Design complex 3D animations for commercials, video games or feature films with this software package make use of lighting, animation or procedural modelling tools.

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Houdini Description

Houdini FX is a professional software application specialized in creating 3D animations using modelling, animation and character rigging tools.

User interface

The GUI looks intimidating and overwhelming at a first glance because the utility comes packed with a comprehensive army of fine-tuning parameters. Video tutorials and help manual are available in case you want to find out more about its capabilities.

You can preview objects in a 3D workspace, divide the 3D viewer into several viewports revealing different views, and choose between several shading modes to control how Houdini FX draws objects and geometry. You can make use of various view modes, namely tumble, dolly, track, tilt, and zoom.

3D animation editing options

Houdini FX impresses with a multitude of features that allow you to employ surface nodes to define the shape of an object, move, rotate and scale components, as well as make use of a ‘value ladder’ for altering the numeric values with mouse movements.

What’s more, you can select objects or components (points, edges, primitives, or vertices) and make a child object’s transformations (moves, rotations and scales) relative to those of a parent object.

A scene is made up of several objects, such as geometry (props like tables, chairs, spaceships, and lamps, and character skins), characters (bones and muscles), nulls (null objects have a location, rotation and scale but they do not render), cameras (points of view which you can render), and lights.

The application offers support for brush tools, which can be used for sculpting geometry and attributes, and lets you group multiple objects in a bundle and enable the cooking mode for recomputing the look and contents of the scene.

The suite of editing features does not stop here. The program has to offer special effects to make simulations look realistic, such as fire and smoke, fluid and ocean, bullet, particle, cloth, finite, wire, and fur elements.

Rock-solid 3D animation creator

The final verdict is that Houdini FX is suitable for designing complex 3D animations because it bundles a comprehensive suite of features. It can be used for creating commercials, video games or feature films and applying advanced options like lighting, animation or procedural modelling. It is one of the best 3D animation software programs on the market thanks to its node-based interface, accurate modeling, texturing and animation tools, as well as photorealistic lighting using its advanced rendering engine (Mantra).

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