Houdini Software

Hello guys, I am Manshu Sharma and Today I am going to introduce a new (not so new 🙂 ) VFX software that totally amaze me when I tried and that is Houdini, A 3D animation and special effects software program created by Side Effects Software company located at Toronto which is in Canada. This  software is used by the artists who are working in the field of 3D animation and VFX for Web, Film and Video games etc. It is one powerful program that blends different different worlds into a single platform.  In here we going to brief discuss about Side effect’s software Houdini like why should we use it ? Or What Exactly Does Houdini Do?  But before that let’s just discuss about the history of Houdini.

History

Houdini is produced by SideFX sometimes written as Side Effects Software, which is based in Toronto, Canada. The company was started in 1987 with  an aim to bring 3D graphics to a  people who are in this field. Their first software was called PRISMS, and was a 3D graphics program based in procedural generation. later on another software is created called Houdini inspire from  PRISM which released in 1996 with additional improvement as compare PRISM after that it is being updated regularly ever since.

What Exactly Does Houdini Do?

Houdini is produced by SideFX sometimes written as Side Effects Software, which is based in Toronto, Canada. The company was started in 1987 with  an aim to bring 3D graphics to a  people who are in this field. Their first software was called PRISMS, and was a 3D graphics program based in procedural generation. later on another software is created called Houdini inspire from  PRISM which released in 1996 with additional improvement as compare PRISM after that it is being updated regularly ever since.

You can check about more details related to Houdini’s version, history etc at wikipedia page   Link:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houdini_(software)

What Exactly Does Houdini Do?

It uses a node-based interflow that helps the users in exploring the error as they modify and refine their work. Assets in Houdini are generally created by connecting a series of nodes. The advantage of this workflow is that it allows artists to create detailed objects in a relatively short number of steps as opposed to other programs.

 Maya, on the other hand, is popular 3D software but it is very difficult in Maya to return to a previous version of the work. While this allows multiple redoes  and undos that helps in making efficient changes and developing animations easily. Artist uses Houdini primarily for a dynamic environment and particle effects. But Houdini is loaded with tools that allow the users to model, animate and render files as per the requirement of the user. It also provides standard geometric modelling tools and animation by using Keyframes.

Houdini is best known for its advanced dynamic simulation trick which allow for the creation of highly realistic visual effects. New efficiencies in the software mean that artists can achieve state-of-the-art effects on less advanced hardware. Also Houdini has a node-based lightning system that provides a flexible work environment for building shaders and creating Computer graphics effects too. It features a powerful volumetric systems for creating smoke and fire simulations, as well as a compositor for layered image effects.

Why Should we Use Houdini?

Houdini is particularly suited to visual effects artists with a technical background.It provides all the editing tools expected in 3D software but is most known for its VFX tools and the node-based procedural nature of its workflow.

 It also provides ease user interface to code, manage and distribute. More and more, VFX studios are transitioning to using SideFX’s Houdini into their post-production houses because of its versatility, power, and its impressive level of quality.

 A major benefit of Houdini is the built-in procedural generation for VFX. Everything from destructions and deformations, to hair, ice crystals, waves, bubbles, fire, and more – can all be procedurally generated inside of Houdini.  

Version

As we know the Houdini software initially released in 1996 and from that to now its current version is Houdini 17.5 release in   23 March 2013 for windows , linux and Mac OS X 

Benefits 

I already mentioned about the benefits in the “Why Should we Use Houdini?” but there will cheating you guys if I am not write down the whole benefits in front of you.

I already mentioned some benefits in the “Why Should we Use Houdini?” but this is  cheating with you guys if I am not write down the whole benefits in front of you. So let’s get started.

  1. Having localised work flow :- Houdini features 3D modelling, animation, rigging, destruction, particle and fluid simulation, procedural generation, and much more – all in one place. 
  2. Ease in collaboration :- Having localised work flow within a single program really speeds up collaboration between VFX teams. 
  3. Procedural Programming :- Procedurals refers to the adherence to established procedures. As it create a system that will then create more elements. This comes with few benefits like 
    1. Unlimited redo and undo is possible which is hard in Maya if you want to go to previous version of project
    2. You can create a reusable  motion graphics system using a robust tool set.
  4. Fully integrated :-  Unlike other software, Houdini does not require any additional plugins to create the effects that you desire. The core functionality of Houdini would allow you to create explosions, smoke and fire, realistic fluid movement, or crowd layouts.
  5. Render Engine :- Houdini come with its render engine called MANTRA that comes with two operating modes 
    1. First, Micro polygon Rendering :-  Recommended for the for scenes that involve fur, smoke, or sprites. You can also use it to match your existing footage.
    2. Second, PBR  or Physically Based Raytracing :-  Recommended for the for scenes that involve real-world light, shadows, reflections, secondary bounces, etc. You would not need to write your own shaders.
  6. Create and Manage Complex System :-  Thanks to its node-based interface, Houdini can let you create complex systems. First of all, you do not need to create plugins anymore. Secondly, you can wire the output of one node into several other nodes to easily create complex systems.
  7. Attributes :- Houdini also excels at how data is stored and processed through the software. Data is stored in attributes, which you can then manage and manipulate to create any desired effect. 
  8. Nodebased Interface :- Houdini uses a node-based interface for creating an mazing & efficient motion graphic procedure. Compared to layer-based systems, Houdini can let you position various elements as you see fit without changing all the elements for every layer.

Installation on différent platforms

You can find installation instruction for whatever platform you like in the link below

Link:-  https://www.sidefx.com/faq/troubleshooting/#faq3


Manshu Sharma

http://openinnovationslab.com/blog/?author=3

To pursue a life-long career in a computer science field that sharp my current skills and increase my strength in the Information Technology industry and to create creative products for fun and easy use.

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