Well, to put it right: NO. Not in a million miles. Houdini is an expensive tool for creating expensive solutions. Mostly.
But what other company would you list that offers the prime product for 99$, without time restrictions and rebates to the next major release?
None. Go ahead and check, I’ve already did.
And as important for refugees from the Softimage XSI camp (I also have a license for XSI 7), that will rather sleep on pin-needles than “upgrade” to the 7.5 release that doesn’t actually do anything other than brand your purchase as Autodesk (hereafter “the mob”) and throwing in an improvement to the UV Unwrapping functions in XSI, that most of the people I know have outsourced to either Blender (*nix guys) or one of the “Windows Only” software packages, that floats around.
Even in times of trouble, I must insist that for a measly amount of 99$ you get access to almost every component of Houdini Master, including fluid effects, particle systems, crowd simulation, and, well anything you would ever want for a unlimited period of time.
Myself has been trying out the Beta of Houdini 10 (goes stable in late april 09) and I can’t push this enough: This is the creme de’la creme of 3D packages around. It has a steep, and I mean STEEP learning curve, but once you get it, you can do what ever your heart desires.
All the talk about POP’s and CHOP’s wil be second nature.
The one limit you get when “converting” to Houdini Apprentice HD, is that you are limited to rendering (without watermark) up until HD resolution, and that goes for me. Another thing is that you will not get the benefit from network rendering or exporting to other renderers than Houdini’s native renderer, called Mantra.
Being a Buddhist, this is no boundary for me. Mantra is a micro polygon renderer that is definitely a world class renderer when it comes to quality.
Just learn it, and you won’t miss a thing. (except that you might miss some off Mantra’s features in your previous renderer.) Here comes stereoscopic rendering, micro polygon rendering, and heaps of cool abilities, that you would have a hard time getting elsewhere without paying a nice amount of dollars, for say a Renderman renderer. (The commercial Houdini, off course exports and is capable of using external renderers as well). But for 99 bucks, you will not find a better deal. I Promisio.
Go for it! Download a completely free and not time restricted Apprentice edition or go for the no-watermark, up until HD resolution Apprentice HD from:
Just as a sidekick, I would like to mention that Houdini runs on Windows, Linux and OS X…