So my journey into the mystical world of Houdini continues. I’ve started doing a little more of the SideFX online video’s, and although they are great, I find myself diverging quite a bit, which makes one 1hr tutorial last all day.
Also Jordi over at Realize Studios has prepared a whole bunch of PDF’s to help Softimage users transition over to Houdini, and I have to say they are brilliant. So far they have taken me much further in a short space of time that I thought they would.
The biggest hurdle I find with Houdini is organisation. There seems to be several ways to skin that particular cat, and Jordi’s guides really help clarify it. Coming from 3dsMax and Soft, where it’s much more clear cut, Houdini offers a multitude of ways to nest, link, parent and package your objects, models, and digital assets together. Once you get your head around them, it’s quite liberating knowing you can work how ever you want.
Here’s the forum thread Softimage to Houdini and SideFX have hosted all the slightly older ones SideFX Transition
So things I have learnt.
Firstly, customise your user interface. Sounds a bit like a Newbie approach, but actually worth while doing in Houdini. As with a few modifications you can make it feel more like Softimage approach, which if anything, will speed up getting around it all.
Jordi covers this in one of his PDF’s, plus there is this link Customize Houdini
Using nulls at the end of object flows, called OUTPUT. Apparently this is a very useful way to make sure your always pulling the flow from the end, and not getting data from elsewhere. I can see the logic here, so I’m doing it, but I’m so early on that I’ve not come across why it’s helpful yet, time will tell!
Above are two render’s I’ve just completed, and so far I’m loving Mantra. It’s criminally slow, but then so is Arnold. I wouldnt want to be doing 2k renders without a hefty render farm to back me up. The settings are very similar to Arnold, and I love the way you can just duplicate the Mantra node, and set up new renders using different camera’s etc.
Anyway, I’ve learnt tons more this week, UV editing is shocking, Houdini seems twitchy importing odd file names, and opening up a shader network made my eyes bleed.
Definitely alot more to learn, for example, adding a color falloff. Well i tried, and ended up breaking the shader network. Still a way to go yet me thinks!
Watch this space for more tails of me floundering around in node world.