Side Effects Software Releases Houdini 7 With Houdini Escape And New Rendering Options.

New packaging options deliver increased flexibility for Studios building their CG pipelines around the Houdini family of products.

September 20, 2004 - Santa Monica, CA - Side Effects Software, developer of the award-winning Houdini family of 3D animation and visual effects tools, today announced the release of Houdini 7, the formal launch of Houdini Escape, third party rendering support for Houdini Escape, a scripting product for rendering and free access to the Houdini Developers Kit for all Houdini customers including Houdini Apprentice users.

Houdini 7 contains many significant features that improve workflow for the complete CG pipeline while giving animators, lighting artists and effects artists more freedom to focus on the creative process. Special attention has been paid to a streamlined animation workflow and advanced character rigging tools. These new character and animation tools are available in Houdini Escape which is being launched for $1999. In addition to the character rigging tools, which are quickly being recognized as the most powerful in the industry, Houdini Escape provides an integrated environment for modeling, animating, texturing, lighting, and rendering.

"Houdini Escape is designed to be the workhorse of the CG pipeline" said Dr. Paul Salvini, CTO and VP Canadian Operations. "Houdini Escape has been tested in production and works seamlessly with Houdini Master, the industry's leading visual effects solution, and the rest of the Houdini family. We are also pleased to offer a one-time upgrade to Houdini Escape for Houdini Select customers at no additional charge to integrate character work into their pipeline."

A key new feature in Houdini 7 is enhanced RenderMan support. A new Shader building environment lets lighting artists create RenderMan shaders without having to write code, and Houdini's Interactive Photorealistic Rendering (IPR) now works with RenderMan directly. Third party rendering support for RenderMan and Mental Ray is native to Houdini Master and is available as an add-on to Houdini Escape for $2,499 for a floating license.

Also being released with Houdini 7 is a new render farm product called Rscript that generates rendering input files from Houdini. This product supports both Houdini Mantra's IFD and RenderMan RIB generation. A complement to HScript which lets you script all aspects of a Houdini scene, RScript provides a more economical alternative focused on rendering. RScript will be priced at $1399 for a floating license.

Side Effects Software is also pleased to announce that the Houdini Developer's Kit (HDK) is now free with all Houdini workstation products including the Houdini Apprentice Edition. The Houdini community has long expressed a desire to incorporate more custom solutions into their work. The free, community-supported, HDK will encourage new development and experimentation.

Visit www.sidefx.com/apprentice to join the Houdini Apprentice Program and download a non-commercial version of Houdini 7. This learning edition is a great way to experience firsthand what makes Houdini the best choice for all areas of the CG pipeline.

media@sidefx.com