Side Effects Software has announced the releases of Houdini Engine for Cinema 4D and Maya. The Houdini Engine was introduced in 2013 on SideFX Labs and is designed to allow Houdini’s procedural technology to work inside other digital content creation applications.
Studios can build custom plug-ins using the Houdini Engine API today while artists will soon have access to plug-ins for products such as MAXON Cinema 4D and Autodesk® Maya.® Plug-in source code will be available on GitHub to encourage the development of plug-ins for more host applications.
At FMX 2014, MAXON announced its intention to partner with Side Effects to develop a plug-in to the Houdini Engine; slated for release before the end of the year. The collaboration gives Cinema 4D artists direct access to Houdini Digital Assets for a more integrated procedural workflow.
“Creating a bridge to Houdini Digital Assets for Cinema 4D artists, underscores MAXON’s commitment to provide our customers with an efficient pipeline to other digital content creation tools,” said Harald Egel, co-founder and CEO, MAXON Computer GmbH. “Integrating Houdini’s procedural workflow and VFX tools inside Cinema 4D will offer our users a streamlined experience to collaborate with Houdini artists and create inspiring content.”
Houdini Engine for Maya, which has been in experimental testing since Nov 2013, is going into beta on May 1, 2014 on Windows, LINUX and OSX and is planned for release in mid-July. During the open beta, artists will not require a Houdini Engine license and can use Houdini Apprentice to create assets for testing. Once the software is released, only assets created in commercial versions of Houdini will work and a Houdini Engine license will be required.
The Houdini Engine for Unity plug-in will remain in experimental testing. More information will be available later this year once Unity 5 has been released.
Artists with Houdini or Houdini FX licenses will be able to run the Houdini Engine using their existing keys. For artists who only need to work in a host application, a new Houdini Engine license has been created. Houdini Engine workstation licenses will be available for $495 annually while floating licenses for use in a single facility will start at $795 annually. Volume pricing will be available for floating licenses.
The new Houdini Engine license is being merged with the Houdini Batch license so that it can also run batch processes on the farm. Now studios can use one license for both purposes and distribute them as needed. The Houdini Batch license-type will be retired and customers can contact Side Effects about converting them into more versatile Houdini Engine licenses.
As an added bonus, artists will be able to run the Houdini Engine in multiple host applications, such as both Cinema 4D and Maya, making it easier to manage floating licenses. In addition, Houdini Engine licenses will only be acquired when a Houdini Digital Asset is opened in a host to make sure that licenses are not being consumed when the Engine is not in use.
The Houdini Engine API and its documentation are being made available to all customers who need to develop custom plug-ins for their pipeline. Meanwhile, source code for the Maya and Unity plug-ins is available on GitHub. This will allow studios to contribute to the code base for each plug-in and to learn how to create their own plug-ins for other applications.
Developers who would like to create a plug-in for a particular commercially available host application, should contact Side Effects at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about joining the developer program. This will provide access to forum-based support and approved plug-ins will be distributed as part of the Houdini installation.