[Sidefx-houdini-list] Autodesk bought Softimage

Olex P hoknamahn at gmail.com
Sat Oct 25 10:47:50 EDT 2008


> Have you used it though Ammon? I think you'll find that it's not just a
pretty, well marketed particle system. It's incredibly fast, and by that,
I mean faster than Houdini. This opens up doors to visualising and
achieving effects that previously couldn't be done without a lot of extra
time, effort, and planning.

Is it same flexible? Can you fetch any information from any place or pass
any data into any part of your scene? Flexibility is what differs Houdini
from any other package. Most of the time (as for me) it was more important
than speed. Of course speed is also important.

> For example, a simple node such as "Point in volume" just returns a true
or false based on a point posiiton, but it's so incredibly handy that I
use it all the time. I'm sure I could use a Ray SOP to do something
similar, but it's all about convenience. ICE is very convenient when it
comes to this sort of thing.

This is not because of *cool* architecture of ICE. You can achieve this in
different ways, for example as you said using a Ray SOP, or sampling from
volume. No problem. OTLs, presets?

> When people talk about innovation, I think this can apply in lots of
different areas. It doesn't have to be some new algorithm to achieve a
specific effect, I think it can also be in introducing a new standard and
ease of workflow. If you've used ICE in production, then you'll know that
Softimage has done exactly that.

Sometimes "easy" is easy only for the first look. For example nCloth. It's
easy. But it's not procedural. What means it's "pan in the ass" in the case
than you need to do lots of changes.

And also... You always have to pay for flexibility. Same as you have to pay
for "easiness".


On Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:30 PM, Andy Nicholas <andy at andynicholas.com>wrote:

> > SoftImage's innovation on ICE is their marketing,
>
> Have you used it though Ammon? I think you'll find that it's not just a
> pretty, well marketed particle system. It's incredibly fast, and by that,
> I mean faster than Houdini. This opens up doors to visualising and
> achieving effects that previously couldn't be done without a lot of extra
> time, effort, and planning.
>
> I don't want this to sound like I'm dissing Houdini and just trying to
> promote ICE, but the reality of production focusses one's attention very
> quickly onto what the best tool is for the job. I've frequently found
> myself doing things in ICE that I'd never consider doing in Houdini,
> usually down to computational speed, but also due to the way that the
> workflow in ICE makes it extremely quick to test things out, and it allows
> you to work at a high level rather than getting lost in the details.
>
> For example, a simple node such as "Point in volume" just returns a true
> or false based on a point posiiton, but it's so incredibly handy that I
> use it all the time. I'm sure I could use a Ray SOP to do something
> similar, but it's all about convenience. ICE is very convenient when it
> comes to this sort of thing.
>
> When people talk about innovation, I think this can apply in lots of
> different areas. It doesn't have to be some new algorithm to achieve a
> specific effect, I think it can also be in introducing a new standard and
> ease of workflow. If you've used ICE in production, then you'll know that
> Softimage has done exactly that.
>
> I guess I just don't particularly like to hear people knocking something
> when they haven't seen the sort of positive affect it's had. The guys at
> Softimage put a lot of work into it and have completely changed the way
> that we work with effects.
>
> All this pro-ICE stuff aside, for the job I'm doing at the moment I'd
> never consider using any other package than Houdini. In terms of the level
> of control it gives you to manipulate simulations from sources like
> Realflow for example, it's incredible. I have no doubt that without
> Houdini my current job wouldn't be feasible.
>
> I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think it's a mistake to invest
> yourself so heavily in one package or tool, it pays to be flexible and to
> examine other possibilities. Dismissing ICE as nothing new because it has
> similarities to VEX and VOPs is only limiting your choices, and I can't
> see a good reason for doing that.
>
> Cheers!
>
> Andy
>
>
>
> > On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 3:13 AM, Dragos Stefan <ds_list at dsg.ro> wrote:
> >> I totally agree about Houdini's help. I don't think however that
> >> Softimage's support compares with SESI's. And when it comes to ICE,
> >> well, in my opinion it took far too long for them to come out with it,
> >> and when they did it showed up there was really no innovation as they
> >> just copied what SESI did with VEX/VOPs many years ago.
> >
> > SoftImage's innovation on ICE is their marketing, just like it was
> > when SoftImage
> > introduced the "world's first"(*) animation software with non-linear
> > animation.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Ammon
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