Master Houdini For Less
Side Effects Software celebrates the release of Houdini 8.1 with big savings on Houdini Master
Toronto: July 7, 2006 - Side Effects Software, developer of the award-winning Houdini family of 3D software, today announced the release of Houdini 8.1. This new version features an animator-friendly Auto Rig, Muscle System, Character Picker and Pose Library. Enhancements to the Rigid Body and Wire dynamic solvers and support for the importing of Collada files are also included in this latest release.
To celebrate Houdini 8.1, Side Effects Software is offering two great opportunities to save when choosing to either buy or rent Houdini Master. Through September 30, 2006, up to two copies of Houdini Master can be purchased at the special price of $9,999 USD, a savings of over 40 percent, while customers who choose the rental option for at least 3 months will enjoy one month free. As a bonus, everyone who takes advantage of either of these offers will receive a free copy of the book “The Magic of Houdini”.
“There has never been a better time to discover Houdini,” says Kim Davidson, President and CEO, Side Effects Software. “Whether you create feature films, video game cinematics or film-quality broadcast, Houdini offers the widest range of animation and visual effects features to suit every part of the production pipeline.“
The highlights of Houdini 8.1 include character tools like the Auto Rig and Muscle System. With the Auto Rig, animators can quickly create production-quality biped rigs with high-level, easy-to-use controls, such as FK/IK switching. Set up as Houdini Digital Assets, these rigs provide a robust referencing scheme that makes it easy to propagate changes throughout a production. Proxy geometry can be easily added to the animation rig and put into production right away while the riggers work on a separate capture rig to define surface deformations.
Creating a realistic muscle and skin system is easy with Houdini’s new metaball capture and metaball-based muscle tool. Now animators can set up skin sliding and muscle deformations without relying on lengthy simulations. The results work in real time and allow muscles to become an integral part of the animation process.
These character tools, along with the Character Picker and Pose Library, are also featured in Houdini Escape, which is ideal for riggers and animators. Houdini Escape also provides an excellent platform for lighting, rendering and compositing.
For artists who want to bring their work from other 3D animation packages into Houdini, Houdini 8.1 includes support for the import of Collada files. Collada (www.collada.org) is an open digital asset exchange schema for interactive 3D applications and is quickly being adopted throughout the industry. Houdini 8.1 supports the import of geometry, lights, cameras, transformations and keyframe animation through Collada. Animated character rigs can also be imported as a hierarchy of keyframed null objects that can be used with Houdini 8.1’s new muscle tools.
Houdini 8.1 also features advancements in Dynamics tools, with a significantly faster Wire solver and a new Rigid Body auto-freeze feature. Houdini’s Dynamics environment lets users integrate Rigid Body, Cloth and Wire solvers into a single unified simulation, and includes unique capabilities such as RBD glue. Houdini's advanced physical simulation technology is consistently used by leading visual effects houses in the creation of blockbusters like Superman Returns, X-Men: The Last Stand, Poseidon and many more.
“With the savings being offered this summer, it’s the perfect time to see what Houdini can do for you,” adds Davidson. “Broadcast shops and boutique studios are already taking advantage of these tools to help create film-quality animation.”
If you are visiting SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston, you can see Houdini 8.1 in action at booth #1731. In addition to Houdini demonstrations, several customers, including artists from Framestore-CFC, Rhythm & Hues, DNA, C.O.R.E. and Sony Pictures Imageworks, will be showcasing their work at the booth. Side Effects Software is also hosting a Houdini Pub Night to bring the worldwide Houdini community together. Visit www.sidefx.com for more information.
The Houdini family of animation software offers digital artists an unprecedented level of power, flexibility and control based on award-winning 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 Windows and Linux operating systems. Houdini has been used to create stunning digital animation in blockbuster films, including Superman Returns, The Wild, The Ant Bully, Poseidon, X-Men: The Last Stand, Spider-Man (1 & 2), The Polar Express, I,Robot, Chronicles of Riddick, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stealth, Sin City, X-Men, X2: X-Men United, the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Matrix trilogy.
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 C.O.R.E., Digital Domain, Disney Feature Animation, DNA Productions, Framestore-CFC, The Orphanage, Rhythm and Hues, and Sony Pictures Imageworks among others.