Side Effects Houdini FX
Houdini 16 enhances core modeling, rendering and animation tools while focusing on performance and scalability for Film, TV and Games. A new network editor along with viewport radial menus make Houdini more approachable for new artists and even more productive for TDs. New terrain-building, character rigging and shading workflows, and hundreds of new tools and improvements make this a must-have release.
For a fast and fluid experience, the new network editor has been redesigned from scratch to include custom node shapes, alignment and layout tools, ‘dot’ nodes and much more. New context-sensitive and fully customizable radial menus provide quick access to common tools, making Houdini more accessible for artists.
The modeling toolset in Houdini continues to grow – with new Boolean tools, Smooth and PolyFill. These tools make it easier to create good surface topology for use in Film, TV, Games and VR, and can be used interactively in the viewport or procedurally in the network editor.
80 Level talks with Alexander Dracott about the new Houdini 16 terrain tools, which could offer some interesting alternatives to your standard World Machine workflow …
Houdini 16’s terrain system lets you layer and edit terrain easily with tools such as procedural noise, or paint or mask out areas directly. The operations are very similar to image compositing, so terrain artists will find the Houdini workflow familiar. The terrain can then collide with Fluid simulations, Crowd agents, Particles, RBD/destruction and Pyro FX – without converting the heightfields into geometry.
Houdini 16 includes a new shader building workflow that allows for layer mixing and quick access to procedural texturing tools. Mantra has been enhanced with improved BSDFs for creating Sub-Surface Scattering, Dielectrics, Absorption and more. Game artists can leverage an improved texture baking workflow.