history of houdini

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I am writing a paper where I discuss houdini… I am wondering if anyone can tell me when the first version of houdini came out? Also, what is the history of houdini - did it start out as open source? Also, are there any patents for the dataflow approach?
Patrick
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Hi Patrick,

I got this historical summary of various Houdini releases over the years from odforce's wiki page. There are much more interesting information in the wiki page which I left out in this summary below:

http://odforce.net/wiki/index.php/WhatIsHoudini%3F [odforce.net]
  • Houdini 11.0 (2010)
    Houdini 10.0 (2009)
    Houdini 9.0 (2007)
    Houdini 8.0 (2005)
    Houdini 7.0 (2004)
    Houdini 6.0 (2003)
    Houdini 5.5 (2002)
    Houdini 5.0 (2002)
    Houdini 4.0 (2000)
    Houdini 3.0 (1999)
    Houdini 2.5 (1998)
    Houdini 1.0 (1996)
    PRISMS 7.0
    PRISMS 6.0 - Introduction of Sage, the node-based package for modeling. This was the prototype of Houdini.

    Houdini has always been a commercial software from the beginning. Not sure about the patents though but the prior art certainly goes back a long way for the dataflow/node-based approach.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    tk
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Here's a nice link with some history including prisms:

http://www.nickvanzutphen.com/index.php/blog/vfx-blog/45-inspiration/73-historyofcoding [nickvanzutphen.com]
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thanks all for the links and info, plenty of history
Patrick
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@_@
^_^
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phtj
I am writing a paper where I discuss houdini… I am wondering if anyone can tell me when the first version of houdini came out? Also, what is the history of houdini - did it start out as open source? Also, are there any patents for the dataflow approach?

i updated wikipedia with a table of Houdini history… take a look.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houdini_(software)
Rod Tebisx | Senior Creature FX TD | London
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Houdini history starts with PRISMS history. PRISMS was a collection of C programs running on Unix mainframe computers at Omnibus in 1985-1987. Most of the PRISMS programs were text based, but “Digitizer” was the first to use graphics on SGI IRIS 1200 (circa 1986). “Action” was the name of the main graphic program that most people equated to PRISMS and was written in the very early days of SideFX (Side Effects Software) 1987.
Fpaint was the first program written in C++ and shipped with PRISMS.
ICE (Interactive Compositing Environment or “and Effects” ) was the first program in C++ to have a graphical node network.
Sage (Stand Alone Geometry Editor) was equivalent to SOPs context of Houdini.
etc.

So Houdini has its roots in PRISMS which had its roots as Omnibus' proprietary CG software.

Brief PRISMS Release History
7.0 1998 PRISMS final ship
6.4 1997 SGI O2 compatibility
6.3 1997 RenderMan interface
6.1 1996 optimizations (Houdini 1.0 at SIGGRAPH)
6.0 Jun 1995 sage
5.5 Jan 1995 l-systems
5.4 Jun 1994 moca, tima
5.3 Dec 1993 mojo, ice, metaballs
5.2 1992 fpaint added (new C++ UI libs)
5.1 1991 full-width graph
5.0 1991 crystal2 renderer eliminated
4.5 1991 particles
3.0 1990 mantra raytrace renderer added
2.0 1989 patch support, deformation sops
1.5 1988 initial sops, light editor
1.0 1987 new motion editor and modeler combined to form action
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