Houdini 19.0 Nodes LOP nodes

Configure Primitives

Edits various metadata on one or more primitives.

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Since 18.0


The metadata on primitives is a “grab bag” of useful settings, such as:

  • Visibility and draw mode.

  • For what types of render the prim is used.

  • Bookkeeping information such as references to files on disk.

  • How primitives are traversed.

  • Space where studios or tools can store their own arbitrary per-prim data.


  • This node will only author a bit of metadata if the corresponding parameter has its checkbox turned on. If the checkbox for a parameter is off, the node will not change any existing metadata corresponding to that parameter.

  • You can easily switch the draw mode of primitives in the scene using the controls in the Scene Graph Tree pane. The controls in the pane modify an in-memory “view layer” that is not saved to disk, so they are more useful for working interactively.



The primitive(s) the node should operate on. You can drag primitives from the scene graph tree pane into this textbox to add their paths, or click the Reselect button beside the text box to select the primitives in the viewer, or ⌃ Ctrl-click the Reselect button to choose prims from a pop-up tree window. You can also use primitive patterns for advanced matching, including matching all prims in a collection (using /path/to/prim.collection:name).


Set the primitive’s type. Changing the type of an existing primitive can lead to unexpected results, as all existing attributes on the primitive will remain, and not all attributes have any meaning or the same meaning in a different primitive type. However this capability can be invaluable in performing low level corrections to scenes that may have been authored incorrectly.


Set the primitive’s specifier in the active layer. Note that this may not change the composed specifier for the primitive, depending on whether a different specifier is already set in another layer. In particular, an Over specifier opinion is weaker than any other specifier opinion, even if the other opinion is on a weaker layer.


Set the primitive’s purpose. Purposes are a way to control what gets rendered. The viewer/renderer only shows primitives tagged with one of a specified set of purposes.


No set purpose, rendered by default.


Should be used to tag high-resolution geometry that should appear in final renders.


Should be used to tag faster/cheaper/lower-resolution proxy geometry. This may be used for test renders.


Should be sued to tag “guide geometry” that should appear in an interactive viewer but not a rendered image. For example, collision geometry for a simulation.

If you set up purposes on your primitives, then you can control visibility of all primitives with the same purpose at render time by setting what purposes are visible in the render settings.


If you set a primitive to have a Render purpose, there should be a corresponding prim with its purpose set to “Proxy”, and on the “Render” prim you should set the Proxy primitive (below) to the path of the “Proxy” prim.

Proxy Primitive

For a primitive with Render Purpose, this metadata holds the path to the primitive with Proxy purpose which corresponds to this render primitive.


See Kinds and the model hierarchy for an explanation of kinds and how they should be used. To maintain a proper model hierarchy, you should apply a kind to any prim whose descendants contain geometry.


Mark this prim as not having a kind.


Mark this prim as an “important” group of models (for example, if a prop is made up of smaller moving parts, the top level of the prop would be an Assembly, and the sub-parts would be Groups and/or Components).


Mark this prim as a group of models.


Mark this prim as a “leaf” model.


Mark this prim as a subordinate part under a Component model.


See Instancing for an explanation of instanceable primitives. If a prim is marked as “instanceable”, all duplicates of that prim (and its descendants) are automatically replaced with lightweight references to a single “master” instance. You can still change attributes on instanceable prim (for example, to give each instance its own transform), but you can’t edit any of its descendants.

Draw Mode

Controls how the renderer draws geometry under this prim. These options allow you to replace extremely heavy geometry in the viewer with faster, cheaper alternatives. Descendants of this prim will inherit this setting unless they change it.


You can easily switch the draw mode of primitives in the scene using the controls in the Scene Graph Tree pane. The controls in the pane modify an in-memory “view layer” that is not saved to disk, so they are more useful for working interactively.

Full Geometry

Draw the geometry as usual.

Origin Axes

Instead of drawing the geometry, draw a “jack” (three lines along the X, Y, and Z axes) aligned to the geometry’s local space, at its local origin.

Bounding Box

Instead of drawing the geometry, draw a world-space-aligned box representing the bounding box of the geometry.

Textured Cards

Draws rectangular polygons with optional textures within or around the bounding box of this primitive. A variety of other attributes are used to control the appearance of these cards. They may be drawn as a bounding box, or as three cards that meet at the origin. The texture maps for each of the six visible card faces are also controlled though attributes.


For performance reasons, the options for this metadata are Inherit or Invisible (there is no explicit “Visible” value). This means that when you mark a primitive is marked invisible, all its descendants are made invisible as well.

It can be useful to animate this setting over time, unlike most of the metadata on this node.


If you turn this off, the primitive has no effect on the scene (for example, a light object will not cast light), it becomes invisible, and behaves as if it has no children.

Asset Identifier

Stores the file path or asset ID of the file this primitive came from. USD does not use this metadata, but it may be useful for internal tools.

Asset Name

A human readable name that may describe the asset. This may be authored by a pipeline/asset management tool. USD does not use this metadata, but it may be useful for internal tools.

Asset Version

For version-controlled assets, the version number of the asset when the scene was authored. This may be authored by a pipeline/asset management tool. USD does not use this metadata, but it may be useful for internal tools.

Asset Dependencies

An optional list of other files that are loaded indirectly by the asset file. This may be authored by a pipeline/asset management tool. USD does not use this metadata, but it may be useful for internal tools.


A path to an icon or image file that should be associated with the selected primitives in the Scene Graph Tree. This icon path is stored in a the primitive’s custom data dictionary.

Allow LOPs to Edit This Primitive

Applies a Houdini-specific attribute to the primitive which controls whether Edit Properties LOP node are allowed to modify this primitive. Disallowing the editing of a particular primitive can be used to prevent accidental modifications of cameras or other critical scene elements. Note that this toggle does not affect all edits of this primitive in LOPs, only the Edit Properties type LOP nodes respect this attribute.

Hide Primitive In Scene Graph Trees

Sets the hidden USD metadata to the primitive which controls whether or not this primitive (and its descendants) should be visible in the scene graph tree pane. Primitives tagged as hidden will still be visible in the viewport unless the primitive is also marked as invisible or inactive. Note that the scene graph tree pane provides an option to ignore this attribute (primarily for debugging purposes).

Apply API Schemas

See schemas for an explanation of API schemas. Primitives automatically keep a record of which API schemas have been “applied” to them. This parameter allows to list additional API schemas to apply to this primitive.

Number of Custom Data

The metadata of every prim contains a dictionary for use by software packages and/or studios to store custom data. You can set or edit multiple custom key-value pairs here. Set the number of items to set/edit, or use the plus and minus buttons to add or remove items.

Custom Data Name

For each item of custom data, the name of the item.

Custom Data Type

For each item of custom data, the data type of the value.


The value is stored as a single string.

String Array

The value is parsed into an array of substring, respecting quotes to group space separated words into a single substring.


Like a string, but represented as a USD Token, which generally should not contain spaces. Using this specific data type may be necessary to match scripts or tools later in your pipeline.

Token Array

Like a string array, but because USD Tokens generally aren’t expected to have spaces, the string is parsed into tokens using a simpler algorithm which ignores quotes and always splits the string where there is whitespace.


The value is stored as a floating point number.


The value is stored as a whole integer value.


The value is stored as a True or False value.

Custom Data Value

For each item of custom data, the value to associate with the name.

(Behind the scenes there are several different parameters (customdatastrvaluen, customdatafloatvaluen, customdataintvaluen, customdataboolvaluen) all labeled Custom data value, with the visible one controlled by whether the Custom data type value. This may be relevant if you are using expressions or scripting these values.)

See also

LOP nodes

  • Add Variant

    Adds one or more variants to a variant set on a primitive. This node creates the primitive if it doesn’t exist.

  • Additional Render Vars

    Create multiple render vars.

  • Asset Reference

    Reference, Transform, and select variants of a USD Asset.

  • Assign Material

    Assigns a material to one or more USD primitives. You can use also programmatically assign materials using VEX, programmatically override material settings for each assignment, and programmatically assign materials to geometry subsets.

  • Attribute VOP

    Create/edit USD attribute values using a VOP network.

  • Attribute Wrangle

    Create/edit USD primitive attributes using a VEX snippet.

  • Auto Select LOD

    Automatically selects a level-of-detail variant based on the primitive’s distance from the camera.

  • Background Plate

    Sets up hold-out or matte objects that leave holes in the scene through which the background is visible. These prims still take shadows and contribute to reflections as if they were the background.

  • Bake Skinning

    Bakes animation driven by a UsdSkel into transforms and point positions.

  • Basis Curves

    Creates or edits a basis curves shape primitive.

  • Begin Context Options Block

    This node begins a block of LOP nodes, within which certain context options have certain values.

  • Blend

    Partially applies edits to a layer’s attributes based on a fractional weight.

  • Blend Constraint

    Blends transforms according to a list of weights specified as parameters.

  • Cache

    Caches the results of cooking the network at different times, increasing playback speed.

  • Camera

    Adds a USD camera to the scene.

  • Capsule

    Creates or edits a capsule (tube with hemispherical ends) shape primitive.

  • Collection

    Creates/edits collections using primitive patterns.

  • Component Geometry

    Geometry container or import source, in a network created by the Component Builder tool.

  • Component Geometry Variants

    Sets up geometry variants, in a network created by the Component Builder tool.

  • Component Material

    Assigns materials to geometry in a network created by the Component Builder tool.

  • Component Output

    Assembles the final Component prim, in a network created by the Component Builder tool.

  • Cone

    Creates or edits a cone shape primitive.

  • Configure Layer

    Edits metadata on a layer.

  • Configure Primitives

    Edits various metadata on one or more primitives.

  • Configure Properties

    Configures metadata on properties (relationships and attributes).

  • Configure Stage

    Configures metadata for how to load layers into the stage and asset resolution.

  • Copy Property

    Copy properties from one primitive to another, or renames properties on a primitive.

  • Create LOD

    Uses the PolyReduce SOP to automatically generate multiple levels of detail from a high-res model, and stores them as USD variants.

  • Cube

    Creates or edits a cube shape primitive.

  • Cylinder

    Creates or edits a cylinder shape primitive.

  • Distant Light

    Creates or edits a USD Distant Light, representing a far-off light source such as the sun. Adds some useful Karma-specific attributes.

  • Dome Light

    Creates or edits a USD Dome Light prim. A dome light emits light inward, simulating light coming from the sky/environment surrounding the scene.

  • Drop

    Runs a simulation to drop primitives under gravity.

  • Duplicate

    Creates copies of a prim (and its descendants).

  • Edit

    Interactively transforms prims in the viewer. Can use physics collisions to position props realistically.

  • Edit Context Options

  • Edit Material

    Allows you to edit an existing USD material by modifying parameters and shader connections. This can be useful if the existing material is on a non-editable layer.

  • Edit Material Properties

    Lets you build a spare parameter interface that reflects material or shader input attributes to directly edit their values.

  • Edit Properties

    Lets you build a spare parameter interface to directly edit attribute and relationship values.

  • Edit Prototype

    Switch point instances or USD instanceable prims to instance a different prototype.

  • Edit Target Layer

    Allows you to apply edits directly in a lower layer, instead of overriding prims and attributes in the active layer.

  • Error

    Generates a message, warning, or error, which can show up on a parent asset.

  • Explore Variants

    Visualize, set, or extract variants on primitives.

  • Extract Instances

    Converts (heroes) an instance into a real editable prim.

  • Fetch

    Grabs the output of another LOP, potentially in another LOP network.

  • Follow Path Constraint

    Constrains a prim to follow a path curve.

  • For Each

    The end node of a For-Each loop block.

  • Geometry Sequence

    Imports a sequence of geometry files into LOPs as animated geometry.

  • Geometry Subset VOP

    Creates USD geometry subsets within geometry prims (similar to groups in SOPs) based on evaluating a VEXpression or VOP network.

  • Graft Branches

    Takes prims/branches from the second input and attaches them onto branches of the scene graph tree in the first input.

  • Graft Stages

    Takes scene graph trees from other inputs and attaches them onto branches of the scene graph tree in the first input.

  • HDA Dynamic Payload

    Cooks a OBJ or SOP asset on disk and imports the animated geometry output as a USD payload.

  • Hermite Curves

    Creates or edits a hermite curves shape primitive.

  • Inline USD

    Parses usda code representing a layer and adds it to the layer stack.

  • Insertion Point

    Represents a point in the node graph where nodes can be inserted.

  • Instancer

    Instances or copies primitives onto points.

  • Instancer

    Creates a constant volume within a box.

  • Instancer

    Create multiple render products sharing common settings.

  • Karma

    Renders the USD scene using Houdini’s Karma renderer.

  • Karma Procedural

    Sets up render-time instantiation for Karma.

  • Karma Render Properties

    Configure Render Properties for Karma.

  • Karma Standard Render Vars

    Create standard karma render vars (AOVs/Image Planes).

  • LOP nodes

    LOP nodes generate USD describing characters, props, lighting, and rendering.

  • LPE Tag

    Manage Lights LPE Tags.

  • Labs RizomUV Optimize

  • Labs RizomUV Rectangularize

  • Labs RizomUV Unwrap

  • Layer Break

    Starts a new active sublayer that subsequent nodes will edit, and indicates all previous layers will be discarded when saving to disk.

  • Layer Replace

    Replaces all uses of a certain layer with a substitute layer from its second input.

  • Layout

    Provides tools for populating a scene with instanced USD assets. You can place individual components, paint/scatter components in different ways using customizable brushes, and edit existing instances.

  • Light

    Creates or edits a USD Light prim. This node also adds some useful Karma-specific attributes.

  • Light Linker

    Creates USD light link properties based on rules.

  • Light Mixer

    Lets you interactively edit USD properties for multiple lights.

  • Load Layer for Editing

  • Loft Payload Info

    Adds basic information from inside a payload to the primitive that loads the payload.

  • Look At Constraint

    Constrains a prim to always point toward a target.

  • Mask from Bounds

    Sets a primvar based on whether/by how much selected prims are inside a bounding shape.

  • Material Library

    Authors USD material primitives from shader VOP nodes.

  • Material Linker

    Creates material assignments based on rules.

  • Material Variation

    Creates attributes/primvars to override material parameters per-prim/instance.

  • Merge LOP

    Merges the layers from incoming stages into a unified layer stack.

  • Mesh

    Creates or edits a mesh shape primitive.

  • Modify Paths

    Modify asset path attribute values.

  • Modify Point Instances

    Modifies point transforms and property values for individual point instances.

  • Null

    This node does nothing. It can be useful to insert a Null into a network as a fixed point in the network that you can refer to by name in expressions/scripts.

  • Output

    Represents the output of a subnetwork. Allows you to design a node asset with multiple outputs.

  • Parent Constraint

    Makes a primitive appear to inherit the transform hierarchy of another prim somewhere else in the tree.

  • Points

    Creates or edits a Points shape primitive.

  • Points Constraint

    Position and Orient primitives using point positions from a geometry.

  • Primitive

    Bulk-creates one or more attributes of a certain type.

  • Prune

    Hides or deactivates primitives and point instances.

  • Python Script

    Lets you write Python code in the node to use the USD API to directly manipulate the stage.

  • RBD Destruction

    An example of how to a fracturing simulation in USD, also useful as a canned effect.

  • Reference

    References the contents of an external USD file into a branch of the existing scene graph tree, or removes/replaces existing references.

  • Render Geometry Settings

    Applies renderer-specific geometry settings to geometry in the scene graph.

  • Render Product

    Creates or edits a UsdRenderProduct prim, which represents an output of a renderer (such as a rendered image file or other file-like artifact produced by a renderer), with attributes configuring how to generate the product.

  • Render Settings

    Creates or edits a UsdRenderSettings prim, which holds the general settings for rendering the scene.

  • Render Var

    Specifies a custom variable computed by the renderer and/or shaders, either a shader output or a light path expression (LPE).

  • Resample Transforms

    Generates interpolated transform time samples from existing time samples on USD prims.

  • Restructure Scene Graph

    This node has various operations for editing prim paths, variant sets, and composition arcs.

  • Retime Instances

    Offsets and/or scales the timing of animation on selected instances.

  • SOP Character Import

    Imports a character or animation from a SOP network into the USD scene graph.

  • SOP Create

    Lets you create geometry in a SOP subnetwork inside this node, so you can create geometry in-place in the LOP network instead of needing a separate SOP network.

  • SOP Crowd Import

    Imports a crowd from a SOP network into the USD scene graph.

  • SOP Import

    Imports geometry from a SOP network into the USD scene graph.

  • SOP Modify

    Converts USD geometry into SOP geometry, runs the SOP subnet inside this node on the geometry, and converts the changes back to USD overrides.

  • Scene Import

    Imports models, materials, and lights from the Object level into the LOP network.

  • Scope

    Creates a scope primitive. Scope is the simplest form of grouping, and does not have a transform. Scopes can be useful for organizing the scene tree.

  • Set Extents

    Sets the bounding box metadata of selected primitives.

  • Set Variant

    Selects (switches to) one of the variants stored in a variant set on a primitive.

  • Simulation Proxy

    Generates low-poly collison geometry suitable for physical simulation and creates a proxy relationship to the original model.

  • Sphere

    Creates or edits a sphere shape primitive.

  • Split Point Instancers

    Splits a point instancer into two or more instances, which divide up the original instances.

  • Split Primitive

    Splits USD geometry prims into child primitives based on geometry subsets or primvar values.

  • Stage Manager

    Provides a convenient interface to reference in many files at once and place them in the scene graph tree.

  • Store Parameter Values

    Lets you store temporary (unsaved) data in the stage.

  • Sublayer

    Imports from USD files or other LOP node chains into as sublayers, or removes/replaces/reorders existing sublayers.

  • Subnet

    Encapsulates a LOP subnetwork, allowing you to organize and hide parts of the network.

  • Surface Constraint

    Constrain a prim to stick to a surface.

  • Switch

    Passes through one of several inputs, based on a parameter choice or expression.

  • TimeShift

    Outputs the stage as it is at a different point in the timeline.

  • Transform

    Edits the transforms of selected USD primitives.

  • Transform UV

    Moves, rotates, and scales texture coordinates on USD primitives.


  • USD Render ROP

  • Unassign Material

    Unbinds a material from one or more USD primitives.

  • Value Clip

  • Vary Material Assignment

    Assign different materials across a number of prims to create variation.

  • Volume

    References volume data on disk into a volume prim containing field prims.

  • Xform

    Creates or edits an Xform prim. Xform (and its sub-classes) represents a transform in the scene tree.