[Sidefx-houdini-list] OT: What compositor do you use if not COPS? (was: houdini crashes...)

John Coldrick jc at axyzfx.com
Sun Jan 8 13:46:13 EST 2006

	Ah, compositing...I love being a frustrated compositor...:)

	It's Sunday, waiting for clients...time to ramble...:P

On Friday 06 January 2006 12:43, Peter Robbinson wrote:
> If I finally get a linux version of Fusion then Windows could pretty
> much be ditched. Alternatively if Cops ever gets updated then ...

	Personally, I've stopped holding my breath for Fusion.  They announced a 
Linux version the previous major release, and it never showed.  Now they're 
talking about a new one...sometime.  That sort of stuff *really* rubs me the 
wrong way - I simply have no faith in them.  When I see a full-featured, 
reasonably stable product on Linux I'll take a look, but not before.  It's 
fine to have a package popular with Windows users and to toss off comments 
about a Linux port - but "Show Me the Compie"!  :)

	Since folks seem to be weighing in on compositing packages...:)

	We have Houdini from the first days, so most of our licenses are "Master" by 
default, so Halo is there, use it or not, thus our situation is a little 
different from many.  I try to use it in production when I can, frankly to 
help out SESI with bug reports and feature sets, but I'll admit right now I 
tend to use Shake more when I'm in a crunch.  It's not perfect, by any means, 
but here's the strengths and weaknesses as I see them(all on a linux 64 bit 
OS - but both apps are 32bit):

	Tracking:  None in Houdini, an "ok" implementation in Shake(I'm spoiled with 
excellent tracking via 3DEqualizer and Discreet).
	Paint: None in Houdini, a fairly good procedural Paint node in Shake.
	Colour Correct: "so-so" in Houdini, quite nice in Shake.
	Keying:  "so-so" in Houdini, quite nice in Shake.
	Memory Management:  So-so in Houdini, with too much user intervention IMHO, 
absolutely rock-solid, hands-off, fan-frickin-tastic in Shake.(this assumes 
plenty of memory for both systems).
	Plugin support/"looks": Vex in Houdini(roll yer own), pretty good in 
Shake(both third party and roll yer own).
	Integration:  Excellent in Houdini, none apart from file formats in Shake.
	Interface:  I prefer Houdini for the most part.  I think their node-based GUI 
is the best in the biz.  I do love that little shake feature where "shaking" 
a node disconnects it, though.  :P
	Hooks:  Excellent in Houdini(duh), pretty good in Shake.
	Speed:  Here's where I differ from other comments - for the most part I find 
Shake faster.  It's *very* anecdotal and positively not scientific, but in v4 
I find it pretty damned fast.  This seems to apply more when working with HD 
and up, and more than 8 bit.
	Stability:  Variable on Houdini, rock-solid on Shake.  I'll caveat that with 
the relevant fact that I only ever use the official release of Shake - 
Houdini we snag daily builds.

	Anyway, my thoughts.  The intention isn't to diss Halo by any means, it's to 
point out what I personally find are it's weaknesses and strengths...and 
where I feel it needs to improve to seriously compete.  There's a lot of 
things I really like about it, actually, and I think it's highly usable for a 
lot of compositing jobs...just not all of them.

	Nuke I've evaled a couple of times - they have a rock-solid, screaming engine 
at the centre of it - total respect for that - but the docs and overall 
interface can be brutal.  If I was going to use it just myself, I'd probably 
get it, expecting others to learn it?  Nope.  However, a new release is out, 
they had a new client services chap working there that seems to really have 
his head screwed on right... once things quiet down I'd like to revisit.



John Coldrick                  www.axyzfx.com        Axyz Animation
416-504-0425                                         425 Adelaide St W
                                                     Toronto, ON Canada
jc at axyzfx.com                                        M5V 1S4
If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular
		-- John Kenneth Galbraith

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