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history of houdini May 25, 2018, 6 p.m.

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.

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

Animation in Houdini viable? Sept. 7, 2017, 10:54 a.m.

My main interest is also animation, primarily in cartoon characters for short satirical videos who engage in dialogue.

!Monstro! All Houdini. All rendered in Mantra. No compositing.
!Monstro! []

3D Printers + Houdini? May 16, 2013, 2:46 p.m.

Kevin Mack has some really nice 3D printing from Houdini on his website: []

He goes through several steps of clean-up and refinement. Not sure if this is because of Houdini or just the nature of 3D printing.