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

fudini fudini at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 01:32:01 EDT 2009


Most of the codecs mentioned are designed for distribution and playback. 
They are "industry standard" for these purposes but aren't designed to 
be used as source. They are compressed, lossy and undesirable for high 
quality source material. A few are designed for editing (DNxHD, ProRes) 
because they use sequential frames and don't have to deal with the usual 
IPB frame compression found in most playback codecs.
While most compositing packages "can" load these codecs in Quicktime/Avi 
wrappers the vast majority of these codecs just can't handle the the 
color range required for high end film work. When quality matters in 
film compositing we most often use single frames stored in a log format 
such as dpx to preserve as wide a gamut as possible, composite in 32 bit 
float linear and output again in log to be printed to film. Playback, 
editing, source are entirely different things. Different purposes, 
different standards.

Drew Whitehouse wrote:
> The problem *is* the cross platform support and the myriad codecs each of
> the container formats allow (mov, avi, wmv, mkv etc), and many of them
> proprietry and/or platform specific. Movie formats are also a hornets nest
> of patents. Touch only runs on windows, so they can take advantage of MS's
> DirectShow libs and Apples quicktime libs. I wouldn't be suprised if there
> wasn't more lines of code in the VLC movie player than in the entire houdini
> suite.
> 
> -Drew
> 
> On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 1:55 PM, <craigleehoffman at aol.com> wrote:
> 
>>
>>
>> There are free utilities written by lone programmers in their spare time
>> that support most (maybe all?) of the formats you mention on XP, so my
>> feeling is that it isn't that hard.? Generally you don't update the code-
>> folks just download new codecs I think.? I could be wrong though- not sure
>> how this all?works when coding for multiple Operating Systems.
>>
>>
>>
>> And all compositing programs I know except for COPs can read a variety of
>> standard Movie Formats.? Derivative Inc. supported streaming movie formats
>> in real time?in their "Touch" software, which was an offshoot of Houdini.
>>
>> ?
>>
>> That being said, I would at least suggest supporting Quicktime since most
>> people doing film work or video can supply that much easier than a stream of
>> single frames and it seems like a fairly ubiquitous professional format
>> across the different OS's.
>>
>>
>>
>> -Craig
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Gene Dreitser <keyframe at rogers.com>
>> To: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
>> Sent: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 7:07 pm
>> Subject: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] "You can't polish a turd" - was Siggraph
>> & Maya..
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> I think the notion of a 'movie file' is what is fundamentally out of place
>> here.
>>
>> QT, AVI, WMV, FLV, the list goes on and on -- and I would imagine that
>> keeping
>> up with all the idiosyncrasies of each flavour, would take a small army of
>> developers to keep up with.  In fact, I can't think of a single app that
>> 'just
>> reads it all' correctly -- if it existed, i'm sure it would find a great
>> place
>> in our collective tool chests.
>>
>> I don't believe that this apps' place is in the compositing space.  editing
>> perhaps?  maybe as a conform tool of sorts?  but not compositing.
>>
>> just my $0.02.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> G
>>
>>  --
>> Gene Dreitser
>> Loki Visual Effects
>> p: 416.532.5654 // c: 416.803.0682 // www.lokivfx.com
>>
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: "craigleehoffman at aol.com" <craigleehoffman at aol.com>
>>
>>
>> And my understanding is that there are pretty standard API's out there
>> to read movie files as long as you download the codec.  It probably could
>> be coded in a very short time (although I don't know how well it would
>> play with COPs caching, etc.).
>>
>> Maybe there are licensing fees and such that we are not thinking about.
>>
>> But this is a good example of why it would be great to have such an
>> ability in COPs.
>>
>> -Craig
>>
>>
>> On Aug 18, 2009, at 10:17 AM, Larry Giunta wrote:
>>
>>> I think this sounds like a pretty reasonable request that makes a lot
>>> of sense.
>>>
>>> Personally, we just finished a job where we needed 60+ HD footage
>>> clips mapped onto a bunch of billboard/grids in a 3D environment.
>>>
>>> So, we had to first convert all of the movie files to an image
>>> sequence for import into COPs ........ then we could finally
>>> converted those image sequences to .rat sequences for texture maps.
>>> Just one extra step, but across 60 HD clips it adds up.
>>>
>>> We're on linux though. I wonder if this can already be done on the
>>> Mac or Windows version by playing the movie through mplay and
>>> exporting directly to .rat sequences.
>>> Is that already doable??
>>>
>>> In any event, I do understand the emphasis on dedicating the majority
>>> of resources to the 3D aspects of t
>> he package.
>>> But COPs continues to be an extremely useful part of Houdini and a
>>> bit of updating (such as supporting industry standard movies) seems
>>> like it would be worth the effort.
>>>
>>> Larry
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> COPs needs to support industry standard Movie Files and needs some
>>>> other industry standard filters added
>>>>
>>>>



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