Houdini Engine for Unreal
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The Houdini Unreal Engine plugin allows Skeletal Meshes and Skeletal Mesh components to work with HDAs and NodeSync.

You can learn more about KineFX Skeletons on its documentation page

If you don't have Houdini Engine plugin installed, follow the instructions on the Getting Started page.

Install Houdini plugins for Skeletal Mesh

Skeletal Meshes requires two plugins loaded into Houdini to work properly. They are the KineFXtoUnreal and UnrealtoKineFX nodes.

These nodes help to either export a KineFX output node to Unreal or perform Houdini actions from an Unreal Skeletal Mesh.

To install these plugins:

  1. Locate your Houdini Engine plugins folder.
  2. Go to the HoudiniEngine\Content\NodeSync folder.
  3. Copy KineFXToUnreal and UnrealToKineFX HDA files.
  4. Paste these two files into your otls folder. In this example the location is C:\Users\PC\Documents\houdini19.5\otls.

After you install the Houdini plugins, you can follow the instructions on the NodeSync page to Send Skeletal meshes from Unreal to Houdini and vice versa.

KineFX to Unreal setup

When working in Houdini, Skeletal meshes use a Rest Geometry and Capture Pose to make changes.

To export the Skeletal mesh back into Unreal properly, you need to use the KineFXtoUnreal node as the final output.

  1. Create a KineFXtoUnreal node.
  2. Connect your Rest Geometry output into Input1 and the Capture Pose output into Input2.
  3. Click CTRL+C to copy the KineFXtoUnreal node.
  4. Use the Fetch from Houdini procedures above to import into Unreal Engine.

Unreal to KineFX setup

When you use Send to Houdini, Houdini creates a null geometry node. To use Skeletal mesh nodes, you need both a Rest Geometry and Capture Pose to make changes.

This is when you use UnrealtoKineFX node to create these additional outputs.

The first output connects to the Rest Geometry and the second output connects to the Capture Pose.

In this example, the Skeletal mesh is now able to be edited using the Joint Deform node.