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

Andrew D Lyons tstexture at gmail.com
Thu May 27 13:33:07 EDT 2010

Hi Marc,

I'm familiar with a studio who's founding tech management people decided
they could make feature animation films with windows and Maya. We all know
that the amount of infrastructure required to use Maya in a large production
can get pretty out of control - because automation and pipeline interfacing
is difficult in the first place, and it does not leverage the file system in
any of the useful ways that we take for granted. If you're used to to not
leveraging the file system though, it's not such a leap to imagine that you
don't need the file system at all, and that windows is therefore Ok. Did
this work out in the end? In my opinion and that of many others - absolutely
not. It was disastrously expensive. The amount of python/Qt infrastructure
required got totally out of control, and was never finished. If however you
asked one of the young artists that is comfortable with Maya on Windows "was
it a success?" - they would probably say no as well - because they just want
to save out a playblast and a Maya scene file at the end of the day, and
instead they had to cache geometry and do other pipeline type things that
every artist hates to do at big studios. My point being - it can be done -
but only at tremendous expense, and everyone will be miserable about it the
whole time anyway.

There really is no getting around Houdini and Unix for a lean startup in my


On 27 May 2010 01:48, Marc Horsfield <march at blackginger.tv> wrote:

> Have we gone through this whole discussion just to come back to the point
> of
> "Use linux, it's easier"? Seems like it to me :).
> windows + no automation = good luck with that?
> M
> Ammon Riley wrote:
> > On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 12:27 AM, Marc Horsfield <march at blackginger.tv>
> wrote:
> >> We investigated something like this here since there was, uh..
> resistance to
> >> linux at first, but it seems like all you end up doing is replicating a
> massive
> >> amount of functionality that comes for free with the shell.
> >
> > Absolutely. But at the same time, it's far easier to control than the
> shell. At
> > one point, I rewrote a significant chunk of the shot-setting code at R+H,
> and
> > it's a byzantine collection of scripts, made that much worse by having
> the
> > studio standardized on tcsh (bash or zsh would have made things much
> > simpler).
> >
> > FWIW, I even automated the "set shot" system at R+H, so that you could
> > log out, log back in, and all of your shells would reset themselves to
> the
> > shots they were in when you logged out. Consequently, after the first
> time
> > the artist set their shells up for their shots, they didn't even have to
> re-do
> > the "set shot" junk. (KDE + Konsole + DBUS for the win!)
> >
> >> And even if you eventually reach that point, you're still a little bit
> hampered
> >> by the interface that you've built. Unless, of course, your interface
> looks
> >> suspiciously like a shell ;).
> >
> > Nah... just provide a menu option for "open shell here." You can have
> your
> > cake, and eat it, too. :)
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Ammon
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Andrew D Lyons | Digital Artist | http://www.tstex.com

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