SideFX has officially announced Houdini 16 software for 3D animation and video effects. The latest update includes new workflows for terrain building, shading, character rigging and visual effects creation, as well as a new network editor and radial viewport menus.

SideFX Houdini 16 features:

User Experience – New Node Network and Radial Menus

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.

  • – Brand new architecture for better performance, user experience, and control
  • – Completely redesigned look and feel
  • – ‘Dot’ connections to help route wires
  • – Customizable node shapes
  • – Resizeable color palette
  • – ‘Flyout ring’ to quickly access node flags and node info at any zoom level
  • – Persistent node info dialog with live links and cut-and-paste capabilities
  • – Visual ‘badges’ to indicate certain properties of the node
  • – Multi-selectable and multi-assignable wires
  • – Ability to knife-cut wire connections
  • – Snapping guides for fast and easy node alignment
  • – Automatic shifting of nodes to accommodate new entrants
  • – Intuitive, gesture-driven network layout tools
  • – Quickmark hotkeys to jump between networks or within one network
  • – Dimming of long wires to prevent obstruction of nodes
  • – Visual indication of non-local dependencies, with handy jump-to controls
  • – Background image support for network boxes or the entire canvas
  • – Font size, color and background controls for sticky notes
  • – Optional display of the node type
  • – Powerful search engine
Modeling – Artist-Friendly Tools and Procedural Techniques

The modeling toolset in Houdini continues to grow – with new Boolean tools, Smooth and PolyFill. These tools make it easier to create a 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.

  • Fast Boolean with exact predicates and arithmetic
  • – 3D and UV smoothing with advanced surface analysis kernels
  • – PolyFill with quads, fans, and more
  • – Enhanced PolySplit and PolyBevel
  • – Redesigned Copy/Instance and Group
  • – Intersection analysis and stitching
  • – Robust 2D triangulation
  • – Selection enhancements
  • – Fast tool access via customizable, gestural radial menus
  • – Infinite reference plane with rulers
  • – Medial axis snapping
  • – Vertex normal support in the viewport for cussing
  • – Pseudo-bevelling with Normal SOP
  • – Aggressive geometry compression
  • – Extensive OpenCL support
  • – ‘Compiled SOP’ architecture: parallel cooking and memory savings
  • – 3D Mouse support
Terrain Generation – Full Artistic Control using Volume Slices and Height Fields

SideFX Houdini 16 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.

  • – Brand new architecture for procedural terrain generation
  • – Based on height-field volumes in SOPs
  • – Full and immediate access to Houdini’s modeling arsenal
  • – 30+ dedicated surface operators
  • – Powerful erosion models
  • – Straightforward workflow, similar to image compositing but in 3D
  • – Seamless optional leveraging of Houdini’s compositing network (COPs)
  • – Ability to mask areas of interest with freeform curves and texture maps
  • – Ability to paint and override any attribute
  • – Support for GeoTIFF and several Lidar formats
  • – Native output to game engines
  • – Fully tileable
  • – Game-friendly terrain material and specialized shader for VFX use
  • – High-quality visualization in the viewport
  • – Dedicated Mantra procedural for rendering
  • – Very fast: hardware accelerated via OpenCL
  • – Native collision support for Houdini’s physical sim environment (DOPs)
Look Development – Streamlined Shader Building Workflow

SideFX 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.

  • Architecture for single-tiered shader creation in VOPs (no SHOPs required)
  • – Much streamlined workflow to aid both new and existing users
  • – Full support for nested, unlimited shader layering
  • – SideFX Houdini 16 brings redesigned VOP node tiles
  • – Ray-traced SSS BSDF with image-plane outputs
  • – SideFX Houdini 16 brings support for unified nested dielectrics
  • – Dispersion and absorption BSDFs
  • – Redesigned Principled uber shader with extensive features and controls
  • – Updated shader gallery with new entries such as skin, wax, and mountain
  • – Easy OpenGL tagging of shader attributes for viewport visualization
  • – Viewport support for metallics, coat, occlusion, reflection and more
  • – Texture baking enhancements
  • – OpenColor IO support
  • – Per-pixel inspection of material stylesheet overrides in IPR
  • – Significant performance enhancements to Mantra
  • – Fine-grained, intuitive controls for the quality/performance tradeoff
  • – Direct rendering of HIP files containing curves and points with no Engine license
Character Animation & Rigging – Advanced Rigging Tools with Muscles

SideFX Houdini 16 new animation and rigging tools have been improving over the last few releases – and with the Auto-rigging, Muscle and Flesh architecture and Invisible rigs in Houdini 16, a complete character workflow is now in place. The new Biharmonic skin capturing will save riggers valuable time while the FEM-based muscles produce high-realism results.

  • Many enhancements to the Animation Editor
  • – Flexible constraint architecture based on VOPs and CHOPs
  • – Biped and quadruped auto-rigs
  • – Biharmonic skin capturing to diminish the need for weight painting
  • – Fast bone placement with medial axis support
  • – ‘Invisible rig’ support in Pose tool
  • – Spring-based and FEM-based skin & muscle system
  • – Significantly improved FEM soft body solver
  • – Optimized for performance
Hair & Grooming – Designed for Unlimited Control

SideFX Houdini 16 brings new hair and fur tools let you easily layer and blend attributes while mixing things like frizz, clumping, bending, partying and curling. Trim or extend hair using 3D brushes; employ masks to isolate areas of interest; paint any hair attribute in an interactive yet procedurally-safe manner. There is nothing black-boxed about the new system, and the artistic freedom it affords is endless.

  • – Complete overhaul of hair and fur creation, grooming, and rendering
  • – Unrestricted layering of grooming operations in SOPs
  • – Rich set of dedicated tools such as clump, frizz, curl, trim, extend and part
  • – Flexible masking tools to isolate areas of interest
  • – Ability to override any attribute via texture maps or 3D paint
  • – Total freedom to mix attribute painting with 3D brushing
  • – Equal editing access to grooming guides and generated hair
  • – Full preservation of procedural graph
  • – Built-in simulation controls
  • – Easy and accurate retargeting
  • – High-quality hair visualization in the viewport
  • – Dedicated shelf tools and desktop
  • – Very fast: uses OpenCL and the new ‘Compiled SOPs’ architecture
  • – SOP-based Mantra procedural that does not consume Engine license
Ocean Tools – New Infinite Ocean Architecture

SideFX Houdini 16 brings ability to layer wave spectra using point instantly lets artists create complex, realistic and seamless oceans with elegance and ease. No more tiling artifacts with Houdini 16’s truly infinite oceans. Art direct ability is paramount and individually modeled and animated hero waves now mix perfectly with existing spectra.

  • – Complete overhaul of the ocean FX architecture
  • – Unlimited layering of arbitrary wave spectra in SOPs
  • – Infinite oceans: tile-free approach that eliminates concern for artifacts
  • – Waves can be applied artefact-free even to deformed/warped base grids
  • – Art-directable, animated hero waves can be mixed in seamlessly
  • – Masking tools to isolate areas of interest
  • – 3D particle foam system for a richer and more realistic look
  • – Guided sims: seamless blending of FLIP fluid sim with ocean surface
  • – Improved boundary layer that preserves boundary velocities
  • – Very fast: OpenCL accelerated
  • – Layerable ocean shader that lets you plug in foam particles
  • – Render-time evaluation of ocean surface via dedicated Mantra procedural
FLIP Fluids – Art Directable Fluid Simulations

SideFX Houdini 16 brings enhancements to FLIP Fluids include physically-correct surface tension for classic water-crowning shots. Art-directable ‘fluid suction’ uses objects – even deforming objects – to guide the fluid in a controllable fashion that enhances the aesthetic of the fluid dynamics. Whitewater in Houdini 16 is all 3D particle-based which gives much richer, more natural results. For anything viscous, there is a new slip function which provides control over how the fluid interacts with the collision geometry.

  • – SideFX Houdini 16 Physically correct simulation of surface tension
  • – Suction force: art-directable fluids driven by animated geometry
  • – Waterline feature: wave dynamics that extends correctly beyond boundaries
  • – SideFX Houdini 16 Enhanced viscosity solver with slip controls
  • – Fully OpenCL-accelerated pyro pipeline
  • – Native support for collision with heightfield terrains

Houdini Engine & Games

    • – SideFX Houdini 16 HAPI 3.0: no longer Houdini Digital Asset (HDA) centric; packed primitive support
    • – Remote debugger: live view and manipulation of game engine scene within Houdini
    • – Many UE4 and Unity plug-in enhancements
    • – Dedicated shelf tools for games
    • – Rigid-body and breakable simulation export to FBX
    • – Blendshape export to FBX
    • – Simulation export to textures for use in real-time engines
    • – Much improved texture baking
    • – More robust PolyExpand2D
SideFX Houdini 16 versions:
  • Houdini Apprentice – Free edition, non-commercial use, a render restriction of 1280×720 and a watermark
  • Houdini Indie – $199 a year, for indie animators and developers making up to $100,000 annually, render restriction of 1920×1080. This annual license includes all upgrades.
  • Houdini FX – starting at $4,495
  • Houdini Core – starting at 1,495 (with a promotion until May 31, 2017)


  1. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  2. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am having problems with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody else having identical RSS issues? Anyone
    who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  3. Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I find It truly helpful & it
    helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to provide one thing
    again and aid others like you helped me.

  4. I’ll right away grab your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription link or
    newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me recognize so that I
    may subscribe. Thanks.

  5. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch
    break. I love the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good blog!

  6. I got this website from my friend who informed me regarding this site and at the moment this time I
    am browsing this site and reading very informative content at this time.

  7. Very good blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a
    free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
    are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any ideas? Cheers!

  8. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  9. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this web
    page on a regular basis, this site is really good and the people are really sharing pleasant thoughts.

  10. Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this amazing
    site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more,
    thanks for the advice!

  11. Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it
    can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.

    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  12. Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us
    so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will
    be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and brilliant
    design and style.

  13. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have be aware your stuff prior to
    and you are simply too excellent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the
    way in which you say it. You are making it enjoyable and you
    continue to care for to stay it smart. I cant wait to learn much more
    from you. That is really a wonderful web site.

  14. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

  15. It’s the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve learn this publish and if I may I wish to counsel you few attention-grabbing issues or advice.
    Maybe you could write next articles regarding this article.
    I want to learn even more issues approximately it!

  16. whoah this weblog is magnificent i love reading your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You recognize, a lot of individuals
    are searching around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  17. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out
    pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any
    ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

  18. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a
    daily basis. It will always be exciting to read through articles from other writers
    and practice something from other web sites.

  19. I got this web site from my pal who told me regarding this web site and now this
    time I am visiting this web site and reading very
    informative articles here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here