At the back-end of any CG project is where you render all your lights, geometry, and effects. With Houdini, you can rely on a robust built-in rendering solution called Mantra or full support for a wide variety of third party rendering options. Whatever route you choose, Houdini is the ideal environment for bringing together your render layers and reliably feeding the farm.
Production-ready Mantra. More and more studios are discovering the performance benefits of a Mantra render pipeline. With a strong shading language behind it and the ability to choose between micropolygon, raytracing or physically-based rendering, you will quickly learn how Mantra can benefit you. Unlimited Mantra tokens with either Houdini or Houdini FX makes this an even more attractive option.
Top-notch RenderMan Support. With Houdini you will enjoy a tightly integrated interface to Pixar’s RenderMan® and RenderMan compliant renderers which includes a node-based RenderMan shader builder and support for test renders in the 3D viewport.
All Renderers Welcome. Houdini also provides integrated support for other third party renderers such as mental ray™ and Maxwell™. With Houdini’s new Python support you can easily write your own hooks for whichever renderer you prefer.
Mantra Render Types
- Micropolygon Rendering - A scan-line, ray-trace hybrid with support for ray traced reflections, refractions and shadows.
- Ray Tracing - Create high quality reflections, refractions, and shadows. Render instanced objects at lightning speed.
- Physically Based Rendering - Create complex Global Illumination including multiple diffuse bounces with this new render engine in Houdini 9
- Render fluid-based smoke and cloud effects using the new Volumetric renderer with deep shadow maps and motion blur
- Render fur procedurally using guide hairs and painted grooming attributes
- Flipbook rendering for fast animation previews and animatics
- Render Region in viewport for quick, interactive feedback
- Render low polygon meshes as smooth subdivision surfaces with a single click
- Houdini Takes for multiple render passes
- Multi-threaded output with remote rendering capabilities
- Optional OpenGL accelerated rendering
- Artist control over level of super-sampling, shading quality and dithering
- Easy photon map generation for complex GI scenes
- Create complex render dependency networks using render output nodes
- Deep Camera Maps which store variables such as opacity for all depth values. This makes them perfect for working with rendered volumes.
3D Motion Blur
- Support for transformation, and deformation motion blur
- Velocity based deformation (changing topology on a per frame basis)
- Motion Factor reduces shading quality by the amount of motion blur present (render times with motion blur may be faster than non motion blurred frames)
- Multi-segment motion blur
- Control over center of motion blur effect
- Tight coupling between Houdini cameras and Mantra motion blur
Depth of Field
- True 3D Depth of Field
- Support for motion factor which reduces shading quality by the amount of Depth of Field present
- Interactive viewport control over focus distance and focus region
- Ray-Traced Shadows for physically correct shading, and transparent shadows
- Depth Map Shadows for fast, quality shading, and transparent shadows
- Mantra procedurals are written with C++ to extend the renderer. Uses the same geometry libraries as Houdini’s HDK
- Supports for point cloud textures which can be used to simulate subsurface scattering effects. The Scatter SOP is used to distribute these textures over a surface.
Third Party Rendering Support
- Unparalleled RenderMan support
- integrated Renderman shader writing,
- image previewing
- scripting capabilities
- Quickly integrate the latest features of RenderMan without waiting for the next release of Houdini
SOHO - Python Output Drivers
- Extend Houdini’s support for 3rd party renderers without having to write a single line of C++ code
- Open, clear way for you to see exactly what’s going on when Houdini generates an IFD or RIB file
- SOHO provides access to each and every option and attribute supported by any RIB or MI generator through the use of render output drivers
- Full support for render layers using Houdini’s takes
- Use multiple render output nodes as drivers for generating scene description files in various formats (IFD for Mantra, RIB for RenderMan, MI for Mental Ray, etc.), often using external programs
- de-couples shader strings from light parameters allowing an identical interface for all supported renderers
- Use and extend the existing light interface to support new renderers and render features using SOHO’s Python front end
- Every light in Houdini is a Digital Asset that can be easily customized
Supported File formats
- Native formats: Houdini.pic format - a native Houdini Deep Raster format capable of storing any number of planes per pixel
- EXR, Abekas, Alias .pix, BMP, Cineon, JPEG, PRISMS .pic, RLA, Softimage .pic, SGI, Targa, Tiff, SGI