October 17, 2021 Yen Lily

Overview of Houdini 19 new features and improvements

On 13th October 2021, SideFX has released the Houdini 19 Sneak Peek. It shows many new features and improvements compared to old versions. Houdini artists now will have access to significant developments and enhancements of KineFX, Muscles & Tissue, Crowds, Solaris, Karma, Modeling, Pyro FX, FLIP Fluids, Vellum, RBD Destruction, FEM, Grooming, PDG, and more.

In this article, we will provide you a list of new things.

1. Upcoming features for Solaris

Solaris is a suite of look development, layout and lighting tools that enables artists to create USD-based scene graphs that go from asset creation to final render in Houdini. It first released in 2019 in Houdini 18. Now, with the new version Houdini 19, SideFX has improved some features in terms of two fields: Layout & Environment and Lighting & Rendering.

Solaris for Layout and Environments

        • Unique brush-based framework for large-scale set dressing.
        • HDA-driven brush architecture with unlimited customizability.
        • Full access to verbified/compilable SOP networks.
        • PDG-assisted creation of layout asset gallery.
        • USD asset browser.

Solaris for Lighting and Rendering

        • Comprehensive Houdini scene importer.
        • Better motion blur generation.
        • Option to pause viewer updates.
        • Faster GL rendering of transformable instances.
        • Viewport support for camera exposure attribute.
        • Updated Karma LOP for faster render setup.
        • USD 21.08.

2. Karma render

Karma Render (beta) is a new HYDRA-based renderer that integrates into the Solaris environment, which released with Houdini 18. With this new version, Karma also has some improvements:

        • Beta tag removed to indicate production readiness.
        • Improved final image quality and performance.
        • Improved motion blur on crowd agents.
        • Improved holdout/matte workflow.
        • Support for deep camera maps.
        • Improved memory usage.
        • Redesigned Karma LOP UI.

3. KineFX

KineFX is a rigging and animation framework and toolset that allows you to create and edit characters all at the geometry-level. You can use special KineFX SOPs and regular stock Houdini SOPs together to edit imported characters and animation or create your own KineFX characters from scratch.

Houdini 19 will come with many new developments:

        • Evolving framework with emphasis on motion data and physics.
        • Support for all major mocap software like Xsens and Faceware.
        • Ragdoll dynamics for hero characters with embedded full-body IK.
        • Ability to specify custom collision geometry and rig control geometry.
        • Improved animation baking controls in Rig Pose.
        • Ability to configure joints faster in the 3D viewport.
        • Enhanced skeleton blending.
        • Custom metadata support for crowd agents.
        • Direct character import into Solaris.

4. Grooming

        • Completely redesigned grooming toolset.
        • Many new tools and interactive brushes.
        • 10-100 times faster hair sculpting with GuideGroom.
        • Extensive mirroring capabilities.
        • Powerful grouping and masking.
        • Native support for Vellum physics brushes.

5. Muscles, Tissue & Skin

        • Unified muscle, tissue, skin rigging and simulation system.
        • SOP-based workflow with Vellum soft-body simulation built-in.
        • Non-destructive and fully interactive.
        • Natural-looking muscle sliding.
        • Full access to Houdini’s geometry and visualization toolset.

6. Pyro

Pyro refers to Houdini’s volumetric fluid simulation package. The pyro solver is used for capturing the motion of fire, smoke, and explosions, but can also be used to simulate other fluid-like phenomena, such as mist or an avalanche. In contrast to FLIP, pyro does not use particles to track the fluid.

Pyro in Houdini 19 also has some new abilities as following:

        • More one-click Pyro effects via shelf tools.
        • Ability to track burning objects in real-time using minimal solver.
        • Cinematic quality results with real-time GL viewport.
        • Ability to scale simulation velocities smoothly and accurately.
        • Extrapolation of velocity into new tiles.
        • Completely redesigned pyro solver UI.

7. RBD Destruction

Houdini 19 features exciting changes in RBD Destruction, such as:

        • Ability to track RBD age.
        • Much faster unpacking of packed elements.
        • Ability to set and edit constraint properties.
        • Faster and more accurate centroid extraction.
        • Ability to convert deforming geometry to animated static packed objects.
        • Enhanced visualization of guided and non-guided pieces.

8. Vellum

Vellum is a simulation framework that uses an extended Position Based Dynamics approach. It can be used to create many different things including cloth, hair, softbodies, balloons, and grains. This new version will help you to access:

        • Now a fully complete, unified multi-solver.
        • Native support for XPBD fluids, rigid bodies, and plasticity.
        • Expanded use of OpenCL.
        • Real-time grain simulation with minimal Vellum solver.
        • Interactive brushes for fluid and grain sculpting.
        • Constraint browser to manage and visualize Vellum constraints.

9. 3D Viewport

Those are some development for better viewports:

        • Distant light support via cascading shadow maps.
        • Light bloom and halo effects.
        • Particle sphere lighting.
        • Silhouette selection mode.
        • First-person (WASD) navigation.
        • Faster background texture loading.
        • Fast rendering of cutout objects.

10. Modeling/Geometry

Houdini 19 adds numerous new and improved tools for interactive and procedural modeling.

        • Redesigned curve drawing with Beizer handles and corner rounding.
        • Interactive curve editing embeddable in any HDA.
        • Enhanced UVFlatten and UVLayout algorithms and UX.
        • Enhanced GLTF mesh and texture export.
        • Artist-friendy volume noise tools.
        • VDB extrapolation and merging.
        • Dozens more verbified/compilable SOPs.


Above are some new features and developments of SideFX for Houdini 19. You can explore more information through SideFX presentation on Oct 18, 19, 21 via this link.

iRender is proud to be one of very few render farms support Houdini rendering with powerful RTX3090. From single RTX3090, to dual 3090s and even 4 x RTX3090s, 6 x RTX3090s we always have enough machine and config to serve your project.

Just 6 simple steps then you can connect to our powerful machine, install your Houdini and render engines (like Redshift, Octane, V-Ray, or Arnold, etc.), add your license then render/ revise your project as you want.

Not only those powerful configuration, iRender also provides you more services. From NVLink for large scene, to useful and free transferring tool named GPUhub sync. Our price is flexible with hourly rental which has pay-as-you-go basis, daily/ weekly/ monthly subscription with discount from 10-20%. Plus, you have 24/7 support service with real human who will support you whenever you encounter an issue.

Let’s see some of our Houdini with Redshift, V-Ray, Arnold and Octane benchmark:

Register an account today to experience our service. Or contact us via WhatsApp: (+84) 916806116 for advice and support.


Thank you & Happy Rendering!

Source: sidefx.com, 80.lv

Related Posts

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yen Lily

Hi everyone. Being a Customer Support from iRender, I always hope to share and learn new things with 3D artists, data scientists from all over the world.


Autodesk Maya
Autodesk 3DS Max
Cinema 4D
Daz Studio
Nvidia Iray
Unreal Engine
And many more…


Hotline: (+84) 912-785-500
Skype: iRender Support
Email: [email protected]
Address 1: 68 Circular Road #02-01, 049422, Singapore.
Address 2: No.22 Thanh Cong Street, Hanoi, Vietnam.