Houdini is a 3D procedural graphics design software built from the ground up to be a procedural system that empowers artists to work freely, create multiple iterations, and rapidly share workflows with colleagues.
In Houdini, every action is stored in a node. These nodes are then “wired” into networks that define a “recipe” that can be tweaked to refine the outcome then repeated to create similar yet unique results. The ability for nodes to be saved and to pass information, in the form of attributes, down the chain is what gives the app its procedural nature.
“No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended.”
– Adrian Forty
What is the use of Houdini?
Houdini is best known for its advanced dynamic 3D simulation software which allows for the creation of highly realistic visual effects.
It features an efficient workflow designed for small studios and individual artists alike. New efficiencies in the software mean that artists can achieve state-of-the-art effects on less advanced hardware.
What really separates Houdini from other 3D animation software is its procedural nature.
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.
While Houdini is known for special effects, it features all the tools you would expect to find in a major 3D program. Houdini offers standard geometric modeling and animation via keyframes.
It includes a wide variety of polygons, NURBS, and subdivision surface modeling tools. Procedural techniques can be used to maintain a robust construction history and to create complex models such as environments. The Cloud FX tools offer an artist-friendly way of building, sculpting, and rendering cloud formations. This workflow utilizes sparse volume sculpting tools created as part of the OpenVDB open-source initiative.
It has an animator-friendly workflow which includes a channel editor, dope sheet, and interactive timeline. Set keyframes on any parameter or use App’s Advanced Motion-editing tools for even more control. The program’s node-based approach fits perfectly with the working methodology of a typical character rigging TD. Characters can then be wrapped up into a single Digital Asset node and delivered to the animation team.
Houdini offers a complete solution for rigging and animating characters and creatures. These tools include Auto-rigging, Muscle and Flesh, Pose Space Deformation, VELLUM Cloth, Hair and Fur, and more. The Biharmonic skin capturing will save riggers valuable time while the FEM-based muscles produce highly realistic results.
The node-based approach fits perfectly with the working methodology of a typical character rigging TD. Characters can be easily wrapped up into a pipeline-friendly Digital Asset node to be animated using invisible rigs, the character picker, and the pose library.
App’s lighting workflow provides a flexible and powerful environment for managing lights, building shaders, and defining the look of a shot. Environment and GI lights work well with Mantra’s physically-based rendering. With the software, you can rely on a robust built-in rendering solution called Mantra or create custom support for a wide variety of third-party renderers. Mantra is particularly good at rendering volumes such as smoke.
Houdini 3D Graphics Design Software Comparison
It delivers a powerful and accessible 3D experience with its procedural node-based workflow while providing tools for simulating fluids, destruction fx, pyro fx, grains, cloth, and crowds.
The app is designed for modelers, lighters, character riggers, animators, and game artists. Scenes and digital assets created in FX can be opened, manipulated, and rendered in Core.
It makes all of the tool FX’s animation and VFX tools available under an indie license to animators and game devs who want to use the app during the incubation stage of their business.
With apprentices, students and hobbyists have access to virtually all of the features of the award-winning FX which can be used to create personal non-commercial projects.
Houdini 3D Graphics Design Software Features
Procedural modeling techniques can be used to maintain a robust construction history and to create complex models such as cityscapes, environments, and more.
The modeling tools in Houdini make it easier to create a good surface topology for use in Film, TV, Games, and VR and can be used interactively in the viewport using a wide variety of polygon, NURBS, and Subdivision Surface modeling tools.
Mantra includes scan line, ray tracing, and physically-based rendering. Mantra is deeply integrated into Houdini with the highly efficient rendering of geometry, instances and volumes.
Choose from a wide variety of third-party renderers such as Pixar’s RenderMan,® V-Ray, Solid Angle’s Arnold, Redshift and Otoy’s Octane Render.
Houdini includes a node-based compositor which is perfect for creating slap comps. Lighters can test out render passes before sending plates to artists working with other compositing apps.
Artist Friendly Tools
While the nodes are what makes unique and give it power, there are lots of viewport and shelf tools that allow for artist-friendly viewport interactions. Behind the scenes, It builds up the nodes and networks for you. Houdini lets artists explore different creative paths because it is easy to branch off a new node to explore alternative solutions.
VFX & Simulation
Visual effects tools with artists gravitate to the app because its procedural workflow is ideal for creating sophisticated particle and dynamic simulations. Effects are typically designed to react to actions taking place in a shot and a procedural solution “automates” these reactions providing studios with more creative control and more rapid turnaround.
Shots & Multiple Iterations
It lets you make creative decisions deep into production as changes made to program nodes cascade through the network to create a new and unique result. This detectability is retained throughout the creative process and can be used to make last-minute decisions that would be too costly in a traditional CG pipeline.
Pipeline in a Box
Whether you are setting up a shot or building a game level, the graphics app lets you create tools that can be reused many times during a project’s life cycle. Instead of simply reacting to issues and problems, you will be able to plan and visualize and refine your pipeline.
Asset Creation Tools
A big benefit of the app’s node-based approach is the ability to encapsulate node networks into custom nodes that are shareable. Create these digital assets without writing any code then share them with other artists. With the Engine, open assets in other applications such as Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, C4D, UE4, and Unity with the asset’s procedural controls available for editing in the host app.
Film & TV
Create more shots under tight deadlines while achieving feature film quality results with App’s procedural node-based workflow. Experience unprecedented levels of flexibility and control to enhance both your creativity and productivity.
Game developers face a growing demand to build huge immersive worlds populated with vast amounts of content. To achieve great gameplay while meeting deadlines, a procedural approach using It offers a smarter way to create quality games.
Designers, animators, and storytellers use motion graphics to create content that stimulates audiences using powerful and compelling visuals. Create a wide range of aesthetic and dynamic experiences using the app and its procedural node-based toolset.
Virtual and Augmented Reality creates a complete experience that takes the viewer to places they’ve never been before. It provides a powerful set of tools that makes it easier to create and manage the content used to populate these amazing digital worlds.
Pros And Cons of Houdini
|Autodesk FBX Export
|This software requires 64 bit processors
|Autodesk FBS Support
|Windows 10 (64 bit) Windows 8.1 Windows 8 Windows 7 SP1 (future versions of Houdini will not be supported on Win7) Windows Server (any version) is NOT supported.
|Intel Pentium 4 2.00GHz.
|4 GB RAM.
|AMD Radeon R5 M230.
Official Video Intro Houdini 3D Animation Software
Houdini 3D Animation Software FAQs
What is the error: Reached max redirects of 5?
The license tools from older Houdini versions will not understand the new security protocols to access sidefx.com.
Please upgrade to a later build of 18.0 or upgrade to 18.5.
If this is not possible, you will need to manually install keystrings or mail firstname.lastname@example.org to have your licenses file sent to you for installation.
Is Houdini Apprentice free forever?
Does Houdini FX come with Houdini engine?
Can you use Houdini engine with apprentice?
Is Houdini free for students?
This 3D Graphics Design Software is powerful when used to build complicated simulations that use huge data. Studios rely on Houdini to build large special effects systems that integrate into complex scenes. It is renowned as one of the world’s best 3D animation and visual effects software.