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Houdini 12 Released with GPU-Based Fire and Smoke

Side Effects Software, an industry leader in 3D animation and visual effects software, is proud to announce the immediate release of Houdini 12 which offers a wealth of new features and performance enhancements making it easier for CG artists to accomplish more and iterate faster. 

My first two weeks of using Houdini 12 in production, I couldn't stop smiling!” says Szymon Kapeniak, CG Supervisor, Human Ark. “Everything is so much faster and easier, yet on its surface it's still the same Houdini.”

The performance enhancements in Houdini 12 are already having an impact on how Houdini artists work. During beta testing, many studios opted to put the new version into production. The significantly faster simulation times were particularly popular, especially when using the GPU to run fire and smoke simulations using OpenCL.

Built on a powerful new geometry engine, Houdini 12 includes targeted optimizations to dynamics and rendering and a reworked OpenGL 3 viewport. Houdini 12 also includes Bullet solver integration, Pyro FX 2, faster, more accurate FLIP fluids, production-ready cloth, an Alembic exporter and much more.

Houdini’s Mantra renderer, recently recognized with a Scientific and Technical Achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, now brings physically-based rendering to volumes such as smoke and fire. Mantra also includes a 300 times speed improvement when instancing to points.

“Houdini has refined the dynamics framework and crystallized the smoke/pyro simulation pipeline to make for a very robust and phenomenally fast workflow to create multithreaded and GPU-assisted grid-based volume simulations and rendering. The speed gains going from Houdini 11 to Houdini 12 are beyond an order of magnitude in this respect,” says Theodor Vandernoot , Sony Pictures Imageworks. “The ease of training FX artists using Houdini 12 for volume simulations is now straightforward, and the feedback and iteration time makes for an enjoyable workflow for volume rendering.”

Houdini 12 can be downloaded from sidefx.com immediately with Houdini Escape available for as low as $1,995 and Houdini Master available for as low as $6,695. The free Apprentice Edition can also be downloaded today and Houdini Apprentice HD is available for an annual fee of $99.

For more information on this new release, visit us at http://www.sidefx.com/H12.

About Houdini

The Houdini family of animation software offers digital artists an unprecedented level of power, flexibility and control based on award-winning procedural 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 Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems.

Houdini has been used to create stunning digital animation in blockbuster films, including: Captain America, Puss in Boots, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Happy Feet Two, The Tree of Life, Sucker Punch, Cars 2, Moneyball, Hop, Avatar, 2012, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Watchmen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bolt, Spider-Man (1, 2 & 3), the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Matrix trilogy and more.

About Side Effects Software

Established in 1987, Side Effects Software is a world leader in the development of Houdini, our advanced 3D animation and special effects software for use in film, commercials and video games. Side Effects Software has been recognized three times with Scientific and Technical awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Houdini is used by numerous leading digital content creation facilities including: Blizzard Entertainment, Blue Sky Studios, Digital Domain, Double Negative, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Framestore, Guerrilla Games, Pixar Animation Studios, Rhythm & Hues and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

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