[Sidefx-houdini-list] advice on a "set shot" workflow inwindows!??!! (WTF)

c.p.brown cpb at snotbubble.com
Sun May 23 19:40:43 EDT 2010

hmm... It seems like a rather awkward way of coping with artificial 
problems beyond your control.  Like having to work with a labyrinthine 
directiory structure, having to put version numbers in all your 
filenames, dealing with departments or having to log everything with 
an accounting system.  Is this correct? 

If you have the luxury of complete control over your work (which I'll
concede many do not) then this kind of pedantic systemization is 
showing-off at best, work-avoidance at worst.
Directory structures can be simple to avoid variables & asset trackers, 
versioning discarded (as backups and time/date stamping come for free), 
departmentalization of files discarded and script dependence kept to a 
If you work simply like this then file management is totally a non-issue, 
sharing work is a matter of communication (as it should be), restored 
work won't be broken and you can concentrate on making pretty pictures 
however you see fit.
Its also much cheaper and efficient as you can wholly staff your team with 
income-generating artists instead of having to hire support staff, have 
artists devote time to data-entry or having to waste time (and possibly 
talent) on a diciplinary procedure for artists who take shortcuts.

Exercising your own brains in optimizing work, per shot, is far less
than conforming to a system.


Subject: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] advice on a "set shot" workflow
inwindows!??!! (WTF)
   From: Robert Kelly <isstuff at gmail.com>
   Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 15:20:07 -0700
     To: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com

what i ended up with is...
one node called shot master that....
# sets hip vars for the shot dir, geo dir etc.
# holds scripts and information to name renders ifd's create
directories for them as they are needed
# saves parts of my scene in "shot assets" that are otls that are just
parts of the scene saved into a hda so it can be loaded and visioned
# manages the saving and loading of the "shot assets" so more than one
person can share parts of the scene.
# manages the cloning of the shot assets, so you can be working in
shot 0450 and need the asset SH_0300_FIRE and the set from shot 0200
that is saved in the asset SH_0200_SET. this tool will duplicate the
assets but with the correct naming and types to belong to the shot
# colouring shot asset nodes to show if they are up to date, the
system wont force you to update your shot assets so you can go back to
an old file and it will still render the same. then you could update
to the latest animation and have the old look on the new animation.

Inside the shot assets there will be some HDA tool that is used on
many shots so the smart asset stuff is still being used inside the
frailly simple shot assets which you can think of as externally saved,
version able subnets.

I cooked this up between shots and it has really saved our ass more
times than we know because we know when we are using the correct
version of an animation asset or a camera asset. Our renders get saved
now using information about the shot mixed in with the mantra rops
name, preventing render naming errors.

I look forward to adding the features that i think it needs for the
next version, once this project is over.

Any time you are behaving like a robot that is probably a good place
for automation, a script will do it predictably each time you may not.
Then you can get back to making cool stuff in staid of being a robot.


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