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Midphase

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Everything posted by Midphase

  1. Weird how people can pass judgement so quickly on something they know so little about! ;-)
  2. Just to shed some light on this: 1. The cost of a single perpetual copy of C4D (not including the yearly Service Contract) = 13 years of Houdini Indie. Even assuming their Indie pricing goes up gradually through the years, the equivalent would yield at least 8-10 years of Indie. I seriously doubt that anyone who purchased C4D 13 years ago is happy with that version and wouldn't have by now upgraded to a newer version, hence adding even more to the cost comparison. 2. You can install Indie on two separate machines with very few restrictions. If you need to deactivate the machines because you're upgrading, it's easy and simple to do. I have done it several times and SideFX doesn't have any issue with it. They are also extremely responsive to license issues and quite helpful. 3. Nothing lasts forever, and while yes, you can open projects created in R8 (is that even a thing?) in R20, you might realize that for most users, it's a very rare occurrence. In addition, you can save your projects as FBX, ABC, OBJ, etc. and have access to those elements independently of the software/version you're using. Lastly, SideFX is committed to supporting USD in Houdini which, I suspect, will become the new standard. 4. SideFX offers a free conversion service should you need to open projects originally created in Indie in the flagship Houdini FX. As long as it's not an obvious abuse of the service, they're happy to do so. Lastly, you are absolutely right, one cannot compare C4D pricing to Houdini as the capability of the former isn't even remotely close to the capability of the latter. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison unless one includes pretty much all 3rd party add-ons available to C4D, and even then it still falls far short of what Houdini can do right in the box. The price of C4D would be much closer to $6k and higher if we were try to have a fair comparison between the two apps, and that's not even factoring in the fact that Mantra is vastly superior to PR as a rendering engine.
  3. I respectfully disagree and I think you're looking at the issue very narrowly. Houdini Apprentice offers full save functionality since they understand that people learning need to be able to save and pick up where they left off at another time. MAXON could consider offering an affordable entry point for indie/hobbyists/self-learners and look at the long-term benefits (i.e. we're building careers and will become future full-payingcustomers). Then again, it might be too little too late. I think MAXON (and Autodesk) are hemorrhaging users to SideFX and Blender. I think Houdini is getting more user friendly with each revision, and the 3rd party add-on community is growing at a fast pace and addressing a lot of MoGraph demands with free tools such as MOPs. Blender in the meantime is leaving everyone else in the dust with viewport tech like EEVEE and a unique set of toon tools among other things. I believe this is exactly the type of feedback that MAXON needs to hear right now, before it becomes the next Lightwave!
  4. I think what makes the Houdini pricing model inherently more fair is that many of us are learning outside of official educational institutions. Everything that I know about CGI, I learned online from forums like these, tutorial videos, and friends — in short I don't have a student ID but I don't know any other way to describe myself than a student. When I saw Houdini's Indie license model, I almost got tears in my eyes at the excitement of discovering a company who finally understood that the market is changing and there are many like myself who prefer to use a legit product but who, for various reasons, don't qualify for the student price and can't afford to pay the full price. Regarding the topic of subscriptions (and Houdini Indie is a subscription), I don't really understand the aversion. In such a fast changing tech world, ownership might not be what it once meant. The MAXON "service contract" is for all intents and purposes a subscription…a pricey one at that. If C4D were to have a reasonable yearly subscription price (similar to the Adobe model), I think they would gain a hell of a lot more legitimate users. At the moment, I think C4D holds the dubious achievement of being the most-pirated DCC app out there. Perhaps MAXON is ok with it similarly to the way Adobe was ok with it for a long time — but to me that's another short sighted way to look at a rapidly changing market and user base. I don't think that MAXON should give away their product for free, but I do hope they revise their pricing structure to offer a more appealing option to people who are still learning and/or are doing very low/no paying indie type of projects.
  5. Just wanted to post about this new set of tools which IMHO makes Houdini a lot more palatable to C4D users who are used to pulling up easy-to-configure MoGraph effectors and unavoidably end up being quite disappointed when they discover that Houdini makes even something as simple as cloning a bunch of cubes on a grid and randomizing their position a big challenge. It's weird in a way how ridiculously easy it can be to set up a complex fluid simulation, but simply creating a fall-off which affects size or random distribution can be a nightmare for anyone not well versed in VEX coding. Well…no more! Last night MOPS was released by two really brilliant guys and I do think it should instantly make Houdini a lot more familiar to many of us. Check out some of the videos, you'll recognize a lot of familiar things from C4D, except within the Houdini nodal context. Pretty cool stuff for people interested in being able to work on both platforms. https://www.motionoperators.com
  6. Just curious since this is somewhat related to modeling…does C4D have an Auto-UV function that works well for complex objects (say for instance photoscans)? Just wondering since UV is something that I've been getting into a lot more recently.
  7. Interesting. I'm looking at building a new hackintosh for my main system and was contemplating between going for an i7 8700k (6-cores 3.7ghz) or an i9 7900X (10 cores, base clock 3.3ghz). Based on your findings (and because I use Redshift), the 8700k would make the most sense, while perhaps the money I save would be better spent on a second GPU. Thank you.
  8. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    Ok, last post because I don't want to beat this topic to death, but if anyone is interested in what normal modeling looks like in Houdini, I just saw this video and, although it's not the greatest on this particular subject, it shows a bit of what the workflow typically is:
  9. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    I hate that damn tutorial. SideFX should at the very least ask the author to re-title it because it is not what I would call an introductory type of video. I brought up that exact tutorial several months ago (earlier in this very thread) to exemplify why I had no interest in giving Houdini a try since the entire app seemed like sheer insanity to me. I couldn't have been more wrong. In actuality, modeling in Houdini is IMHO much more efficient and well designed than C4D. Not for everything of course -- at the moment Houdini lacks the type of clay-like sculpting functions that an app like Z-Brush excels at. But for hard-surface modeling, I think Houdini is vastly superior and faster to what C4D currently offers. The Houdini Boolean tool for instance is what C4D users have been dreaming about for years (think the MeshBoolean C4D plugin, except with good topology). But to be clear -- modeling in Houdini does not have to involve the ridiculous number wrangling shown in that particular tutorial. Moving points and polygons, extruding, bending, tapering, beveling, mirroring etc. all work exactly the way you'd expect them to work in C4D. The main difference is that where one would pull up a deformer or effector in C4D, in Houdini one pulls up a node. That's pretty much it!
  10. Midphase

    Best software

    I think everyone finds faults with things they're most familiar with. The grass is always greener on the other side. I think trying to make a list like this is a bit of a non-starter since everyone has very specific needs. For instance, if you're broke -- go for Blender....but if you're trying to get hired by a company then Maya makes the most sense (or Houdini), etc.
  11. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    Just wondering how the transition was going for some of you? I'm curious about the struggles or the satisfaction of adapting your workflow from C4D to Houdini's. Reading up on the R20 rumors reminded me a bit of how low everyone's expectations are for the next version of C4D and if more people will consider different options when R20 is finally released, or if some people will return to C4D from other platforms?
  12. I'm so going to use that term all over the place. I love it!
  13. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    BTW, for anyone interested, Houdini Indie now supports animation rendering up to 4k resolution (and stills is unlimited) and upped it to two licenses (so one can run it on a desktop and laptop). Price went up slightly to $269 for 1 year or $399 for a 2-year subscription. More info here: https://www.sidefx.com/community/production-build-update-165378/
  14. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    I am cautiously optimistic that you're right. I think one of the issues is what I ran into when I first looked into Houdini (and which I mentioned on an earlier post in this thread) where I saw a tutorial with some guy building a table, and about 5 minutes into it he starts typing stuff. When I saw that I though -- ***??? Turns out that it's very easy to model a table (or whatever) in Houdini in the more "traditional" way by extruding geometry, using bend deformers, scale deformers, and so on. So I think the problem might be that guys like me take a look at a couple of tutorials and come away thinking that this is not an app that mere mortals can grasp, and leave it at that. The Entagma guys aren't helping! ;-)
  15. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    Yeah, fundamentally that's the main issue. This thread wouldn't exist if C4D had "Hollywood" quality pyro, liquid, particles, smoke, terrain, cloud, etc. etc. built right in. Where Houdini is dominating is in having those effects available in-the-box, and for most home-based users at a $200/year price point. In addition, from my early tests, Mantra yields better looking results than the Physical renderer (although at this point it seems like the majority of users would prefer Redshift or Octane anyway). Which brings us back to the learning curve which is (at the moment) Houdini's weak spot. If SideFX is smart, they'll do everything in their power to simplify the workflow for newcomers while retaining the complexity and depth that veteran users want. For what it's worth -- I've been messing with Houdini apprentice now for a little over a week and I feel like I'm getting my head around it. The basics (importing models into Houdini, texturing, animation, transform, deformation, basic physics, etc.) are not terribly difficult to learn. I think where things get nutty is when coding VEX expressions gets in the picture. Reminds me a bit of AE Action Scripting; everyone knows Wiggle (x,x) in AE, but very few get into heavy duty scripting beyond that. If Houdini turns out to be functional and capable of yielding good results without the need to become a coder, I think I'm sold. Having said that, it makes 100% sense to do some stuff in Houdini and some stuff in C4D (or Maya, or Blender, etc.). I've been involved in audio/music production for a number of years and I routinely use both Logic Pro and Pro Tools side-by-side, so it makes sense to apply the same reasoning to these apps as well.
  16. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    I think Houdini users fall into two types. The "insider" type of user is the one who I honestly don't relate to -- the one who is not afraid to start typing code and doing some serious math to get things done (i.e. see the Entagma guys). What I am finding however is that there is an "outsider" type of user who relies on the many useful shelf tools to get pretty advanced results from tweaking parameters and having a basic understanding on what node does what. I think many old-school Houdini users tend to fall in the insider category and seem to scoff at people who have no interest in building everything from scratch -- however SideFX obviously differs since they seem to be packaging more and more shelf tools into the app. I could be completely wrong on this, but I suspect that SideFX understands that in order to attract new users and eventually dominate the field, they need to give people more instant gratification and easier paths to getting high end results without needing to code or build insanely complex node trees. It wouldn't surprise me if Houdini 17 (or whatever number comes next) will continue the trend and create additional shortcuts for more complex tasks. Perhaps even introduce some sort of uber-nodes that can replace and simplify the process. Then again, maybe I'm just delusional! ;-)
  17. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    Well, despite the steep learning curve, I think I'm sold on Houdini. And the last straw was the awesomeness of X-Particles 4...let me explain -- As an indie filmmaker, I am interested in creating high-end VFX for my own projects; but without a paying clientele, the combined cost of C4D Studio plus something like Real Flow, or Turbulence FD or X-Particles 4 is simply not financially feasible. So how does someone like me tap into the creative potential that something like X-Particles 4 offers, while still be able to ...you know...eat? ;-) Houdini Indie is too compelling to ignore anymore. What I am seeing is basically an app that, for what breaks down to $16/month, gives me the full power of the above-mentioned plugins and then some. As much as I dread the endless tutorials that I will need to watch just to get back to the type of familiarity that I currently have with C4D, I'd have to be an idiot not to push forward into Houdini-land as quickly as possible. Since I'm not really a modeler (I rely on numerous TurboSquid and bash-kits models available for the most part), I'm not terribly concerned about the fact that Houdini probably isn't the best choice for modeling. In addition, the strong integration of RedShift in Houdini is yet another compelling factor impossible to ignore. All in all, I dragged my feet and ignored Houdini for far too long. Reading the more recent posts in this thread have convinced me that despite the learning obstacles that Houdini presents, it will be worthwhile in the end.
  18. Dunno if you've seen these: https://inlifethrill.com/category/tutorials/arnold-render/ I think most of the workflow should translate pretty well, although there are some specific signal flow things from Maya or other apps which might be different in C4D.
  19. I would suggest you look into Poliigon for some high quality textures at a damn affordable price: https://www.poliigon.com Also, switch your renderer, you can try the Octane demo to give you a rough idea of just how much better things can get once you go PBR. Last but not least, I agree with the comment someone made about the Snake head. I realize that this must be necessary to the story and something that your client requested. Nonetheless, if you want the thing to feel realistic, you also need to take into account the architectural realism and physics involved in that structure. You might consider re-modeling that snake head to feel more structurally realistic since at the moment it doesn't look like the neck would support the weight of the head.
  20. Everything that's been said above is quite valid. Just to add a few cents in, I think the castle is too bright and too perfect. Adding grunginess and imperfections will go a long way. Also, which renderer are you using? PBR's like Octane will immediately add much more realism to your scene than, say the Standard Renderer. Also, post production color grading and some other post tricks like adding some particulate fogs and haze in the foreground, some smoke coming off chimneys, and some lens flares and other imperfections will go a long way toward realism. Keep going...I think you're on the right path, but you're still only halfway there!
  21. Midphase

    Leaving C4D-Land.

    Houdini looks incredibly powerful, and the indie license seems like an awesome offering. Having said that, out of curiosity I started watching some beginner video tutorials on YouTube for Houdini and I was surprised at how complex and convoluted doing something as simple as moving an object from left to right can be, or creating a simple table. FYI, this is the series I watched: Same is true for Blender, a friend of mine is a huge fan and has been trying to get me to use it for years, yet every time he shows me how to do the simplest of tasks it feels far more complicated and convoluted than performing the same task in C4D. I find both Blender and Houdini incredibly powerful (and in the case of Blender, totally free), but it is painfully obvious that these tools were not created for an intuitive artist mindset. So for that reason alone, I don't think C4D is in terrible danger.
  22. https://greyscalegorilla.com/tutorials/fast-3d-topographies-in-cinema-4d-tutorial/
  23. It depends, as obviously very complex scenes with lots of geometry and complex textures can create long render times. However with some of Pavel's suggestions, it's quite possible to achieve a very acceptable render (especially for animation where post effects like motion blur and color grading are likely to be added) and keep the render times very acceptable (basically within a few minutes per frame). But of course everyone's needs are different. Having said that, Arnold CPU can be faster than Physical, and I wouldn't be surprised if the GPU update is very very close to release. My guess is that it's in the hands of several very tight lipped beta testers.
  24. First of all, you might consider purchasing this series of tutorials: http://www.c4d.cz/article.aspx?a=127 I find the results to be quite impressive, with the trick being the Reflectance channel for everything. He also teaches how to speed up your render times and how to optimize settings so that you get the best image in the least amount of time. Totally worth it. As far as Arnold tutorials, Greyscale Gorilla has several which are quite good: Lastly, regarding finding some materials etc. Have you tried searching on Gumroad? https://gumroad.com/discover# Also, Poliigon has some good tutorials on how to implement their textures in Arnold, and I believe you can apply their methods to others:

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