changes in houdini since version 13 and how they affect my training videos


I've been making training video for Houdini since version 13, the first one being Tea and Cookies which was made in H 13. Since then there have been a fair bit of changes in Houdini. Given below are a list of changes made to Houdini since then and how they affect my training video. This might help you decide which training videos are still relevant and what things you might need to consider before buying them.

Since most of my videos tend to focus on modeling and scene building I'll start with the changes at SOP level

SOP changes

  1. Polyextrude had been totally revamped - video available on my vimeo page to show how the new version works - will affect most training videos especially Tea and Cookies video for making the spoon 

  2. Polybridge added in H15 - Affects Tea and cookies video - making the handle is simpler

  3. Polybevel updated in H15.5 - Will affect most modeling stuff, especially Adv Modeling series. There is a video in the training explaining how to use the older polybevel tool in Houdini 15.5 if you have issues with the new node

  4. New polysplit tool makes adding multiple edge loops very easy.

  5. Scatter tool has been updated as well - Different method to use attributes to affect point scattering

  6. There is a Normal node to add normals - don’t need to use Point SOP anymore to add nomals

  7. VOP SOP changed to Attribute VOP - There are othe changes at VOP level but most of them won't affect my training since they don't deal very heavily with VOPS

  8. Wrangle node is very useful for creating and modifying attributes without going into VOPS, Point SOP or attribute create node

  9. Dissolve SOP has also been updated.

  10. For-each workflow has changed completely at both SOP and VOP level - video available at sidefx - This will affect almost all of the older training videos since the For-each node gets used a fair bit in most training series


Most of these changes will affect the Tea and Cookies video and the Floating Islands training since those two are the oldest. Most of the stuff is still very relevant. You just have to aware of the changes to the poly modeling tools.


Shading and Rendering changes

  1. The old lighting model node isn’t used anymore. Now there is the new Surface model node. Will affect the Texture Building series

  2. Mantra interface has been updated - Should affect most of the trainings made in H13 and 14. The interface keeps getting updated and new options have also been added since H13. There are separate sampling sliders for Direct and Indirect lighting. There are also new multiplier sliders for Diffuse, Reflection and Refraction quality. 

  3. The base PBR nodes have been changed - will affect the Shader building series and Texture Building series. Even though the Shader Building series primarily focuses on building digital assets I would recommend not buying this because of the changes made to the PBR nodes. I’ll update the series when Houdini 16 gets released.

  4. Updated For-each workflow will affect the Texture building series

These are the changes I can think of so far. I'll update this page as I find other changes. Kindly let me know if you think of any changes in Houdini since version 13 that will affect my training videos.