Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

SideFX releases the Houdini 19 Apple Silicon build

Originally posted on 9 March 2022. SideFX has now officially released Houdini for Apple Silicon.

SideFX has released the Houdini 19 Apple Silicon build: a tech preview of its VFX-industry-standard 3D software with native support for Apple’s M1 family of processors, used in current Mac workstations.

The release, which is not yet production-ready, and which is provided in parallel with stable builds of Houdini 19.0, coincides with the launch of Apple’s new Mac Studio desktop workstations and M1 Ultra processors.

An early tech preview, with a range of known limitations
The Houdini 19 Apple Silicon build is the first version of Houdini with native support for Apple’s M1 processors: the original M1 chips, the newer M1 Pro and M1 Max, and the upcoming M1 Ultra.

Native M1 support should ultimately improve the way that Houdini performs on macOS: while Houdini 19.0, the latest version of the software, runs on new Mac workstations with Apple Silicon processors, it only does so under Rosetta, Apple’s translation environment.

However, in the initial tech preview, which is not supported by SideFX for use in production, some things are actually slower: the list of known limitations includes performance regressions in Pyro and some SOPs.

In addition, the current preview build does not support Karma XPU, the hybrid GPU-accelerated version of Houdini’s new renderer, the HQueue render management system or Houdini Engine plugins.

But still one of the first key VFX tools to support M1 processors natively
The news makes SideFX one of the first major visual effects tools developers to announce native support for M1 processors.

The initial applications to support Apple Silicon natively have mainly been more general-purpose image editing or motion graphics tools.

Although Maxon supports M1 processors natively in its Redshift renderer, Autodesk and Foundry have yet to release native Apple Silicon builds of their software, and Adobe has yet to release native builds of most of the Substance 3D tools.

Pricing, system requirements and release dates
The Houdini 19 Apple Silicon build is available to registered users of Houdini as a free technical preview. SideFX hasn’t announced a release date for a production-ready version.

Houdini 19.0 is available for Windows 8+, macOS 10.13+, and Linux distros. Find pricing in this story.

Read more about the Houdini 19 Apple Silicon Build on SideFX’s forum
(Includes instructions on how to download it)