Maxon is to develop a free plugin to give Cinema 4D users to Side Effects Software’s Houdini Engine, enabling artists to create simulations inside Houdini, then import them into Cinema 4D, complete with interactive controls.
The news was announced at this week’s FMX 2014 conference.
The Houdini Engine API extracts Houdini’s core technologies into an form that other developers can integrate into their own tools, effectively turning the software into “the world’s most powerful plugin” for other DCC apps.
Houdini artists can create content within the software, then export it as a Houdini Digital Asset, deciding which of the controls to expose.
The asset can then be imported into another DCC package via one of the plugins, where it remains fully editable.
Bingo: instant VFX toolset
In the case of Cinema 4D, this effectively makes Houdini’s powerful simulation toolsets accessible within Cinema, bolstering one of the weaker parts of the software’s native toolset.
Assuming the implementation works as it should, that instantly makes Cinema 4D a much stronger proposition for VFX work – particularly since you don’t actually need a full in-house licence of Houdini to use the content.
Instead, you can use Side Effects’ new Houdini Engine licence, which costs $495 a year for a single workstation; or $795 a year for a floating licence covering an entire studio.
The Cinema 4D plugin for the Houdini Engine is scheduled for release “before the end of the year”.
Tags: Cinema 4D, finite element, fluid, FMX 2014, free, Houdini, Houdini Digital Asset, Houdini Engine, liquid, Maxon, particle, physics, plugin, rigid body, Side Effects, Side Effects Software, simulation, soft body, vfx, visual effects