Houdini (Side Effects Software) is used for visual effects, and character animation as well as used in Disney's The Wild. Houdini uses a nonstandard interface that it refers to as a "NODE system". Commercial licenses of Houdini include unlimited copies of Side Effects Software's hybrid micropolygon-raytracer renderer, Mantra, but Houdini also has built-in support for commercial renderers like Pixar's RenderMan and mental ray. There are two versions of Houdini, Houdini Escape ($1,995 USD) and Houdini Master ($7,995 USD). For non-commercial users, Side Effects Software offers the free Houdini Apprentice personal learning edition, which
places a small watermark on images, and Houdini Apprentice HD, a $99 USD package that does not watermark renders. Historically, Houdini's main strength has been its particle animation system, and its major weakness its unintuitive animation tools. As a result, its use was relegated to special effects. However, in more recent versions these tools have been vastly improved and it has been used in the various feature animation productions.


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