Side Effects Software Unveils Powerful New Houdini 8

Houdini 8 Road Show Launched in London with Additional Events in Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Dallas

Latest Version of Houdini Delivers New Dynamics Architecture with Integrated Rigid Body, Cloth and Wire solvers along with Light Linking and IPR rendering

October 7, 2005 – Santa Monica, CA – Side Effects Software, developer of the award-winning Houdini family of 3D software, today announced the immediate availability of Houdini 8. Developed to provide creative freedom without compromise, Houdini 8 combines innovation with practicality with powerful features such as new dynamics architecture, light linking, Interactive Photorealistic Rendering (IPR), character animation enhancements and more.
To celebrate the launch, Side Effects Software will host a Houdini 8 Road Show, which kicked off yesterday in London and will continue throughout October and November with stops in major production hubs, including Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Dallas. The events are designed to introduce Houdini to the CG community with demonstrations of the new features of Houdini 8, in addition to technical presentations by Houdini customers. All cities on the Road Show will feature presentations from various representatives with Digital Domain, including David Prescott, Digital Effects Supervisor. Presentations to include an overview of Digital Domain’s usage of Houdini on a variety of projects including the Gatorade “Shattered” commercial, the hit film Stealth, and much more.
The Houdini Road Show Schedule:
•        Los Angeles, CA: Oct. 20, 2005
•        Toronto, ON: Oct. 27, 2005
•        San Francisco, CA: Nov. 7, 2005
•        Dallas, TX: Nov. 14, 2005

In Houdini 8, dynamic simulations can now be created using Houdini's renowned proceduralism with ground-breaking results. Built from the ground up, the new dynamics architecture focuses on the needs of artists in production. The Rigid Body, Cloth and Wire solvers work together to create highly sophisticated and never before seen simulations. In addition, production studios can seamlessly integrate their in-house solvers into Houdini’s dynamics environment.
The new dynamics architecture tightly incorporates Houdini’s world-class particle system and information such as impact data can be used to create more complex effects such as crushing objects or staining surfaces. Also, the new Rigid Body solver has exciting features such as glue that make it possible to hold together the pieces of a pre-fractured object until it is acted upon by an outside force.
With its production-proven built-in renderer Mantra and full integration of Pixar’s RenderMan®, Houdini is the ideal tool for layout and lighting. In Houdini 8, new tools such as the light linker and the parameter spreadsheet greatly improve workflow. Houdini’s new Interactive Photorealistic rendering provides the ideal tool for tweaking a shot while Takes are used to record and manage all the parameter changes. As a result, lighting artists can record the decisions that go into developing each shot then choose the best approach for final output.
Also in Houdini 8, the character animation workflow has been refined while bones have been optimized for better interactive feedback as animators pose and animate character rigs. Improvements to Digital Asset creation now make character assets easier to use for all character artists and animators.
While the new dynamics architecture is available in Houdini Master ($17,000 US), the character enhancements are available in Houdini Master and Houdini Escape (from $1,999 US), and the lighting and interface enhancements are found in all products in the Houdini family including Houdini Select (from $1,299 US). With the choice of tools in Side Effects Software’s Houdini family, production studios will now more easily build cost-effective pipelines that will meet the technical and creative needs of technical directors and artists.
If you are unable to attend one of the Houdini 8 Road Show events but are interested in learning about Houdini, you can join the Houdini Apprentice program, which provides access to a non-commercial edition of Houdini and enables users to save their work/renders with a small unobtrusive wordmark. Visit for details.
About Houdini
The Houdini family of animation software offers digital artists an unprecedented level of power, flexibility and control based on award-winning technology. The comprehensive feature set includes modeling, rigging, animation, particle effects, dynamics, compositing, integrated rendering, and more. All Houdini applications work together seamlessly and are available for the Windows and Linux operating systems. Houdini has been used to create stunning digital animation in blockbuster films, including The Day After Tomorrow, Spider-Man (1 & 2), The Polar Express, I,Robot, Chronicles of Riddick, XMen, X2: X-Men United, the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Matrix trilogy, and most recently Sin City, Stealth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Valiant.

About Side Effects Software
Established in 1987, Side Effects Software is a world leader in the development of advanced 3D animation and special effects software for use in film. Side Effects Software leads the field of procedural animation with its unique, award-winning, Houdini technology. Houdini is used by numerous digital content creation leaders including C.O.R.E., Digital Domain, Disney Feature Animation, DNA Productions, Framestore-CFC, The Orphanage, Rhythm and Hues, and Sony Pictures Imageworks among others.

RenderMan is a registered trademark of Pixar.

Elana Altshuler
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