Best practices on creating procedural tools (in Houdini)
In this talk I would like to share my most important lessons I’ve learnt from my past 8 years building procedural tools in Houdini. So if you have amazing ideas, but are struggling with getting your tools finished, or you already know a little bit of Houdini, but feel intimidated by making your own tools and don’t know where to start, this talk is for you! I will cover the aspects of tool building where I failed most and what methods I used to fix them, such as: - Translating ideas into executable plan - Making first step with empty canvas - Quickly iterating, testing and fixing tools - Avoiding overcomplicated setups - Layering complexity - Future proofing - Making tools that are expandable - Getting input from others and learning from feedback In the past I often found myself never being able to finish ideas I had started, making tools that are too complicated and work only in very specific circumstances. Over the years I learnt that tools should enable creativity and spark new ideas. Both in the one making and those using them. Here I would like to share my approach and how I make this process fun for me, keeping myself in a flow state with getting small wins. And finally, how to present your work to the team, that will encourage them to give you ideas on how to improve, new features and get them excited to implement your work in their workflow.