[Sidefx-houdini-list] Houdini, I love/hate you.

François Duchesneau sidefx at trinix.ca
Tue Sep 14 08:25:34 EDT 2010

I feel the same about Houdini sometimes. I started to learn Houdini 5 
years ago and guess what, I'm still learning. Even though I agree you 
don't have to write a line of code to do amazing things in Houdini, you 
may have to think as a programmer because when you work inside vop 
you're doing programming. Even in sop... well for me it's just a piece 
of data where you add custom attributes and you alter at each step with 
a different function (Sop node) by modifying its parameter.

One big problem I find for someone who is new to Houdini is not only 
that it forces you to really understand 3D and maths but also because 
it's missing a lot of basic tools, especially for particles. I've rolled 
my owned for 2 years and my to do list is growing faster than the number 
of tool I create.

I'm under the impression every studio has its set of custom tools that 
make them proficient.

This said, what I suggest is to find a job as an FX artist and not TD 
where you'll have access to many nice tools that make your life easier 
and you will learn a lot from other people. Otherwise, don't give up and 
keep asking questions on forums and watch tutorials. If it can encourage 
you, I still find it hard to play around in Dop :)


jacob fisher wrote:
> Dear Houdini,
> I try to love you, but you make it so hard.
> I just can't wrap my head around you.
> You do amazing things and I love the fact people can get so much out
> of you, but the only thing I ever get is frustrated.
> I went into graphic arts because I don't work well with text and
> programming.  I like to see things and manipulate them that way.
> I have ideas I want to express, but I spend hours searching through
> help files not getting myself closer.
> I took a course in college that made me really appreciate Houdini, but
> since then, I've been struggling to get much farther.
> I want to get better at fluids and particles, but I spend hours in
> what seems like a data and coding hell for me.
> I've previously tried Digital Tutors when I had a subscription, but it
> never really helped my understanding.
> Real Flow made a lot more sense to me right away, but it didn't seem
> to have the potential of Houdini.
> So I guess in this long winded vent, does anyone have suggestions of
> what I should do, someone who doesn't have a gift for code, to get
> better at fluids/particles and Houdini in better?
> You have no idea how many emails I get on this list that I just stare
> at without really understanding what to do.
> I want to belong, but I feel like everyone's kid brother that gets the
> door slammed in his face when his older brother's friends come over.
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