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External vs. internal file formats
External formats are implemented by standalone converter programs piped to Houdini. Internal formats are built into Houdini. Internal formats are slightly faster. You can create new external formats without using the Houdini Developer’s Kit.
How to write a custom importer/exporter
If you have a format that you would like to be able to read and/or write, you can write a converter from your file format to the equivalent native Houdini format and/or a converter from the equivalent native format to your format. Then, add an entry to the appropriate IO table in $HFS/houdini/support. The converter program can appear anywhere in the Houdini search path.
|Data type||Intermediate format||I/O table|
|Image||Any supported image format||
You should generally not modify files in $HFS/houdini. Copy the files under $HOME/houdini and modify them there.
Each line of an I/O table file contains the filename suffix, the command
to read the custom format (in quotes), and the command to write the
custom format (in quotes). Use
%s to represent the filename in the
Future formats will be added using this method.