Everyone loves the copy sop… and at some point everyone hates the copy sop. The main reason: system memory. For small-ish amounts of geometry the copy sop is great and can provide you with everything you ever needed… until you just want more. When you hit that memory limit you have to find a different way. So I went looking for alternatives. I had heard great things about the way PRman can handle huge amounts of geometry through delayed read archives and I wanted to have similar control in Houdini. And hey, Mantra delayed load does pretty much the same , but how to control a bunch of delayed loads effectively?
So what about “instancing”? That works, but you loose all the stamping goodness on the SOP level you had with the copy sop. What if I create my geometry piece by piece (could cache each piece to disk) and then try to instance those different pieces on to a bunch of points? That works, you can use the instancepoint() expression in combination with delayed load geometry shaders and modify the shader paths, each shader pointing to a different file on disk… Well, when I say that works, what is actually going on inside the ifd file?
Basic point based instancing