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Aabel

Houdini Engine for 3d-Coat a possibility?

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Is the SDK in 3d-Coat robust enough to allow the Houdini engine to be integrated with 3d-Coat?

The API for the Houdini Engine is publicly available now.

 

Houdini Engine would give us a powerful suite of procedural tools at our disposal in 3d-Coat. Way better noise than anything Zbrush will ever have, production proven volumes in the form of OpenVDB, and lots of other stuff that would take too long to list.

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Uhm why wouldn't I? Houdini digital assets would allow you to basically make your own plugins without having to program. It would open a whole world of options to 3d-Coat and make 3d-Coat a powerful tool for editing volumes in Houdini.

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ok i guess it's over my head.

 

i mean i dont understand what you would be able to make.

 

and also i dont understand how you would use 3d coat for final output. there are no animation tools...

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Here's another example, say you wanted to shell/extrude some faces real fast in the retopo room, well you could do that with the Houdini Engine.
 

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Is free now ?  :huh:

----------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.cgchannel.com/2014/04/side-effects-announces-houdini-engine-pricing-release-dates/

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

 

Pricing for Houdini Engine
The thing you will have to pay for is the Houdini Engine itself: a licence for which is required to interact with content created in Houdini inside another host application.

As is increasingly the case in the industry, it’s rental-only: a node-locked licence costs $495 per year, while floating licences start at $795 per year. Users of Houdini and Houdini FX can use their existing licence keys.

A single Engine licence can be used with multiple host applications, and is only required when a Houdini Digital Asset is actually open in another application.

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Houdini Engine is not designed to work in an app like 3D Coat, Mudbox or ZBrush. It's simply a means of taking some VFX assets you've created in Houdini, and get them into the 3D app one may be using (Maya, 3ds Max, C4D)

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What's so different about 3d-coat it wouldn't work? It works in C4d, Unity, Maya, Max (added by a third party) and soon Unreal Engine 4. Having used it myself in Unity it's surprisingly flexible in what it allows one to bring across.

 

 I really don't see what makes 3d-Coat so special that it can't use another library, that is after all what the Houdini Engine is.

Edited by Aabel

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The common denominator for all those apps is they animate. If someone wants to plug it in, themselves...great. But as you can see, just from the 3D Coat roadmap/feature request list, there are already tons of things waiting in the que. Not to mention all the bugs that have to be fixed. This would be very low on the priority list, IMHO. Just because something is cool to see in a major 3D app, it doesn't mean it belongs in an app like this.

 

https://trello.com/b/vniMPy5o/3d-coat-roadmap

 

http://3d-coat.com/mantis/my_view_page.php

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Animation isn't a requirement. I've made digital assets and used them in Unity that don't have anything at all to do with animation. One of the tutorials on using the Houdini Engine with Unity uses NURBS, and it works in Unity, a game engine with no NURBS support.

 

It sounds like your opposition is based on personal preference of where the developers of 3d-Coat spend their time, rather than an actual technical limitation of 3d-Coats architecture (a limitation may exist). Nothing wrong with that. However I posted this in the SDK/Plugins section of the forum for a reason, and not the official feature request because I want to know if the existing SDK (looks like it's not a C++ sdk) has any blatant limitations that would prevent the integration of the Houdini engine. You not seeing what the Houdini Engine brings to the table doesn't mean it wouldn't be useful for other people.

 

 Anyway it looks like supporting sculpting apps is on the radar of Side Effects software, hopefully 3d-Coat will be one of them. One of the developers seems rather excited about the possibilities, as do other Houdini users.

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He... sorry for late to the party on this discussion...! 

 

as a user of both programs I would have to agree that there is a very huge potential of having a Houdini engine integration on 3D coat.   Like Aabel said, such an implementation would make it very easy for anyone to develop new "model" generators, depending on how the implementation is done.  

 

To clarify, the Houdini engine API, in its current state, is a "geometry generator" (although you can use to statically trigger renders and image generation behind the scenes that output to files instead of to the host application).  The high level concept is that the host application (i.e. 3D coat) provides "hooks" to pass geometry information into the API libraries for processing, then be able to fetch a geometry processed by the API.  

 

The processing happens via "Digital Assets", which are encapsulations of functionality into a single module (which is, at its core, one of the main strengths of Houdini).  Think of it as a generic data compositor, where the data processing is done via a combination of stock and scripted node networks, then encapsulated into a single node.   The Houdini engine hooks allow the host application to load these "digital assets" as if they were native plug ins for live processing of geometrical data (either by providing a geometry input or simply generating geometry parametrically).  Depending on how the connections are made between the host and the API, the implementation can take many forms to best fit the host application philosophy (i.e. in the case of 3DC, the digital asset parameters would become a "tool" ui, volumes could be an input and an output thanks to the Vox layers, etc)

 

Where this can be very powerful in 3D apps is that often, having some kind of parametric generator to start a model can be VERY useful (in addition to a means to process an existing model to, for example, add noises, effects, etc.) I think a good example of a digital asset is Kim Goossens road generator, which uses a single curve to generate a road based on rules (many of the 3DC tools can use curves as a parametric input..  there are very obvious parallels which can be drawn to some of these examples):

 

 

here is a very simple example of how to create a digital asset in Houdini (oldie but gets to the point)

 

 

in addition to the houdini engine running in unity (for a 3DC implementation, imagine similar concepts but more focused on setting up models for sculpting or adjusting sculpted models) 

 

http://www.indieprotools.com/videos/

 

I feel this could be a huge advantage for 3D coat as it would be the first hires sculpting app to allow for such quick tool prototyping and development (i think you would have a lot of digital asset developers wanting to demo their tools in a hi res modeling app) 

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