The Pros and Cons of Houdini 15
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The Pros and Cons of Houdini 15
20 January, 2017
News
Rohan Dalvi from CGPress has published a review of Houdini 15. It’s been only 9 month since we saw the 14th version for the first time, but the new version is full of major updates, so we’re quite surprised by SideFX‘s productivity. 

Houdini is a 3D application created by Side Effects Software, a firm based in Toronto. Originally released in 1996, software has changed dramatically and its 15th version is not a thing to miss. 

The newest update is focused on modeling tools, shading, lighting, the animation toolset and the fluids system.

Houdini has always been thought of as being relatively weak when it comes to basic polygon modeling. With this version and the previous one it has tried to address that area of weakness. In Houdini 15, Side Effects has added and modified some of the major poly modeling tools.

First, Houdini finally has a Polybridge tool. Personally, coming from a 3DS Max background this is a tool I’ve always missed and I’m really glad this has been added. It is capable of bridging multiple polygons at the same time and since the tool remains live, any transformations or changes made to the geometry upstream are automatically taken care of.

The bridge tool also has options to control the shape of the bridge using a spline ramp, and can also follow a curve if needed.

Similar functionality has been added to the revamped Polyextrude tool. It has a brand new interface and also has the ability to add vertex normals to the extruded geometry. The extrude from curve option seems to be a little buggy, as I sometimes got twisted polygons along the path.

The reviewer sums up the breakdown with a list of pros and cons:

Pros

  • New and updated modeling tools for simpler poly modeling
  • Massive additions to the shader system
  • More focus on physically-based rendering
  • New Viscous Fluid tools
  • Onion skinning
  • Ragdoll dynamics for crowds 

Cons

  • The new looping system takes getting used to
  • Learning curve is still high but there are more tutorials available
  • Ongoing shift from local variables to attributes can cause some confusion

He gives the 15th version 4,5 out of 5 calling it remarkable. Make sure to read the full review here.

Source: CGPress

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