What you think about add-ons

Hello VFX gurus,

I’m just in the beginning of my RTVFX journey so the deeper I go the more questions I have. I understand the theory of Houdini to UE4 Cascade workflow and based on GDC2017 and my personal experience, Houdini is a must have for RTVFX. Today I ran in to plugins and add-ons like Popcorn FX and NVIDIA FleX.
I have read everything I could find on the net about Popcorn FX and how it works. I would like to hear your professional opinion before I add another software to my “Must learn” list.

Will I lose any functionality if I stick with Houdini + Cascade over Popcorn FX?
In your opinion, will Popcorn FX become new UE4 standard approach to VFX or is it to early to say?

Best wishes

Firstly I’d say that in no way is Houdini a must learn package - in 6 years and 3 different studios I’ve never had access to Houdini professionally, although that is changing. Plug ins like Popcorn and Flex are great but again definitely aren’t the standard studio setup (they cost money to licence so most studios will be reluctant to pay unless it’s providing a clear benefit) so it’s great if you know something about them but not a requirement - in house studio tools vary immensely from place to place so, as exciting and shiny and new all the great software and plug-ins are, don’t underestimate the potential of the simple Maya - Photoshop - Engine workflow. If you’re just starting out I’d really recommend trying to get the basics down first.

Hope that helps!


Thank you Thomas for prompt response and amazing intel from the industry.

My software vocabulary is quite wide already because of my experience in 3D world (Maya, Zbrush, Houdini, Marvellous Designer, Mari, Substance Painter, Photoshop, Nuke). Currently transitioning to RTVFX and doing a research of what other software I might need and how will it benefit my chances to brake in to the industry.

Im working on my first Effect in UE4 and using as you mentioned Maya and Photoshop. Thanks to Yoeri Luos Vleer tutorials it looks like I can do all RTVFX with just those 3 software packages.