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Houdini 17.5 released

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SideFX has unveiled Houdini 17.5, the next major update to its 3D animation and effects software.

The release, which is due to ship later this month, introduces the Procedural Dependency Graph (PDG), described by SideFX as a potentially industry-changing new technology.

PDG, also due to become available in a new standalone application, PilotPDG, enables users to specify the dependencies between different parts of a project’s task graph, making it possible to do anything from running simulations and renders in parallel to ‘assetizing’ entire sections of a studio’s pipeline.

SideFX also expects PDG to form the basis of new machine learning workflows within Houdini.

Other new features in Houdini 17.5 include distributed fluid simulation, a high-quality new GPU-accelerated viewport smoke shader, and updates to the Vellum multiphysics solver.

Key features in Houdini 17.5: the new Procedural Dependency Graph
Although there are a lot of changes to the existing simulation toolsets and viewport display – about which, more later – the major feature of Houdini 17.5 is undoubtedly the Project Dependency Graph.

In development for over three years, the new PDG API and an accompanying set of TOP (Task OPerator) nodes enable users to explicitly specify the dependencies between different parts of a project.

For example, when calculating a simulation, each frame depends on the previous frame. When rendering, frames may be processed in any order, so long as the state of the simulation has been calculated.

In a traditional workflow, simulation and rendering would be done sequentially.

With the PDG and TOPs, the two can be done in parallel, with each frame beginning to render as soon as the corresponding part of the simulation has completed, greatly reducing processing time.








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