Houdini for astrophysical visualization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapid growth in scale and complexity of both computational and observational astrophysics over the past decade necessitates efficient and intuitive methods for examining and visualizing large data sets. Here, we discuss some newly developed tools used to import and manipulate astrophysical data into the three-dimensional visual effects software, Houdini. This software is widely used by visual effects artists, but a recently implemented Python API now allows astronomers to more easily use Houdini as a visualization tool. This paper includes a description of features, workflow, and various example visualizations. The project website, www.ytini.com, is aimed at a scientific audience and contains Houdini tutorials and links to the Python script Bitbucket repository to simplify the process of importing and rendering astrophysical data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number058008
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number975
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Methods: Data analysis
  • Methods: Numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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