Side Effects' Houdini software is renowned as one of the world's best 3D animation and visual effects tool. Whether you're a student learning all there is to 3D design or a professional creating animations you'll need to get hold of this app.
The application comes with a set of powerful tools and effects, such as factures and debris, wave or impressive fire and smoke effects. The advanced fur system also ensures fur on animals looks realistic.
Another strong feature of the application is its node based workflow. All changes you make to an animation are saved as nodes in a network by Houdini, sou you can establish connections and quickly move through your modifications.
The node based workflow also makes it easy to collaborate with other users on the same project.
One of the latest features you'll find in Houdini is Autodesk FBX Export, which improves integration of the program with other software.
This new feature supports numerous parameters such as lights, skeletons, weighted skins or particles.
You'll probably have gotten this by now: Houdini is a powerful application.
This is why you really need 64 bit processors to run it properly. The free version does have a few limitations, notably regarding the format and resolution, but it's well worth having, just for the quality of the program.