Side Effects is holding its Annual Houdini Meeting at Siggraph on August 8. The main event of the meeting will be the official unveiling of Houdini 7, the latest release of its 3D animation and effects software.

Houdini 7 has been available as a beta release from the Side Effects Web site since June. An official release date for version 7 hasn't yet been announced. New features promised include character rigging and deformation tools, a streamlined animation workflow, a RenderMan shader builder and the new Takes Manager.

The meeting also showcases cutting-edge animation and visual effects created by leading studios such as Digital Domain, Framestore CFC, Rhythm & Hues Studios and Sony Pictures Imageworks. The studios will speak about how Houdini was used in films such as Spider-Man 2, The Day After Tomorrow, Around the World in 80 Days, and Thunderbirds.

Side Effects, 3Dlabs and ATI will also host The Houdini Job Fair afterwards, where participating companies such as Disney Feature Animation, Digital Domain, DNA Productions and Rhythm & Hues Studios will be recruiting new talent, the company claims.

More details are available from the Side Effects Web site.