Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Houdini Lesson 01

Picking up Houdini through conducting our own in company curriculum. The goal is to run the gauntlet and learn this shit fast. So here is the first video to help me memorize what I've learnt. 

Nodes learnt 
- Geometry node (Container for geometry)

- Box & Sphere node for creating Geometry

- Attribute VOP (Equipvalent of Maya node editor to gain access to per particle attributes)

- Add node in Attribute VOP (basic sum of inputs)

- Turbulence Noise (Used in the Attribute VOP in conjunction with Add node to provide turbulence)

- Scatter node (To scatter points onto the surface on an existing geometry)

- Transform node (To perform a transform)

-Copy node (To copy a geometry onto each point/particle/vertex depending on source)
       - In the copy node, turn on stamp inputs to activate it. Fill out Variable 1 or 2 or 3 etc etc to                    assign the variable a name to call upon.
       - Fill out the value of that variable with - "fit(rand($PT),0,1,0.02,0.3)"
       - In the transform node, type this into the "Uniform Scale" - "stamp("../copy2","scale",0.5)"
0.5 is the default value 

- Add node (To add curves between each object if you use "By Group" settings inside the node)

- Polywire (Creates a tube based on the curves created the the geometry)

- Group node (To label the result of a bunch of nodes to be used as a group that can be called upon using certain nodes such as the delete node)

- Merge node to combine the results of 2 nodes

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back to basics

- Everything exist with a transform node and a shape node except Joints & Volume Primitives
- Everything has a local
- Joints & Volume primitives are a combination of transform & shape
- Main joint (First joint placed is global as it is placed in world space and not unable to be placed under a parent on creation), the rest are local from the joint above
- Joints translation local is visible in the channel editor
- However, as joints need to always be zeroed, the rotation is hidden inside the "Joint Orient" area.

There is Global and Local. If your object is a child of something, it's translation and rotation is compensated & takes the values from the global

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Playblasting into FCP

I was facing an issue with playblasting an avi. file and importing the shots into FCP for edits for previz. Essentially, I can't render out AVI from Maya if we are going to use FCP.

I have a situation that could use some major addressing. I work in a mixed platform environment that uses PCs for creating 3d content (Maya) and FCP for editing.

When I playblast an animation from Maya with the render globals set at 24 fps and output type as AVI, I get a standard windows AVI file that can be directly read by FCP.
(AVI is the only format available that doesn't use frames)

Here's the problem. Final Cut Pro reads that 24fps avi as 23.98 fps. (Drop frame). As a result, most of my renderings are trunkated by one frame. The only solution to this problem is to either:

1. Output individual frames from Maya rather than an AVI and import those frames as an image sequence in QTpro and then export out a true 24fps .mov file.

2. Load the playblasted AVI file into QTpro on the PC and then resave the file as a self contained movie rather than exporting it.

For some particular reason, any .mov file exported from the PC can not be read directly into FCP. A self contained movie works, but nothing else. What gets strange is the same file, though not readable in FCP, is readable in QT and at non drop frame.

Sounds confusing? Yes. But I've replicated the problem on every computer I've used. 

I'd like to retain the avi compatibility because:

1. Animators can output AVIs directly from Maya on their PC.
2. I don't want to deal with uncompressed frames and large numbers of files.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Maya to AE

Things to take note

Rename locators in Maya to null_shape01 & so on & so fourth.
Bake all frames required of camera as well as locators. It will shift the keyed range to start from frame0 in After Effects.

Use this mel script found on Maya Station to clear all junk in file if you have issues saving out as .ma from .mb
There are 3 different types of unknown nodes that can prevent re-saving as a different format. 
Unknown nodes, unknown transforms and unknown dag nodes. 
The other two are uncommon. But it’s worth mentioning .to delete all three types:

delete `ls -type unknown -type unknownDag -type unknownTransform`

Also, if there are still issues, it could do with left over referencing junk. Turn off Display on DAG objects in outliner and delete everything else but be-careful not to delete the animation nodes.

Last thing is the scaling issue which I will re-write here after discussions.

Scale issues with locators.
Alt Click on the position button of the null and then under expression type - transform.position*100 on all nulls.