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Houdini Engine For Steam

Houdini Engine Indie lets you load and use Houdini Digital Assets, created in Houdini Indie, and use them right inside game editors such as Unity or Unreal Engine, or 3D applications such as Autodesk Maya.

Houdini Engine Indie serves as the pipe allowing the flow of geometry and data between your favorite host application, and Houdini.

To get started, simply install one of the provided plug-in in your host application of choice and start a Houdini Engine session. You will now have full access to the procedural workflows offered by Houdini Digital Assets.

Houdini Engine Indie For Steam Server (HARS)

Upon launching Houdini Engine Indie, you will see a simple command line window for HARS, the Houdini Engine Indie Remote Server.

HARS is actually a full instance of Houdini Indie, without a graphical user interface, that Houdini Engine plugins connect to. It is responsible of generating and processing all the data and input parameters used and created by Houdini Digital Assets, and will send the resulting geometry and data to your host application via the Houdini Engine plug-ins.

The Houdini Engine plugins can be found under the engine folder, in your Houdini Engine Indie for Steam install directory.

To access that directory:

  • Right click on Houdini Engine Indie in your Steam Library.
  • Click on Properties.
  • Click on the Local Files tab.
  • Click on "Browse Local Files".
  • Open the "engine" folder.

If you have Houdini Indie, you can automatically install the different Houdini Engine Plugins by using the Houdini Engine Plugin Installer shelf tool, located in the houdini engine tab.

Houdini Engine for Unreal

Houdini Engine comes with plug-ins for the latest two versions of Unreal Engine. The plugins can be found in the engine/unreal folder in your Houdini Engine Indie for Steam install folder.

Install the unreal plug-in

To manually install the Unreal plug-in, simply copy the HoudiniEngine folder for the version of Unreal you are using to the Engine/Plugins/Runtime/ folder of your Unreal Engine install directory.

    As an example, for the Unreal 4.20 plug-in:
    - Copy the engine/unreal/4.20/HoudiniEngine folder to UE4.20/Engine/Plugins/Runtime/
    - You should end up with a UE4.20/Engine/Plugins/Runtime/HoudiniEngine folder.

Using the unreal plug-in

To verify that the Unreal plug-in has been installed successfully, launch both Unreal Engine and Houdini Engine Indie. You should now see a HoudiniEngine tab in the placement Mode panel on the left side of your screen. Drag and drop one of the sample assets in the Houdini Engine tab in your level viewport. The asset will cook, displaying the result geometry, and you can see the parameter interface of that asset in the Details Panel.

The HARS command window should also indicate that a client successfully connected to it.

The unreal plugin should be configured by default to function with Houdini Engine Indie for Steam. But it is advised that you check the Houdini Engine Session settings under Project Settings > Plugins > Houdini Engine, and make sure that the Session Type, Session Port/Name and Autostart server value matches the one displayed by HARS.

For more information on how to use the Unreal plugin, please consult the - Houdini Engine for Unreal documentation.

Updating the unreal plug-in

After Houdini Engine Indie receives an update, you will need to manually update the plugin by copying the HoudiniEngine folder again to the Engine/Plugins/Runtime/ folder of your unreal engine install folder again.

Houdini Engine for Unity

Install the Unity plug-in

The unity plug-in can be found in the engine/unity subfolders in your Houdini Engine Indie for Steam folder. To install the plug-in into your unity project, from the Unity menu, go to Assets > Import Package > Custom Package, and choose the HoudiniEngineUnity_v2_beta.unitypackage. Make sure all the files are selected (they should be by default), and select Import.

It should install the plug-in into the Assets/Plugins/HoudiniEngineUnity folder.

Using the Unity plug-in

To verify that the plugin has been loaded successfully, launch Unity. You should see a Houdini Engine Unity menu at the top. Select Houdini Engine Unity > New Curve Asset from the menu.

If successfully installed, a new GameObject will be created in the Hierarchy window and automatically selected. The Scene window will display the new Curve Editor, and the Inspector will display the new interface for working with HDAs.

The Unity plugin should be configured by default to function with Houdini Engine Indie for Steam. But it is advised that you check the Houdini Engine Session settings in the Houdini Engine Unity > Plugin Settings window, under the Session section matches the one displayed by HARS.

For more information on how to use the Unity plugin, please consult the - Houdini Engine for Unity documentation.

Updating the Unity plug-in

After Houdini Engine Indie receives an update, you will need to manually update the Unity plugin. Start by removing the previous version of the plugin by deleting the Assets/Plugins/HoudiniEngineUnity folder from your Unity project. You can then reimport the .unitypackage file of the plugin like when first installing it.

Houdini Engine for Maya

The Houdini Engine for Maya plugin can be found in the engine/maya folder in your Houdini Engine Indie for Steam install folder.

Install the Maya plug-in

To manually install the Houdini Engine for Maya plugin, you first need to edit the plug-in's module file. Go to the engine/maya/maya20XX folder in your Houdini Engine Indie for Steam install folder. (20XX being the version of Maya you want to install the plugin for). Inside that folder, edit the module file, HoudiniEngine-Maya20XX with your favorite text editor. Replace the REPLACE_WITH_HFS values in the file by the path to your Houdini Engine Indie for Steam install path. Copy the edited module file to the Modules directory in your Maya installation directory.

    For example, if trying to install the Maya2018 plugin,
    with the Houdini Engine for Steam installed in "E:\Steam\steamapps\common\Houdini Engine Indie":

    - Edit the "houdiniEngine-maya2018" file in "E:\Steam\steamapps\common\Houdini Engine Indie\engine\maya\maya2018".
    - replace the two occurences of REPLACE_WITH_HFS by E:\Steam\steamapps\common\Houdini Engine Indie

    The first two lines should be similar to:

    + houdiniEngine 1.0 E:/Steam/steamapps/common/Houdini Engine Indie/engine/maya/maya2018
    PATH += E:/Steam/steamapps/common/Houdini Engine Indie/engine/maya/maya2018/../../../bin

Using the Maya plug-in

Once the Maya plug-in has been installed, the houdiniEngine plugin can be loaded through Maya's plug-in manager. Once the plug-in has been loaded, the Houdini Engine menu should appear in the main menu.

The Maya plugin should be configured by default to function with Houdini Engine Indie for Steam. It is advised that you check that the Houdini Engine Session settings matches the one displayed by HARS.

For more information on how to use the Maya plugin, please consult the - Houdini Engine for Maya documentation.

Updating the Maya plug-in

After Houdini Engine Indie receives an update, the plugin will automatically be updated, as the modules file that was edited during the install process will already point to install directory that contains thew updated file. The module file should however, be edited again if you were to move your Houdini Engine Indie for Steam install location.