Houdini Engine for Unreal
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Getting Started

Install

Houdini Engine for Unreal is bundled together with the Houdini installer on Windows and Mac OS. Once the Houdini installer is started, simply select the Houdini Engine for Unreal component, and the installer will handle the rest. The plug-in will be available inside Unreal, when the installation finished.

More on installing

The installer performs the following steps:

  1. Extracts the Unreal plug-in for all supported Unreal versions. This includes the pre-built plug-in binary, source files and resource files. The extracted files can be found under the Houdini Install folder.
  2. Copies the extracted plug-in folder into the Unreal install folder.

Unreal will automatically load HoudiniEngine next time it is started. If another version of Unreal is installed later, it will not have the plug-in automatically. The plug-in can be installed by running the installer again.

Windows

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows 7
  • Unreal 4.18
  • Houdini or Houdini Engine 17.0

Fastest way to get the plug-in working inside Unreal:

  1. Download and launch the houdini-X.Y.Z-win64-vc14.exe installer, where X.Y.Z is the version of Houdini.
  2. Follow the steps and make sure to select the Houdini Engine for Unreal option on the Houdini Engine installer screen.
  3. Launch Unreal.

During the install:

C:\Program Files\Side Effects Software\Houdini X.Y.Z\engine\unreal\4.18\HoudiniEngine

is copied to:

C:\Program Files\Epic Games\UE_4.18\Engine\Plugins\Runtime\HoudiniEngine

macOS

Minimum Requirements:

  • macOS/OSX 10.12
  • Unreal 4.18
  • Houdini or Houdini Engine 17.0

Fastest way to get the plug-in working inside Unreal:

  1. Download and launch the houdini-X.Y.Z-macosx_*.dmg installer, where X.Y.Z is the version of Houdini.
  2. Follow the steps and make sure to select the Houdini Engine for Unreal option.
  3. Launch Unreal

During the install:

/Applications/Houdini/HoudiniX.Y.Z/Houdini Engine/unreal/4.18/Houdini Engine

is copied to:

/Users/Shared/Epic Games/UE_4.18/Engine/Plugins/Runtime/HoudiniEngine

Linux

The Houdini Engine for Unreal is not officially supported on Linux, so the plug-in's binaries are not available on Linux as part of the installer. However, the plug-in can still be compiled using the sources from the Github repository and used with the Linux version of Unreal.

To do so, simply follow the instructions under theInstalling from Source section on the Github repository to build the plug-in.

Note
Library conflicts introduced in Unreal 4.17 prevent the plug-in to work with an In-Process session on Linux. Always make sure to use an NamedPipe or TCPSocket session.
Do not forget to call "source houdini_setup" from the Houdini installed folder that matches the plug-in (generally /opt/hfs16.5.XXX). This will prevent the Houdini Engine session from failing to be created.

Verify the plug-in is loaded

Once the Unreal plug-in has been installed, you can verify that it has been loaded in Unreal by opening the Project Settings window and navigating to the Plugins section. Houdini Engine will be listed amongst the plug-ins.

You can also check the version of Houdini the plugin was built against and is currently running against in the Plugin Information section. The "Built Against" and "Running Against" version numbers should match for the plug-in to work.

Unreal_ProjectSettingsHoudini.png

First Steps

The Houdini Engine plug-in provides the ability to import data generated by a Houdini Digital Asset (.hda) directly into Unreal via custom Unreal Assets which create Actors with custom Components: HoudiniAssetComponent.

These expose the Digital Asset's Parameters and Inputs and marshall the cooked Outputs as new Components.

More details are provided in the relevant sections.