Houdini 13.0 What’s new What's new in Houdini 13

File I/O

  • Houdini now detects non-varying aspects of Alembic files. Playback of files with static geometry and varying transforms is much faster.

  • The abcconvert command line utility is now included with Houdini. You can use this to convert to/from Alembic files, or convert between different Alembic backend formats.

  • Houdini now supports reading and writing OpenEXR 2.0 deep pixel format.

  • You can now write arbitrary attributes to OpenEXR files.

  • The CHOPio table now handles compound file extensions (for example .ext.gz).

OpenGL rendering

  • Removed the “Houdini 11” scene renderer.

  • Limited support for second generation Intel HD graphics and higher.

  • Disabled high-quality transparency on GL3 and AMD cards due to a driver bug.

  • Support for opacity maps and emission maps in GL3 rendering.

  • Single-sided lighting for area lights in the GL3 area light shader.


  • Now load configuration files such as mplay.pref and mplay.profile from the HOUDINI_PATH. Note that Houdini always saves the preferences into HOME/houdiniX.Y/.

  • You can now use environment variables in the External Help URL option (Edit > Preferences > Miscellaneous).

  • Compositing projects now default to 16-bit color. This means color and noise compositing nodes will support values outside 0-1. This may be useful in some situations and surprising in others.

  • Added operating system information to About > Houdini.


  • Added support for packed primitives.

    node = hou.pwd()
    geo = node.geometry()
    # Create a packed primitive of a certain type
    prim = geo.createPacked("PackedDisk")
    # Set properties of the primitive
    prim.setIntrinsicValue("unexpandedfilename", "defgeo.abc")
    # Transform the primitive
    prim.setTransform(hou.hmath.buildTranslate(0, 0, 2))
  • Added support for scripting undo and redo in the hou.undos module.

  • The viewoptrm and viewoptenable commands now support name patterns.

  • Updated viewoptenable to work with new display sets used by the GL 1.2, 2.1, and 3.2 scene renderers.

  • The hou.PerfMonEvent.stop method now returns time and memory values. This replaces the hou.PerfMonEvent.stopTime(), time(), and memory() methods.


  • The File compositing node now loads 8-bit files as 16-bit and automatically converts sRGB color space to linear. You can turn this default behavior off with a parameter.


  • Added Invert Transform parameter to Transform CHOP.

  • The motion capture command line tools now output a script which creates a self-contained object subnet, ready to be turned into a digital asset.

  • The motion capture importers now create a File CHOP with a $HIP/motion_file reference.

Updated components and libraries

  • Added Python 2.7.5

  • Dropped Python 2.5.4

  • Added NumPy 1.7.1

  • Upgraded Alembic to 1.5.0

  • Upgraded Bullet to 2.81

  • Upgraded FBX to 2014.1

  • Upgraded jemalloc to 3.4.0

  • Upgraded libxml2 to 2.8.0

  • Upgraded OpenVDB to 2.0.0

  • Upgraded TBB to 4.1

  • Upgraded zlib to 1.2.7

  • Added OpenSubdiv 2.1.0