View Full Version : First Houdini Book Published

01 January 2006, 06:36 AM
Thomson Course Technology has just released The Magic of Houdini, the first ever Houdini book written by Will Cunningham with contributions by Peter Bowmar, Jason Iverson and Dave Johnson. Will has created this book as a comprehensive introduction to Houdini and its procedural approach to working in 3D.

More details here:

01 January 2006, 08:14 AM
Some of the best news for the beggining of the new year... I am gonna buy it soon... thanks for the info arctor

01 January 2006, 09:09 AM
I've waited a long time for something like this to happen

01 January 2006, 09:55 AM
Ooh, good. I might just have to order that soon...

01 January 2006, 10:14 AM

Just ordered me a copy! I've wanted to get into houdini for some time, so this should motivate me to get in gear :)

01 January 2006, 12:17 PM
This looks really good. I have been really interested to dig in to Houdini, but the lack of proper books etc has keept me away.


01 January 2006, 04:04 PM
i had that preordered..from seems it still has not shipped

01 January 2006, 05:29 PM
Very cool, I really want to learn Houdini at some point, this seems like it would be a great way to go about doing it!

01 January 2006, 07:08 PM
Wow. Congrats to the guys and gals at SideFx and... Welcome to the big league! ;)

01 January 2006, 07:24 PM
Hmm, according to Amazon it has not been released yet.

Ps. Just noticed from publisher site, jan 10th is release date. Cool!

Robert Magee
01 January 2006, 07:29 PM
" Hmm, according to Amazon it has not been released yet."

We got word from the publisher that the book is printed and in the warehouse. Amazon should be getting their copies soon.

Robert Magee
Product Marketing Manager
Side Effects Software Inc.

01 January 2006, 07:52 PM
woohooo. I just orderd it .. :bounce:

01 January 2006, 10:08 PM
First the Gnomon DVD and now this...I'll be picking it up as soon as I see it. Congrats Side Effects for making the release, marketing and learning resources of Houdini so strong with version 8.

01 January 2006, 11:43 PM
Nice! I'm going to get it. I bought the Gnomon DVD and this will be a good addition to my puny Houdini library.



01 January 2006, 06:38 AM
they got around 10 hours of free video tutorials for houdini :)

01 January 2006, 10:32 AM
Once the price of software becoms more human for ordinary users I might even buy that book and then perhaps even switch to Houdini:rolleyes:

01 January 2006, 03:28 PM
there is an Apprentice Version:
it's very good...worth a look.

01 January 2006, 04:49 PM
I am aware of Apprentice's just the price of Houdini Master that bothers me. 17.000 USD is just way too much. Once you get to know Houdini you have to take mortgage to by it.:shrug: This is probably the only reason why there is no many Houdini users, tutorials, books, studios that use Houdini,....sometimes I even feel like they (Side Effects) simply don't want people to know about Houdini.:surprised

01 January 2006, 05:30 PM
I think the bulk of folks using Houdini professionally are using it at a studio, which means that the studio is covering the costs of the software. I can't imagine any individual would be too thrilled to shell out that kinda of $$$. This is true for a lot of other software packages.

For those who just want to learn Houdini, there is the FREE apprentice version, which is basically the same thing as the full professional version, minus render ouputs and a few other features. You should check it out and see for yourself.

But anyways, I cant WAIT for this book to arrive at my doorstep!

01 January 2006, 06:06 PM
There is also houdini escape which is only $2,000 USD. But yes, of course it would be nicer if Master were cheaper. And about those buzz videos there is probably only 3 hours of instruction once you cut out all the bs joking around.

01 January 2006, 07:01 PM
I'll agree that the price does seem pretty high (for the Master version), but if you think in terms of Maya Unlimited + MTOR + Renderman licenses you'll find that total cost very much approaches that of Houdini Master. Don't forget that Houdini Master provides a Renderman Shader builder (like MTOR) *and* Mantra, it's own renderer which in my opinion is of comparable quality to Renderman.

For a small/midsize shop of 15 licenses, say, Mantra comes with a site license (IIRC) and if you calculate that benefit against the cost of, say, 50 Renderman licenses you will notice some significant savings I think. Also, depending on what types of productions you have inhouse, you might be able to get away with Houdini Select or Houdini Escape (+character).

For a single license and a user willing just to use the bundled renderers with Maya, yes, it's expensive. As you move up and get larger it can begin to pay off.

That said, I wish Houdini Master was priced at a more accessible price point for the smaller shops and the solo users.

Anyway, buy the book, download the free version (by far the most powerful/uncrippled free version out there) and learn the software. It's fun! And it's the best technical base for CG work you can do for yourself.

Take care,
Jason Iversen

01 January 2006, 07:45 PM
And consider the fact that Houdini is one of the few 3d apps that can flat out do things that no other app can. As an effects tool it's unmatched and like Massive, you pay for that uniqueness. Still, the costs can be offset for a team quite easily. Consider this: say you're working on a project that has roughly 100 effects animation shots (say a big monster crashing through a city). You can have 3 or 4 licenses of Master for your TDs to setup encapsulated systems for things like water, snow, gunfire, broken glass, etc. Then pass that off to 10 artists using Select to do the bulk of the shots. This is a common workflow in many of the studios using Houdini and it makes it much more affordable than most would think.

01 January 2006, 08:24 PM
The power of Houdini software is not in question. :bowdown: The point is that is so damn expensive in comparison with other 3D software regardless what you get in "the box". In my modest opinion the price is just too damn high. It sticks out like a "mountain" among other 3D software.The other thing is that I would love to spend some time in learning this software from some serious in depth books, dvds or cds not just from one beginners book and intro tutorials that you get with Apprentice version. In 10 years only one book about Houdini and more or less nothing else is again just not normal I guess. Nothing, nada, niente....
Please don't get me wrong I love Houdini software I am even happy that this book is finally published, I just hate this lack of in depth reference and learning support like other 3D software have.

01 January 2006, 10:35 PM
but what you get "in the box" is the wasn't very long ago that apps like SoftImage and PowerAnimator were $30K+...the lowering of prices (esp Maya) is purely a marketing strategy and reflects nothing about the applications themselves...
I don't think Side Effects is interested in the person doing 3D as a hobby or whatever - that's what the Apprentice version is for...and with Master, IMPO, you get what you pay for.
the fact that until now there has been only one 3rd party book on Houdini is simply because there are so few people using it...makes it hard to convince a publisher to spend money on a book...

I posted this over at 3DBuzz :
you're right Houdini is much more expensive than most other 3d apps used in film/TV/games...but there are many other costs associated with professional work than just the cost of the app...yes Maya is, what $7K US?....add MTOR and you're at 10K, add a mel programmer or 2, $70K/year each(++?)...PRman/mental ray integratration, pipline integration, etc etc...when all things (all things) are taken into consideration Houdini compares very well with everyone else....
and as for popularity...everyone uses it...almost every film nominated for the VFX oscar in the last 10 years used Houdini in some's a short list :

but all that aside - it really does come down to the fact that Houdini is just a has to be used well to make nice stuff

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