Houdini Engine FAQs


How much do the Houdini Engine plug-ins cost?

The Plug-ins are available for free, however, they do require a Houdini Engine, Houdini Core or Houdini FX license to run. When the plug-in tries to load a Houdini Digital Asset then an appropriate license is checked out.

Where can I find the Houdini Engine plug-in source code on Github?

You can find the source code for the Maya plug-in and the Unity plug-in on the SideFX Github page.

Why is the Houdini Engine plug-in source code being posted on Github?

To encourage contributions from the community and to allow studios to create customized versions of the plug-in. You can modify this source code and compile your own versions of these plug-ins, and you can contribute your source code changes back to be incorporated into the official plug-ins that ship with Houdini.

Can I run the Houdini Engine plug-ins using an Education license?

Houdini Education licenses will run the Engine plug-ins but Houdini Apprentice or Apprentice HD licenses will not. Students will need to work with Education licenses in a school lab to run the Houdini Engine in a host application.

Is there a Houdini Engine Trial available?

Yes, you can access a one-time 30-day trial for Houdini Engine when you first install it. This will give you full access to the features of the Engine. After the 30 days, you will need either a Houdini, Houdini FX or Houdini Engine license to continue.

Houdini Apprentice and Apprentice HD can not be used to run the Houdini Engine.

Where can I find Houdini Engine API documentation?

You can find the Houdini Engine API documentation at http://www.sidefx.com/docs/hengine

Why are Houdini Engine licenses used to run Houdini in Batch mode?

To make it easier for studios to manage multiple licenses, the new Houdini Engine license will have two purposes. First it will run the Houdini Engine inside host applications and second it will run batch processes on the farm. Those batch processes could come from Houdini itself or from a host application using the Engine on the farm.

Does the Houdini Engine work with Maya LT?

Since Maya LT currently does not support plug-ins, Houdini Engine for Maya will not work.

What version of Maya works with the Houdini Engine?

The Houdini Engine for Maya plug-in will work with Autodesk Maya 2012 or higher. It is available on OSX, Windows and Linux.

How much do the Houdini Engine licenses cost?

Houdini Engine workstation licenses will be available for $499 annually while floating licenses for use in a single facility will start at $795 annually. Volume pricing is available for floating licenses. See the full price list here.

How does Houdini Engine licensing work?

Artists with Houdini Core or Houdini FX licenses will be able to run the Houdini Engine using their existing keys. For artists who only need to work in a host application, a new Houdini Engine license has been created. Houdini Engine workstation licenses will be available for $499 annually while floating licenses for use in a single facility will start at $795 annually. Volume pricing will be available for floating licenses.

The new Houdini Engine license is being merged with the Houdini Batch license so that it can also run batch processes on the farm. Now studios can use one license for both purposes and distribute them as needed. The Houdini Batch license-type has been retired and customers can contact SideFX about converting them into more versatile Houdini Engine licenses.

As an added bonus, artists will be able to run the Houdini Engine in multiple host applications, such as both Cinema 4D and Maya, making it easier to manage floating licenses. In addition, Houdini Engine licenses will only be acquired when a Houdini Digital Asset is opened in a host to make sure that licenses are not being consumed when the Engine is not in use.

How can I use the Houdini Engine in other applications?

The Houdini Engine can be accessed using plug-ins built using the Houdini Engine API. The plug-in works in a host application then uses the Engine to cook the results and make them available to the host application. You need to have Houdini software installed on your computer and a valid Houdini Core, Houdini FX or Houdini Engine license.

Artists can access the Houdini Engine using plug-ins for applications such as Autodesk Maya, Unity, Unreal and Cinema 4D. A 3DS Max plug-in is in development. Studios can also use the Houdini Engine API to create their own plug-ins for large scale pipeline integration. These custom plug-ins require a commercial Houdini Engine license. Houdini Engine Indie will work with the plug-ins listed here.

Can I use the free Houdini Engine for Unity/Unreal licenses to batch process or render?

No. These licenses only allow you to work with the Unity and Unreal plug-ins. Batch processing, rendering and the use of other plug-ins such as Maya or Max will require a Houdini Engine rental.

Does the Free Houdini Engine Plugin for Unity/Unreal license come with Mantra and Karma tokens?

No. Mantra and Karma only comes with paid licenses (Houdini FX, Houdini Core, Houdini Engine).

Does the free Houdini Engine Plugin for Unity/Unreal license come with support?

Yes. This is a commercial license and is therefore supported.

Will the free Houdini Engine Plugin for Unity/Unreal license work with any version of Unreal or Unity?

This license will work with Unity 2018 LTS, Unity 2019 LTS, and Unity 2020 and Unreal 4.25 and 4.26. It is possible that earlier versions will work, but we only offer support for the current version + two previous LTS versions of Unity.

What Houdini Engine license do I need?

Houdini Engine for Unity/Unreal provides free commercial licenses for the UE4 and Unity plug-ins only.

For all other host applications, including proprietary plug-ins, and for Batch processing on the farm, commercial Houdini Engine licenses are available for rent. These licenses are also available as volume rentals for medium and large studios.

Houdini Engine Plugin Chart

What is the license type of Houdini Engine for Unity/Unreal?

The product will be listed in your License Administrator as Houdini Engine for Unity/Unreal.
The new license type is called Houdini-Engine-PlugIn-Free.
It is a floating Commercial GAL license.

Houdini Engine Plugin Free