[Sidefx-houdini-list] "You can't polish a turd" - was Siggraph & Maya..

craigleehoffman at aol.com craigleehoffman at aol.com
Sat Aug 15 15:55:38 EDT 2009




The problem is "we" all know this, but the people writing the checks for software purchases don't and they like to write one check for one application and save money as much as possible.  If Maya does everything that is perceived that needs to be done (and includes a bunch of Mental Ray licenses with it) it gets harder for those of us in the trenches to justify the extra cost of Houdini, especially when some kid can come in and do a decent "smoke" or "fire" or "cloth" sim in Maya in seconds and have it be almost interactive and render super fast.



So maybe I should just re-word this as a plea to Side Effects for a few things to help establish parity with Maya 2010- here are my thoughts:



COPs needs to support industry standard Movie Files and needs some other industry standard filters added


COPs memory bugs need to be fixed to stop crashing (even though I can work around it by constantly emptying my cache)


COPs needs a 2D Tracker/Image Stabilization and a 3D MatchMover (perhaps license and integrate something cheap like SynthEyes) 


Improve hardware rendering support (check out what Autodesk is doing with Mudbox and what people are doing in Blender)


Speed up DOPs more and allow for simpler dynamics options that are less accurate but much faster


More tutorials on basic character rigging, muscles, and animator workflow (and bring back "Pose Library",etc.)



-Craig



-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew D Lyons <tstexture at gmail.com>
To: sidefx-houdi
ni-list at sidefx.com
Sent: Sat, Aug 15, 2009 11:37 am
Subject: [Sidefx-houdini-list] "You can't polish a turd" - was Siggraph & Maya..








Anyone remember Softimage v4? It was the only available production
release of Softimage during numerous years while the various owners
developed Sumatra/XSI. Softimage's various owners did everything they
could to add value to the existing package to try and stay
competitive. They even created software bundles that included
compositors - but users were keenly aware that nothing much was
changing in the core application. The bottom line was that they had
reached the end of the line with the fundamental architecture of the
software, and needed to do a total rewrite in order to add new
features that wouldn't break the existing code. In the meantime,
Houdini reached maturity, and early versions of Maya pretty much
cornered the character end of the market that Softimage had dominated
up until then.

I see a similar parallel with Maya now. Adding value by tacking on
external applications in this way suggests the software has reached
the end of the line as a viable platform for future development. As
with Softimage v4, the danger right now for Autodesk is that people
will move to other applications while the existing software is starved
of new features, and/or goes through all the pains that come with
early versions of a total rewrite. So many industry people have
freaked-out about a rumored 3d Max/Maya/XSI merger that big
announcements about "major changes", "mergers" or "rewri
tes" seems to
be being downplayed or delayed as long as possible. Starting with the
UI replacement next year though, I think we can safely say that a
rewrite is happening covertly, and users of that app should be aware
that the water is slowly, gradually starting to get very hot...

Cheers

2009/8/15 Abdelkareem Abonamous <anamous at gmail.com>:
> Features are nothing if the workflow is broken. For heavy fx stuff,
> Maya is currently in limbo - nParticles sounds good on paper but our
> TD's having been pulling their hair over it, nucleus in general is
> still very rudimentary, and let's not talk about caching, retiming,
> post-processing particles etc.. Not saying that Houdini is without it
> quirks and I certainly am not putting down Maya, but the big picture
> IMO is that the Houdini workflow and approach are much more sane.
>
> cheers,
> Abdelkareem
>
> On Aug 15, 2009, at 3:12 PM, Peter Robbinson wrote:
>
>> On the other side of the cost equation Autodesk has made it
>> significantly more costly for schools.
>>
>> PeterR
>>
>> craigleehoffman at aol.com wrote:
>>>
>>> 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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Andrew D Lyons | Digital Artist | http://www.tstex.com
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