At the SIGGRAPH 2002conference, Side Effects Software has announced Houdini Halo, astand-alone compositing and image-editing application, which will beavailable in the fourth quarter of 2002. Houdini Halo is the newestaddition to the Houdini family of 3D software products, which alsoincludes Houdini Master, Houdini Select and Houdini Escape. Halo'sfeatures include an interactive, visual way of creating customshaders, composite operators and more, without the need to writecode. In addition, Halo has full floating point and deep rastersupport, and offers integration with the rest of the Houdini familyof products. "In 2002, the effects software industry experiencedsignificant changes, particularly in the realm of compositing, withApple's acquisition of Shake and Rayz. In light of these changes,there has been a rising demand among professional effects artists forsolid compositing solutions that fit into their existing NT andLinux-based production pipelines," explained Tony Cristiano, generalmanager, Side Effects Software US. "With our compositing architecturerefined over a decade, Side Effects Software is pleased to offer astandalone, Hollywood-level compositing and image editing solutionbased on the same functionality of Houdini 5.5 to serve this group ofartists." All Houdini applications are available for the NT, Linux,IRIX and Solaris operating systems. Houdini has been used to createdigital animation in many feature films including SPIDER-MAN, THELORD OF THE RINGS, X-MEN and THE MATRIX.