The Houdini Database – an Alexa skill for Houdini learners

The Houdini Database – an Alexa skill for Houdini learners

– currently in Beta | open for interested testers –

This skill will be the best voice activated help for houdini out there.
Which is not that difficult given that at the time of its creation it is the only one.

If you don’t have an Alexa device you can still use it by getting the Alexa app from the app store and use the skill with your phone.

The houdini database supports the following functions:

– get the description of a specific function
– get the parameters of a specific function (content WIP)
– get the description of any existing node

– mark a function or node as learned

– get a random function
– get a random function from a specific category
– get a random node
– get a random node from a specific context

– get an email with additonal information to the function or node in question
— it will always contain the link to the documentation
— can have links to youtube tutorials entries from CG Wiki or any interesting sources I gather over time
— an example hip file related to the node or function in question
(Alexa will inform you what that will be in advance – amount of links and example files)

– get a status of what you have already covered (WIP)
– reset that status as a whole or in segments (WIP)

The categories are the same as in the official documentation – arrays, attributes and intrinsics, crowds, geometry and so on.
The context for the nodes cover every area of Houdini – sop, dop, top, etc.

Remember the function:
After using one of the above intents the skill is in a state where it knows which function or node was requested. You can then proceed to get the additional information.
For example if you asked “How does findattribval work” you get the description and you can follow up with “Give me the parameters”.

This allows for the learning experience of asking for a random function which you could learn and then ask for more specifics with “What does it do” or “parameters”.
Once you learned it you can tell alexa to “mark it as learned” which willl be saved with your user id. That means you can come back to the skill at any time and continue to learn.

1. The basis for the initial content are the descriptions from the official documentation. Over time they will be updated to user based point of view.
2. The parameters of the functions and possible node details need to be created by hand which will be an ongoing process.
3. Simple example files will be created as an ongoing process with the goal to have the core of houdinis tools covered quickly.
3. The same goes for the links that get added to the email. I am going to adress other tutors in the community if I may include links to their work.

  • Ognyan Tsonkov
    Posted at 22:22h, 16 September Reply

    Hey David, I’d be interested in testing the app, if that’d be ok with you!

    • David
      Posted at 22:24h, 16 September Reply

      I only need the email connected to the alexa account for an invite. Is this the one?

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