Customer Support

Annual Upgrade Plan

For visual effects studios, games studios and 3D artists who want to maximize their investment in Houdini, the Annual Upgrade Plan provides key advantages such as production-level technical support and online daily builds containing the latest software enhancements. The plan includes access to the SideFX support team which is renowned for their fast, courteous service and high level of production expertise. Whether you are configuring Houdini, troubleshooting a production issue, or prototyping an effect for a new project, you can rely on our team to provide you with first class support.


Installation Support

All customers including Apprentice customers can contact us using our email support system to discuss installation and licensing issues. After that, only Annual Upgrade Plan Customers may contact our support team to discuss production issues.

Our Support Specialists can be contacted directly via support@sidefx.com . Be sure to include the following information in your email:

  • Your Operating system [Windows XP, etc.]
  • Version and Build Number of Houdini
  • Summary of the installation issue and a diagnostic file if you are having a licensing issue.

Before putting your e-mail together, we do strongly recommend that you review the Download and Installation FAQ beforehand as your particular issue may have already been addressed and resolved.


Production Support

Customers who are currently on an Annual Upgrade Plan can contact us using our email support system. Annual Upgrade Customers may contact our support team for assistance with issues configuring Houdini, troubleshooting a production issue or prototyping an effect for a new project.

Our Support Specialists can be contacted directly via support@sidefx.com . Be sure to include the following information in your email:

  • Your Operating system [Windows XP, etc.]
  • Version and Build Number of Houdini
  • Summary of the issue. Please follow the instructions below on how to prepare it for submission.


How to Submit Production Files

  1. First produce a separate .hip file that trims down the problem as soon as possible.
  2. Now with the .hip file loaded, go to the main menu and choose Tools > Operator Type Manager > Configuration. Ensure that Save Operator Definitions to Hip File is enabled. If this was NOT enabled, it needs to be turned back off when this procedure is done.
  3. Now resave the .hip file. Check that the file size of this .hip file has increased to reflect the fact that the HDAs are now embedded.
  4. Compress the .hip file and name the compressed archive appropriately. Be sure to include your name.
  5. Upload the compressed archive via ftp to ftp.sidefx.com as an anonymous user. Put it in the incoming directory.
  6. Email support with the exact filename of the archive uploaded.

If other external files are needed to reproduce the problem, an exact list can be obtained via the following procedure:

  1. With the .hip file loaded, choose Windows > (Hscript) Textport
  2. In the new Textport window, type: opextern -rR /
  3. Package up the files into a compressed archive. If it's 3 MB or smaller, it can be emailed. Otherwise, use the ftp server as described above.

For compositing [COPs] related bugs, the scene file often requires various external image files. Follow the two procedures above except don't bother packaging up the externally referenced images because they will be too large and we can probably reproduce the problem without them anyhow. What is important though is to determine the exact image characteristics of the file. To obtain this information, we can use the iinfo command line tool (from outside of Houdini). Simply run: iinfo my_image_filename. Include the name of each image and it's iinfo output in the bug description.