Houdini 20.0 Unreal

Using FBX Files

On this page

FBX (Filmbox) files are an interchange format commonly used in the industry. This page gives some advice on how to import and export FBX files between Unreal Engine and Houdini.

Export from Houdini

To export data from Houdini to FBX files, you can use the File > Export dialog or the FBX render node.

These are important points when you export from Houdini to Unreal:

  • Make sure to export with 2018 SDK since it’s the current supported version by Unreal’s FBX import pipeline.

    • To export, select FBX|FBX201800 in the Version combo in the exporter dialog or ROP node parameters. If you export with another SDK version it might give you corrupted results or incompatibilities.

  • If you want to export Blend Shapes to Morph Targets in UE4, your asset’s network needs to be FBX Compatible. Make sure no nodes that modify the geometry after the blendshape nodes. Node that won’t block the blend shapes are Nulls, switches, caches, attributes, skin deform or merge nodes. Nodes that alter the geometry such as subdivide might block the export.

    • To export and ignore all the incompatible nodes, use Force Blend Shapes Export.

  • Blendshape animations can be exported but the shapes themselves can’t be time dependant in Houdini

  • Exporting vertex animations prevents blend shapes export, unless the Force Blend Shapes Export option is enabled.

Import into Unreal

Some points when you import FBX files exported by Houdini into Unreal:

  • There’s a difference in length unit between Houdini (1 unit = 1m) and Unreal (1 unit = 1cm). Make sure to use a uniform scale of 100 in the FBX import dialog.

  • You don’t have to take into account the difference in coordinate systems between Houdini and Unreal when importing FBX files created by Houdini, as the FBX exporter in Houdini has already taken care of this.


Getting started


Using Houdini Engine


Houdini Engine for Unreal Engine is a plug-in that allows integration of Houdini technology into Unreal. Session Sync and Node Sync are two features of the Houdini Engine Plugin to interact with a live session of Houdini.

This plug-in brings Houdini’s powerful and flexible procedural workflow into Unreal Engine through Houdini Digital Assets. Artists can interactively adjust asset parameters inside the editor and use Unreal assets as inputs. Houdini’s procedural engine will then “cook” the asset and the results will be available in the editor without the need for baking.

General information:


Currently, the plugins has binaries that have been built for UE5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 5.0, UE4.27 and UE4.26, and is linked with the latest production build of Houdini.

Source code for the plugin is available on this repository for UE5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 5.0, UE4.27, UE4.26.


UE5.1 and UE5.0 use the same source files/branches, the 5.0 sources are also intended to be used with 5.1.

Support and reporting bugs:


The Houdini Engine SessionSync feature allows you to connect to a session of Houdini Engine running inside Houdini with its GUI. It supports all the features of the regular Houdini Engine workflow and additional features specific to Session Sync.

Houdini Engine uses a non-UI version of Houdini while Session Sync lets you see and interact with the Houdini session through Houdini’s user interface. It also synchronizes changes made in either Unreal or Houdini so both programs can make changes and see the same results.


NodeSync is a feature for the Houdini Unreal Engine Plugin that enables sharing assets between Unreal and Houdini Session Sync. It works for Skeletal and static meshes.

You can send and receive data to and from Unreal without a dedicated HDA. It works with Static and Skeletal meshes as well as Actors.

Houdini Niagara

The Houdini-Niagara plugin allows you to exchange point cloud data between Houdini and Unreal’s Niagara system using the HoudiniNiagara Data Interface. You can export Houdini’s attribute data as HoudiniPointCache assets. These can then be imported into Unreal to use the Niagara systems and emitters to create complex effects and particle systems.