Houdini from Side Effects Software is an industry-leading animation tool for making special effects and characters for feature film, television and games. Now a tool for creating live 3D visuals, Houdini provides many spin-offs and cross-benefits for animators working in these diverse fields.

Houdini animators who create live 3D visuals have a simplified and streamlined workflow that is unique to Houdini. In one animation tool they build 3D environments, create characters, pre-keyframe moves, set up behaviors and perform them live. No import/export of any data is needed, and no switching between tools is imposed.

Through a radical departure in the animation industry, no programming is required to make 3D visuals and no text-language scripting is needed. In the Houdini philosophy, 3D scripting languages are superceded by the graphical CHOPs, where animators assemble behaviors using a the point-click behaviour-builder.

Houdini is designed and optimized for realtime performance. It has excellent user-controlled tools for analyzing and improving performance. Animators can view and tweak the numbers of polygon or NURBS divisions while modeling. Extensive optimizations speed the drawing of the 3D scenes, the computation of surfaces and motion, and the cacheing of texture images and geometry. The 24 IDC animations served as a field-test of the features of Houdini 2.5, which is now shipping as Houdini 3.0.

Houdini is production-proven for live-3D and it is built with the depth of experience of Side Effects Software's Academy Award-winning team of developers.