[Sidefx-houdini-list] Shelf Question

Peter Robbinson probbins at sympatico.ca
Sat Nov 15 21:15:22 EST 2008


While the concept of flexible tools that rely on python is certainly 
attractive, is there not a danger that this evolves into the same 
workflow that exists in maya, where any serious work needs to involve 
mel scripting?

PeterR


Pablo Giménez wrote:
> You are true in part.
> The problem is not in the shelf tools structure, is hoe tools have been
> made.
> I am agree that for example the tools for simulations are only useful to
> prototype something and do something fast not for a serious work, unless yo
> improve it a little.
> For example I built some time ago a tool for the shelf which change the
> default dopnetwork for simulations. All the tools from the shelf use a
> default network, usually  defined as Audodop network, good design but poor
> implementation because somebody forgot to allows the users to change this
> default network in an easy way. The tool from the shelf I made allows to do
> this and then you can place your new tools from the shelf in your own dop
> network. It will add some stuff that you don't like but make something fast,
> test it and after this clean.
> This demostrates that the design of the architecture is not bad, only the
> implementation is a little bit weak, sesi needs to make the tools more
> flexible, and now with python you can do it, in order to make them smarter
> and flexible. And definitely solve the consistency problems, the easy way is
> simply do evolve something that already exists in Houdini. All operators in
> Houdini have a hscript wrapper who is executed when the tool is used, well
> subtitute this hscript wrappers by python wrappers which detect when you are
> applying your tool, in a viewport or in a network and then do different
> stuff depending the situation.
> Only imagine Andy the wokflow you can create for modelling, with smarter
> python you can make the modelling stuff in Houdini fast and linear as
> modellers like, but keeping the underlying flexibility of the tool.
> Hopefully SESI will go in this direction .....
>
> 2008/11/15 Andy Nicholas <andy at andynicholas.com>
>
>   
>> 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.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> The UK's no. 1 new university
>>>>> The Guardian University Guide 2009
>>>>>
>>>>> This email is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed and
>>>>>           
>>>> may
>>>>         
>>>>> contain confidential information. If you have received this email in
>>>>>           
>>>> error,
>>>>         
>>>>> please notify the sender and delete this email, which must not be
>>>>>           
>>>> copied,
>>>>         
>>>>> distributed or disclosed to any other person.
>>>>> Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do
>>>>>           
>>>> not
>>>>         
>>>>> necessarily represent those of Bournemouth University or its
>>>>>           
>>>> subsidiary
>>>>         
>>>>> companies. Nor can any contract be formed on behalf of the University
>>>>>           
>>>> or
>>>> its
>>>>         
>>>>> subsidiary companies via email.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>>>>> https://lists.sidefx.com:443/mailman/listinfo/sidefx-houdini-list
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>>>> https://lists.sidefx.com:443/mailman/listinfo/sidefx-houdini-list
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>>>> https://lists.sidefx.com:443/mailman/listinfo/sidefx-houdini-list
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Un saludo
>>>> Best Regards
>>>> Pablo Giménez
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>>> Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>>>> https://lists.sidefx.com:443/mailman/listinfo/sidefx-houdini-list
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>
>>> --
>>> Un saludo
>>> Best Regards
>>> Pablo Giménez
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>>> Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>>> https://lists.sidefx.com:443/mailman/listinfo/sidefx-houdini-list
>>>
>>>       
>> _______________________________________________
>> Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
>> Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>> https://lists.sidefx.com:443/mailman/listinfo/sidefx-houdini-list
>>
>>     
>
>
>
>   

-- 
"gravity is not a force, it is a boundary layer"
"everything is coincident"
"Love: the state of suspended anticipation"
"To get any appreciable distance from the Earth in 
a sensible amount of time, you must lie."
"Easy, is not how you make a living."




More information about the Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list