Houdini 18.5 Nodes LOP nodes

Render Geometry Settings

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

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Since 18.0


Many renderers have custom settings that can be set on a per-geometry basis, such as sampling rates, motion blur control, and dicing quality. These properties are not generally applicable enough to be part of the USD standard, but can be very important for batch rendering targeted at a specific renderer.

These geometry settings are different from the settings on a Render Settings primitive because they do not affect the rendering of the entire scene. They only affect the targeted geometry primitives. Renderer-specific light settings are already provided on the Light LOP itself, and so will not appear on this node.

This node provides a way to set these renderer-specific setting on a set of geometry primitives.


To find out how to add parameters for a third-party renderer, see "USD Hydra: Customizing for Houdini" in the HDK documentation.


  • Individual renderers can set values from these parameters as USD attributes, or as primvars. (Karma sets them as primvars.)

  • Storing the settings in primvars allows them to be inherited down the scene graph hierarchy, so it is easier to apply a particular setting to large numbers of geometry primitives.

How to

  1. Specify the geometry primitives you want to apply settings to in the Primitives parameter.

  2. Use the pop-up menu to the left of the parameters to control how the node authors the opinion for that setting.

    Pop-up menu item


    Set or Create

    Sets the attribute to the given value, whether it previously existed or not.

    Set If Exists

    Only set the attribute to the given value if it previously existed.

    Use this mode to make sure an attribute is only set on primitives of the correct type. For example, only UsdGeomSphere primitives are likely to have a radius attribute.


    Makes the attribute appear to not exist, so it takes on its default value. (If the attribute doesn’t already exist on the prim, this does nothing.)

    Do Nothing

    Ignore this parameter, don’t create or change the attribute in any way.



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).


Enable Motion Blur

Whether to enable motion blur. Changing this in the display options will require a restart of the render.

Velocity Blur

This parameter lets you choose what type of geometry velocity blur to do on an object, if any. Separate from transform blur and deformation blur, you can render motion blur based on point movement, using attributes stored on the points that record change over time. You should use this type of blur if the number points in the geometry changes over time (for example, a particle simulation where points are born and die).

If your geometry changes topology frame-to-frame, Karma will not be able to interpolate the geometry to correctly calculate Motion Blur. In these cases, motion blur can use a v and/or accel attribute which is consistent even while the underlying geometry is changing. The surface of a fluid simulation is a good example of this. In this case, and other types of simulation data, the solvers will automatically create the velocity attribute.

No Velocity Blur

Do not render motion blur on this object, even if the renderer is set to allow motion blur.

Velocity Blur

To use velocity blur, you must compute and store point velocities in a point attribute v. The renderer uses this attribute, if it exists, to render velocity motion blur (assuming the renderer is set to allow motion blur). The v attribute may be created automatically by simulation nodes (such as particle DOPs), or you can compute and add it using the Point velocity SOP.

The v attribute value is measured in Houdini units per second.

Acceleration Blur

To use acceleration blur, you must compute and store point acceleration in a point attribute accel. The renderer uses this attribute, if it exists, to render multi-segment acceleration motion blur (assuming the renderer is set to allow motion blur). The accel attribute may be created automatically by simulation nodes, or you can compute and add it using the Point velocity SOP.

When Acceleration Blur is on, if the geometry has a angular velocity attribute (w), rapid rotation will also be blurred. This should be a vector attribute, where the components represent rotation speeds in radians per second around X, Y, and Z.

When this is set to "Velocity Blur" or "Acceleration Blur", deformation blur is not applied to the object. When this is set to "Acceleration Blur", use the karma:object:geosamples property to set the number of acceleration samples.

Velocity motion blur used the velocity attribute (v) to do linear motion blur.
Acceleration motion blur uses the change in velocity to more accurately blue objects turning at high speed.
Angular acceleration blur works with object spin, such as these fast-spinning cubes.

Geometry Time Samples

The number of sub-frame samples to compute when rendering deformation motion blur over the shutter open time. The default is 1 (sample only at the start of the shutter time), giving no deformation blur by default. If you want rapidly deforming geometry to blur properly, you must increase this value to 2 or more. Note that this value is limited by the number of sub-samples available in the USD file being rendered. An exception to this is the USD Skel deformer which allows.

"Deformation" may refer to simple transformations at the Geometry (SOP) level, or actual surface deformation, such as a character or object which changes shape rapidly over the course of a frame.

Objects whose deformations are quite complex within a single frame will require a higher number of Geo Time Samples.

Deformation blur also lets you blur attribute change over the shutter time. For example, if point colors are changing rapidly as the object moves, you can blur the Cd attribute.

Increasing the number of Geo Time Samples can have an impact on the amount of memory Karma uses. For each additional Sample, Karma must retain a copy of the geometry in memory while it samples across the shutter time. When optimizing your renders, it is a good idea to find the minimum number of Geo Time Samples necessary to create a smooth motion trail.

Deformation blur is ignored for objects that have Velocity motion blur turned on.

Transform Time Samples

The number of samples to compute when rendering transformation motion blur over the shutter open time. The default is 2 samples (at the start and end of the shutter time), giving one blurred segment.

If you have object moving and changing direction extremely quickly, you might want to increase the number of samples to capture the sub-frame direction changes.

In the above example, it requires 40 transformation samples to correctly render the complex motion that occurs within one frame. (This amount of change within a single frame is very unusual and only used as a demonstration.)

Transformation blur simulates blur by interpolating each object’s transformation between frames, so it’s cheap to compute but does not capture surface deformation. To enable blurring deforming geometry, increase karma:object:geosamples.

Dicing Quality

This parameter controls the geometric subdivision resolution for smooth surfaces (subdivision surfaces and displaced surfaces). With all other parameters at their defaults, a value of 1 means that approximately 1 micropolygon will be created per pixel. A higher value will generate smaller micropolygons meaning that more shading will occur - but the quality will be higher.

The effect of changing the shading quality is to increase or decrease the amount of shading by a factor of karma:object:dicingquality squared - so a shading quality of 2 will perform 4 times as much shading and a shading quality of 0.5 will perform 1/4 times as much shading.

Diffuse Samples

Specifies the quality of indirect diffuse shading. A value of one translates to roughly one additional diffuse sample per shading computation. A sample of 4 translates to roughly 4 additional diffuse samples per shading computation.

Reflect Samples

Specifies the quality of indirect reflection shading. A value of one translates to roughly one additional reflection sample per shading computation. A sample of 4 translates to roughly 4 additional reflection samples per shading computation.

Refract Samples

Specifies the quality of indirect refraction shading. A value of one translates to roughly one additional refraction sample per shading computation. A sample of 4 translates to roughly 4 additional refraction samples per shading computation.

Volume Samples

Specifies the quality of indirect volumetric shading. A value of one translates to roughly one additional volumetric sample per shading computation. A sample of 4 translates to roughly 4 additional volumetric samples per shading computation.

SSS Samples

Specifies the quality of indirect sub-surface scattering shading. A value of one translates to roughly one additional sub-surface scattering sample per shading computation. A sample of 4 translates to roughly 4 additional sub-surface scattering samples per shading computation.

Diffuse Limit

The number of times diffuse rays can propagate through your scene.

Unlike the Reflect and Refract Limits, this parameter will increase the overall amount of light in your scene and contribute to the majority of global illumination. With this parameter set above zero diffuse surfaces will accumulate light from other objects in addition to direct light sources.

In this example, increasing the Diffuse Limit has a dramatic effect on the appearance of the final image. To replicate realistic lighting conditions, it is often necessary to increase the Diffuse Limit. However, since the amount of light contribution usually decreases with each diffuse bounce, increasing the Diffuse Limit beyond 4 does little to improve the visual fidelity of a scene. Additionally, increasing the Diffuse Limit can dramatically increase noise levels and render times.

Reflection Limit

The number of times a ray can be reflected in your scene.

This example shows a classic "Hall of Mirrors" scenario with the subject placed between two mirrors.

This effectively creates an infinite series of reflections.

From this camera angle the reflection limits are very obvious and have a large impact on the accuracy of the final image. However, in most cases the reflection limit will be more subtle, allowing you to reduce the number of reflections in your scene and optimize the time it takes to render them.

Remember that the first time a light source is reflected in an object, it is considered a direct reflection. Therefore, even with Reflect Limit set to 0, you will still see specular reflections of light sources.

Refraction Limit

This parameter control the number of times a ray be refracted in your scene.

This example shows a simple scene with ten grids all in a row.

By applying a refractive shader, we will be able see through the grids to an image of a sunset in the background.

From this camera angle, in order for the image to be accurate, the refraction limit must match the number of grids that that are in the scene. However, most scenes will not have this number of refractive objects all in a row and so it is possible to reduce the refract limit without affecting the final image while also reducing the time it takes to render them.

Keep in mind that this Refract Limit refers to the number of surfaces that the ray must travel through, not the number of objects.

Remember that the first time a light source is refracted through a surface, it is considered a direct refraction. Therefore, even with Refract Limit set to 0, you will see refractions of Light Sources. However, since most objects in your scene will have at least two surfaces between it and the light source, direct refractions are often not evident in your final render.

Volume Limit

The number of times a volumetric ray can propagate through a scene. It functions in a similar fashion to the Diffuse Limit parameter.

Increasing the Volume Limit parameter will result in much more realistic volumetric effects. This is especially noticeable in situations where only part of a volume is receiving direct lighting. Also, in order for a volumetric object to receive indirect light from other objects, the Volume Limit parameter must be set above 0.

With the Volume Limit set to values above zero, the fog volume takes on the characteristic light scattering you would expect from light traveling through a volume. However, as with the Diffuse Limit, the light contribution generally decreases with each bounced ray and therefore using values above 4 does not necessarily result in a noticeably more realistic image.

Also, increasing the value of this parameter can dramatically increase the amount of time spent rendering volumetric images.

SSS Limit

Volume Sampling Mode

Volume Step Rate

Uniform Volume

Uniform Volume Density

Visibility Mask

Trace Sets

Light Categories

Is Matte

When this is set, the object will be considered to be "matte". That is, no illumination will be computed, the opacity of the surface will be used to occlude objects behind the object, but there will be no alpha written into the output image.

Render Points As

When rendering point clouds, they can be rendered as camera oriented discs, spheres or discs oriented to the normal attribute.

Render Curves As

When rendering curves, they can be rendered as ribbons oriented to face the camera, rounded tubes or ribbons oriented to the normal attribute attached to the points.

Override Curves Basis

USD supports Curve Basis types that may not be supported directly in Houdini. In some cases, you may want to override the Houdini curve basis. For example, if you have linear curves in Houdini, you may want to render them with a Bezier, B-Spline or Catmull-Rom basis. This menu will force Karma to override the basis that’s tied to the USD primitives.

Note that the topology of the curves must match the target basis. For example, when selecting any cubic curve basis, every curves must have at least 4 vertices. For the Bezier basis, curves must have 4 + 3*N vertices.

Treat As Light Source

Any object with an emissive material will generate light within the scene. If an object is significant enough (eg size, brightness, etc…) then it is possible for Karma to treat that object as if it were an explicit lightsource (similar to regular lights), meaning the emitted light will be handled much more efficiently. But doing so will add extra overhead elsewhere in the system (eg increased memory usage, slower update times, etc…).

There are three options. "No" will set the object as not being a lightsource. "Yes" will set the object as being a lightsource. "Auto" (default) means Karma will use an internal heuristic to decide if the object should be treated as a lightsource.

Fix Shadow Terminator

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.

  • 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.

  • 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 a collection using selected prims.

  • Collection

    Creates/edits collections using primitive patterns.

  • 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 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.

  • Karma Procedural

    Sets up render-time instantiation for Karma.

  • Karma Render Properties

    Configure Render Properties for Karma (Beta).

  • Karma Standard Render Vars

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

  • LOP nodes

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

  • 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.

  • 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 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).

  • Retime Instances

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

  • 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 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 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

  • 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.