Thinking Outside the Software

Intro

In this chapter we will be discussing how Houdini can be used outside of the visual effects industry. There are a few industries besides visual effects where Houdini is being used.( If you would like to learn more about those industries and the uses of Houdini, please go to this page: HERE.) However, there is a few industries where Houdini should be used, and more where the potential user growth of Houdini could be beneficial for them.  

Forensics

In forensics, data visualization and crime scene reconstruction is important. If you've ever watched Forensic Files, or Cold Case Files, you'd know that a lot of time and effort goes into reconstructing found remains, and how the crime took place. This is crucial if investigators want to prove who committed the crime, and who was murdered.

Some softwares that police and law enforcement use for visualization and research processes are: Visallo, Smart Draw, and Clearview AI. If you are a resident in Ontario right now, you might have heard of Clearview AI in the news. The OPP just confirmed that they use this system to recognize and track sex offenders, human trafficking, and cyber crime.

Here is a brief overview of the software I've just mentioned. Visallo is a software that uses machine learning to understand relationships between individuals under investigation. This makes the process easier for investigators to develop motives for suspects in a crime. Smart Draw is another visualization software that creates templates of crime scenes for investigators to work with. It comes with default symbols and editing tools. Clearview AI is exactly what it sounds like. However, it has a 99% accuracy in identifying faces, and can track google analytics information, as well as being able to scan licence plates.

 

Houdini as of right now, cannot do anything close to what Clearview does. However, it can provide better visualization of environments procedurally, than some of the currently  used software. Houdini can also allow for walk arounds in environments, which would be beneficial for crime scene reconstruction. It also allows for the possibility for custom objects to be made and placed in areas, which would help recreate specific events. Houdini also has several default human models. These would be great for placement of both victim and suspects in areas.

Archaeology

Currently, there is a boom in VR companies helping visualize archaeological finds, and places. By visualizing where civilizations existed, and allowing people to virtually travel to this places, you open the door for more learning to occur.

Houdini can evidently help generate these environments for VR, but Houdini can also provide more resources on top of this.

Houdini has the potential to handle 3D image scanned data, as used by archaeologists to not harm existing structures. As well as handle large 3D reconstructions of digs. By creating these structures in Houdini it would allow for further visualization, and processing of hard to reach areas of dig sites or artifacts.

Transit Growth and Development

Once again Houdini is and could be an even better tool to use in the world of transit. Transit needs a wide range of products to show it's products that it could possibly build in a city, and prove that it's resources can grow in that city's environment over time. Houdini could help predict  the growth of cities and where it would be the most beneficial to place new subway lines and bus routes. 

Houdini has nodes that offer the implementation of Open Street Maps.  Open Street Maps is similar to Google Earth expect that you can travel to a place on the map, and then export and download the data of the view. Then in a compatible software, view a 3D representation of the city or place you have chosen. This would a great tool to expand upon for transit development in Houdini, as you could project the places where you would like to build you transit system.  Furthermore, you could use Houdini's Open Street Maps tool, and corresponding game development tools to make transit easier for commuters.

Houdini's game development tools, and cameras can allow for pans through procedural environments. You could visualize and render a quick drive through, or route for a commuter in a matter of hours. As well as visualizing and explaining what any transit blockages my look like. 

Visualization is also important for selling possible transit plans to city officials. Usually third party companies pitch their bids to cities on how they could improve that place's transit system. Without the chosen city fully understanding what is being pitched to them , or if the city would like any planned changes done, they need to see ideas fast.

Houdini offers great proceduralization when it comes to modeling something quickly. Such as houses, skyscrapers, or streets. It also allows for the  ability for pieces of roadway or other models to be scattered about a scene in a randomized order. It even offers the ability to quickly swap out objects or materials that need to be changed, or that the client would like changed.

Quantum Computing and Visualization

Here is a fun topic that I would love for Sidefx to incorporate into the uses of Houdini. A fun fact is that way back in the day my career focus was in astrophysics and quantum physics. Then about three years down that road, I decided I hated physics and wanted nothing to do with it. Never has something come back to bite me so bad.

However, as much as a pain in the butt physics is, I think Houdini would be an incredibly useful tool in helping to visualize and develop quantum studies. So let's first brush up on what quantum computing is.

Quantum Computing is a bit more complicated than a regular computer. A normal computer runs on ones and zeros, and then based on different algorithms generates a new set of ones and zeros. If you've ever heard of something called binary, this is that process.

Quantum Computing operates the computer on the actions of particles, rather than a binary code. Since particles can be in multiple places at once, they have the ability to use superposition to orient their existence where ever they need to travel. We can't see where these particles are traveling, as once we have viewed the particle it will not be in the same place as it was. These particles can also take on both the values of one and zero at the same time. This duo-valued particles are called qubits. So essentially, you would never have a delay for a question you would ask a quantum computer. It would have the answer ready before you've even asked the question.

One of the hardest parts of understanding quantum computing, is understanding what these particles look like. A huge part of learning is visualizing what you see. Houdini could be an ideal software to input information about these particles and visualize their transformation.

In a previous article (HERE), I discussed some of the AI applications of AI in Houdini. Quantum computing is estimated to speed up the development of AI by three years or more. Since AI is becoming a huge tool in the video game industry, it would be important to start developing a system that could help speed up this process. 

By using a software that can visualize environments in 3D space, we'll be able to use the particle data from existing quantum states to visualize environments faster. As well as predict obstacles in front of characters. We could even program actions and movements a character preforms before they even need to act on them.

The only downside to this theory is that no commercial quantum computers exist on the market yet. So this application might be a bit delayed until a commercial version is released.

Why Using Houdini in Other Industries is Important

Sidefx has proven that Houdini is a growing and multi-purpose software. Currently the growth of Houdini is exponential. But in order to keep that growth, we need to consider the possibility that Houdini can be used past simple visualization methods, and film industry tools.

We have enough evidence to suggest that Houdini's data visualization can provide a better understanding and communication properties than other softwares used in other industries. This could help not just in marketing tools, but also reconstruction in medical industries. As well as giving closer to law, justice, and families that they are making the right decisions regarding long term medical effects and relatives.

The film industry will always out grow the software it uses in it's current day. A few years ago Lightwave and 3DsMax were huge parts of the 3D industry. Now they are only used in selective studios, or not used at all.  We need a software that can not only grow and be developed by it's users; which every software can. But one that can shift it's target demographic at will, and when it needs to flourish more. Houdini is a software that can do this. We just need to train people to use the software in different industries. 

References

Sprites and Rules: What ERPs and Procedural Memory Can Tell Us about Video Games and Language Learning:https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137005267_8

Generic 3D Geometrical and Mechanical Modeling of the Skin/Subcutaneous Complex by a Procedural Hybrid Method: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-12057-7_20

3 Failings of Procedural Generated Game Design: http://game-wisdom.com/critical/procedural-game-design

12 Plane Crashes That Changed Aviation: https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/g73/12-airplane-crashes-that-changed-aviation/

Body Mechanics: https://opentextbc.ca/clinicalskills/chapter/3-2-body-mechanics/

Against Procedural Creations: http://gamestudies.org/1103/articles/sicart_ap

Quantum Computing Improving Healthcare: https://www.bbntimes.com/technology/how-quantum-computing-can-improve-healthcare-systems

 

Quantum Computing: https://www.wsj.com/articles/accenture-pushes-deeper-into-quantum-computing-11564606126

 

Quantum Supremacy: https://www.hpcwire.com/2019/09/24/d-waves-path-to-5000-qubits-googles-quantum-supremacy-claim/

 

Largest Fleet of Quantum Computing Systems: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190729144908.htmhttps://insidehpc.com/2019/09/ibm-brings-worlds-largest-fleet-of-quantum-computing-systems-online/

 

More Quantum Computing: https://www.eetimes.com/where-iot-ai-quantum-computing-meet/

 

How do Quantum Computers Work: https://www.scienceworld.ca/ho-do-quantum-computers-work/gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxtf764WV5wIVDvDACh0i4QuHEAAYAiAAEgLY1PD_BwE

 

Quantum Computing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_computing

VISUALIZING INFORMATION IN DIGITAL FORENSICS: https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01523711/document

Digital Forensics Tool Interface Visualization: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6c89/4a9b047a3811e183482557ca63e4cafc3296.pdf

Data Visualisation: The Step Forward For Digital Forensics: https://www.forensicfocus.com/c/aid=152/webinars/2016/data-visualisation-the-step-forward-for-digital-forensics/

FishEYE: A Forensic Tool for the Visualization of Change-Over-Time in Windows VSS: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4444&context=etd

When Quantum Computing Meets AI: Smarter Digital Assistants and More: https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-quantum-computing-meets-ai-smarter-digital-assistants-and-more-11558631925

Law Enforcement Software: https://www.capterra.com/law-enforcement-software/