Industry solutions

Explore our ecosystem


Media & Entertainment

Industry solutions

Explore our ecosystem


Product & E-Commerce

Industry solutions

Explore our ecosystem


Education & CommunityHelp

Chaos Help Center

What are you looking for?

podcast banner

Kim Davidson — President and CEO, SideFX


SideFX President and CEO Kim Davidson has been a luminary of the computer graphics industry since the 1980s. In this podcast, Kim delves into his history, recounting his early days with the PRISMS procedural graphics application and the subsequent development of Houdini, SideFX’s popular and Oscar-winning 3D animation software, which has delivered astounding visuals for everything from Jingle All the Way to Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Kim also shares his own journey in the industry, highlighting how his passions for art and science converged in the burgeoning world of CG. He reflects on the evolution of software and the industry over the past three decades, revealing how SideFX’s agile development and open approach to software standards, such as USD, have benefitted VFX artists and studios. 


SideFX Software >

Kim Davidson on LinkedIn >

Kim Davidson on Wikipedia >


0:05:14 Science, art, and architecture: Kim's background

0:09:24 Getting into CG at Omnibus

0:14:50 Running an internet software franchise - in 1986

0:19:29 Founding a company on flying logos

0:21:48 How PRISMS became Houdini

0:24:27 "The Last Starfighter," "Children of the Corn," and "TimeCop"

0:27:31 What Houdini did differently

0:33:18 The inspiration of Houdini's interface

0:35:50 How Houdini has evolved alongside the industry

0:40:08 Hydra, USD, and making software more open

0:45:18 The future for SideFX

0:49:02 The awards SideFX has won

0:50:36 What Kim wants to do next

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: December 11, 2023.
© Škoda Design

Subscribe to our blog.

Get the latest news, artist spotlight stories, tips and tricks delivered to your inbox.

By submitting your information you are agreeing to receive marketing messages from Chaos. You can opt-out at any time. Privacy Policy.

© 2024 Chaos Software EOOD. All Rights reserved. Chaos®, V-Ray® and Phoenix FD® are registered trademarks of Chaos Software EOOD in Bulgaria and/or other countries.