Houdini 5 is to integrate support for the mental ray renderer, according to makers Side Effects Software. Scheduled for a first public outing at Siggraph 2001 on August 12, the Mental Ray renderer is considered by many industry users as the most powerful renderer in the business. Mental Ray makers Mental Images says the addition will marry well with Houdini’s procedural power. The company says that Mental Ray is the only commercially available rendering software that combines the physically correct simulation of behaviour of light with full programmability. The result is photorealistic imagry created via its fully scalable parallel rendering features. Houdini is a comprehensive 3D studio, says Side Effects Software, and the addition of the Mental Ray renderer will add more freedom for users. It includes tools for modelling, animating, compositing, characters, textures, shaders, and rendering. It was used for films such as The Mummy Returns, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, X-Men, Hollow Man, and The Matrix.