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

Szymon Kapeniak szymon.kapeniak at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 04:01:46 EDT 2009


I have to admit that the lack of video format support is the last
thing I would name if ask about missing parts in cops. As far as I can
tell both Shake and Nuke support Quicktimes (and only this one) on
osx/windows32 merely as Apple doesn't support linux - main os for
Houdini. This is, after all, the only api worth to consider in respect
to  professional usage and, agreed, would be a nice addition for cops.
But I don't feel this makes real problem for studios. If so, no one
would use shake/nuke on linux!

The part I miss most* in cops are stability and speed, with stability
on a first place.

cheers,
skk.

* - well, I would also like to have HOM access to plates in cops, like
a numpy array on demand. This would be convenient hook for rapid
custom tool development :)



(and only quitcktime, not wmv etc), this feature was rarely used by me.

2009/8/19 fudini <fudini at gmail.com>:
> 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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