[Sidefx-houdini-list] Shelf Question

Andy Nicholas andy at andynicholas.com
Sat Nov 15 14:09:26 EST 2008


Firstly, I'll say that I'm coming at this topic with a certain amount of
ignorance, as I've avoided the use of the shelf tools as much as possible,
but personally I find them of limited use. Like you guys have already
said, there's an issue with consistency and managing interaction states,
but I think there are problems way beyond that.

When I'm building something in Houdini, I like to spend a lot of time
taking care over placement of nodes, and making sure that I structure
everything very carefully to make it as readable as possible. As soon as
you click one of those Shelf buttons, all bets are off. Unless you want to
spend a lot of time figuring out exactly what each button does, it could
potentially create nodes somewhere that you really don't want it to.

Let's say I've done a lot of work creating an RBD simulation and I click
one of the shelf buttons to add something, say, a ground collision. It's
kinda pot luck where that's going into my network. That's not something I
particular appreciate! As mentioned already, it wouldn't be so bad if you
could at least direct it to put the newly created nodes in a specific
place in your network. But then, I'd rather just use the Tab key.

The only ones I ever use are the ones to do with simulation, and that's
only to use them as examples to check out how to piece stuff together. I
think the shelf tools are also great if you're giving a demo to show off
how easy it is to construct a simulation quickly with a few clicks, but
how often does that ever happen in production?

I can see why they were put in there; to appeal to people coming from
other packages who want to transfer their workflow across, but I can't
help that it's a facade that doesn't represent the reality of the day to
day production methodology of using Houdini.

I dunno, what do you guys think? I'm very interested to hear if I'm just
being closed minded on this. Does anyone use the shelves all the time
during a job? If so, what for?

Cheers

Andy





> 2008/11/15 Francois-Xavier Boussard <b.fx at free.fr>
>
>> Hi Pablo,
>>
>> I totally agree with you, the shelf tools needs more care. That was the
>> meaning of my answer. It is possible to have great tools with it. It is
>> so
>> flexible. It need more doc !
>>
> Yes it seems to be a very early implementation, also it needs more stuff
> in
> the python side, curently many things to deal with the ui are very
> cimplicated, i know that sesi is working in this side, but the overall
> architecture and how tool are integrated in the rest of the package is
> really good.
> The other problem i found is the duplicate stuff between pure operators,
> liek in the old houdini and the new shelf tools.
> In my opinion the TAB in the viewport will need to contain primary tools
> form the shelf, basically the old operator in houdini but with a wrapper
> in
> python to make all the things needed to interact with the user, the tool
> launched from the viewport are sippose to be interactive. isn't it?
> You can also have a seconday menu that give yo access to the operators,
> now
> is the opposite the TAB menu in the viewport give more preference to the
> operators and you need to open a secundary menu to get access to the tool
> from the shelf.
> For instance with extrusion, is more easier to access to the old
> extrussion
> node, when is suppose the is more flexible to access to the extrussion
> tool
> which can make many thngs in python to make easier to apply the
> extrussion.
> In the network TAB cos is suppose that working from the netwrok is not an
> interactive action, you put you operator but not interact with it from the
> viewport is better to keep the current state.
> But having a strong toolset from the shelf with an easy access from the
> TAB
> menu can make possible for example to design a strong modelling workflow
> in
> Houdini.
> Anyway I think that SESI is concerned about this and the current state is
> the typical situation of a tansition between two different ways of
> working,
> placing pure operators that only apply th operation or having wrappers to
> thei operators which helps the users to apply them.
> cheers
>
>>
>>
>> wrong thread before, sorry for that.
>> francois
>>
>> ----- Mail Original -----
>> De: "Pablo Giménez" <pablogipi at gmail.com>
>> À: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com, "Francois-Xavier Boussard" <
>> b.fx at free.fr>
>> Envoyé: Samedi 15 Novembre 2008 02:06:43 GMT +01:00 Amsterdam / Berlin /
>> Berne / Rome / Stockholm / Vienne
>> Objet: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] Shelf Question
>>
>> Hey Francois how are you ...
>> Well certainly you can create nodes in the network editor from a python
>> script contained in the shelf, I don't have any snippet of code here for
>> you
>> but I have done this.
>> So is possible. And yes the shelf is really cool, in my opinion the
>> tools
>> shipped with Houdini are not correctly designed because almost all of
>> them
>> at the end of the operation dont leave the tool in a usable state.
>> For example, try the parent tool from the modify shelf, you have two
>> object
>> parent one to the other, the tool is leave in the parent state, so now
>> you
>> cannot select anything, you have to select another tool to be able to
>> select
>> something in the viewport, this breaks complitelly the workflow and is
>> very
>> annoying, and happens with almost all the tools from the shelf.
>> I think that passing the control to the transform tool, which allows to
>> freely select object in the vewport, after appplying any tool will be
>> much
>> more useful for the user.
>> cheers
>>
>>
>> 2008/11/14 Francois-Xavier Boussard < b.fx at free.fr >
>>
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>> Not very clear for me what is the standard behaviour for the shelf
>> python
>> scripted tools. I guess the main reason is you can use those script from
>> everywhere, shelf or tab menu... and that is really great.
>>
>> For example, creating a SOP rop with the 'generictool' function will
>> create
>> the node without any Ctrl click or viewer click as long as there is an
>> active sop network panel.
>> The same code for a file sop node, no way to avoid the viewer or Ctrl
>> click. (i don't need to position a file sop in the viewer, did i ?)
>> I tryed 'genericSopNodeGeneratorTool' that get a prompt option. It don't
>> seems to be for that purpose ?
>>
>> # rop SOP node
>> import soptoolutils
>> soptoolutils.genericTool(kwargs, 'rop_geometry')
>>
>> # file SOP node
>> import soptoolutils
>> soptoolutils.genericTool(kwargs, 'file')
>>
>> # file SOP node created from genericSopNodeGeneratorTool
>> import soptoolutils
>> soptoolutils.genericSopNodeGeneratorTool(kwargs,'file', 'File',
>> prompt='None')
>>
>> Is there a way to achieve node creation in a network pane, no viewer
>> click
>> or Ctrl click? Maybe one click in a right type network pane ? It is
>> tedious
>> when creating a full network. The turn around i have is to get the path
>> for
>> the network from first node created and then use the python node
>> creation
>> hou.node().createdNode(). But i guess i miss something...
>>
>> francois
>>
>>
>> ----- Mail Original -----
>> De: "Adrian Lee" < dryrainstudios at gmail.com >
>> À: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>> Envoyé: Jeudi 13 Novembre 2008 14:23:08 GMT +01:00 Amsterdam / Berlin /
>> Berne / Rome / Stockholm / Vienne
>> Objet: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] Shelf Question
>>
>> Just swapped my desktop about too.
>>
>> The error I get when trying to drag the box from the shelf at obj level
>> is
>> "The attempted operation failed. Invalid node type name"
>>
>> if I make a geo and go into it I get no error when dragging, but there
>> agtain you dont really want a box at obj level.
>>
>> dont know if that helped
>>
>> Ed
>>
>>
>> 2008/11/13 Phil Spicer < PSpicer at bournemouth.ac.uk >
>>
>> > Hi Ed,
>> >
>> > I was just trying a different Desktop config, and wanted the shelves
>> > directly over the Network Editor. When I drag a box object onto the
>> network
>> > I get an error because it is meant to be invoked through the viewer. I
>> can
>> > hold down CTRL when LMB the shelf node, but it doesn't have the same
>> level
>> > of interactivity that I would like...
>> >
>> > I guess I want the feeling of being able to tear things of the shelf
>> really
>> > rapidly directly onto the Network Editor. I am probably after a hybrid
>> of
>> > the speed of the shelves with the functionality of tab menu system. If
>> I
>> > could do this manually with my hands, I would want to use both hands
>> to
>> grab
>> > and claw shelf tools in turn onto the Network Editor as fast as
>> humanly
>> > possible.
>> >
>> > Any thoughts welcome.
>> >
>> >
>> > Kind regards,
>> >
>> > Phil.
>> >
>> >
>> >
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>>
>> --
>> Un saludo
>> Best Regards
>> Pablo Giménez
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>
>
>
> --
> Un saludo
> Best Regards
> Pablo Giménez
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