PD Howler Thread

Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
edited February 2017 in Everything Else

MODERATOR EDIT (Triem23) The free giveaway listed here has expired. However, through 8/14/16 one can puchase PDHowler 10 for $30 instead of $80 here: PDHowler 10 Discount

For anybody interested in alternative paint and animation software  TheBest3D  is handing out  free copies of PD Howler 9.6  and offering a discount on the current version 10. 

PD Howler is an odd duck that prides itself on not being Photoshop and it has some pretty handy features so it's definitely worth a try when it's free ;)


Their YouTube channel is loaded with hundreds of tutorials too.




  • How hard is it to learn how to create stuff like at 2:20? It looks awesome but I am still learning 3DS Max and don't have time to take on learning a new beast... work and school are killing me along with weekly uploads.

    Your thoughts on the learning curve to making realistic looking sweep shots?

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @TriFlixFilms It actually isn't that hard. Here's a good one on terrain


    And this one covers the basics on animating terrain fly-overs


    This kind of thing was added with PD Howler 9 and the give away is for the full PD Howler 9.6 so it can do all of it. If you have any interest at all go ahead and snag the free copy and save it until you have the time to tackle it. There's also a new plugin (free) to handle normal maps. It was written for 10 but there are people saying it works in 9.6.

    They have an ungodly amount of YouTube tutorials and the two guys behind Project Dogwaffle are very approachable and ready to help if you really got stuck on something, 


  • edited July 2016

    @Aladdin4d - Dogwaffle- did they do PD Particles too?

    Thanks for the tip! I will definitely check this out. I had Howler 7.something a while ago. I had to uninstall due to lack of space at the time. Now I've got plenty so I can't wait to see this newer version!

  • I've paid for the current version plus a few back, just to support such a great under-appreciated project.

    It can even do a lot of what Hitfilm does, if you can believe it.  Daniel Beck (Dartanbeck) even replicated a Future Learn VFX lesson done in Hitfilm using Dogwaffle, much to my amazement.


    Sadly, they are held back by non-technical factors only. If they only had the time to update their site, polish the training videos so they aren't so long and musical, and optimize for SEO, I'm sure they would be used by all of us.

    Do take advantage while you can, but also consider supporting the project once you see how versatile it is. I can't begin to compare it to other programs with any certainty, due to my inexperience, but it has elements of Hitfilm, Bryce, and a whole slew of other drawing and FX programs all under one roof. I'm sure I could have saved hundreds on other programs had I only taken the time to learn this one.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited July 2016

    @StormyKnight  Yes they do PD Particles along with PD Artist and Howler.

    @Farscape I don't think anybody can really compare Dogwaffle to other programs it's just that different. Good but different ;)

    Here is Dartenbeck's nearly finished result



  • I know I'm late to the party on this one, but thanks for the heads-up.  I just grabbed a copy last night and I think that the terrain generation is going to be a Godsend for my sci-fi stuff.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Yeah, finally got around to grabbing it. 

  • @Triem23  If and when you actually try it remember to say to yourself "Howler is not Photoshop" over and over.

    @SteveKarstensen You can export terrain meshes to OBJ  too.


    Here's a playlist of tutorials too. The ones labelled River Canyon are all related to terrain generation and animation 


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

     @Aladdin4d it's obviously not Photoshop. Just poking around with it for 5 min this morning, it looks really neat and useful. I passed the link on to several other artists I know. 

  • I have installed howler.9.6  Unfortunately the tool does not really running perfect. at start some other installed tool (fligh simulator addon) will be reinstalled first...

    when I'm doing a flyover of the 3dterrain like the tutorial, the color map (ground, green, sky) turn about 90°. so the blue river running trought the peaks of mountains or green. and the shadows shift everywhere but not on the primary settings..

  • Think of it as another tool in your arsenal. I used the frame interpolation for an animation (to make the video longer) for example. It wasn't perfect but i got a part that was kinda usable. I think it should be 64 bit. I had problems that are related to that probably if i remember right.

  • Hmmm thanks for sharing, nice to always have free things, but having seen the 10min intro video, it looks OK and interesting but for what it might offer it looks like a lot of new learning. In fact the whole landscape side reminded me very much of my good old days on the Amiga 1200 and VistaPro


    I might download, but I think it will sit in my things to look at if needed.

  • @Andy001z ;

    "reminded me very much of my good old days on the Amiga 1200 and VistaPro"

    There's a reason for that. The developer was an Amiga (and Lightwave) user and when he switched to PC he tried to do something in Photoshop that he had always done easily in Deluxe Paint. It didn't go well and he got so frustrated he decided it was easier to write a program to do what he wanted than deal with Photoshop. All of the basic tools and actions are Amiga like recreations. Even the keyboard shortcuts are Deluxe Paint/Amiga based instead of Windows.

    He called it dogwaffle because like the first waffle out of a waffle iron it was finished but not presentable enough to serve to a guest and that's the waffle you give to the dog.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Ah. This backstory explains much. 

  • @Aladdin4d Oh now it all becomes clear, maybe I will download I loved Deluxe Paint (not the modern thin stuff you put on walls!!), good old IFF format. Sniff, those were the good old days.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I think... I'm gonna buy 10. This is a useful tool, it's pretty unique, has some sweet animation tools,  and it's obviously a passion project for a small team. Kinda reminds me of this other software and company I like. 

    Guys, it's under $30 for this sweet thing, and I know I'll get my money's worth. 

  • @Triem23 ;

    "This is a useful tool, it's pretty unique, has some sweet animation tools,  and it's obviously a passion project for a small team. Kinda reminds me of this other software and company I like. "

    Exactly!  It is pretty unique almost to the point of defying description, it's definitely a passion project and even if you only use it for one thing it's worth the price. 

    Just some examples I do:

    Height and shatter maps - Yeah you can do these in several different programs but Dogwaffle just feels tailor made for this kind of thing.

    Mattes - Because of the way Dogwaffle treats transparency information.  the built in animation tools and a healthy selection of natural media brushes it's easy to come up with interesting organic animated mattes. A while back somebody wanted to do a reveal that looked like paint brush strokes. There's several ways to do that of course but in Dogwaffle it's basically choose your brush, tweak the settings to taste, paint the anim and export. 

    Motion paths - Not really doing this as much anymore thanks to HitFilm's updates and the addition of Boris 3D objects but I have used Dogwaffle to animate markers along a path that I then tracked in HitFilm. Express users could make use of the technique for some more advanced text effects.

    @Andy001z and anybody else old enough to remember - Dogwaffle has the Deluxe Paint fun factor from the good old days which is probably what I like most about it. 

    @chriguf If you're having problems try contacting them for support

    @Kadri It's still 32 bit but version 10 has improvements and changes that are supposed to help with that kind of problem.


  • edited August 2016

    "It's still 32 bit but version 10 has improvements and changes that are supposed to help with that kind of problem."  Nice.

    Not directly related but he should change the site design. As a image-photo editing website it should look a little more professional.  This doesn't bother me at all. Just saying that from a outsider look. Some people are impressed more from such things. It could help him more maybe.

  • edited August 2016


  • edited August 2016

    This was what impressed me from the first time i saw it 15 or so years ago :


  • edited August 2016

    Hi Kadri, thanks. That was indeed a turning point for the foliage brushes. We had the original particle brushes for long, ever since v1.5 or so, See  http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/whatsnew/ to find v1.6 when there were some improvements to it. But v7.2 added a particle brush system with multiple rules. So a single brush stroke can create the entire tree. Or most of it. It grows up to the sky with your brush stroke, doesn't grow roots in the opposite direction. A second brush stroke can do that. And it has Age Decrementing since around v2.1 I think if memory serves me right, to make roots look more like roots.

    My personal favorite is v9.5 and 9.6 with the erosion and sediment coloring on 3D Designer.

    We're adding new features and better quality in the Puppy Ray renderer too, for a future release. You can see a water reflection somewhere in the newest video I posted on the youtube channel today

    We also have improved the stabilizer and motion tracker in v10.

    Has anyone played with the motion prediction module yet? What do you think, how does it compare with other motion estimation tools?

    That also dates back to v7.2 - http://www.thebest3d.com/howler/7/motion-prediction-module.html

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited August 2016

    @PhilipStaiger Welcome to HitFilm Forum!

    "Has anyone played with the motion prediction module yet?"

    Played with is about it for me at the moment so I couldn't really give a thorough opinion yet but I will at some point. 

    @Everybody else Philip Staiger is the Project Dogwaffle co-developer so if you have questions now's your chance ;)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @PhillipStaiger welcome to the Hitfilm forums.

    I've not had a chance to plat with the motion estimation tools. I only discovered PD Howler through this thread, so... It'll be awhile before I get to thoroughly explore all the options, but, from that hour of poking around, instant love. 

  • edited August 2016

    Regarding 32-bit vs. 64-bit.... it is one of the two bigger issues. Or let's say challenges,... er,... differences.

    We did not focus much on working on long clips so far, perhaps 2000 frames at what is now low res. 640x480, 800x600 or similar. Now that everybody wants full HD, make that 4k.... we either need to rewrite it all for 64-bit, which is not trivial with that much code, or develop a compression and frame allocation framework. We're already doing some compression on animation. We alos have structured the undo system into objects. Gives extra features. It will gradually get better and better at handling animations at high def. But yeah, still, 64-bit would be nice.

    baby steps

    It's just one developer/owner, Dan's the man. Me, I wrote 0.001% of it. The part that reverses the frame sequence :-)

    Others have written addons, mind you. In fact it would be interesting to see HitFilm do the same. Dogwaffle runs as an activeX server. For other apps it can mean just one or a few lines of code to connect and work with the Dogwaffle objects.

    If you're interested:


    One of the bigger developments ongoing at the moment by Dan is related to the SDK which he plans on using to make new major developments thereafter.

    If you like scripting in Lua, and have scripted filters for GIMP, you might enjoy ours too.



  • I had no time to use it as i would like but the most problem i had was what you said above. HD video-frames. Yes 64 bit would be nice. I split the video-used fewer frames to overcome this.

    Will try to use it more in the future.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @PhilipStaiger Well, take my $30, and use that to have Dan as much recoding as he can--which should be about half an hour's worth, and a coffee. ;-)

  • @Triem23 Don't forget to grab the two new free plugins.

    Worley Noise - Should be great for caustics maps I think

    Normal Map - Exactly what it sounds like. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Aladdin4d I'd better look for other plug-ins as well, I suppose...

  • @PhilipStaiger Hiya and welcome to the Forum.

    Quick question: I downloaded the giveaway, but only just got around to installing it and found it's a password protected zip file. Can't find an email with a password in, so was it a time-limited offer that needed to be installed during the time that the giveaway was valid and am I now SOL?

    I loved Deluxe Paint, used it all the time for everything back in the day. I heard that the original authors (pretended to?) lost/lose their source code (or something) so it couldn't be ported to other platforms, which was a shame because the morphing tool was brilliant. :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Palacono there was an access code on the giveaway page you needed to enter. If PhilipStaiger says it's cool, I'll PM you the code, assuming it's still valid.

    I note that right now PDHowler 10 is on sale for about $30 for another 6 days.

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