Houdini Engine for 3ds Max
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Getting Started

Install the plug-in

Houdini Engine for 3ds Max is bundled together with the Houdini installer. Once the Houdini installer is started, simply select the Houdini Engine for 3ds Max component, and the installer will install the plug-in to any currently supported versions of 3ds Max. The plug-in will be automatically available inside 3ds Max when the installation is finished.


Updating the plug-in

Updating the plugin follows the same procedure as installing the plugin. Simply install the version of Houdini you want to update to, making sure to select the Houdini Engine for 3ds max component, and the currently installed plugin will be overwritten by the new version.

Silent Install

The plugin can also be installed via the silent install feature of the Houdini installer. To include the Houdini Engine for 3ds Max plugin in a silent install of Houdini, specify /Engine3dsMax=Yes as an argument.

Here is an example call to the installer:

installer.exe /S /Engine3dsMax=Yes

Verifying the Installation

After the plugin is installed or updated, and after opening or re-opening 3ds Max, there should be a Houdini Engine menu present. You can verify that the correct version of Houdini Engine is being used by selecting the menu and opening the "Version Information" panel. It should show the version of Houdini that you installed or updated to.


Load an asset

Navigate to the "Load Assets" tab and click the browse ("...") button and select the HDA file that you want to load. Once you have selected the asset, click the "Load Asset" button to load the asset. If it successfully loads you will see the asset appear in your "Loaded Houdini Digital Assets" list.


Create an asset

The plug-in supports the use of HDAs within 3ds Max as objects in the scene or as modifiers in an object's modifier stack.

To create a geometry asset, first select the asset that you want to use in the "Loaded Houdini Digital Assets" list and then click the "Create Object" button. The asset will be instantiated in the scene as an object.


To create a modifier asset, navigate to a node's modifier tab, select the modifier drop-down menu and choose "Houdini Digital Asset". You will then be prompted to select the HDA that you want to use as a modifier. Select the asset that you just loaded and if it succeeds, you will see the HDA instantiated as a modifier in that object's modifier stack.