Hope ya'll are having a good 3-day weekend (if you're in the States). And if you're working, get yourself some good BBQ after work. You know what's up
Work's kept me busy busy busy. You know how that is. Get money. I've been putting in a few long weeks this month really trying to nail things down at the job.
BUT IN THE MEANTIME
Here's what I've been up to
I've only just picked up Houdini and I'm making strides to learn as much as possible for integrating it into my projects. If you know anything about me it's that I FUCKING LOVE COCAI-- TO LEARN. This time it's Houdini. My journey into nodes and -OPs has begun in earnest with tuts from around the internet. Houdini has a great library of learning material right on their own site! How dope is that?
Things I love about Houdini right now:
- the whole node-based workflow is right up my alley-- so non-destructive!
- Houdini has the best documentation and implementation of it I've seen in any program. Not only do buttons tell you what they do, what shortcut they're assigned to, but also if you hit F1 while hovering over an action, you get the help doc for that feature! Masterful
- All I've made in Houdini FX is shitty fire, but man was it easy to get used to and I am no FX artist
- Currently I'm doing a tutorial on making procedural buildings and it's mean af
- When I bought Houdini, my Paypal shit itself so I used a card instead. Then the Paypal went through next day. The same day without having to ask via support ticket SideFX emails me to say they went ahead with a refund cos it looked like a mistaken second purchase. Hello new best friends
Tips for fellow Houdini new booty:
- Houdini is Substance Designer but all 3D. Ok it's a lot more than that, but if you know SD, you'll ramp up real quick in Houdini
- You can learn Houdini for $0 if you use the Apprentice version
- If you decide you need to upgrade from Apprentice to the Indie version like I did, know that the login you have won't work for the license server installed on your computer for Apprentice. Instead, SideFX sends you a link for an updated login.
- Houdini is setup to be FAST! So many things you do there can be baked down to keep your velocity going including sims and destruction. And of course, you don't have and if you do it's still non-destructive
- Houdini may require your computer's full attention (hardware resources) depending on what you're making! I breezed through making complex chains of nodes to create particles and destruction, but I absolutely chugged when it came to anything that required voxelization for instance
Another exciting development. I'd been searching for a new renderer since the start of the year. Most of my projects are done in UE4 cos I'm a game guy and that makes sense. Sometimes I use Marmoset which is FAST af, but still pretty challenging to stage whole environments. I've also been looking to mix up my workflow in some currently super secret ways (sorry) so I decided to investigate other options! I really wanted something that could do realtime in some way, but had way better lighting. And above all I really wanted speed
Stuff I looked at:
- Ocatane - pretty awesome! but on my setup, pretty buggy!
- Corona - Super great quality! CPU rendering only!
- Arnold - Free with Max/Maya, GREAT quality and probably my favorite for rendering hair in particular, but also not fast
- Blender - EEVEE is awwwwesome, but unstable and I don't know Blender well enough.... yet
I ended up picking Redshift and boy am I happy. Check out this test render:
Using only free assets from Megascans, you cheap bastard
It's so easy to use and integrates super well into my current pipeline. I feel like Redshift is Marmoset on crack. It's not fully real-time, but its GPU rendering is pretty much the fastest I've experienced. And it was pretty affordable as far as renderers go! $500 still ain't nothing to sneeze at. We're not out here making Bill Gates money. I am amazingly satisfied with the speed, quality, and options. (If you're wondering I'm using it in 3DS Max)
Things I love about Redshift right now
- Couldn't be easier to get good results by default. Make some models, drop in some lights, it already looks dope
- One license for Redshift gets you integration with everything Redshift supports. Octane was having me pick and choose which package I wanted to pay to render in. "You want Octane in Maya? Sure! Also Houdini? That'll cost extra!"
- You might remember how I lost my mind over MODO's bevel shader... well Redshift comes with it! I didn't even know when I bought it, but I now use it to visualize all my modeling all the time in real-time. I think you can bake it too, but I'll have to investigate further
- Being able to see all your materials change before your eyes has made making complex material node graphs in Max a lot more attractive
- If you've read this far send me a PM that says 'study break winner' and you'll get a prize
- Renders are FAST
- Dat render time tho
- Also, renders are pretty quick.
- AOVs are fast and easy to generate AND there's huge bucket of em by default plus you can make custom AOVs
Tips for fellow Redshift new booty:
- know your color spaces with Redshift
- you have to enable GI, it's not on by default
- some FX can be enabled/disabled without having to re-render at all
- if you want super duper fast realtime preview renders, Redshift got denoisers with them big dicks
- some features have to be enabled in multiple places! While this is great for control, this is not my favorite thing because it reminds me of why I didn't like working with Mental Ray in Max: Why isn't _____ working? Did you enable it in the shader, render options, render settings, on the mesh, and call Tyrone?
- Redshift's documentation is great but sometimes spotty so I have to supplement it with Youtube tutorials which are frequently for C4D and Maya
Man, this was packed! Thanks for reading and see ya next week!
BONUS: Music to do art by - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph_IhNseCBc