Houdini 18.5 Nodes TOP nodes

ROP Fetch TOP node

Creates work items that cook a ROP node or network.

On this page
Since 17.5

This node cooks a ROP node or network using TOPs in either the current .hip file or an external file. It creates one work item per frame, based on the frame generation parameters.

Optionally, you can batch the work items into a single job for all frames, or divide them into smaller groups of frames. This node cooks each batch as a single job on the farm or locally. Batching all frames into one job is typically used for simulations so that the simulation data can be kept in memory rather than be cached to disk. Smaller batch sizes, like a 4-frames-per job, can also help avoid overhead loading the .hip file when cooking a ROP that cooks quickly.

Tip

Oftentimes a custom driver node will write out several files which are not automatically picked up as output files by PDG.

However, if you give the driver node a toggle parameter named pdg_logoutput, and you toggle that parameter to true before it is cooked by the ROP Fetch, then its printed output will be parsed for lines that match the pattern OUTPUT_FILE:{file_path}; and each matched file_path will become output files for the ROP Fetch work items.

Tip

The $HH/help/files/pdg_examples/top_ocean example shows how you can use this node to cook ROPs in an existing scene file.

TOP Attributes

hip

string

The path to the .hip file that contains the ROP node.

outputparm

string

The name of the parameter on the target ROP node that contains the output file path. For example, when used with a ROP Geometry node, this attribute will be set to sopoutput.

executeparm

string

The name of the paramter on the target ROP node that is pressed in order to trigger a cook of the ROP node. If the node is an instance of hou.RopNode the hou.RopNode.render() method will be used instead of pressing a button parm. By default, this attribute is set to execute unless a custom button name is specified using the Execute Parm Name parameter.

rop

string

The ROP node path within the .hip file.

top

string

If the ROP is contained within a TOP asset, such as the ROP Geometry node, then this attribute is set to the path to that TOP node.

sourceop

string

If the Source Node Path is set, then this attribute contains the path to the source data used by the ROP this work item is cooking.

control

string

When running a distributed sim, this attribute is set to the path to the Control DOP node.

sharedserver

string

When running a distributed sim, this attribute is set to the identifier for the shared sim tracker process.

trackerhost

string

When running a distributed sim, this attribute is set to the hostname of the machine that has the distributed sim tracker.

trackerport

integer

When running a distributed sim, this attribute is set to the port used to connect to the sim tracker. In combination with trackerhost, this forms the complete address of the simulation tracker. For example, trackerhost:trackerpor.

range

float3

The start, end, and increment frame range values associated with the work item. If the work item is in a batch, then these values refer to the range for the entire batch.

slice

integer

When running a distributed sim, this attribute is set to the slice number associated with the work item.

slicetype

integer

The type of distributed sim being used, set to either 0 for particles or 1 for volumes.

slicedivs

integer3

When using volume slices, this attribute is set to the x, y, and z slice divisions.

tileindex

integer

When using the ROP Fetch node to cook a tiled Mantra render, this value is set to the render tile index associated with the work item.

ifdoutput

file

When using the ROP Fetch node to generate an IFD instead of render a scene, this will be set to the value of Output Picture, which is the path to the image file that will be written when the IFD is rendered with Mantra.

Parameters

ROP Fetch

Generate When

Determines when this node will generate work items. You should generally leave this set to "Automatic" unless you know the node requires a specific generation mode, or that the work items need to be generated dynamically.

All Upstream Items are Generated

This node will generate work items once all of the input nodes have generated their work items.

All Upstream Items are Cooked

This node will generate work items once all of the input nodes have cooked their work items.

Each Upstream Item is Cooked

This node will generate work items each time a work item in an input node is cooked.

Automatic

The generation mode is selected based on the generation mode of the input nodes. If any of the input nodes are generating work items when their inputs cook, this node will be set to Each Upstream Item is Cooked. Otherwise, it will be set to All Upstream Items are Generated.

Cache Mode

How the processor node handles work items that report expected file results.

Automatic

If the expected result file exists on disk, the work item is marked as cooked without being scheduled. If the file does not exist, the item is scheduled as normal. If upstream work item dependencies write out new files during a cook, the cache files on work items in this node will also be marked as out of date.

Automatic (Ignore Upstream)

The same as Automatic, except upstream file writes do not invalidate cache files on work items in this node.

Read Files

If the expected result file exists on disk, the work item is marked as cooked without being scheduled. Otherwise the work item is marked as failed.

Write Files

Work items are always scheduled and the excepted result file is ignored, even if it exists on disk.

ROP Cook Order

When ROP Path points to a chain of ROPs or a ROP network, this parameter determines how the ROP nodes should be cooked.

When set to Frame by Frame, the entire ROP chain is cooked for the current frame before moving onto the next frame in the sequence. Conversely, if the parameter is set to Node by None then each ROP node in the chain is cooked for the entire frame range, one ROP at a time.

This parameter only affects cooking when the ROP Fetch is configured to use batching or as a single work item for all frames.

ROP Path

The path to the ROP node or network that is cooked by this TOP node.

Tip

When cooking as a batch, the target ROP should have the preframe and postframe callback parms.

Execute Parm Name

When on, specifies the name of the button parameter on the ROP Path that should be pressed in order to trigger a cook of that node. If this paramter is not specified, the ROP Fetch will first try to use the render method on the ROP, and fallback to pressing the "execute" button if the target ROP node has no render method.

Source Node Path

When on, specifies the path to the underlying node or network that the ROP Path will use when the ROP evaluates. This creates a dependency between that node and this TOP node, so that this TOP node is correctly marked as dirty when the source node changes.

For example, if you're using this ROP Fetch node to cook a Geometry ROP, then you would set the value of this parameter to the SOP network associated with your Geometry ROP.

If this parameter is not set, then no dependency is created. Likewise, if External HIP File is on, this parameter is not used since the ROP being cooked is in a different .hip file.

External HIP File

When on, specifies the path to the .hip file that contains the ROP node.

This is most commonly used when generating a .hip file procedurally as part of an earlier step in the TOP network.

When selecting a ROP in the current file, it is not necessary to specify this parameter.

Reset $HIP On Cook

When on, sets the $HIP variable in the job to the value of the $HIP on the submitting machine. This can be used to keep $HIP-based file references in the scene file valid when it is copied to the scheduler working directory at the start of the PDG cook. The original .hip file can then be safely modified while the cook proceeds.

Output Paths From

Determines how PDG should detect output file cache paths for work items in this node. By default it will use the output path(s) from the ROP node specified using the ROP Path parameter, however its also possible to provide a list of custom file paths to use instead.

Output File Tag

When Output Paths From is set to ROP Node Parameters, this parameter can be used to specify a custom file tag for the output files.

By default, the ROP Fetch node tags output files based on their file extensions. You can use this parameter to override that behavior.

Output Parm Name

When Output Paths From is set to ROP Node Parameters, this parameter can be used to specify the name of the output file parameter on the target ROP node.

By default, for standard ROP nodes shipped with Houdini, PDG is able to automatically determine the output name based on the type of ROP. When using a custom ROP or a ROP that PDG fails to detect automatically, this parameter should be set to the string name of the output parameter on the ROP specified in the ROP Path field. If the output parameter is in a multiparm, you can specify the multiparm like outputfile#. This parameter can also be set to a space-separated list of output parm names.

Output Paths

Determines the number of custom output files, when Output Paths From is set to Custom Path List.

Output File

The path to a custom output file, which will be added as an expected output onto work items in this node. The file path can be an expression or contain work item attribute references.

Evaluate Using

Determines how the TOP node creates and executes work items.

When using Single Frame, the node creates one work item for each upstream frame. When using Frame Range, the node creates one work item per frame in the range for each upstream work item. When using ROP Node Configuration, the PDG cooks the ROP without passing any frame range options and uses whatever configuration is set on the target ROP.

Single Frame

The node creates a single work item per upstream item, and sets the new work item’s frame to match the upstream item’s frame. If there are no input nodes, then a single item set to frame 1 is created. You can override the single frame value with the Override Frame parameter.

Frame Range

For each upstream work item, the node creates the full frame range of work items. If there are no upstream items, the node creates one set of items for the specified frame range.

ROP Node Configuration

For each upstream work item, the node creates a single work item that cooks the ROP Path and PDG does not pass any frame range settings to the ROP node. The number of frames to cook is determined by the parameters on the ROP itself.

Override Frame

When this parameter is enabled, it overrides the frame used with the Single Frame Evaluation mode.

Frame Range

The frame start, end and step size to use when Frame Generation is set to Frame Range.

Cook Frames as Single Work Item

Groups the work for all frames into a single work item.

This is most commonly used when cooking a ROP that produces an FBX, Alembic, or USD file which contains multiple frames of data in the same file.

This parameter is only available when Evaluate Using is set to Frame Range.

Expand Input Files Across Frame Range

Spreads the input file list across the frame range.

For example, if the upstream work item has 100 output files and the frame range on this node is set to 1 to 50, then each work item in this node will have 2 input files. The first work item will have file 1 and file 2, the second work item will have file 3 and file 4, and so on.

This parameter is only available when Evaluate Using is set to Frame Range.

All Frames in One Batch

When on, work items from the same frame range are grouped into a batch that is scheduled as a single job. This is used for simulations where each frame depends on the previous frame, and it is advantageous to keep everything in memory.

Frames per Batch

By default, when this parameter is at 1 each work item is cooked as a separate job. When this parameter is set to a value greater than 1, work items are grouped into batches.

Cook Batch When

Determines when batches of frames are scheduled.

By default, the batch is scheduled once the dependencies for all frames are cooked. However, it is possible to schedule the batch as soon as its first frame can run.

All Frames are Ready

The batch is scheduled only when all dependencies on all frames in the batch are satisfied.

First Frame is Ready

The batch is scheduled as soon as its first frame is ready.

This is possible because the ROP wrapper script used by PDG ensures that subsequent frames correctly wait for their dependencies. This is done by communicating back to PDG as the job is running to check the status of the dependencies before each frame. This incurs slightly more network overhead, and requires ongoing communication between the job and PDG.

This option is not available when cooking a Composite ROP node since COP file nodes must be able to load their entire input file sequence on the first frame.

Automatically Set Missing Frames

When this toggle enabled, the node will attempt to assign a frame and range value to work items that are missing those values. It determines the range based on the number of input work items, and sets the frame based on the work item’s position in the input list. If only some of the input work items are missing a frame the behavior may be inconsistent.

Resume Partially Cached Batches

Determines whether or not batches produced by this node should resume cooking from partially cached output files. You should only enable this option for simulations if the DOP network itself is already configured to write sim cache files.

Distribution

Distributed Sim

When on, the node treats the target ROP as part of a distributed simulation. This enables the parameters for configuring a distributed sim, and disables the frame generation parameters.

Control DOP

The control DOP for the distributed sim.

Custom Tracker Port

When this parameter is enabled, the specified port is used for the sim tracker that transmits slice information between jobs. Otherwise, if this parameter is disabled, PDG will automatically use an available port.

Web Port

When this parameter is enabled, the specified port is used to host the web page for monitor distributed sim status. Otherwise, if this paramater is disabled, PDG will automatically use an available port.

Slice Type

The type of slicing used for the distributed sim.

Particles

Use the particle slicing method for the distributed sim.

Volumes

Use the volume slicing method for the distributed sim.

Slice Count

Specifies the number of slices for the distributed sim.

This parameter setting is only available when Slice Type is set to Particles.

Slice Divisions

Determines the x, y, and z volume divisions for the distributed sim.

This parameter setting is only available when Slice Type is set to Volumes.

Debugging

Enable Performance Monitor Logging

When this toggle is on, the Performance Monitor will be enabled when cooking the ROP. Performance information is printed to the work item log.

Save Debug .hip File

If this parameter is enabled, the state of .hip file containing the ROP node will be saved to the specified path after the cook has completed. This includes all wedge parameter and environment changes, or scene state modified by cooking the network. If the cook fails due to an error in the ROP evaluation the .hip file is still saved.

Report Debug Files as Outputs

When this parameter is enabled the performance monitor output file and debug .hip file will be reported as work item outputs, if they are enabled.

Service

Use ROP Fetch Service

When on, ROP Fetch cooks using the ROP Fetch service.

This parameter requires an active ROP Fetch service to be available. For more information on using services, see the PDG Service Manager documentation.

If the node is unable to connect to the service, ROP Fetch will cook in regular mode and add a warning to the node.

Service Name

This parameter specifies the name of the ROP Fetch service to use.

Schedulers

TOP Scheduler Override

This parameter overrides the TOP scheduler for this node.

Work Item Priority

This parameter determines how the current scheduler prioritizes the work items in this node.

Inherit From Upstream Item

The work items inherit their priority from their parent items. If a work item has no parent, its priority is set to 0.

Custom Expression

The work item priority is set to the value of Priority Expression.

Node Defines Priority

The work item priority is set based on the node’s own internal priority calculations.

This option is only available on the Python Processor TOP, ROP Fetch TOP, and ROP Output TOP nodes. These nodes define their own prioritization schemes that are implemented in their node logic.

Priority Expression

This parameter specifies an expression for work item priority. The expression is evaluated for each work item in the node.

This parameter is only available when Work Item Priority is set to Custom Expression.

External Files

File Dependencies

A list of files that should be copied to the PDG working directory before the first work item in this node is executed. This can be used to ensure that supporting files like digital assets and custom scripts are available for the work item job.

The specified paths can be absolute or relative to HOUDINI_PATH.

Examples

ROPFetch Example for ROP Fetch TOP node

This example demonstrates how to use the ROP Fetch TOP node to create work items that cook a ROP node.

See also

TOP nodes