Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

Siggraph 2011: peek under the hood of the new Houdini

Side Effects Software has announced Houdini 11.1 and provided a sneak peek at Houdini 12 at Siggraph 2011.

Version 11.1, out next week, is a smaller update, adding support for the new Alembic data-interchange format.

Although Autodesk, Luxology and The Foundry are all working on integrating Alembic in their software – Autodesk announced yesterday that Alembic will be supported in the next Maya Advantage Pack – the release will make Houdini 11.1 the first commercially available implementation.

Houdini 12: faster, better, stronger
Houdini 12, on the other hand, looks to be a very significant upgrade, featuring updates to the Pyro FX, cloth, fluids and rigid body dynamics toolsets, improved viewport performance, and a completely rewritten geometry engine.

Performance is at the core of all the new updates, with Side Effects quoting speed increases over Houdini 11 of anything from 13x (for the Pyro FX 2.0 solver) to 1,200x (for working with heavy geometry).

You can pick your way through the facts and figures on the Side Effects site (link below). The videos from the company’s Siggraph user group meeting, embedded in the same page, are also well worth watching.

Houdini 12 is due to enter beta in October.

Read the full Houdini 11.1 news release

Watch the Houdini 12 preview videos