure, there are good things about MAX that other programs don't currently have (even if they are expensive plugin solutions), I just find it funny when people start comparing it to a real film FX program vs. a viz app that was adopted by game studios for modeling and level design...all you have to do is go on the Area forums to hear Max users outside the viz market beg and whine for features to see that!See, those comments right there reveal more about you than it does the topic at hand.
Houdini is no more a REAL cg film tool than 3ds Max. Does Houdini have some nice and unique tools and workflow? Sure it does. But the very same can be said about XSI, Max, Maya, C4D, LW, too. There are plenty of studios that pull off FX shots in Max that rival ANY in the business...and they happen to prefer it over Houdini. Does THAT mean Houdini is inferior...no. But the converse is also true.
A good VFX artist can do extraordinary work in any of the major applications. Trying to say that none of them measure up to Houdini is silly talk.

After all, most studios can choose whatever they want. Blur, Pixomondo, Digital Domain, Frantic Films, Tigar Hare, Eden FX, etc, etc....all use Max for VFX (DD uses both Max and Houdini). Roland Emmerich's "Day After Tomorrow" and the upcoming $200 mill film "2012" is largely composed of 3ds Max VFX shots (w/ Cebas, a major 3rd party dev for 3ds Max working directly with them on the set and using the production to hammer out the features in the soon to be released "finalRender R3" as well as Thinking Particles...which has both PhysX support and its own dynamics engine). They all would laugh in your face if they heard those words come out of your mouth.

Not a REAL film tool, aye?
:ohmy:

Netvudu
04-22-2009, 11:36 AM
uh....actually it reveals a lot more about you than it does about wacom. Obviously you take info from the Internet as opposed to taking it from people working at those studios, and you give that Internet info the value of truth...which tends to be wrong.

You can make a movie with Windows Paint if you want to, and this doesnīt mean it will be the proper tool for it, or that the quality wonīt suffer.
I happen to know personally this guy (I wonīt say a good friend as this term is vastly overused over the net) who has been tool developer for Blur for about 4 or 5 years (he works now at a bigger studio) and you might want to hear about his opinion on MAX...or rather you donīt want to. I canīt write that opinion here because of swearing filters on the forums, you know :D In fact the only reason there are still any MAX licenses at Blur is because they donīt want to loose all those in-house tools that they developed throughout these years, not to mention how painful to change a big pipeline is.

I also know personally a couple more of cases along these lines, (you mentioned one of them on your list) and in both cases the reason to work in MAX had nothing to do with the quality of the tool, and problems did arise eventually because of using MAX.

Iīm not saying it is a useless tool, but it is clearly not developed for hi-end work and it shows its ugly face every time you try to force it for such a task.
The amount of in-house work needed to overcome its stock limitations is way bigger than some other apps would need, and this means time, which also means money.

If you want more details, Iīm working in a CG feature film (not big budget mind you) and there are two FX houses involved. THe other one has not been able to meet deadlines...or to deliver their shots at all because of rendering issues at 4K with MAX. Apparently the best machines money would buy wouldnīt render their scenes. It could of course be an operator problems, but it smells like Autodesk CPU/RAM-hogginī which we all are unfortunately familiar with.

I wonīt mention other examples because I donīt know those firsthand and Iīm not going to play the game of giving any value to gossips and/or internet stories.
The real feature film world is far far away from Internet forum stories, you know.

As I said above, if it wasnīt for a few third party tools, MAX would be useless IMHO...for feature film work, that is.

So, I really donīt think anybody is going to laught at wacomīs face anytime soon....

wacom
04-22-2009, 01:02 PM
Look, I'm not saying that other applications aren't used in VFX, I'm just saying there are a few features in Maya and Houdini (and maybe soon XSI) that you'd be hard pressed to find, in a similar fashion to, for other applications currently. These have to do with fluid simulations etc. and combining those with other simulations and animation in a procedural fashion.

Is this always the best approach for any VFX shot? That's highly debatable, I'm just saying that there is a reason that certain studios turn to these applications- and it has little or nothing to do with app favoritism or cost- more simply that these will do what other applications either can not...or you'd have to bend over backwards to do.

On a personal level I think MAX IS THE most over price piece of software when compared to the other options, but that is just my opinion- plenty of people would argue otherwise...though I doubt they have much in-depth experience with the likes of Houdini, XSI or Maya and what makes people turn to those solutions...

I could care less about finalrender or many other render engines for that mater- as to if they are a good fit depends on the person using it, their skill level, the project at hand, and the deadline. These days, to be honest, the render engine is the last thing I look at when surveying applications and am far more interested in it's use of shader trees and the nodes used in that tree and the lighting system and controls. Again- that's just for my uses.

And...once again...I'm not saying that Houdini is everything to everyone...more that no application is...and the sooner the Max fan base gets off their hi-hobby horse about thinking MAX is the total solution the better.

Besides- AD is the most bug-tastical, bullet BS feature lust listing company on the planet. They turned my stable XSI into a heap of bugtastic gotchas in just a .5 release (because it was rushed and they pushed an infamously unstable and stupid *** version of mr on us like they have been doing to the MAX and Maya users).

wacom
04-22-2009, 01:15 PM
If you want more details, Iīm working in a CG feature film (not big budget mind you) and there are two FX houses involved. THe other one has not been able to meet deadlines...or to deliver their shots at all because of rendering issues at 4K with MAX. Apparently the best machines money would buy wouldnīt render their scenes. It could of course be an operator problems, but it smells like Autodesk CPU/RAM-hogginī which we all are unfortunately familiar with.



This is most likely caused by the last two .x releases of mr, but it could be operator error.

PRE- AD softimage wouldn't touch the latest releases of mr or include their shaders because they knew they wouldn't be production worthy and were buggy as all get out. There was an extended internal SI beta on new mr releases in a sense. Now that SI is part of the "give us shinny button" user base that supports AD we've gotten this version of mr, which by all accounts is THE WORST release of it yet- not to mention the complete dumbing down and thus slowing down of the bsp tree for all the people too impatient to learn it. Yeah- there are some dandy features in there...but just like most things AD pushes it's beta ware for sure!

It's so bad that some XSI users are back porting work to 6.x or not even using 7 because of the mr limitations. Sad to say the least...

OK- so I half lied in my last post...I'd say if the application depends on mr I might now consider the render engine(s) more important...I pray for Vray and FR to finally come out for XSI since they've been in near release beta for eons...

AbnRanger
04-22-2009, 02:52 PM
uh....actually it reveals a lot more about you than it does about wacom. Obviously you take info from the Internet as opposed to taking it from people working at those studios, and you give that Internet info the value of truth...which tends to be wrong.

You can make a movie with Windows Paint if you want to, and this doesnīt mean it will be the proper tool for it, or that the quality wonīt suffer.
I happen to know personally this guy (I wonīt say a good friend as this term is vastly overused over the net) who has been tool developer for Blur for about 4 or 5 years (he works now at a bigger studio) and you might want to hear about his opinion on MAX...or rather you donīt want to. I canīt write that opinion here because of swearing filters on the forums, you know :D In fact the only reason there are still any MAX licenses at Blur is because they donīt want to loose all those in-house tools that they developed throughout these years, not to mention how painful to change a big pipeline is.

I also know personally a couple more of cases along these lines, (you mentioned one of them on your list) and in both cases the reason to work in MAX had nothing to do with the quality of the tool, and problems did arise eventually because of using MAX.

f you want more details, Iīm working in a CG feature film (not big budget mind you) and there are two FX houses involved. THe other one has not been able to meet deadlines...or to deliver their shots at all because of rendering issues at 4K with MAX. Apparently the best machines money would buy wouldnīt render their scenes. It could of course be an operator problems, but it smells like Autodesk CPU/RAM-hogginī which we all are unfortunately familiar with.

I wonīt mention other examples because I donīt know those firsthand and Iīm not going to play the game of giving any value to gossips and/or internet stories.
The real feature film world is far far away from Internet forum stories, you know.

As I said above, if it wasnīt for a few third party tools, MAX would be useless IMHO...for feature film work, that is.

So, I really donīt think anybody is going to laught at wacomīs face anytime soon....So, if I come across one houdini user who has something negative to say about it, then it is disqualified as a FILM tool?
Like I said, there are plenty of studios that use Max on a daily basis for primarily for VFX...so you're essentially telling us they could save themselves a mountain of labor and headaches if they'd just bow down and acknowledge Houdini's clear superiority? Right.

What does the internet have to do with this? I didn't have to google anything. I already knew about these places. Intuition, a regular on here, now at Digital Domain (previously at EdenFX), would laugh at the notion, too. Do you want me to PM him? Do you need me bring some others over here that would do the same?

Personally, I've been a longtime finalRender and Afterburn user...and I'm intimately familiar with it's capabilities...no internet articles needed. It's over at the Cebas support forums that I came across open calls for VFX artists to work on the movie, and it's Cebas' work on the film that seems to have pushed back the FR R3 release date, IMHO (they were talking like it would be around Christmas/New Years). So, I'm not a Max noob pointing to some article I found in a google search. Neither is Cresshead.

I was never attempting to say it was THE defacto standard by which other programs are measured, but neither is Houdini. It simply excels in a few areas. That's cool...I've taken notice and have contemplated taking advantage of the Apprentice path. But when I take an honest inventory, I realize it's not worth the time and treasure...not when I have very capable tools available to me in what I'm already experienced and comfortable with. There's precious little, if anything, that it can provide that I couldn't accomplish in Max. That's the very same sentiment expressed by the team at Blur.

All of these programs have given areas where they excel...and that's precisely why Houdini is no different at the end of the day.

Because of 3ds Max's wide open SDK (Newtek has only started this with CORE), its real power has always been it's 3rd party community. These plugins operate as soundly as native features for that reason.
Take Mental Ray (non-plugin renderer) vs finalRender or VRay(true plugin renderers) for example. Although it's been included with Max since v6 and has some degree of integration, it still operates as a standalone renderer (has to use a translator...which makes for a number of incompatibilities), and is therefore not as tightly integrated as Mental Ray in Maya or XSI, nor a plugin renderer (ie, VRay or finalRender).

I don't know why they chose to do it that way, but it's not compatible with volumetrics, and THAT is what your "friend" was fussing about.

Blur held an event at Gnomon a few months back where they discussed their work and pipeline for WarCraft Online (cinematic work). They discussed how they switched from Brazil to Mental Ray...and sure enough they mentioned that PITA they had when it came to Mental Ray with Hair and volumetrics (they had to render those in Max's native scanline and composite the diffferent passes together).
That's why I've been using finalRender (VRay is just as solid) for years. I don't know why they didn't go that route. They mentioned that they like a few things about Mental Ray and some of the materials.

That doesn't mean Max sucks...it just means that, IMHO, they chose not to go with existing renderers that offered more advanced GI (anti-flicker animations and GI caching), faster, and with bulletproof compatibilty with Max plugins. Mental Ray in Max is fine if you don't need to use it in those areas, but obviously Blur was willing to deal with the work-around...I think cost (not having to buy 3rd party renderer licenses) was likely the determining factor. But it's also a very good reason why many studios like them stay away from Houdini...just too cost prohibitive when the software they already use is more than capable.


Iīm not saying it is a useless tool, but it is clearly not developed for hi-end work and it shows its ugly face every time you try to force it for such a task.
The amount of in-house work needed to overcome its stock limitations is way bigger than some other apps would need, and this means time, which also means money.Honestly....have you done your homework? Are you willing to put up some numbers to solidify your argument that Houdini is "High-End" and Max is not...it's laughable that you'd say that when it's used as such everyday by scores of studios and freelancers. Would you be willing to wager a friendly bet that Houdini has more market saturation in the FILM (not just games or arch viz) industry than Max? HHHmmm? That, after all, is the true barometer of what tool is a REAL professional application. I guess you're going to next claim that Photoshop isn't really a professional Graphics application.

So, Houdini's Mantra renderer is superior to anything available for Max? There are several thousand VRay users that have to render those resolutions everyday and would take issue with you in this regard.
As I mentioned before, Mental Ray in Max is clearly not the best solution in Max in some cases. Both VRay and finalRender are better solutions on many if not all fronts, and I personally don't understand why any VFX studio (using Max) isn't instead using one of those, at least as a fallback when MR isn't cutting it.

Netvudu
04-22-2009, 05:41 PM
Hi again Don.

You brought some very valid points, and also seemed to attack many of my comments with much passion...itīs all good, though remember Iīm not bashing you here. At most Iīm bashing MAX which should not offend anyone, specially since weīre discussing at a thread titled "Houdini 10" and it wasnīt me the one bringing MAX into the table (though I was the first criticizing it).

Regarding your point, "is one disatisfied user enough to disqualify tool?" well, that obviously depends on the user. If I say so about MAX, it doesnīt mean much. I have just played with it a couple of times, mainly for exporting reasons and just for playing around with the awesome FumeFX plugin, so itīs quite safe to say I know squat about MAX. From your comments regarding Apprentice I get you also seem quite foreign to Houdini. But if this hi-end user who has been using MAX for years at work (and you know the quality Blur is used to) and tells me the problems at the app, and where this problems come from, and mirrors my own concerns about it, then THIS is a valid crit. THIS is the real thing about an app. We both can, after all this years, tell the strong and weak points of Lightwave blind-folded. We know where it excels and where it falls short. And in many cases we know its not just a matter of personal taste. So in this case, a similar power user is telling me clearly which problems they have...

...by the way, it was not a mental ray-related problem as you commented several times. It was a riggin problem. Apparently when they created "Gentlemenīs duel" they hitted several brick walls regarding animation of characters and no in-house tools were giving a satisfactory solution so they moved to XSI for that.

Next, I donīt really understand why you mention Intuition here, you wanna PM him for what? is he going to punish me for saying I donīt like MAX? But now that you mention DD; Iīm sure you know Houdini is all around there on the FX department specially for hi-end stuff...and it was way before they ever used MAX there. I also happen to know people there, such as one of the current FX Leads. By the way, he also worked at Blur with MAX (not the tool developer I mentioned before. Another guy) and then moved to Houdini for doing hi-end stuff, and he might know something about it since he has been FX TD at Sony Imageworks, FX TD at Rhythm&Hues and now heīs FX Lead at DD. Iīm sure he would never talk badly about MAX (heīs very polite) but at the same time he can explain you how many shortcomings he would find to clobber what he does daily with MAX. Much of the stuff he does in Houdini is simply not possible at all with MAX. End of story.
Is he the "average user"? surely not, but since we are talking about hi-end stuff here, he would be a perfect example...
Iīm not trying to run a popularity contest here (I just know him because we are Houdini users from the same country, and there are not so many around here. Iīm not amazingly connected in the industry or anything). I just brought this very example to illustrate my point.


As for the "standard" thing...sorry, but thatīs silly. The most used thing is actually almost NEVER the best one. Heeey, look at how many el-cheapo Nissans arooound, Iīm sure that means Nissan is the best car. A Lamborghini is a piece of crap that nobody would ever use. That must be it.
How many people uses Massive? Very few. So, following your logic MAX is way better for crowd simulation considering the "sales" numbers (I doubt about using the word sales because MAX is the most pirated 3d package by far which explains so much of its user base).
And of course, all in-house tools are crap because just a few people use them compared to all the kids playing at home with MAX.
Even film studios have to choose for many reasons beyond quality...for instance, current pipelines, or (this is very common) workers availability. One big studio around here had to go for MAX precisely for that (and they did suffer from that decision but thatīs another story).

Then you say something about freelancers and small houses or whatever which shows youīre loosing track of the conversation because weīre just talking about HI-END STUFF here...(or at least I though we were)

...and related to this, you ask "Is Mantra better than VRay/final Render etc..."? no render engine is better than other. It all depends on the task at hand. For sure if Iīm doing arch-viz I would be crazy going for Mantra because it will do the job but it will be a million times less effective than VRay for instance. Now, if we agree in this...why canīt you understand that the same things applies in the opposite way? That clobbering a heavily displaced animated surface at 4K with VRay is a recipe for disaster and way less smart than using Mantra for the same thing! (BTW Mantra uses quite the same displacements that Renderman uses).

So whenever we talk about arch-viz and I reap MAX you can come and tell me I know squat about it, and for the same reason the more you try to convince me that the little Autodesk toy is going to work for hi-end features better than Houdini makes me wonder if weīre posting in the same language!

Once again, I donīt pretend to offend you, nor Cress, nor Intuition, nor the kid that plays with the pirated version of MAX. Iīm just giving my (I think) valid reasons for not liking this 3d app for the work I currently tend/intend to do.

BTW, I donīt just dislike MAX. I also tend to dislike Maya a lot hahah. At the studio where I work we have this thing we call the "Autodesk factor" Whenever anybody we know uses MAX or Maya for a job we know an incoming headache is coming their way...thatīs the Autodesk factor.

So...Iīm totally biased, but at least take into account Iīm biased based on previous experiences, and not on a blind blood-mongery crusade ;D

cresshead
04-22-2009, 06:29 PM
all these apps are useful...it however appears that some regard an app as some sort of software based religon where you 'have to believe' in only 1 true app...

nonsense of course but pretty much what you'd expect for your typical internet forum posts.

oogway
04-22-2009, 06:43 PM
So, speak of Houdini. Here's little test I did inspired by a GDC demo.

They were demo'ing Nvidia Cuda and it's real-time particle playback. It looked interesting and I figured I'd like to see how I might accomplish the same thing in Houdini. This was just meant as a proof of concept, I wasn't interested in doing a finished pass.

Here's some of what they were showing;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuZQpWo9Qhs

I've attached a .mov file of what I came up with. Excuse the quality, I compressed the hell out of it to keep in nice a small, but you should get the idea.

I've also attached the .hip file so you can load it in Houdini and see what's up. (Oh, I had to cheat, this forum doesn't recognize the .hip extension, so I changed it to .txt. Just change the extension back to .hip and it should be fine.)

It's a real simple setup and took me about 15 minutes to setup and render. It tells me enough to know that my idea would work just fine.
Obviously in a 3d app. I wasn't aiming for real-time playback, but .5 million particles updates just fine on my little consumer HP laptop, under half second per frame update in the viewport.

The interesting thing here really is that I used a fluid system indirectly. I generated a fluid simulation, then extracted the velocity field. Moved that to the surface editor (sops) where it was converted to curves with the velocity data embedded in them. I birthed particles from the curves and added some noise. Then moved the curves in the scene.

AbnRanger
04-22-2009, 08:32 PM
It's one thing to say you don't like a given application, it's another to slam it as incapable (in this case, of high-end film work)...when it CLEARLY DOES ON A DAILY BASIS. People invest a great deal of time in their chosen tools, and it can get psuedo-personal when folks like Wacom make absurd comments like that. Just as it would be tasteless to crack on someone's girlfriend, their auto...what ever. You're implying they made a poor choice. That's why we're supposed to avoid flaming in the first place, right? I didn't slam Houdini. I simply stated that, as nice as Houdini is, it's not enough to compel me to switch

Once more, studios that choose 3ds Max for high-end VFX work do so for a reason. They know all about Houdini and have the means to switch if they so wanted. A student asked the CG Supervisor at Blur why they chose Max over the other software. The answer was that they'd long been a Max house and if they saw other software that could offer them something that Max couldn't do, they wouldn't hesitate to use it. That's coming from the top of the food chain, and as you say...end of story.

cresshead
04-23-2009, 01:18 AM
3dsmax films & tv >>
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=5666145&linkID=5572501

3dsmax games >>
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=5666147&linkID=5572501

cresshead
04-23-2009, 01:35 AM
scine some keep on harping on about 3dsmax being not being capable for fluids or particles

for those who need HEAVY particle and fluid sims...try these>
http://www.franticfilms.com/software/

flood and krakatoa

oh yeah it's on 3dsmax..

http://www.franticfilms.com/videos/flood/anchor_drag2.mov

http://www.franticfilms.com/videos/flood_spray/spray_1.mov

http://www.franticfilms.com/videos/flood_surf/flood_surf_demo_green_web.mov

behind the scenes visual effects on Journey to the Center of the Earth
http://vfxworld.com/?atype=articles&id=3695

Netvudu
04-23-2009, 03:09 AM
Ok, Iīm gonna twist this around and instead of replying to the MAX stuff, which only brings us into an spiral of death and bad feelings, Iīm gonna try to concentrate on the main topic of the thread (geez...I must be weird) so that we can actually do some talking about H10.

So far so good. Iīve been trying the new plastic deformations object dynamics and they work a big deal. Specifically, playing with dented object dynamics proved very interesting as just tweaking the basic values moved me from a "rigid dented" feeling, to a "flat plastic ball" feeling...fun! They clearly show they worked a lot on the cloth solver. Didnīt find any bugs either so Iīm not trying any of this weekīs daily builds.

cresshead
04-23-2009, 07:52 AM
some people on this thread are on my ignore list, i'm guessing they're making some wacky replies

AbnRanger
04-23-2009, 10:01 AM
My app's R bettar than ur's's!!!1111!!eleven1! I iz win!
It's not a tug-of-war between apps...it's some elitist Houdini users claiming other applications (who are more widely used than Houdini for the very same tasks) are less worthy and incapable. I'd make the same case if I were an XSI or Maya user.

If I were to ignorantly proclaim that Maya isn't really capable of high-end character work, you'd be quick to correct me, wouldn't you?

3ds Max doesn't employ the level of AI that Massive does, and doesn't cost any where near what Massive does, but that doesn't preclude it from being capable of high-end crowd-sim shots. There are a variety of tools available for the task, including Character Studio's Crowd Behavior module or Particles with instanced animated objects or pre-rendered sequences cards

Chrizto
04-23-2009, 10:27 AM
I've been using Houdini 9, 9.5 and now 10.
It is an awesome product, but seriously complex, and not for the faint hearted.

AbnRanger
04-23-2009, 10:36 AM
I've been using Houdini 9, 9.5 and now 10.
It is an awesome product, but seriously complex, and not for the faint hearted.Don't get me wrong. I like what they've done with Houdini....love the UI and the new features. I was watching the demo's where supposedly you can use the new IPR to make your tweaks to your effects, but it appeared much slower than I hoped and not nearly as interactive. I don't know how hampered it was by the use of screen capture software.

I'm going to have to play with the demo and see for myself...if it's a major leap over what I can do in Afterburn (for Max), I may have to check out the Apprentice HD

Chrizto
04-23-2009, 10:59 AM
Don't get me wrong. I like what they've done with Houdini....love the UI and the new features. I was watching the demo's where supposedly you can use the new IPR to make your tweaks to your effects, but it appeared much slower than I hoped and not nearly as interactive. I don't know how hampered it was by the use of screen capture software.

I'm going to have to play with the demo and see for myself...if it's a major leap over what I can do in Afterburn (for Max), I may have to check out the Apprentice HD

I would certainly recommend Houdini Apprentice 10 HD. It has a couple of limitations, but other than these:
1. No external render support, only Mantra and no network rendering nodes
2. Limited to HD resolution on animations but unlimited for stills.

It is the complete Houdini Master 10.
Most people not making use for it in commercial sense would not be hindered by this. The only thing I miss is network rendering node support, as I'm used to distributing to three other machines while rendering animations...

Netvudu
04-23-2009, 11:46 AM
Don, I would feel very sorry if I came off as an "elitist Houdini user". In the end I hope we realize we are all Lightwave users as well. I do use both packages and wouldnīt want to change that.

I certainly agree that getting into Houdini does require a bit of an extra effort coming from software that doesnīt deal with the "procedural paradigm" as they call it. But in the end is well worth it. Once you "get it" itīs really enjoyable working with it.


Oh...and LMAO at neverkoīs post. :D

AbnRanger
04-23-2009, 12:57 PM
It is the complete Houdini Master 10.
Most people not making use for it in commercial sense would not be hindered by this. The only thing I miss is network rendering node support, as I'm used to distributing to three other machines while rendering animations...

I wish Houdini Master would come down, but at least if I need to use it on a project, I have the option to rent a seat.