Recently, Houdini officially released the Houdini 20 Keynote video in advance. The video content shows some of the major new features and improvements of Houdini 20 in 2 hours, focusing on improving the animation process of the animation system and providing a dedicated animation production environment.
Feather production is one of the biggest challenges in the CG production pipeline. Each feather of a bird is composed of many smaller feathers, and the shapes vary and are not repeated. If you make it in the current version, you need to use SOP geometric curves to create every detail, which is difficult to manage during production. So, in the Houdini 20 version, the feather system focuses on solving two problems.
Each feather is an entity and can be easily selected and transformed. Special tools are no longer required to ensure feather barb follow-through settings. Performance has also been greatly improved, each point of the barb data is stored in a suitable format, reducing GPU consumption, and processing performance and viewpoint performance have been greatly improved.
If you want to make more realistic feathers, you will find that there are more details in the feathers, such as a lot of messy tiny fluff at the base of the feathers. How to achieve this? In Houdini 20, you can draw a mask and then adjust the angle and direction to achieve the effect.
In order to facilitate the placement of finished feathers on the bird model, Houdini 20 provides a tool for assigning feather templates. Because feathers have different sizes and shapes in different parts, the biometric method was introduced in Houdini 20 to generate separate weights and dynamically generate feathers in different parts of the grid.
Animation tools include physics systems, ragdolls, motion graphics, and more. Now if you just want to raise the arm, you can select the shoulder as the pivot and rotate it naturally upward and forward, or you can select the elbow rotation and use the IK controller in FK mode.
Considering that animators need to obtain the reference video and adjust and crop it before making animation shots, the new animation tool can edit the reference video directly in the viewport (trim the shot, adjust the starting frame position), which greatly improves animation production efficiency.
The dynamics function greatly simplifies the process of animation optimization and adjustment, saving a lot of manual operation time. By double-clicking to set multiple bookmarks, animators can focus on a certain animation range and quickly jump between bookmarks, which is very convenient for managing animations in long scenes. The animator selects the dynamics function through the shortcut menu, sets the contact points for takeoff and landing can calculate a physically accurate animation path and time, greatly improving animation quality with just a few clicks.
Enabling the ragdoll function requires only simple settings to render complex physical movements. There are many ways to apply ragdoll to character animation. You can select only part of the controller to apply keyframes. This can quickly obtain simplified keyframes for subsequent editing, and also avoid problems such as hand intersecting.
Now you can finally learn more about all of the latest features that are coming to Houdini 20 this November.
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