Houdini 19.5 What’s new

What was new in Houdini 17.5

New features and changes in Houdini 17.5.

On this page

New Task Operator Network (TOPs)

See the introduction in the how to use TOPs chapter

  • Built with new Procedural Dependency Graph (PDG) technology.

  • Automate and scale pipeline tasks, including FX pipelines.

  • Describe and visualize dependencies to maximize compute efficiency.

  • Distribute Tasks intelligently using Local, HQueue, Deadline, or Tractor schedulers.

  • Convenient shelf tools for typical wedging operations.

  • Nested wedging supports create many variants of data, such as models, simulations and more.

  • Process Houdini Digital Assets (HDAs) in parallel.

  • Create large scale procedural environments by chaining a system with HDAs.

  • Bring unparalleled scale to Houdini Engine through the API extension for PDG.

  • Automate applications such as Houdini and Maya using command chains.

  • Higher level support for Mantra, Geo and Alembic ROPs, other ROPs also supported through ROP Fetch node.

  • Script, manage and schedule work items using Python.

  • Rich set of built-in nodes to enhance pipeline functionality:

    • Data import and export using CSV, SQL, JSON and XML nodes.

    • Interface with Shotgun to bring in and manage assets.

    • Create Image Mosaics using ImageMagick.

    • Assemble frames into movies using ffmpeg.

    • Asset management system nodes such as Perforce.

  • Communicate pipeline events to team using the Send Email TOP.

  • Standalone Pilot PDG app for working exclusively with TOP graphs.


  • New Condensation shelf tool on the Particle Fluids shelf.

  • Real-time GPU accelerated pyro/volume shader with self shadowing in the viewport.


RBD / Destruction


  • Real-time GPU accelerated volume shader with self shadowing.

  • New pane type lets you inspect custom python states.

  • High-quality lighting improvements, including 3× framerate for area lights.

  • Python states work at the object level.

  • Better heuristics for near and far clipping planes.

  • Shader parity with Mantra’s Principled shader and other software packages.

  • Better compositing of viewport passes for color correction with OCIO and LUTs.

  • New C-Plane Normal option in the Persp ▸ Home menu to home along construction plane normal.

Modeling / Geometry

  • Ability to display and inspect the geometry of all outputs of a SOP.

  • Fully redesigned Fuse SOP with new snapping and fusion capabilities.

  • Powerful shape analysis and visualization via Measure SOP 2.0.

  • Many feature and performance enhancements to Blend Shapes SOP.

  • Faster Exploded View SOP with the ability to control the direction of expansion.

  • Scatter SOP can now read density texture directly from COPs.

  • Bound SOP computation of axis-aligned or freely-oriented bounding rectangle.

  • Squash and stretch handle for non-uniform scaling.

  • Interactive selection by pattern or surface normal.

  • More compiled SOPs, such as File, Volume, and Cloud Light.

  • Rotations in increments of 90 degrees are now more precise.

  • Construction planes in the orthographic viewport.

  • Voronoi Fracture Points now uses Scatter 2.0, which may change the output slightly.

  • New Post Space Deform SOPs now default to Gaussian interpolation instead of Biharmonic.

  • Group Paint SOP now supports LMB to add points and MMB to delete points, and an Apply to all (flood fill) button.

  • glTF import can promote point attributes to vertex attributes.

  • Attribute String Edit is now compilable.

  • The Facet SOP now has a Group type parameter, letting you specify a point group.

  • In the View tool, ⌃ Ctrl + Alt + MMB now pans the camera screen window.


  • 70% less memory required for erosion.

  • Enhancements to landscape I/O.


  • Blended linear and dual quaternion skinning for FBX I/O.

  • AliceVision photogrammetry support.

  • Dedicated hard surface shader for game developers.

  • MikkT support in PolyFrame SOP.

  • GLTF importer enhancements.

  • UV attribute transfer SOP.

  • Path deformer.

  • Building generator.

  • Spiral generator.

  • Enhanced texture baker.

  • Many other improvements to existing toolset.


  • 4× faster photon map acceleration structure.

  • Simplified shader binding of texture coordinates

  • Light path expressions store unshadowed lighting contributions.


  • New Launcher to install, update and manage Houdini installations (in BETA).

What’s new

Current version

Older versions