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Shading

New

New VOP-based shader workflow.

  • You can now use VOPs directly as materials, without needing to wrap them in a SHOP.

  • Much streamlined workflow to easier and more efficient for both new and existing users.

  • SHOPs are obsolete as of Houdini 16.

  • The /mat VOP network is now a convenient place to create ad-hoc materials (for example, when you create materials in the gallery). However, you can put your own Material Network subnet wherever it’s convenient (for example inside assets).

New

As part of the new network editor, redesigned VOP nodes have new features such as collapsible input groups.

New

Dispersion and absorption BSDFs.

New

Support for unified nested dielectrics.

New

New, fast ray-traced SSS BSDF with image plane outputs.

Improved

Redesigned, feature-complete Principled shader with extensive features and controls.

Improved

Viewport rendering of complex shaders. Viewport support for metallics, coat, occlusion, reflection, and more.

Improved

Full support for nested, unlimited shader layering. Layers include displacement shading, allowing layering/mixing of both surface and displacement.

Improved

Gallery materials redone as VOPs. New Skin, Wax, and Terrain gallery materials.

Improved

Layers include export maps such as diffuse color, normals, occlusion, roughness, and specular. The layer mixing VOPs mix these exports as well as the surface and displacement shaders.

  • Color

  • Metallic

  • Normals

  • Occlusion

  • Roughness

  • Specular

Improved

Vastly improved texture baking:

  • UV cage object lets you get better tangents and normals.

  • New UDIM "Diffuse Fill" post-processing gives better mipmaps in space around islands.

  • Tangent space normal and curvature image planes.

  • Fixed issues with position and normal map image planes.

  • Occlusion-based curvature.

Improved

Easy OpenGL tagging of shader attributes for viewport visualisation. Instead of creating hidden OpenGL parameters with channel references, you can now tag parameters on your material as representing one or more OpenGL values.

Improved

Shaders now pass UV(W) coordinates as a struct for simpler inputs and outputs.

Changed

The functionality of the Mantra Surface SHOP is now available in the Classic Shader VOP. We expect the Principled Shader VOP to meet most needs, but the Classic Shader is available if you need more control over sub-surface scattering, and/or control over refraction roughness separate from reflection roughness.

Rendering

New

Houdini can now generate geometry from a SOP network at render time using a new Engine procedural. This does not require an extra license to generate points and curves. (Generating other geometry uses an Engine license.)

New

Fine-grained Quality sliders on the Mantra node’s Rendering ▸ Shading tab let you increase sampling quality for components (diffuse, SSS, reflection, refraction) individually.

New

The Packed Disk Sequence primitive will perform correct motion blur of a sequence of packed disk files.

New

Procedural shader to render new height field primitive.

New

Support for nested dielectrics, dispersion, and absorption.

Improved

Houdini by default now saves geometry in separate files beside the the IFD file. Saving and loading the multiple files is multi-threaded. This reduces IFD generation time and rendering time. Up to 10× faster.

Improved

Optimized path termination strategy to make rendering faster in certain types of scenes.

Stylesheets

New

Per-pixel inspection of material stylesheet overrides in IPR.

Compositing

New

As part of the new network editor, compositing nodes can now show a preview thumbnail.

New

The SOP Import COP imports height field volumes from SOPs into COPs as images.

New

The Loop COP lets you apply the same group of nodes to the image multiple times.

New

The Metadata COP lets you embed metadata in the image (for export to formats that support metadata).

HQueque

Improved

Improved web UI including a new job grid view, task summary, farm summary, and a cleaner look.

Improved

More responsive web interface. Faster server. Lower memory usage.

Misc

OpenColorIO support in MPlay and VEX.

Improved

The viewport and mantra now support automatically cusped vertex normals.

What was new in Houdini 16