[Sidefx-houdini-list] Siggraph & Maya..

Nicholas Pliatsikas nick_p102 at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 15 07:04:59 EDT 2009


I was concerned autodesks choice to intergrate toxic and matchmover into maya, not sure about the pricing but the fact there will be only one version of maya tells me that 2010 will cost more then maya complete 2009 especailly with the addition of the above applications. The reason why im concerned is that there are so many issues and bugs since Alias was taken over , theres been a lack of innovation bar (ncloth/nparticles). 

The main additions to software have all been external sources. From the comet muscle system, toxic, match mover, mental ray, motionbuilder animation layering system. But rather then solving its main problems they have been adding more and more "new" features introducing more and more issues. Even the python implementation in maya was really just a wrapper for mel script, when it really should have been a full object oriented approach like houdinis great python implementation or the 3rd party pyMel maya plugin/python modules.

Yeah the animation/rigging side of maya is strong but it really hasnt moved much. 
But like you have said I do like the ease at which some of the maya effects tools work to begin with (to begin with is the important point here), even the other day I was playing with houdini fluids while a workmate was working with nparticles on the same effect. He did have a better looking result much much quicker then i did, im not saying that houdinis fluids are worse, the workflow with houdini initially always takes longer unless there is tools provided/created by tds.

In the end the overall control you get in houdini is the major advantage, simply put in production directors always want to change and direct vfx/dynamics etc. The procedural nature of houdini may be slow to begin with but is faster overall, as you can make these changes easily, but in maya you cant even move or delete a particle in maya with some scripts or expressions, let alone do the bigger changes.

Another example is the creation of tools in houdini is a much faster and has a more fluid workflow when dealing with tools and digital assets , then the pure scripting environment in maya. This applys to every area of houdini. The difference between maya and houdini is the strength in production that a houdini work flow has over a maya one. We use maya for animation and everything else after is done in houdini, because the maya render/vfx workflow always fell over/ or struggled in production, at the most crucial times that just happens to be when directors and clients want changes.

In a full houdini production environment you can easily create digital assets that do specfic tasks very quickly by anyone not just a very techincal VFX/render td. Or even fully automated setups, that would all be very difficult to replicate in maya.

Saying that for small studios or even single users, houdini may not fit.

Im waffling abit  and im not trying to have a go at autodesk merely pointing out whats been happening recenty. Maya 2010 will be very attractive to people due to the new additions theres no doubt. But outwith toxic and match mover whats actualy new since 2008. A few annoying interface changes and sticky ncloth and nparticles.

Cheers
Nick


> To: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
> Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 01:22:37 -0400
> From: craigleehoffman at aol.com
> Subject: [Sidefx-houdini-list] Siggraph & Maya..
> 
> 
>  
> Didn't make it to Siggraph but heard that Maya will soon be "Unlimited" only and will include 5 Mental Ray licenses, the Toxik Compositor, and a 3D Tracker.
> 
> So for roughly the same price as Houdini at it's current 50% off price (I think- not sure on pricing) Maya folks will be able to work with industry standard Video files in their compositor (COPs only handles individual frames much to my chagrin), be able to track a 3D camera from that footage to bring right into Maya, do 3D Paint of color, bump, etc. maps on the surface of models, have decent hardware shading support, have a good fast solution for character clothing (n-Cloth), and have fast fluids and cloth and wire deformers- all of which Houdini (which used to be a more complete solution) lacks.
> 
> Suddenly I think Houdini is going to be a much harder sell for those of us who prefer it.? :(
> 
> 
> I have to add that after working more in Houdini's DOPs in H10 more recently (wire deformers and fluids) and then seeing how simple and fast Maya's are to simulate and render I was quite dismayed.? I am not convinced the quality of Maya's dynamics are as good or flexible or powerful as Houdini's, but they certainly return 'usable' results much quicker right out of the box.? There are a lot of times where you want a small simple fast dynamics solution and that is a niche that Houdini hasn't been able to deliver on just yet, although it has gotten a lot better in recent iterations.
> 
> -Craig
> 
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> 
> 
>  
> 
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