[Sidefx-houdini-list] disappearing HDA parameters

Michael Goldfarb goldfarb at coredp.com
Thu Jun 5 16:28:26 EDT 2008

I think we're confusing /building/ HDAs with /using/ HDAs

in building HDAs, Houdini will make backups for you...and as far as that 
goes you're on your own...it's like hip files...if you break something, 
it's up to you to have a good workflow to save your awn ass...

when /using/ HDAs there are (at least it seems to me) two camps...
1 - HDAs are built (by whoever) and dropped into a dir somewhere and 
people working on /shots/ instantiate them and at that moment become 
'owners' of those instances - they break them open and mess around and 
do whatever they need to to get the shot done (fair enough)...
I SHUDDER at the thought of working this way...once you crack an HDA 
open you are: on your own and outside the pipeline...and the show is now 
dependent on an individual who may or may not know what they are doing 
and dependent on the communication skills of that person. just too many 
things can/do go wrong in this situation.

2 - HDAs are built with some fundamental, and IMO vital, 
considerations...among then are compatability, universal applicability, 
centralized management/control, standardization of features/UI...
this is harder and takes more time but is worth it...
if an artist needs a change in the features or behavior of the tool he 
or the original make of the HDA makes those changes (in a way that is 
non-destructive to others) then it is published as a new version...this 
way he can use the new version with the needed changes but everyone else 
can use the old version...etc ctc

if SESI has some time to devote to this I'd suggest it as a subject for 
Jeff's Old School Blog...but as Rachael said, SESI make 3D software not 
pipeline software...

rachael wrote:
> doesnt it make back ups of all your HDAs? I mean really, we're a small 
> studio, we just have good communication with each other so we know who's 
> working on what and who shouldnt be messing around inside the HDA. 
> Houdini makes auto backups for us, which is great for when we break it. 
> Seems pretty straight forward. Even in a larger company, there shouldnt 
> be 20 people working on one HDA so maybe I'm missing the point of this 
> long thread. And personally, I wouldnt want SESI trying to manage my 
> system. They make 3D software not pipeline software, it's a totally 
> different knowledge base. That's just my two cents. Personally, i love 
> the way HDAs are set up right now and I'm really looking forward to the 
> improvements I've heard about in 9.5. Should be even more fun!!
> paul simpson wrote:
>>2008/6/4 Michael Goldfarb <goldfarb at coredp.com>:
>>>this has come up a few times on od[force]
>>>otl management is /extremely/ important...and once you get them under
>>>control their power really starts to rock...
>>>personally I'd rather see SESI spending time on other things rather than
>>>building pipeline tools that only a very few people, mostly those not in
>>>a studio environment, will ever use.
>>>we built a python based system that versions otls in about 2 man
>>>weeks...and even an hscript system could be done in a short amount of
>>>someone with some spare time should do something and put it out for the
>>>community to help develop...
>>if it's so easy then *sesi* should provide a bare bones system!  because
>>anything is better than the current nothing.  whilst the large studios do
>>have their own version control system - many small (and surprisingly some
>>large) shops have poor (or no) established systems.  if sidefx wants to
>>expand it's market share and sell houdini to new users (small shops doing
>>commercials for instance) then imho it needs to provide a more complete
>>package (along with a proper production ready shaders - don't get me started
>>on that).
>>for what it's worth (and i've mentioned this many many times before) i
>>believe that a linux like rpm/deb style dependency system is whats needed.
>>the current state of otl management reminds me of pre yast/zypper/yum days
>>of linux package management.  ie, a complete mess!  i believe that proper
>>otl management *should* be managed by sesi.
>>for example: right now, how could you easily publish an asset (to exchange
>>for example) that relies on many other sub assets (say that you have either
>>created or downloaded)?  you can't - or if you can - please do tell!  this
>>is hindering us all sharing assets between projects and each other.  this is
>>a core function that should be provided with the package.  (and overridden
>>for studio setups).
>>Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
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Michael Goldfarb                            email: goldfarb at corefa.com
c.o.r.e. digital pictures                        http://www.coredp.com
"Unless you're an astronaut, secret agent, vampire hunter,
or all three, you're probably a sellout; screw you."
- Maddox 2003

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