Side Effects Software has announced this month the release of Houdini 14, the latest 3D animation and visual effects software for Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.
The latest release features a new Position-Based Dynamics solver for granular simulation, new crowd pipeline tools, user interface improvements and grooming tools for hair and fur.
Houdini 14 Details
Houdini 14 now utilizes the open industry standard OpenCL language for its new multi-physics environment with an exclusive reliance on VEX-based operators. It can utilize the CPU or the GPU with OpenCL. This new Position-based dynamics system is ideally suited for the creation of wet and dry sand, says the company.
In addition to sand effects, artists can create solids, sheets or tethers to generate soft body, cloth and wire-like simulations. The new Crowd System features artists friendly new capabilities with a new packed primitive type, a Finite State Machine solver and hardware accelerated display of instanced crowds.
The new crowd pipeline is intended for large, mid-to-background, non-interacting crowds executing basic motions and can seamlessly interact with dynamic elements such as Bullet, fluids and sand. This pipeline will be enhanced in the future (new releases) to support more complex agent interactions and AI for creating hero quality crowds.
With Houdini 14, a great deal of work has gone into user experience. From preselection highlighting to new handles, improved edge-loop selection, new UV Flatten and UV Layout tools with UDIM support, grooming tools for hair and fur, an advanced visualizer architecture, custom panels and much more, this release will make it easier for artists to work procedurally. Meanwhile, animators will appreciate the new faster Animation editor with Animation layers and significant speed improvements to the display and playback of rigs.
Houdini 14 includes a number of new quick start tutorials. Here are some of the lessons which cover features new to Houdini 14. These are short introductory lessons designed to get an artist started with a tool. Longer project-based lessons such as Terrain Generation are also available from the Learn Section on the Start Here page.
Support and Availability
Houdini 14 is available for Mac OS X (64-bit Macs) 10.8 or higher, Windows 7 SP1 or higher and various 64-bit Linux distros. It also utilizes OpenGL 3.3 so this informs users of their minimum graphics card support. Houdini does not require Microsoft Direct3D as all viewports and interfaces use OpenGL, the industry standard graphics API system.
For OpenCL accelerated workflows require very specific graphics cards and you can read the information and further complete requirements here.
Houdini 14 can be downloaded from sidefx.com immediately with base Houdini available for as low as 1,995.USD. and Houdini FX available for as low as 4,495.USD. Both these prices include first year on the Annual Upgrade Plan which provides production-level support, and access to daily builds and dot releases. The limited commercial Houdini Indie is also available for 199.USD. per year and the free Houdini Apprentice Edition is available for students and artists who want to explore Houdini’s new features.