In various places in Houdini, nodes may have a parameter which expects a file name of a file containing a specific type of data. In these types of parameters you can usually use
op:/path/to/node instead of a file name to grab data from live nodes in the scene hierarchy instead of from a file.
For example, the Volume Sample from File VOP gets the value at a certain position in a volume. It has a Geometry file parameter for a volume file name, but you could sample a volume in a SOP network instead of a file on disk using something like:
...as the value of the Geometry file parameter.
This works for (at least) the following common file types:
Geometry file: surface node (SOP)
Image file: compositing node (COP)
Channel data file: channel node (CHOP)
Relative op: references
The path after
op: must be an absolute path (that is, starting from the root of the scene hierarchy with
/). However, you can work around this by converting a relative path to an absolute path using the opfullpath expression function inside backticks: