August 13, 2022 Linh Nguyen

What's New in Karma in Houdini 19.5

There are several new features in Houdini 19.5 for Solaris and Karma. These spheres, or particles rendered as spheres, will be present in Houdini 19.5. Houdini’s Karma Render engine is a fantastic resource for rendering realistic images. In this article, we will explore “What’s New in Karma in Houdini 19.5”.

1. Karma CPU

Karma, a physically-based route tracer in Houdini that is tightly connected with USD (it uses USD as its scene description format and acts as a Hydra render delegate). Karma is a brand-new renderer meant to take the place of Mantra for new projects, despite the fact that it and Mantra share some concepts. The majority of VEX shading functions are not supported by Karma (with the exception of certain uses of trace). The lookup functions for VEX geometry and point clouds are not supported. Karma includes two render engines: Karma XPU, which leverages CPU resources as well as the GPU and hardware acceleration, and Karma CPU, which operates purely in software on the CPU. These are Karma’s modifications in Houdini 19.5.

2. Sampling

  • There are now only two choices for convergence mode in the render settings: To avoid confusion with the Variance pixel oracle, the old “Variance” mode was renamed to be automatic. The same path was traced. Automatic now includes the features of the former “Distributed” option. Automatic is now the default. The Advanced tab now includes a setting for convergence mode. (Take note that only Karma CPU use this option. Path tracing is always used by Karma XPU.)
  • Because slow render durations can cause confusion, the Pixel Samples parameter in Karma Render Settings has been renamed to Primary Samples or Path Traced Samples, depending on the convergence mode. 

3. Lighting

Improved light sampling in general. Karma now supports cylinder lights as well as supports the light shaping API (spotlight, focus, and so on). Karma now supports the light filtering API (barndoors, gel), especially it supports diffuse and specular scales, light linking.

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Linh Nguyen

Hi everyone. I work as an Assistant Customer at iRender. I always hope to know more 3D artists, data scientists from all over the world.


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