Blog Post

SideFX Houdini 18.5 KineFX

We are very excited to see this release of SideFX Houdini go gold (get it here). Brad (Rigging Dojo Founding Member) was brought in to provide feedback and offer some unique viewpoints to help bridge the gap between standard workflows and a modern motion retargeting system. What would it need and what are the expectations of how it work or would be used?

KineFx is the first real public facing upgrade to both rigging technology and motion capture processing that has happened, really since MotionBuilder 1.0 came out, something that Brad and Chad were, among a small group of other artists, part of before it was even a full program.

Some of the best parts are extremely fast FBX import, batch ability and easy to re-map and drive very different or custom skeletons between characters without having to conform to a specific pose or a Black Box pre-defined hierarchy or names. Manual steps and adjustments can be automated and reused without heavy code or scripts, including ground interactions, penetration fixes and mixing simulation and motion capture easily.

Check out the examples and for Maya users new to Houdini, check out the end of this post for a few free resources to help you get up to speed.

Watch this presentation from Henry on the KineFx system and learn more about Houdini 18.5 KineFX character tools for retargeting, motion editing, and in future releases, rigging and animation. This new system moves away from the BONE style system to looking at the rig like polygons. Points and edges, giving you access to animation data and rigging as geometry and all the power to manipulate that to literally sculpt the results through procedural systems.

01:05:18 Introducing KineFX | Henry Dean | SideFX HIVE | Day One

Ready to get started and explore the tools for retargeting? Start here with the KineFX Motion Retargeting Quickstart.

And Edit and Clean up data
Luiz will explore how the new KineFX character tools in Houdini can be used in support of gamedev projects. He will talk about the motion editing and retargeting tools and how they can be used to refine your motion libraries.

And some Auto Clavicle examples for realistic shoulders.

Need a camera on a path? Here is how to create the constraint to do it.

Here is a deeper look at the KineFX IK solver and Curve solver.

Check out the full character release page for other ideas and information or scroll down for a quick preview of what is new.

KineFX | SOP Joints

Import FBX characters to manipulate using KineFX tools. 

Posing Rigs

KineFX | Procedural Workflows

Full Body IK and Center of Balance compensation

KineFX | Motion Editing

“With Motion expressed as geometry, it becomes easy to visualize, edit and blend sequences for your rig.”

Motion Editing
Foot Stabilization
Motion Blending

KineFX | Vellum

The vellum dynamics used for cloth, soft bodies and wires can be integrated into your rigs to add secondary motion and realistic effects to your characters.

Maya to Houdini

Coming to Houdini from Maya or MotionBuilder or another software can be a little jarring but here are some great resources we have found helpful to get you going quickly.

Houdini Concepts for the Maya Artist | John Moncrief | SIGGRAPH 2018 (SideFX)

Maya to Houdini Transition Guide | Robert Magee | Houdini Hive Worldwide

Houdini Made Easy from HipFlask (Free Class)

Still wanting more? Check out this great and much deeper KineFX and Houdini resource at from


Senior Houdini Artist at @ThisIsRYOT, I make hips and gifs

Not yet ready to move to Houdini? That is okay we have some of the most advanced MotionBuilder training for both technical artists and animators workflows and have expanded to bring those same workflows to Blender as well.

Learn more at

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