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FASTER, EASIER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE

New FLIP fluid solver, dynamic fracturing tools and a streamlined lighting
workflow give artists more control in their day-to-day work.

TORONTO: July 27, 2010 - Side Effects Software, an industry leader in 3D animation and visual effects software, is excited to announce the immediate release of Houdini 11. With a focus on productivity, Houdini 11 meets the needs of artists and studios who are looking for ways to accomplish more and work faster. From the new FLIP fluids solver, which offers amazing speed and control, to automatic fracturing of RBD objects, to a re-architected shader building workflow, artists will be able to work much more effectively with Houdini 11.

VFX Tools

“The new FLIP fluid solver is going to make a big difference for artists in production,” says Kim Davidson, President and CEO, Side Effects Software. “Not only is it up to 70 times faster, it draws on the power of our renowned particle tools to offer an unprecedented level of directability.”

The new dynamic fracturing tools are also designed to automatically create high-quality fracturing effects using a Voronoi-based algorithm. Artists can establish nicely shaped interior cracks and use volume “maps” to control the results.

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Rendering and Lighting

The new version also brings important enhancements to Houdini’s lighting and shading workflows. Artists can make lighting decisions interactively in the viewport with new OpenGL effects such as GPU-assisted Volumes, unlimited lights and support for diffuse, specular, opacity, environment, bump and normal maps.

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Houdini’s Mantra renderer is being used more and more in production and with Houdini 11 it becomes more accessible to artists. Houdini 11 ships with a robust general-purpose material which includes features such as sub-surface scattering and per-light exports. Houdini 11 includes new lights to make it easier to set up and render shots.

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“With Mantra, artists now have more options, more control and a significant improvement in speed,” says Davidson. “And as always, Mantra-tokens are unlimited which means that renderings can be distributed across as many machines as required.”

More Features

In addition, Houdini 11 includes a wealth of new features and enhancements which are all geared towards making the artist more productive:

User Interface

  • New, bezier-style connectors in the network editors
  • New tool palette in the network editor offers a gallery of nodes which can be dragged into the network.
  • Seamless integration of particles into dynamics networks and dynamics into geometry networks. This makes it easier to focus simulations on particular networks instead of simulating everything at the same time.
  • Enhancements to bundles to strengthen light-linking workflow
  • Z-up support

Vertex Normals

  • Support for vertex normals in OpenGL

Network Rendering

  • Network-distributed IPR
  • HQueue for Windows and Mac
  • Gold release of Houdini Cloud rendering tools

Volumes

  • Support for multi-resolution volumes with merging, feathering and surfacing tools
  • VEX Volume Procedural
  • Volume Quality setting in viewport
  • Camera frustum volumes with tapering values.
  • Higher quality viewport visualization of volumes

Texturing

  • Support for Disney's "ptex" format

Point clouds

  • New point cloud surfacer with adaptive controls (generates a better surface than the existing particle fluid surfacer; 
more applicable to games)
  • New point cloud functions

Fluids

  • New Fluid Shelf tools – target smoke, source from surface, resize voxel grid
  • SPH particle fluid solver up to twice as fast
  • Ability to rotate voxel grid to create non axis-aligned fluid container

Fur

  • More shelf tools for hair grooming
  • Control over guide hair distribution for faster interactivity while grooming
  • Combing direction can now be controlled by skin shaders
  • No need for rest attribute
  • Distributed wire solver output node

Cloth

  • Support for cloth pinching and layering
  • Direct support for non-stretchy cloth (stretch/shear/bend constraints)
  • Ability to simulate 0D cloth particles and to attach 1D cloth strings to 2D cloth surfaces - this provides as unified cloth solver for particles, wires and cloth surfaces.
  • Distributed cloth solver output node

Crowd Control

  • New CHOPS (foreach, iksolver, objectchain, transformchain, vector ) – for crowds and more
  • New python module that lets developers easily embed C++ code into python code

Pricing and Availablility

Houdini 11 is available immediately with Houdini Escape available for as low as $1,995 and Houdini Master available for as low as $6,695. The Free Apprentice Edition can be downloaded today from sidefx.com and Houdini Apprentice HD can be purchased for $99. Existing version 10 Apprentice HD customers can upgrade for $69.

With Houdini 11, Side Effects is launching a new Annual Subscription Plan which offers access to Houdini software, upgrades and support for a year at a time. This program lowers the up-front cost for studios interested in working with Houdini and gives them a flexible way to scale up their licenses. With this program, Houdini Escape is available for as low as $1,595 and Houdini Master is available for as low as $4,595.



 
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