Houdini the First Major 3D Animation Package On Linux
Side Effects Software Shows Houdini on the popular O/S at Siggraph'99
August 10, 1999 - Los Angeles, SIGGRAPH 99 - Side Effects Software (booth # 1147) today announced the successful port of its world-class 3D animation software to the Linux operating system. Side Effects Software, who announced their intention to adopt Linux at NAB'99, will be the first major 3D animation company to show their product on the platform. The Linux version of Houdini 4.0, is being shown at SIGGRAPH '99 at the Evans & Sutherland booth (no. 1247). Hardware technology from Evans & Sutherland and software from Xi Graphics played a pivotal role in the successful port of Houdini to Linux.
"Many of our customers grew up with Unix/Irix workstations and like the flexibility, control and familiarity that these systems offer. By providing Houdini on Linux, customers will be able to work in a Unix environment while taking advantage of high-performance Intel-based workstations," said Paul Salvini, Director of Research and Development at Side Effects Software. "We've enjoyed working with Xi Graphics and Evans & Sutherland to be able to provide Houdini on Linux as a viable platform for high-end graphics."
Third Party Support for Houdini on Linux
Side Effects Software began beta testing of the non-interactive portions of Houdini in May, however workstation-class graphics support for Linux was not available until recently. Through their development efforts, third party partners Evans & Sutherland and Xi Graphics have played a crucial role in allowing Side Effects Software to present Houdini on Linux at SIGGRAPH '99.
Houdini will be demonstrated on a generic Intel-based workstation running Red Hat Linux 6.0. The EV 2 version of Xi Graphics' Accelerated-X 3D / OGL technology provides an X-windows server with hardware accelerated OpenGL 1.1.1 support. Evans & Sutherland, leaders in the development of graphics systems for high-performance workstations and related applications, are supporting the Houdini/Linux port through their AccelGALAXY 3D graphics accelerator board.
"We have been developing our 3D server package for over a year and are pleased to be able to team up with Side Effects Software to make Linux history on Evans & Sutherland hardware," said Lee Roder of Xi. "By being the first major computer graphics and visual effects software company to port their product to Linux, Side Effects Software is leading the way for the entertainment industry to take advantage of a powerful, open source operating system."
Throughout SIGGRAPH, Houdini 4.0 will be demonstrated on the Linux platform at the Evans & Sutherland booth (#1247)."We are pleased to be working with Side Effects Software to be the first to make high-end graphics available on Linux for the digital production market," said Ronald Coman, Evans & Sutherland Director of IFV Business Development. "The joining of our powerful graphics accelerator board with Side Effects Software's procedural 3D animation and effects technology makes Linux a viable alternative for digital content creation."
Linux for 3D
Interest in Linux has grown enormously in all sectors during the past year. Many in the entertainment industry have made moves to adopt the platform for purposes such as game development and rendering. These same companies have expressed a desire to see a major graphics/effects package available on Linux. Renowned Japanese Computer Entertainment Company, Konami was pleased to hear the news of Houdini's port to the Linux O/S. "The combination of the open source Linux operating system, with the powerful procedural Houdini software will be welcomed by many game developers," said a spokesperson from Konami. "This announcement is further proof of Side Effects Software's responsiveness to its customers."
Daryll Strauss, Software Development Manager of Digital Domain commented: "Houdini is a world class package for effects animation that is used extensively here at Digital Domain. Running Houdini on Linux workstations will provide a cost effective solution that is stable, flexible and integrates easily into a UNIX environment." For the making of Titanic, Digital Domain used Linux for rendering. "Linux handled every job we threw at it," Strauss stated. "The flexibility of the existing devices and available source code gave Linux a definitive advantage."
Pricing and Availability
Beta testing of Houdini 4.0 is scheduled to begin this fall with and a more precise shipping date released in that period. The Linux version of the product will have the same look, feel and feature set as the IRIX and Windows NT versions. Mantra, Houdini's photorealistic renderer, will be available on Linux at the same time.
Platform independent license of Houdini are priced at $17,000 USD and ship with five Mantra render tokens (see separate press release). The annual upgrade plan is an additional $4,000 USD.