Houdini 20.0 Reference Stand-alone utilities


Convert an image sequence to a movie file.

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mcp [-v] input_movie [input_audio] -o output_movie 


mcp converts a sequence of images to a single movie file, extracts image frames from a movie file, or re-encodes a movie file. The supported movie formats differ across platforms. Run mcp without any arguments to see the usage instructions, which include a list of supported formats.



Enables verbose output.


is one of:

filename.ext (where .ext is a supported input movie container extension)


-f min max [-i inc] xxx$Fxxx

-w width -h height -f 1 max stdin

min is the minimum frame number max is maximum frame number inc is the frame increment $F is a placeholder for the frame number within filenames.


is: -a [-x] audio_file

The -x option specifies that the audio is to be copied without transcoding.

Note: This option is not supported on all formats.


is: [-w width] [-h height] [-f min max] [-i inc]

[-c compression] [-r framerate] [-l lib:format] output_file

Note: After a movie is read in, its frame numbers are renumbered to the range 1,2,3,… the -f and -i options of the output_movie act on the new range. The default frame rate is 24 frames per second.


is one of:

filename.ext (where .ext is a supported output movie container extension)



-c <option_file>

Encoding some movie formats will display a dialog of available compression settings. This option suppresses this dialog and reads the relevant compression settings from the specified file, created earlier using the '-C' option. This option is not supported by all formats. See the usage output from mcp for details.

-C <option_file>

Encoding some movie formats will display a dialog of available compression settings. This option saves the chosen settings to the specified file so that they may be reused later with the '-c' option. This option is not supported by all formats. See the usage output from mcp for details.



This will display the usage message, including supported formats.

mcp -v -f 1 40 CorkScrew\$F.pic -o CorkScrew.avi 

This will convert a sequence of images from 1-40 named CorkScrew1.picCorkScrew40.pic to an avi file (if supported).

To save and reuse compression sessions, try:

mcp -v -f 1 150 -i 1 input\$F.pic -o -C settings filename1.mp4
mcp -v -f 1 150 -i 1 next_input\$F.pic -o -c settings filename2.mp4

Stand-alone utilities

  • abcconvert

    Convert between Alembic formats.

  • abcecho

    Print information about an Alembic file.

  • abcinfo

    Print information about an Alembic file.

  • chchan

    Copies channel collection to/from action channel format.

  • chcp

    Copies channel collection file to another format.

  • chinfo

    Prints information about a channel collection file.

  • claudio

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to/from audio formats.

  • clchan

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to/from action channel format.

  • clchn

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to/from channel collection format.

  • clcp

    Copies CHOP data (clip) to another format.

  • clinfo

    Prints information about a CHOP data (clip) file.

  • dsmconvert

  • dsmmerge

  • dsparse

    Parses and displays dialog scripts.

  • gabc

    Convert between Alembic and Houdini geometry.

  • gconvert

    Convert between Houdini polygon formats.

  • gdxf

    Converts DXF polygons to/from Houdini format.

  • geodiff

    Display Geometry Differences.

  • geps

    Converts EPS files to Houdini polygon format.

  • giges

  • ginfo

    Prints polygon file statistics.

  • glightwave

    Converts LightWave files to/from Houdini format.

  • gpdb

    Converts .pdb files to/from Houdini format.

  • gplay

    Geometry viewer.

  • gply

    Converts .ply files to/from Houdini format.

  • gptex

    Makes a ptexture image file from a geometry file.

  • greduce

    Reduces polygons in a file.

  • gwavefront

    Converts .obj files to/from Houdini format.

  • hcollapse

    Collapses a directory structure.

  • hcpio

  • hexpand

    Expands hip files into a directory structure.

  • hkey / License Administrator

    Opens a graphical user interface for viewing and managing licenses and license server options.

  • hoiiotool

    Swiss-army knife of image operation tools.

  • hotl utility

    Command line utility to work with .hda/.otl files.

  • hrender

  • hsc

  • hscript

    Command line HScript interpreter.

  • hserver

    Houdini communicates through this proxy server to the sesinetd licensing daemon.

  • htexcache

    Query or modify the disk texture cache.

  • husk

    Command line utility for rendering a USD file using Karma or some other Hydra client.

  • i3dconvert

  • iautocrop

    Crops images based on pixel values.

  • icineon

    Convert images from 10-bit Cineon format to an 8 bit format.

  • icomposite

  • iconvert

    Converts an image of one type to another type.

  • icp

    Isolate a region of an image in a new image.

  • idenoise

    Removes noise from an image file.

  • idiff

    Display Image Differences.

  • iflip - Flip Image

  • iinfo

    Outputs information about an image.

  • ilut

    Generates a lookup table (LUT) from standard channel formats or another LUT.

  • ilutcomp

    Generates a single lookup table (LUT) from from two LUTs.

  • ilutinfo

    Prints information about a lookup table (LUT) file.

  • imaketx

    Creates mipmapped .exr or .rat textures from image files.

  • imdisplay

    Sends an image to an mdisplay window.

  • iprint

    Prints the RGBA values for an image as text.

  • iquantize

    Reduces the number of colors in an image.

  • isixpack

    Generates an environment/reflection map from six images representing the six sides of a cube, or a cross image.

  • itilestitch

    Assemble a series of image files with crop windows into a single image.

  • izg

    Converts Z-depth images to 8-bit grayscale images.

  • Launcher

    The Houdini Launcher downloads, installs, upgrades, and uninstall Houdini and its components.

  • mcacclaim

    Converts an Acclaim motion file to a Houdini script and channel file(s).

  • mcbiovision

    Converts a BioVision motion file to a Houdini script and channel file(s).

  • mcmotanal

    Converts a Motion Analysis TRC motion file to a Houdini script and channel file(s).

  • mcp

    Convert an image sequence to a movie file.

  • minfo

    Prints information about movie files.

  • mqserver

    Message Queue Server for PDG/TOPs

  • py23convert

    Convert Python 2 expressions in HDAs to Python 2/3.

  • renderstatsoverlay

    Generates a (possibly scaled down) version of a rendered image with render statistics baked in.

  • renderstatsreport

    Generates an HTML page containing render statistics from an EXR image.

  • sesictrl

    Sets Houdini license server options from the command line.

  • sesinetd

    The Houdini license server. This program runs in the background managing Houdini licenses.

  • siminfo

    Prints simulation cache file statistics.

  • spiff

    Display Text Differences.

  • spy

    Shell utility for navigating the UNIX filesystem.

  • usdview

    Command line utility for viewing and inspecting USD scenes.

  • vexcache

    Query or modify the VEX compile cache.

  • vexexec

    Execute a cvex shader.