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TORONTO: July 17th, 2008 - Side Effects Software, an industry leader in 3D animation and visual effects software, is pleased to announce the release of Houdini 9.5. This release introduces Houdini to the Mac community and significantly improves workflow and interoperability with new shelf tools and a variety of import/export formats.

A rigorous public beta has put Houdini 9.5 through its paces and ensured a production-ready release. Side Effects thanks everyone who participated in the public beta program. The feedback received from the CG community has proven invaluable and helps make Houdini a better product in so many ways. Testing on the Mac started early and Mac beta customers have helped build a great first release on this platform.

Availability

Houdini 9.5 is available immediately for purchase through the Houdini Store. If you would like to speak with a sales representative, you can contact us at . If you are interested in working with Houdini on personal projects, you can also get Houdini Apprentice 9.5 for free here, or purchase the watermark-free Houdini Apprentice HD here. Upgrades from Houdini Apprentice HD 9.1 are also available.

Updated Docs

Documentation in Houdini 9.5 sports an improved look and provides a valuable resource for learning Houdini. Artists will find an improved search function with boolean search, phrase searching, and spelling suggestions. A preview of the search results appears as you type, giving you feedback on the search and letting you select from the highest rated results more quickly. You can also filter search results to only the show the documentation you're interested in.

The tables of contents has been reorganized to clearly categorize documentation into levels such as "Getting started," "Next steps," and "Guru level.” A new "how to" section has been added which should grow to include useful tips and recipes for achieving various effects in Houdini. And of course, many of the tools are accompanied by example files that can be quickly launched from the docs providing networks of nodes that can be explored and even re-purposed in your work.

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Torque Game Engine Exporter

Houdini 9.5 also includes the ability to export to the Torque Game Engine by Garage Games. Independent game developers can now use Houdini Apprentice HD to create game art for Torque. Interested gamers can learn more here.

Feature List:

Houdini 9.5 includes an impressive list of new features that are explained in more detail in the What’s New section of the docs.

Architecture

  • Houdini now runs on Mac OS X.
  • Many digital asset refinements, including the ability to specify editable nodes within a locked asset.

Interoperability

  • FBX Export.
  • FBX NURBS import.
  • Quicktime output from MPlay to Mac/Linux/Win.
  • Adobe Illustrator™ import.
  • .MDD output

Environmental Effects

  • RBD Fracture tools, such as break, shatter, and debris generation.
  • Wave simulation tool: Whitecaps.
  • River simulation tool: Sculpted particle fluid.
  • New and improved fire and smoke.
  • Adaptive and animated level-set solvers.

Character Effects

  • Encapsulation of current fur workflow into easy to use fur tools.
  • Auto-rig refinements.

UI

  • Ramp Parameter VOP.
  • Ramp Parameter vector and float.
  • Better OpenGL2 support in the viewport.
  • Support for GLSL shaders in SHOPs.
  • Real-time shadows in the viewport.
  • Advect Particles tool
  • CVEX VOP context.

VEX

  • Added arrays as a datatype in VEX.
  • As part of the new language support for arrays, VEX now also supports accessing members of a vector using the same name[index] syntax as arrays.

New Surface nodes

  • Assemble (must be inserted after one or more Break nodes)
  • Bake Volume (bakes lighting onto a volume)
  • Break
  • Extrude Volume
  • Finalize Waves
  • Match Axis
  • MDD
  • Name
  • Point Map
  • Points From Volume
  • Script (execute scripts in a geometry network)
  • Shatter
  • Volume Ramp
  • Volume VOP
  • Volume (utility node for manipulating volumes)
  • Wave Velocity
  • Waveform

New Render drivers

  • FBX Export
  • Torque Export
  • MDD File Writer
  • Wedge

 

 
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