[Sidefx-houdini-list] Shelf Question

Gene Dreitser keyframe at rogers.com
Sun Nov 16 19:55:02 EST 2008

I hear what you are saying -- that said, I'd argue that the reason this works is because the pipeline scripts themselves are well thought out, rather then their specific binding to a GUI control.  The reason it's sleek and sexy is certainly not because of the shelf -- it's just a place to store things after all, right?

Bear in mind that these tools have been designed specifically for your company's workflow -- therefore they work.  If, however, you attempted to pick up someone else's 'smart tools' -- do you feel that they would function just as well within your given contraints/pipeline?  My guess is, not so much -- not beyond a trivial level anyway.
The Million or so assorted MEL scripts presently scattered all over the the internet is strong evidence to suggest that perhaps these flashes of brilliance aren't as transportable as they sounds in principal.

There is no question that having similar looking buttons in one app and another will make users feel more comfortable migrating, but that's not a feature, is it?  More to the point, if the pipeline is so well thought out, and completely abstracts the user from the apps, why should anyone care what app they are using?  at that stage, they are users of your custom tools more so then Houdini, or Maya...


From: Andrew D Lyons <tstexture at gmail.com>

Speaking from the perspective of someone working at a large studio
that was originally Maya - but then went Houdini - shelves, and the UI
overhaul in general seem to have helped to bridge the transition for
new users with next-to-no Houdini experience. Our whole pipeline is
written in Python, and all our interfaces to that pipeline have
manifested as shelf buttons. Like many big studios, we have a paradigm
where expert TD's make shrink-wrapped tools for novice artists to use
in mass production. For that shelves are perfect. We have a very
similar configuration of shelf buttons in both Maya and Houdini.
That's kind of cool for new users.


Andrew D Lyons | Digital Artist | http://www.tstex.com
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