See also what’s new in Solaris.

Karma CPU is now production ready (no longer beta).

The Karma XPU engine is available as an alpha preview.

Karma can now render object name and/or material cryptomatte AOVs.

New hold-out/matte object workflow using the Background Plate LOP.

New, easy-to-use, physically-based Karma Hair Shader VOP.

In the render snapshot gallery you can now launch a live background render of a snapshot, so you can get a converged render snapshot without having to wait for the view. You can write a custom background render plugin, for example to support rendeing using farm management software.

Karma can now render MaterialX shaders, both in .mtlx files and defined by VOP shader networks. See the MaterialX help for supported features and limitations.

Karma now supports portal lights.

New support for lights specified with .ies files (in the Shaping tab of the Lights).

The Edit Material Properties LOP is similar to Edit Properties but has specific for the UsdShade API.

The Unassign Material LOP removes material bindings.

In addition to the full featured Physical Lens VOP, there is now a lower-level Physical Lens Core VOP you can use to build your own lens shader on top of the core functionality.

You can now create volumes shaped to the camera frustum, so you can use fewer voxels further from the camera.

On the Volume SOP, use the “from camera” parameters to fit the volume to a camera’s field of view. (The new tapering controls may also be useful outside of fitting to a camera.)

  • Karma now supports path guiding, which can improve indirect sampling in scenes with difficult lighting such as caustics, or mostly indirect lighting.

  • You can now use the PolyFrame SOP generate MikkT-styletangentu and tangentv attributes.

  • Redesigned Karma LOP parameter interface.

  • Karma ROP for rendering of Houdini Object-level (non-USD) scenes.

  • Karma now supports rendering deep camera maps.

  • Improved motion blur on crowd agents.

  • Improved sampling.

  • Excellent first-pixel performance for IPR.

  • Better Albedo AOV output.

  • Karma can now render USD “pinned curves”, sometimes used to represent hair/fur.

What’s new in Houdini 19