Artwork by Attila Torok


With Houdini 19, Karma on the CPU is ready for production and now matches the feature set in Mantra as much as the different render architectures allow. Houdini 19 also includes early access to Karma XPU. 

Karma XPU and CPU support MaterialX shaders which can be built using nodes in the VOP context.


Karma on the CPU is now production-ready. Performance, memory usage and quality are at the point where you can rely on it for all your rendering needs. Use the new Render ROP to work the way you did with Mantra or bring your assets into Solaris for a more complete USD-based lighting workflow. Karma can also be used as a Hydra delegate in other applications such as USD View.

Karma CPU
Karma in USD View
Mallah character and rendering courtesy of Encore VFX

Karma XPU | Alpha

Karma XPU is a new render engine that works with both the GPU and the CPU to achieve fast results. It is being released for Alpha testing and with your feedback, we look forward to seeing it progress rapidly.

Interactive Viewport Rendering
Rendered with XPU

SHADERS | MaterialX

Launched at Industrial Light & Magic in 2012, MaterialX is an open standard for representing rich material and look-development content, enabling its platform-independent description and exchange across applications and renderers. It is supported in both Karma CPU and XPU. 

MaterialX Shaders
Shader Building in VOPS


The new Hair shader works with both Karma CPU and XPU. Karma XPU offers fast render times to evaluate your grooms while Karma CPU offers a full feature set for final renders.

Realistic Groom
3D Model by Ten24 / Grooming and Animation by Andriy Bilichenko

KARMA | Licensing

Since Karma works both inside Houdini and as a Hydra delegate in other USD-based applications, SideFX is planning to bundle licenses with Houdini Core and FX for FREE and charging for extra licenses. 

This new price will take effect on  January 1, 2024. FREE Karma tokens will be available until then to help customers transition from Mantra. 

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