[Sidefx-houdini-list] maya .ma SOP

craigleehoffman at aol.com craigleehoffman at aol.com
Mon Feb 22 15:56:14 EST 2010

I agree with Rangi here but one thing his suggestions don't take into account is getting animated skeletal meshes out of Maya and into Houdini for some sort of tweak-  and then BACK into Maya for perhaps another animation (rigged skeleton) tweak.  This is the sort of thing I haven't seen anyone do well and is usually the driving factor behind wanting to do high level translator plug-ins.  Is that the case here?  Or is it perhaps a need to better preserver sub-frame animation accuracy like for sub-frame motion blur that the "geometry object per frame" approach doesn't preserve well?

Just be aware like Rangi suggests that many times in a Production Environment different departments working on different projects (or even the same project!!) have different versions of the operating system, hardware, drivers, 3D software or plug-ins installed (due to some dependency they need that others may not) and well-intended efforts like this end up having lots of problems working for everyone.  What's worse is when they do work, but the results end up slightly different and you don't realize there is a problem until trying to do the final render or composite and then you have to re-do a lot of work.

>From my experience it's best to finalize or publish certain assets (like animating models) as Rangi suggests so you are assured that everyone is working from the EXACT same thing.  There is also the added benefit of not having to constantly wait for the import calculations to do their thing when opening a file (or when rendering perhaps) or having to purchase more Maya licenses to allow the plug-in to work for everyone, etc.  


-----Original Message-----
From: Rangi Sutton <rangi.sutton at gmail.com>
To: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2010 9:07 pm
Subject: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] maya .ma SOP

The idea sounds great.. save a step of exporting and win! But the reality I
hink is different. The stage going between Maya to Houdini in a production
s usually a lock step, where some sort of publishing process should
appen.. it should be versioned, documented in some way, put on a drive in
he right place with the right name.
The format that gets used between the apps is best, in my opinion, to be a
nug fit. A .ma file can hold such variety of assets.. hierarchies,
aterials, stuff that uses weird plug-ins.  If you're sending a deforming
bject, a format to handle a baked down deforming object is going to be less
rouble. It won't hold a license.. it won't break when a plug-in is updated,
t'll typically be uber fast...
The main options these days for the format would be.. old-skool sequence of
obj files on disk (good for changing topology anything... ), fbx files
good for scene heirachies..) obj + mdd pairing (good for deforming, same
opology single object).
When the procedures of exporting (nah.. publishing!) from maya and importing
updating!) in houdini becomes highly automated and pipelined, then stuff
et's very predicable and doesn't take time out of the operators days...
My 2c.

n 22 February 2010 14:48, katrin schmid <Katisss at gmx.de> wrote:
> hi,
 the idea was more about reading files and animation from maya
 without converting files.

 -------- Original-Nachricht --------
 > Datum: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 12:42:19 +0800
 > Von: Garman Lists <garman_lists at sbcglobal.net>
 > An: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
 > CC: Garman Herigstad <garman.herigstad at gmail.com>
 > Betreff: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] maya .ma SOP

 > I understand why you want the Maya deformers.  They are based on the
 > non-linear deformers from Wavefront's "Model" program.
 > There's a great bend lesson in the CMI VFX vex sops vol 1
 > -Garman
 > Ivan DeWolf wrote:
 > > I haven't heard of anybody doing this. I considered doing something
 > this,
 > > it seems likely to be a difficult if not impossible trick to compile
 > > an HDK dso that Houdini loads that also includes whatever libraries
 > > Maya needs to open an .ma and deform geometry.
 > >
 > > I thought it would be the right way to do it, but I never had the time
 > > to tinker, and I had already realized you couldn't make significant
 > > income selling it. So I just gave up without trying.
 > >
 > > It might be possible to compile an inbetween DSO- the HDK .so would
 > > link to it, and Maya would link to it, and you might be able to
 > > compile it with a compatible subset of libraries...
 > >
 > > seems like a worthy thing, if you can do it.
 > >
 > >
 > > Quoting "katrin schmid" <Katisss at gmx.de>:
 > >
 > >
 > >> hi,
 > >> so after doing a custom creator and deformer SOP
 > >> i started to think how easy it would be to da a maya .ma SOP...
 > >> if you only suppport geometry and ertex deform.
 > >> Just to safe me from redoing it: Is anybody aware of exisitng SOPs for
 > that?
 > >> Best Regards,
 > >> katrin
 > >> --
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 > >> Jetzt freischalten unter http://portal.gmx.net/de/go/maxdome01
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 > >>
 > >
 > >
 > >
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