[Sidefx-houdini-list] disappearing HDA parameters

Michael Goldfarb goldfarb at coredp.com
Thu Jun 5 17:00:18 EDT 2008

The Wild was made almost entirely (like 95%+) without hip files...

Andrew D Lyons wrote:
> I'm with Paul Simpson and co. on this one.
> We're a big studio, and this has been a big problem for us. If it
> wasn't for the fact that we could leverage pipeline code written by a
> team of 15-20 dedicated programmers to manage our HDA's, it would have
> been a bigger problem. It would have been great if SESI could have
> provided something out of the box, but as has been argued for many
> things in the past, generally studios want to do things in their own
> way, and until there's an obvious "please everyone" solution - nothing
> happens.
> The kind of specification that Paul provides above has been broken out
> before in alpha forums etc. and would make a great starting point for
> SESI. With galleries shaping up as a good parm saving compliment for
> HDAs, HDA's have tremendous potential as a pipeline mechanism with a
> comprehensive manager. We don't even use hipfiles anymore, but to get
> to the point where we could do those kinds of dynamic builds from the
> pipeline we had to do a lot of parameter and HDA management systems.
> I think production houses everywhere would be pleased to get a little
> more pipeline out of the box from their "pipeline in a box" - aka
> Houdini.
> v11 !!
> Cheers
> 2008/6/5 Michael Goldfarb <goldfarb at coredp.com>:
>>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
>>>Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>>Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>>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
>>Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com

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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