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Houdini On the Spot

Time-Saving Tips and Shortcuts from the Pros

By Craig Zerouni

  1. ISBN: 9780240808628
  2. Publication Date: July 2007
  3. Format: Paperback
  4. Pages: 320
  5. Price:
    • $30.95 (USD)
    • £19.99 (GBP)
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Description

Packed with more than 350 techniques, this book delivers what you need to know-on the spot. Its concise presentation of professional techniques is suited to experienced artists whether you are:

* Migrating from another visual effects application
* Upgrading to Houdini 9
* Seeking a handy reference to raise your proficiency with Houdini

Houdini On the Spot presents immediate solutions in an accessible format. It clearly illustrates the essential methods that pros use to get the job done efficiently and creatively. Screenshots and step-by-step instructions show you how to:

* Navigate and manipulate the version 9 interface
* Create procedural models that can be modified quickly and efficiently with Surface Operators (SOPs)
* Use Particle Operators (POPs) to build complex simulations with speed and precision
* Minimize the number of operators in your simulations with Dynamics Operators (DOPs)
* Extend Houdini with customized tools to include data or scripts with Houdini Digital Assets (HDAs)
* Master the version 9 rendering options including Physically Based Rendering (PBR), volume rendering and motion blur
* Quickly modify timing, geometry, space and rotational values of your animations with Channel Operators (CHOPs)
* Create and manipulate elements with Composite Operators (COPs); Houdini's full-blown compositor toolset
* Make your own SOPs, COPs, POPs, CHOPs, and shaders with the Vector Expressions (VEX) shading language
* Configure the Houdini interface with customized environments and hotkeys
* Mine the treasures of the dozens of standalone applications that are bundled with Houdini

Author Bio

has been a CG artist for over 25 years. During his 15 year tenure at CFX, one of Britain's first computer animation companies, Craig worked on over 500 commercials, title sequences and feature films. His responsibilities with CFX ranged from effects programming to animating to technical directing to directing full commercials. Craig has used Houdini since its inception. He has periodically worked for Side Effects as the manager of the Prisms software product (1997) and as a production consultant and a resident Houdini expert. He has enjoyed intervening stints with Silicon Grail, freelance production work, and most recently working for Digital Domain.

Contents

Introduction-Why Houdini?; UI Tricks-Fully Exploit the Houdini Interface; External Tricks-Getting the Most from the Other Installed Tools; Modeling Tricks-Useful SOP Idioms; Particle Tricks-Using POPs for Fun and Profit; Dynamic Simulations-Things to Know; Digital Assets-Creating and Using Libraries of Neat Tricks; Rendering Tricks; Channel Tricks-CHOPs: The Most Under-used Part of Houdini; VEX and VOPs Tricks-Creating Custom Operators; Compositing Tricks; Miscellaneous Useful Obscurities