Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Maxon unveils Cinema 4D plugin for Houdini Engine


Originally posted on 23 April 2014. Scroll down for news of the public beta.

Maxon is to develop a free plugin to give Cinema 4D users to Side Effects Software’s Houdini Engine, enabling artists to create assets inside Houdini, then import them into Cinema 4D, complete with interactive controls.

The news was announced at this week’s FMX 2014 conference.

Putting the power of Houdini inside Cinema 4D
Side Effects first announced Houdini Engine last year, along with its own plugins for Maya and Unity.

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 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.

Updated 23 June 2015: Houdini Engine for Cinema 4D is now available in public beta. You’ll need to be running Cinema 4D Studio R16 with Service Pack 3 installed, along with Houdini Engine itself.

A node-locked licence of Houdini Engine currently costs $499/year, available on a rental-only basis.

Read Maxon’s official announcement for the Houdini Engine plugin for Cinema 4D

Download the public beta release of the Houdini Engine plugin for Cinema 4D