Houdini could not load (null)/python27/python27.dll

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Hello,
I am trying out Houdini Engine version 16.0.557.

I cannot pass the initialization phase, I get this error:

Can't open dophints.cmd
Houdini could not load (null)/python27/python27.dll

what is this error?
is there any python variable I should set?
where I can find a sample .env file that works with a very basic sample?

thanks,
Emanuel
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Could you try running Houdini from a Houdini Command Prompt, and let me know if anything gets printed to the shell window? Also, exactly what version of Windows are you running (right down to the build number, available in the System Information). Thanks.
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I tried this:
C:\Program Files\Side Effects Software\Houdini 16.0.557\bin>hcmd.exe
Welcome to the Houdini 16.0.557 command line tools.
The Houdini environment has been initialized.
Starting command prompt…

Microsoft Windows
© 2016 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

I am not familiar with Houdini and my background is software engineering, I am trying to use the engine programmatically to see if I can load Houdini assets and convert them into geometry used in a custom tool.
The error that I posted in my question, is something that gets printed out in the cmd if I try to write a simple program that initialize the engine and read a Houdini file. The error appears after calling Houdini initialization function: HAPI_Initialize.

if there is any thing specifically that I can run from the cmd to check what can cause the problem, I'll be happy to try out.

thank you!
Emanuel
Edited by emanuelshalev - April 20, 2017 14:05:03
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Oh, sorry, I missed the part about this being a test of Houdini Engine running from your own application. But this test could be useful anyway…

So if you start the command prompt then run “happrentice”. This will start up the “apprentice” (learning) version of Houdini, which should run fine even if you only have an engine license. So it's any output from that command that would be of interest, and knowing whether Houdini opens up or not (once the main window opens, the test if over and you can just close the application).

If it runs okay, then I don't really know how to help you, but it will no doubt narrow down the list of potential issues for those who know more about using the Engine API than I do. Thanks!
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Can't open dophints.cmd
Houdini could not load (null)/python27/python27.dll

any idea what are the environment variable used by Houdini? maybe there is one not found for python which translates to null

Where I can find a sample .env file? cannot find any in the houdini installation path

thanks,
Emanuel
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You should not have to do anything with env variables to get Houdini to run. The failure to find dophints.cmd indicates that this is a more general issue than a missing/bad python env var. Please let us know exactly which build of Windows you are currently running. The only time I've seen a message like this in the past was an incompatibility between one of the Houdini libraries and a new Windows update. However we put in code that _should_ protect against this situation. Which is why I'd really like to know the Windows version/build number you are running, so we can test here with a similar configuration.

Also, are you on the Windows Insider program, getting newer Windows updates earlier than the general public?

Thanks in advance for any info.
Edited by mtucker - April 22, 2017 12:19:39
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Windows 10 Enterprise
version 1607
OS build 14393.1066
64 bit

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4015217 [support.microsoft.com]
seems to be an official version
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Other than the “Enterprise” designation, that's the same version I'm running. As one last stab in this direction, could you try opening that houdini command prompt again, and running:

set TBBMALLOC_PROXY_ENABLE=0
happrentice

and post the results here… If you still get the same outcome (houdini won't run, outputs the same messages about dophints.cmd and python27.dll), then you should probably send a bug report in to support. They will help you collect other information to help track down the problem.
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set TBBMALLOC_PROXY_ENABLE=0
didn't change the situation

happrentice works with or without it.

on the other hand my custom exe which is based on the Houdini engine API doesn't work with or without that definition.

I did found something that works, maybe it can help understand what's wrong:
“The custom exe must be placed in the Houdini installation directory which in my case is ”C:\Program Files\Side Effects Software\Houdini 16.0.557\bin"
copying the dll dependencies to a different directory near the exe won't work.
So, what I am doing is compiling the exe directly in that directory and the API seems to work fine now.

this is ok for experimenting but for automation the custom exe and the dependencies will need to be packaged, any additional ideas what could cause this issue?

thanks,
Emanuel
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You can try adding the directory containing your dll dependencies to the PATH environment variable.

EDIT: and/or add the houdini bin path to PATH as well.
Edited by edward - April 26, 2017 00:59:40
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