SideFX's Houdini 19.5 Has Been Released

The update brings new features and improvements to the entire Houdini toolset and focuses on improving the quality of life for artists throughout the Houdini community.

SideFX announced the release of the long-awaited Houdini 19.5, the new and improved version of the company's procedural VFX and motion graphics 3D software. According to the announcement, Houdini 19.5 focuses on improving the quality of life for artists throughout the Houdini community and aims to improve the existing tools rather than add new ones. The new version of the software brings improvements to the entire Houdini toolset, including Solaris, Karma CPU/XPU, KineFX, modeling and VFX workflows, crowd simulation workflows, and more.

Below is an overview of some of the improvements brought by Houdini 19.5

Houdini's FLIP Source SOP, the software's Geometry Node that can be used to control simulations, has received massive improvements, enhancing the node's viscosity capabilities, allowing you to customize the thickness of liquids even better than before, bringing many convenient setups like lava, beach, wave, etc., customizable boundaries, and a new Upresing feature that will allow you to balance low and high resolution sims to capture detail where needed.

Houdini 19.5 also brings several new brushes to Solaris, including the Layout Line brush, the Layout Paint brush that will allow you to place USD assets with random scale, orientation, and distribution, the Layout Stack brush for vertical placement with optional spacing and randomized translation, and the Layout Comb brush to orient USD assets based on the direction of the cursor. 

Several new features have been introduced to the software's grooming workflow. With Houdini 19.5, you are able to generate simple fur and deform complex hair groom at render time, work on asymmetrical grooms with mirrored brush actions, and more.

Houdini's modeling capabilities have also been enlarged with the addition of two new tools. The new Curve tool has new interactive states for manipulating the shape of the curve and orienting the tangents. The Tangent Fields tool gives you control of the tangents on a surface to flow smoothly along the geometry. According to SideFX, this is a powerful low-level tool with a variety of uses.

KineFX's toolset has been improved as well with four useful updates:

  1. Smooth Motion: Smooth motion capture data using the Butterworth filter. Quickly remove jitter to create a usable clip for your characters.
  2. Motion Editing: Use KineFX to combine keyframed motion with ragdoll simulations and secondary motion. Layer these effects to achieve the right look.
  3. Animating with VFX: KineFX makes it easier for animators to incorporate visual effects such as Rigid Body Dynamics into their workflow.
  4. Retarget: One of the main purposes of KineFX is to efficiently retarget motion data from one character to another.

With Houdini 19.5, Karma is ready to take over Mantra as Houdini’s primary renderer. The update adds new functionality to MaterialX, used to define Karma shading networks, including new options for processing surface curvature and render-time edge rounding. What's more, Karma XPU moves into Beta with new features such as Sub Surface Scattering.

Houdini's Crowds can now dynamically switch who they are looking at while in motion. Based on certain rules, each agent turns their eyes and then their head to look at another agent nearby. This results in a much more natural look to both medium and background crowds.

And much, much more!

You can learn more and purchase Houdini 19.5 by clicking this link.

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