[Sidefx-houdini-list] Packaging and developing shaders

Andy Nicholas andy at andynicholas.com
Thu Dec 18 13:50:16 EST 2008

Hi guys,

I just wanted to draw on your collective experience on this. It seems that
there are various ways of storing/encapsulating shaders, and each has it's
own benefits and pitfalls:

1) Compile VEX to VOP type.
This seems pretty useful since you can use it inside the VEX to reuse it
in different ways. Unfortunately, you can't edit the shader as VEX nodes,
you have to get stuck into the code.

2) Compile VEX to Shop type.
Seems to be the least flexible. You can't edit the nodes or combine it
with other surface shaders.

3) Convert the entire material to a digital asset.
The advantage is that you can still edit the VEX nodes in the GUI.

4) Convert to Vop Shop type
Like 2) but you can still edit the nodes.

5) Keep a scene with the shader VEX nodes in.

Let's say that you created a set of basic shaders for general production
use, how would you: a) Distribute them to artists, and b) Store them for
further development and, most importantly, reuse components from them?
Let's assume we're just dealing with a surface shader, rather than one
that has, say, displacement as well.

I'm just interested to hear if there's a widely accepted way of going
about this.

Thanks a lot


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