Thursday, October 31st, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Side Effects announces Houdini 13 – kind of

Originally posted on 16 September. Scroll down for updates.

Side Effects Software has announced Houdini 13 – kind of. In a reversal of convention, the company has announced the release date for the update, but not the new features.

That release date is, appropriately enough, 31 October, which Side Effects has combined with the version number to create a suitably horror-themed teaser (above).

You can also enter the contest to create the new splash screen for Houdini 13. More details on the actual functionality when we have them.

Updated 30 September: Side Effects has posted its first sneak peek at Houdini 13’s features (above).

The video shows new particle tools, including Replicate, Axis Force, Curve Force and Flock options, and support for scrubbing the simulation in the timeline, and support for OpenEXR 2.0‘s deep camera maps.

Updated 21 October: Side Effects has posted a second sneak peak, this one pretty substantial (above), showing improvements to Houdini’s fluid simulation tools and the new finite element solver.

Performance on dense fluid sims has been improved: check out the comparison of particle surfacing in Houdini 12.5 and 13 at 00:50, which shows the resulting poly count more than tripled and calculation time halved.

But the most eye-catching part of the video begins immediately afterwards, where the finite element solver is shown in use to create volume-preserving soft bodies, and some unnervingly organic-looking bending and tearing effects.

Updated 31 October: The third and final sneak peek is now available, showing improvements to Houdini’s existing Bullet physics solver, and a more robust lighting workflow for dense production scenes.

The software itself has just begun shipping: read our full story on its new features here.

Visit Side Effects Software online