Blender, Houdini, Nodes and something AWESOME I've come up with

Edit: I just have been shown that everything I describe here houdini already does, even the macro part where nodes are generated by editing via mous/keyboard… and that everything nodes is going to do that too… So you can just ignore this XD

I can see that blender goes more and more for the nodes approach. I’ve had the pleasure to test houdini and it’s just wow! If SideFX didn’t have some really bad practices I’d def. use it. What houdini does with nodes outshines blenders nodes and modifiers by far. I’m guessing that houdinis workflow was inspired by blenders non destructive modifiers workflow. But instead of having a linear list like the modifiers use, every step is expressed via a node.

I’ve been thinking how this workflow could be used in blender. The main problem would be that blender would have to be restructured which everything nodes is probably doing… BUT not with the method I’ve come up!

Blender with addons already has pretty much all features houdini has, they just don’t work together with nodes. Houdini in essence is just dynamic macro nodes where every node can be replaced. For blender this could be done without the dynamic part which would be implemented in a couple of years like everything nodes is going to I assume. Meaning the user can places nodes like: place object at xyz node, edit object node, translate “face/edge/vert with ID on axis” etc. Basically all actions and modifiers blender has, like everything nodes aims for but with the difference that nodes are placed in a linear list just like the undo history does. The nodes would be much simpler then the everything nodes and the everything nodes could be used to modify what is happening in that list. When something is added to that node tree blender could just do the whole process from the beginning. Like compiling code that has been changed. This liniar approach is not as fancy as houdinies dynamic nodes but it’s fast and cheap to implement.

To make this even more usable addons would need to have an interface/custom nodes so users can also use those actions in a nodetree. Just imagine KIT OPS non destructive bool workflow via nodes. That is basically what houdini does.

Et voila blender gets similar capabilites without much effort. Even better a whole complex modeling process could be saved in a viewable manner simply by using blender via keyboard and mouse, or just convert the undo history into a nodetree. This would also be great for beginners to learn modeling in blender. Since every node is associated with an “action” we could add the name of the “action” maybe even with the shortkey to the node info. With time this could then be changed into a dynamic nodes workflow via everything nodes.

As a boon users would have a way to do macros in blender that can be viewed as a node tree.
We could call this macro nodes ^-^

Just imagine the undo history expressed as nodes this is how easy this approach is. Now imagine how powerful this is! Integration wouldn’t even interfere with blenders core, everything nodes and general workflow. It’s just another node view.

Esp. for indie gamedevs these “node macro blueprints” would help immensely in the asset creation process. We could just duplicate that blueprint and change some values or nodes and get variations or completely different objects.

I hope I didn’t miss anything that would hinder the creation of this and hope you are as hyped as I am with this process XD

If I wasn’t clear enough: the main difference to everything nodes, animation nodes, sverchok etc. is that mine is “macro entries” expressed in changable nodes. This means that a list like the undo history is shown as nodes. This also means that a user would be able to use blender like normal using the keyboard and mouse and generate such a blueprint without having to place any nodes. That linear " history node tree/list" then could be cleaned up and modified to create a dynamic blueprint. This does not interfere with the everything nodes it’s just a faster way to implement node tree blueprints into blender and when everything nodes is realized it would still stay as a macro feature.


Thanks for the TL;DR :sweat_smile:


TIL, via Wikipedia, Houdini is adapted from PRISM, which pre-dates Blender by about a decade. Four links from the bottom there is a History of PRISM link with some screenshots of PRISM. (I’d post the link directly but I am not sure of the exact rules about posting links involving other DCCs, even ones from the 80’s). The Sage OP and ICE compositor had a procedural node based workflow before Blender even existed it.

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