HOUDINI 10 BLASTS OFF WITH PYRO FX TOOLS
Side Effects Software sends VFX studios to new heights of productivity
TORONTO: April 16, 2009 Side Effects Software, an industry leader in 3D animation and visual effects software, is pleased to announce the immediate release of Houdini 10. Designed to make artists more productive while equipping studios with the most powerful tools in the industry, Houdini 10 is destined to become a must-have release for 3D artists everywhere.
Houdini 10 is the first commercially-available application to slice up and distribute fluid simulations over a network of computers. 3D artists will benefit from faster simulation times in addition to the ability to create simulations at a much bigger size and scale than would be possible with a single computer.
“The ability to slice up and distribute fluid sims lets studios assign a smaller memory load to each computer in the simulation farm” says Cristin Barghiel, Director of Product Development, Side Effects. “At the same time, they can take advantage of multi-threading on each node to make things run even faster.”
Studios and boutiques can integrate these distributed fluid sims using existing pipeline tools, or work with HQueue a new python-based job manager which can also distribute Mantra renderings. HQueue jobs can be launched using a Houdini output node and then monitored using HQueue’s artist-friendly web interface. For fluid simulations, each node on the farm can be equipped with Houdini Batch to process the slices and keep your workstation licenses free for interactive work.
HQueue is initially being released for LINUX users as a free public beta. The planned release of HQueue is July 2009, when it will also be available for Mac OS X and Windows systems. HQueue will be made available as a free add-on to commercial licenses of Houdini Master and Houdini Escape.
VFX artists can create high quality smoke and fire in Houdini 10 with the new Pyro FX tools. Utilizing cutting edge up-resing technology, Pyro FX makes it possible to create a low resolution simulation in planning out a shot, then increase the resolution on subsequent passes to add higher level of details and refinement. Pyro FX comes with several pre-made Pyro FX such as Billowy smoke and Fireball to give artists a head start when setting up a simulation.
“Distributed Fluid simulations integrate effectively with the up-res technology in Pyro FX,” say Judith Crow, Senior Production Consultant, Side Effects. “Artists can get great results out-of-the-box while TDs can explore the open and extensible networks created with these production-ready tools.”
Lighting artists can take advantage of the progressive Interactive Photorealistic Rendering (IPR) feature in Houdini 10. This IPR workflow supports both raytracing and Physically Based Rendering (PBR), providing feedback whenever a scene changes. An update will be triggered when shader and light parameters are tweaked or when objects, cameras and lights are added, moved or even removed. Artists can drag and drop materials into the IPR window and can “control click” to access shader parameters for any part of an image. Snap shots can be taken to compare with other iterations of a shot using features such as “diffing”.
Houdini 10 also includes support for Stereoscopic 3D in both the viewport and Houdini’s image viewer. The Houdini stereo camera supports both anaglyph and horizontal interlaced stereo and includes control for parallax and inter-axial distance. Studios can preview their 3D work from within Houdini and can generate stereo images at render time.
Houdini 10 includes many more features such as:
Houdini 10 is available immediately on Mac OS X, Windows and LINUX and can be downloaded for free as part of the Houdini Apprentice program. 3D Artists who want to work on personal projects without render watermarks can also purchase Houdini Apprentice HD for only $99. Please visit sidefx.com for more information including pricing for Houdini’s commercial line of products.
To watch a video countdown of the top features in Houdini 10, stop by the launch page at www.sidefx.com/ten.
The Houdini family of animation software offers digital artists an unprecedented level of power, flexibility and control based on award-winning procedural technology. The comprehensive feature set includes: modeling, rigging, animation, particle effects, dynamics, compositing, integrated rendering, and more. All Houdini applications work together seamlessly and are available for the Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems.
Houdini has been used to create stunning digital animation in blockbuster films, including: Monsters vs. Aliens, Coraline, Watchmen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bolt, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Transformers, The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Superman Returns, The Wild, X-Men: The Last Stand, Spider-Man (1, 2 & 3), the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Matrix trilogy and more.
About Side Effects Software
Established in 1987, Side Effects Software is a world leader in the development of advanced 3D animation and special effects software for use in film. Side Effects Software leads the field of procedural animation with its unique, award-winning Houdini technology. Houdini is used by numerous digital content creation leaders including: Disney Feature Animation, PSYOP, Framestore-CFC, Asylum FX, The Mill, Method Studios, C.O.R.E., Digital Domain, Rhythm and Hues, and Sony Pictures Imageworks among others.