Houdini 9 with cool features...

interesting fluid solver and rigid-fluid-interaction… (was discussed for blender on somebodys wishlist) now has python integration and tango-syted icons




the last particle solutions amazing in which the two moving cubes mix up the smoke circulations. great work.

This software does look incredible…
now I just need hmm… 17000$ to get Houdini Master!
oh, wait…

I always wondered if it was possible to simulate sand by mucking with fluid features in Blender.

You can download their apprentice version which is just about 99% functoinal (render size output 640x480, small watermark in lower right corner).

As powerful as the program is, it suffers from a similar problem to Blender … weak documentaiton. The docs are very terse and very much just reference docs, though they are gradulally getting better, with more examples showing up (I’ve been playing with the apprentice version of and on since version ~5).

The problem is even worse with Houdini IMO, though as there are some very complex “operators” available, that can … yes … if you know how to use them produce amazing effects.

There aren’t very many tutorials available for the program either, and my experience/impression with their forum and Odforce is that it is frequented by very advanced users / industry pros’ who aren’t very supportive of new users or willing to share techniques.

Their is a new site on the net where an experienced user is offering online classes … at ~$400.00 / 10 hour segment :eek: … and he has about 20 segments :eek::eek:

So yes it’s powerful, … but very hard to learn for the average person.


well, what the heck, Ill try it…wait, so the apprentice version is free right?

Yes it’s free.

The UI is “different” to put it mildly. The TAB key is the “master” key for adding objects / operators etc.

It does have some very cool and extremely powerful features. (Read from a .wav file, anyalyze the beat, then automatically animate a character’s bones … read from a wave file, automatically anyalyze voice phonemes).

http:/3dbuzz.com/ has some decent tutorials, though they are large video format (which is ok if you (probably??) have high speed internet.

I use it from time to time, as a challenge … to exercise my brain … :slight_smile: … sorta like Rubik’s cube :smiley:


i never saw anywhere a film or product made with Houdini. anybody knows one?

Final Fantasy X’s CG cutscenes used Houdini.

From what I’ve read it’s been used on a lot of films, just that you might not see the software mentioned in the credits. … Need to “dig around” (forums / net … etc)

Hollow Man

The Wild http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405469/
what you see in the wild is renderman.
what you see animated was done in houdini
what you see in effects was done in houdini
the water was done in houdini
the fur was done in houdini with custom (HDK operators)

the majority of modeling was done in another package, but the not 100% some characters and some of the set pieces were modeled in houdini.
all rigging was done in houdini
all lighting was done in houdini
shake was used for compositing.(slapcomps and an unique comp set was done in houdini to assist lighting/compositing)

what you saw in those “low quality” renders could have been one of three things, either a low rez non shadow renderman render, an openGL render/flipbook, or it is also possible that you sawsome deleted scences which were done outside of the CORE pipeline part of a previz which was done in MAYA.

and yes colin did acutally work as a lead lighter on the movie and happened to do the voice for the hyrax.

SuperMan Returns

I’d personally go with Mantra, it’s very mature and pretty robust. It is also far far cheaper than PRman or Mental Ray :slight_smile: We used it extensively on Superman Returns at Rhythm and Hues, all the ocean, boat, helicopters and a bunch of other stuff during the part where Superman rescues them from the boat.

One of the few (only?) student films I’ve seen using Houdini on Cgtalk :


mh i see

well working with maya made me focus on maya :wink:

In the Matrix, the cool “bug” in neo’s belly. And eXistenz for the sweet mutant looks. I can’t think of any current films worth mentioning.:smiley:

Yeah, Houdini is used on a lot of films mainly for its procedural animation systems. Think scenes that have any kind of tentacle like things.

Don’t forget “Monster by Mistake”. It was created by Mark Mayerson and animated using Houdini at the turn of the millennium. I directed 7 episodes of the early series. it was a great gig.



Cool ! :slight_smile:

I’ve seen that show, comes on the cartoon network here in Toronto.

Thanks for the great “behind the scenes” pages !

What are you doing these days ?


Hello Mike
Im glad you enjoyed the show. It was a great experience to work on it.
After a couple of seasons directing “Rescue Heroes” I haven’t done much in the animation industry. I took a year out to learn about Network Engineering and after that I drifted back into doing my own projects on my website.
While I was finishing my Flash film, “Carstairs” I rediscovered and learned how to use Blender. (I first found it back in my MBM days and it looked a bit scary) I’ll probably find something that pays in the New Year, but meanwhile I’m enjoying working on my current Blender project. Hopefully there will be something new to show everyone in the near future.
I’m impressed with the talent I see on this site and the dedication of everyone who contributes to this community. I’m looking forward to the new NLA features in the next version of Blender. The samples look great!
I can see Blender becoming used in a bigger way in the next little while as more people discover all of its features and possibilities.
Regarding Houdini, as I was only directing at the time I can’t really comment on how good it is as I didn’t use it personally and It has changed quite a bit since then. Obviously it got the job done even in those days. Ultimately the talents of the users come into play as an important factor. Many of the crew have gone to productions where they used Lightwave and Maya successfully.

the featured link talks about the new Houdini 9 fluid solver and includes a 12Mb quicktime movie. I must admit that for something that is slated to come out in half a year and costing what it does, I am underwhelmed.
Blender’s fluid solver is able to show just as much eyecandy. Just look at what the developer of Blender’s fluid system came up with: Magic Fluid Most of the stuff you see in Houdini can be done in a mostly similar way in Blender. The only thing missing (granted, it is a big one) is the very nice gaseous effects (and maybe the bubbles in the fluid). All in all, I don’t think Blender is that far behind.