Houdini 9.5 for Mac OS X

TORONTO—(BUSINESS WIRE)—June 12, 2008— Side Effects Software, an industry leader in 3D animation and visual effects software, is pleased to announce the planned release of Houdini 9.5 on July 15, 2008. Houdini 9.5 brings the 3D industry's first node-based workflow to the Mac ensuring that 3D artists can collaborate seamlessly in a multi-platform environment. Houdini 9.5 public beta release is available today for download on all platforms.

More and more artists are embracing Houdini's node-based workflow for their animation and visual effects projects, says Kim Davidson, President and CEO, Side Effects Software. Houdini for Mac is an important step in bringing Houdini's renowned power and flexibility to the wider creative community.

Built from the ground up with a particular focus on performance, Houdini for Mac supports 64-bit Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X v 10.5 Leopard. Houdini for Mac offers a standard Mac menu bar, a window menu on Houdini's Dock icon and drag and drop support. QuickTime support has also been added for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

"Mac OS X Leopard delivers true 64-bit computing allowing 3D applications like Houdini for Mac to render detailed animations quickly and easily," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations. "We're thrilled that Side Effects is bringing Houdini to the Mac so 3D professionals can seamlessly collaborate across multiple platforms."

For all platforms, Houdini 9.5 includes a number of key productivity enhancements including FBX export with support for geometry, lights, cameras, animation, hierarchies, skeletons, weighted skins, UVs, geometry caches, particles, and dynamic simulations. Adobe Illustrator and eps import has also been included for motion graphic artists.

To streamline workflow and make Houdini more accessible, a tool shelf was added in Houdini 9. Houdini 9.5 continues to utilize the shelf with new Rigid Body fracturing tools, debris generation tools, river and wave simulation tools, and tools for generating fluids-based fire and smoke.

In addition, an animatable all-purpose Ramp parameter type has been added to help artists build shaders and control effects such as particles or L-systems. Artists can also use real-time shadows in the viewport and Houdini 9.5 now supports hand-coded OpenGL2 shaders.

Customer requests have fueled many of the workflow improvements in Houdini 9.5, says Cristin Barghiel, Director of Product Development, Side Effects Software. One example is the ability to make nodes inside locked Digital Assets editable. And the Wedge tool is an important productivity enhancement that lets artists render out multiple iterations of a shot using randomly generating parameter values, much like photographers using bracketing to explore exposure variations.

Houdini 9.5 is available in four editions: the free Apprentice and $99 non-watermarked Apprentice HD are for personal projects and learning; the $1,995 Houdini Escape with modeling, animation, characters, lighting, rendering and compositing; and the visual effects focused Houdini Master with all of Escape's features plus particles and integrated dynamics such as rigid bodies, wire, cloth and fluids is available for $7,995. Visit www.sidefx.com for more information on support plans and upgrade prices.

3D Artists can participate in the public beta using Houdini Apprentice or Houdini Apprentice HD which contains all of Houdini Master's features except for third party rendering and FBX export. Artists who want the benefits of using Apprentice HD, can purchase it now from the Houdini Store and then continue using the license once Houdini 9.5 is released. Existing Houdini Apprentice HD licenses can be upgraded through the Houdini Store for $69.

About Houdini

The Houdini family of animation software offers digital artists an unprecedented level of power, flexibility and control based on award-winning technology. The comprehensive feature set includes: modeling, rigging, animation, particle effects, dynamics, compositing, integrated rendering, and more. All Houdini applications work together seamlessly and are available for the Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems.

Houdini has been used to create stunning digital animation in blockbuster films, including: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Speed Racer, Transformers, The Golden Compass, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Superman Returns, The Wild, X-Men: The Last Stand, Spider-Man (1, 2 & 3), The Polar Express, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stealth, Sin City, X-Men, X2: X-Men United, the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Matrix trilogy.

About Side Effects Software

Established in 1987, Side Effects Software is a world leader in the development of advanced 3D animation and special effects software for use in film. Side Effects Software leads the field of procedural animation with its unique, award-winning Houdini technology. Houdini is used by numerous digital content creation leaders including: Disney Feature Animation, PSYOP, Framestore-CFC, Asylum FX, The Mill, Method Studios, C.O.R.E., Digital Domain, Rhythm and Hues, and Sony Pictures Imageworks among others.

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