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Let's talk Houdini, brah
show user profile  9krausec
Do any of you guys here have experience with Houdini?

I wanted to start a general discussion here about the package and how it stacks up. The more I look at what is produced out of the package as far as VFX is concerned the more and more I'm wanting to learn it. So, what is Houdini to us?

There are many plugins (realFlow, fumeFX, PhoenixFD, Thinking Particles, etc...) that are meant for a specific task or effect... The impression I get from Houdini is that it can handle most effects very expensive and specific plugins provide. Is this a correct assessment?

No doubt Houdini is incredibly complex, but it also seems to be very powerful. Are Houdini artists highly sought after in the industry? Or are studios more apt to just spend the money on the specific plugin to get the job done?

- Portfolio-

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11/9/2015 5:34:39 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 5:34:39 PM)
show user profile  Bolteon
Two words:

Learning. Curve.

-Marko Mandaric

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11/9/2015 6:22:06 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 6:22:06 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
Two words:

Challenge. Accepted.

-Clayton Krause

- Portfolio-

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11/9/2015 6:23:40 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 6:23:40 PM)
show user profile  Bolteon
Three words:

Have. Fun. Crying.

-Marko Mandaric

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11/9/2015 6:25:22 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 6:25:22 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
In all seriousness though, yes, it looks like it has a intense learning curve... That being said, most things worth learning have a steep learning curve.

I've just been looking at sideFX's Houdini engine and the concept of one software solution to handle all FX is interesting. I guess it depends on how often one needs to do FX.

- Portfolio-

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11/9/2015 6:30:59 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 6:30:59 PM)
show user profile  Bolteon
Yes, in all seriousness; it's a very powerful program.

That being said, while it may seem that all hard things are worth while learning; you'll find that not all powerful things are built in an intuitive way that makes learning it justifiable.

It's gotten better over the years and can do some really cool stuff; but my honest opinion is that it has a ways to go before it can be considered good enough for a general populace to use unless you're talking just FX based work, of which it does really really really well.

TL; DR: I once had to code a pipeline between Max and Houdini, I cried.

-Marko Mandaric

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11/9/2015 6:41:33 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 10:42:55 PM)
show user profile  Octopuzzy
I started learning it when Houdini 12.5 was coming out about a year and a half ago.
Very capable program in most aspects, although not for traditional poly modeling.
It sure can be quirky to get up to speed, not sure I'm quite there yet since there's so much ground to cover, but I can do stuff now that I could never do after 15 years in MAX, so that's something.
The procedural nature of it makes it very flexible.

There are jobs out there for Houdini artists..the question is...when are you going to be comfortable accepting a job that may or may not be more complex then you can handle.
If they ask for a Houdini artist, it's not a spinning logo they're after.

It's not as expression heavy as you're heard. Sure, some simply stuff you will use on a daily basic, and to cover new ground you need to be a capable TD, but generally you can get along without being a coder. Depends on what you're working with..particles are usually controlled with some lines of code.

The community is knowledgeable. When I run into a problem, I can usually google it and find that someone has answered it in one of the 2 main forums, or check out the help docs.

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11/9/2015 7:27:42 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 7:27:42 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
^Aren't spinning logos like 93% of the freelance jobs out there?

Good information. Thanks.

- Portfolio-

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11/9/2015 7:35:03 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 7:35:03 PM)
show user profile  donvella
The long path is usually the short path - should be the houdini motto. A spent a year scratching the surface of houdini, awesome awesome software - wish someone paid me to learn it for production :P

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11/9/2015 9:44:32 PM (last edit: 11/9/2015 9:44:32 PM)
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