Houdini is a popular procedural 3D software for VFX, motion graphics and game development. SideFX, the company behind the product, has recently released a sneak peek video showcasing the new tools and features in the upcoming Houdini 20.

Houdini 20 Sneak Peek

The video highlights updates to the most important aspects of the software, covering the Karma renderer, simulation tools, character rigging, and animation.

Regarding the Karma renderer, there are new features tailored specifically for the XPU version, which is capable of running on both the GPU and the CPU. Other showcased features may also apply to both Karma CPU and Karma XPU.

Updates to the Karma renderer include fog box (XPU), nested dielectrics (XPU), fur shader with medulla support, hex tiling, physical sky, distributed rendering and updated render statistics.

The new version also improves support for MaterialX, an open standard for materials and look dev data, introducing features like material linker, material catalog, AMD MtlX library and thin-walled transmission for MtlX Standard Surface.

The video also covers new animation features, including projectile motion, sticky collisions, selection sets in the updated animation environment and the capability to use video references directly in the viewport.

The software's simulation capabilities have undergone significant updates, spanning various areas such as fluids, the Vellum solver for cloth and soft bodies and Pyro for creating realistic smoke and fire.

Noteworthy new features include FLIP volume combine, SOP whitewater solver, a bubble generator, OpenCL ripple solver, Vellum wind shadow, Franken muscles, feather system, density-driven gravity in Pyro, feather procedural, and a redesigned ocean procedural with support for all Hydra delegates.

New tools have been introduced for creating art-directable clouds, such as a skybox cloud tool, noise-driven cloud shapes, art-directable hero clouds, and the ability to generate cloud shapes from polygons.

Updates to Houdini's rigid body dynamics system have been introduced with the sneak peek video showcasing a car rig making use of the new RBD twist cone constraints.

Additionally, Houdini 20 sees the inclusion of a Room Map VOP, appearing to be an implementation of parallax mapping for creating simulated 3D interiors for buildings, as well as features like quad remeshing for retopology and machine-learning-driven terrain generation.

This serves as a summary of the new features presented in the video. Nevertheless, SideFX will offer further details about these features and may unveil additional ones during this week.

Houdini 20 is set to be released in November 2023, but an exact launch date has not yet been provided by SideFX.

For more information about Houdini, visit SideFX's website.

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