Side Effects Software, is pleased to announce the availability of Houdini 8 in public beta. Houdini 8 delivers many significant enhancements to its expanding CG artist community with particular emphasis on dynamics, lighting and character animation. CG artists from around the world can DOWNLOAD the Houdini 8 public beta and run it for free as part of the Houdini Apprentice Program and learn about all the new features.
The Houdini 8 dynamics architecture is a powerful new addition to Houdini’s already renowned particle and effects capabilities. With rigid body, cloth and wire dynamics solvers available with Houdini 8, studios will have a wide range of options to choose from when developing visual effects. The rigid body solver includes the ability to bring in a fractured piece of geometry and hold the parts together until a collision occurs.
With the new dynamics architecture, Houdini is the first package that enables different solvers to talk to each other. For example, rigid body objects can fall onto cloth objects and push on each other realistically. Impact values can then be extracted and used by Houdini to create effects such as crushing the rigid objects or adding dirt maps to the cloth. Studios can also integrate their own proprietary solvers into Houdini to benefit from these capabilities.
Houdini 8 lighting includes new Interactive Photorealistic Rendering (VIPR) support for Houdini Mantra and IPR support for RenderMan (IRMA). VIPR makes it easier to make changes without re-rendering the whole scene by saving out a cache file that pre-computes the sampling and shading parts of the render process. VIPR lets you save multiple cache files for different render layers. These cache files can then be loaded as objects that are rendered even if the geometry and shaders are no longer there. Additional enhancements in Houdini 8 include: deep shadow maps for speeding up and improving the rendering of motion blur, transparent objects, colored transparency and tiny details such as hair; a light linking editor for managing light, shadow, and reflection masks; a new parameter spreadsheet; a render output dependency graph and much more.
Also, there has been numerous productivity enhancements to Houdini's character tools. For example, artists now will have access to digital asset rigging tools that enable users to quickly set up body parts for characters that have bones, kinematics and constraints already built into the pipeline. Enhancements to animation workflow and faster bone geometry help make Houdini a very attractive option for character animation.
Houdini's character tools are currently being used at C.O.R.E. on Disney’s feature animation “The Wild.” “Houdini’s rigging tools have provided incredible flexibility when setting up our characters,” said Dennis Turner, Rigging and Crowd Supervisor. “We can bundle up our rigs as Houdini digital assets and continue to make revisions and improvements throughout the life of the character, even after animation is in place.”
Download the Houdini 8 Public Beta Now