View Full Version : New Houdini 7.0 Open Beta!

06 June 2004, 11:14 PM
Anybody mess with the new CA tools in Houdini 7.0 beta? :)

06 June 2004, 10:12 AM
No, I just downloaded it a couple of hours ago, and I probably won't look at the CA stuff for a while. I love the ColorCurve COP though, mucho fun to play with. :p

06 June 2004, 03:20 PM
I tried out the tut scenes from previous versions like muscles system and so on. I think the CA tools are great, seems just about anything can be done, or built, very TD minded, I still don't think it is artist/non-technical friendly though, lucky I am technical minded, so I really dig Houdini. Just wish I had more time to do more than play around with it.


06 June 2004, 06:54 PM
Hey Tony,

I played around with the sample muscle scene a while back - very nice skin sliding over muscle effect. I'm not so much of the TD sort - so, it's a little more challenging for me to wrap my brain around it. I agree, it supposedly has the most open-ended Object Oriented environment of any app.

With Great Flexibility comes great responsibility. ;)

The extensive online tutorials have helped a bunch though. :)

06 June 2004, 07:57 PM
chikega. . . I think YOUR the one who is all over the place. :-)

06 June 2004, 09:26 PM
LOL ... so much software, so little time. :D

Hey, by the way, Wegg, I was in your old territory recently, the Hash forum, and I couldn't believe it, Martin Hash, the man himself, answered a question I had about A:M. It was concerning varying the opacity of a bump map with bones via expressions (aka Jason Osipa's Stop Staring book).

06 June 2004, 09:32 PM
Oh yea he is a changed man. Their whole outlook is different. Its ALL about keeping the users happy. I would never have jumped ship if they had been like this three or four years ago. The future looks VERY bright for Hash Inc. in my opinion.

06 June 2004, 05:00 AM
Was this after they started calling up all the rabble rousers?

06 June 2004, 08:38 AM
What?!! Martin posted something on CG Talk?!! I have to go and check this out.


06 June 2004, 10:05 PM
I just dowloaded the beta and installed it ...Do i need a licence for the beta?

06 June 2004, 11:20 PM
You need a license but it's free. It'll work just fine with a Houdini Apprentice 6.5 license. After installing it, just cancel out of the license manager. The first time you run Houdini, it'll pop up a dialog for you to download a license if you don't have one.

06 June 2004, 04:33 AM
ok got it


06 June 2004, 08:19 PM
So, I looked on the Houdini site and there doesn't seem to be a complete list of new features yet. Does any one know exactly what has changed?


06 June 2004, 08:40 PM
Check out the forum for beta 7. I wouldn't expect a full feature list as it is in beta after all, things will be fixed, added and such.

07 July 2004, 02:55 AM
Here is notice from SESI with a short list of some of new things. There is obviously a LOT more under the hood going on.


Dear Beta testers,

We are happy to announce that Houdini 6.5 is being released as Houdini 7 with a set of new features that improves workflow in all areas of production.

These new features have been developed in collaboration with studios and have already shown their strength in production. The Take Manager in particular has been widely anticipated by users for its abilities to support the creative process. We are glad to make these features available to the Houdini community ahead of schedule, and hope that you will put them to good use in your pipelines.

With your generous help, we plan to briefly extend the beta phase to allow for additional testing of the new features. Please discard any cuts of Houdini 6.5 that you may have been testing, and download Houdini 7 from the usual locations. Please note that Houdini 7 will require a Houdini 7 license to run commercially. Beta testers running Houdini Apprentice will have their licenses updated automatically as long as they are hooked to the internet.

As Houdini 7 is being tested, we continue working on Houdini's next generation Dynamics engine, which will be going into alpha testing very soon. Thank you again for your continued support of Houdini and for helping us release a software that is stable and speaks to your needs.

Robert Magee
Senior Product Specialist
Side Effects Software Inc.

Below is a list of the new features that can be added to the 6.5 feature list posted earlier:

Take Manager - The Take Manager gives artists the ability to capture and evaluate creative decisions before signing off on a shot. Each Take provides a snapshot of a creative decision that can then be layered, compared, rendered, merged, or deleted without affecting the base scene file. Once the shot has been approved then the chosen Takes can be sent directly to the renderer or collapsed back into the scene. Basically, each Take is a layer of parameters and node flags in a Houdini session. The Take manager also supports user-defined render passes that provide rendering efficiencies because all the passes would be generated from the same scene file.

GUI for Operator Bundles - Operator bundles are a heterogeneous extension of the Operator Groups. Houdini 7 now provides an accessible and intuitive user interface to bundles.

Network boxes - This organizational tool lets users structure their procedural networks then collapse them for fast access later. Now networks will be easier to read and navigate as they get more complex.

Flipbook blocking - Flipbook blocking is an image-based blocking technique for animators. Rather than timing actual 2D animation, the artist loads a blocked sequence into the Mplay flipbook and re-times the images without the need to adjust the actual keys. When the images have been timed properly then the adjustments can be sent back to the scene and the keys will be moved accordingly.

New Channel List - The Channel List lets animators view and edit the values of the scoped channels in an intuitive fashion. (This is work in progress and will provide Channel Box-like functionality for animators)

OpenEXR support - OpenEXR 1.2 is now supported. It has support for luminance-chroma images, a new slightly lossy 32 bit float compression (from Pixar) and a revamped Tile format.

Other features:

- Much faster rendering of motion-blurred animation and subdivision surfaces with Mantra.\
- Much greater interactive performance in the 3D viewport.

- *Many* feature and performance enhancements to the Channel Editor

- New ability to constrain the movement of the brush in all the SOP paint tools to the x-axis, y-axis or a diagonal along the construction plane.

- New "viewhome" hscript command to home named viewports.

- New environment variable, HOUDINI_SCRIPT_PATH, which specifies the paths Houdini should search when looking for a .tcl, .tk, .cmd, or .java script file when running the tcl, tk, source, or java commands.

- Added an option ("-b") to the oporder command which specifies that all listed nodes would be moved to the beginning of the operator list.

- Added the "-s" option to the opfind command. This option specifies that the opfind command should not recurse into operator networks.

- Angular Velocity POP now supports negative velocities as well.

- Added a new option to the Operator Type Manager, "Leave Values When Defaults Change". If turned on, this option tells Houdini that any existing nodes should keep their parameter values even if they are at the defaults when a new definition for the operator type is loaded.

- Object subnetworks can now be contained inside other network types.

- Added otinuse command, which outputs information about which OTLs
and operator types are in use in a Hip file or portion of a Hip file.

- A new object called Rivet is implemented. This object attaches to geometry points of another object and follows it as the geometry moves and deforms. For the rivet to be attached properly three points need to be specified to construct a surface frame. Rivet object is placed at the origin of that frame and is oriented according to the frame axes. If only one point is selected on the geometry, the rivet object will position itself at that point, but it is going to remain aligned with the world axes.

- Added a File OP dialog for node creation, accessed via 'Ctrl+Tab'. You can POP it up and select multiple files or file sequences. The dialog will create 1 OP for each file or file sequence (foo$F.ext) selected. The current OP network type determines the types of files shown.

- Removing the hconnect proto install. Since openport/hcommand now uses sockets and can work with telnet, hconnect is no longer needed.

- The Layer COP can now accept any number of inputs.

- Added opisquitting expression function which returns 1 if Houdini is in the process of shutting down, 0 otherwise.

- Added -l option to the hscript opparm command to list out the parameters for a given OP. This is similar to the -d option but does not display the values of the parameters.

- Split out the Composite COP into specific compositing COPs: Over, Under, Atop, Inside, Outside, Add, Subtract, Multiply, Screen, Diff, Average and Xor.

- The behavior of hserver in bad conditions has been improved significantly. As well, applications now have a default grace period to run before they terminate due to license failure. This grace period is only allowed if there was successful license checkout at some point in the past.

- Added the Degrain COP, which attempts to remove grain without affecting features.

- Added the Corner Ramp COP. Initially setup as a 4 corner ramp, this node is also capable of interpolating any number of user-defined ramp points.

- Added the ninput() VEX function to the COP context. It returns a 3x3 matrix of the specified pixel and its 8 neighbors.

- Added the Emboss COP, which can do simple bump-mapping lighting.

- Added ability for user to apply images to custom panel buttons

- Added '-x' option to "opparm" command. The '-x' option will generate hscript commands that can be used to re-create the channel.

- Added chopls hscript command which lists all the track data of the given chop.

- opset command now takes -V option that sets the visibility of an object. It is a bit smarter than setting the display flag on/off, because it will also try to set the parent's visible children (visible objects) parameter to make an operator visible.

- Removing the licensing checks from spy.

- It is now possible to set the audio scrubbing rate from within MPlay. This can be accomplished using either the -W command-line parameter or the "Load Audio" window.

- Added new ObjectGroupMerge SOP to proto_install

- For the Lattice SOP & Point Deformations, added support for point-specific radii, and support for the $PT variable.

- PolyExtrude now has an option in Local mode to "Keep Shared Points Together" which keeps the points originating from the same point together in the extruded faces.

- Adding a new expression function, opfullpathfrom. This function returns the full path to a node that is specified relative to a second node path.

- Added a Turn POP, which changes the direction of the velocity of particles given an axis and turn speed.

- The image library now supports PNG files (.png).

- Adding arrow key, history, and tab completion to hscript on Linux. It can be disabled by setting the HSCRIPT_NO_HISTORY environment variable to 1.

- Added x and y rotation lock when tumbling geometry in the 3D viewport, accessed by pressing alt+LMB in viewport. Lock about x or y axis determined by initial mouse position change.

- There is now an option in the mplay display options (and COPs image viewer) to have the display gamma affect the background color. It is located in the Correction tab in the Display Options dialog ("d") with the gamma settings.

- Added camera crop handles. They are rendered only when you are in camera
state and viewport is in corresponding camera view.

- The visibility of a camera linked to the viewer now can be quickly toggled from the menu located to the left of the camera menu that specifies which camera is linked to the viewer.

- The Measure SOP can now measure curvature.

- New Scatter SOP generates random points over surfaces (with a fairly uniform distribution). Can be used as aid to sub-surface scattering shaders.

- The COP viewer now explicitly supports three modes:

1) Follow Display - Same behaviour as before. The images of COPs with their display flags set are shown in the viewports, along with the handles and states corresponding to those nodes.

2) Follow Display / Current - The images of COPs with their display flags set are shown. However, instead of showing the display nodes' handles and states, the current node's handles and state are shown over the displayed images (if the current node is upstream, or an eventual input node, of the display node). This mode is useful for editing earlier nodes while viewing later output.

3) Follow Current - The image, handles and state of the current node are always shown. The display flags have no effect.

- Added viewport comment parameter to the Camera and Light objects. Any string specified in that parameter will be displayed in the 3D viewport when viewing from that camera or light.

- New display option in the 3D viewport: "Display Bounding Box".

- Added new option to render geometry in different shading modes while modifying view. Shading mode is determined by user defined thresholds for the object render time in milliseconds. A new shading mode under this option is "Bounding Box". Also, removed "Move Wireframe option.

- Added the RotoShape COP, the successor to RotoSpline. RotoShape has better viewport interaction, supports the drawing of multiple splines and compositing operations between the splines. It also fixes some of the old deficiencies in Rotospline, such as better selection handling, point insertion and NURBS curve support.

- Most of the COP generators now have an optional mask input. The generated data is restricted to the area defined by the mask (or outside the mask). The generators affected are: Color, CornerRamp, Font, Geometry, Noise, Ramp, RotoShape, Shape and VEX Generate.

- Added a 'Fast Interactive Cooking' toggle button to the COP2 viewer, in the top right corner of the interface.

- The View-Flipbook dialog now has an entry for Background Images. A background image sequence can be specified, which will appear behind the rendered elements of the viewport in the flipbook.

- The audio waveform can now be displayed on the mplay playbar. Soon to be implemented in the main Houdini playbar.

- Streamlined the UI of the playbar, embedded dopesheet, and frame range slider.

- The option to autoscope channels based on the object selection has been generalized and made consistent. It is now possible to clear the channel scope by deselecting all the nodes.

- Added a new option, -u, to the opadd command. This option causes the new node to not load its contents if it is a custom subnet operator with locked contents. The new node will be created empty and unlocked.

- Added 'Bypass Selected Nodes' to the worksheet menu (Ctrl+RMB) and assigned it the hotkey Ctrl+b.

- It is now possible to "Create New SHOP Type" from an RSL VOP Network.

- Added the Mask COP, which masks out an area of the input using a plane from the mask input.

- Added the chgpopulate command and menu options in the Operator pane menu and node RMB menu to create nested channel groups corresponding to node parameter folders.

Obsolete Operators:

The following ops have been removed from the user interface. Pre-Houdini 7 hip
files containing these operators will still load fine but new operators of this
type cannot be created.

- Arm SOP
- Blend SOP (replaced by Blendshape)
- Boolean SOP
- CaptureEdit SOP
- CapturePaint SOP
- Joint SOP
- Limb SOP
- Model SOP
- Skeleton SOP
- RotoSpline COP

07 July 2004, 06:48 PM
I tried out the tut scenes from previous versions like muscles system and so on. I think the CA tools are great, seems just about anything can be done, or built, very TD minded, I still don't think it is artist/non-technical friendly though, lucky I am technical minded, so I really dig Houdini. Just wish I had more time to do more than play around with it.

Hmmm. Was there a video tutorial produced by side effects or VisLab detailing muscles ? I thought that I had looked at most houdini video tutorials but I don't recall seeing that one before.

Do you have a link or something for it as I'd very much like to see that as I'm having hassle with skins at the moment.


07 July 2004, 07:02 PM
I guess you forgot to look at their documentation. It was a scene file and brief tutorial on how to create a muscle/shrink warp deformation setup.

07 July 2004, 07:54 AM
ahhh you mean the one in the user guide docs...ok sorry I was looking for a video tutorials. :)



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