Houdini Engine for Unreal for shared Perforce depots

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Joined: Dec. 2010
Hi there,
I'm building an HDA that uses PDG to reference multiple other HDAs on disk, write geometry files to disk, and then generate geometry in Unreal Editor.

Since $HIP and $JOB aren't useful inside Unreal Editor, my question is how to go about using relative paths to read the HDAs and read/write the geometry files on disk?
This setup will need to be shared on Perforce so that multiple users can use the top level PDG HDA without issue.

Are there any variables available to get the location of the Unreal project from inside Houdini Engine?
I think then at least some relative paths could be constructed.
I saw another post that recommended using a custom Houdini environment file, that can be loaded by Houdini Engine in the project settings, but even then wouldn't a path like $HSITE or another custom variable still have to be set to an absolute path to begin with?

Ultimately I would like someone to be able to download the Perforce depot into a workspace at any location on their drive, and then the HDAs and intermediate geometry file be able to be saved into a path relative to that location.

Lastly, what would be considered best practices for including non-Unreal project specific files (such as the .hda files) in the Perforce depot?
Would you do something like put a folder called Assets at the top level (next to Content, Plugins etc), and have subfolders in there for hda (for the HDAs), geo (for intermediate generated geometry) etc?

Cheers for any advice!
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Joined: Dec. 2021
Hey Chats,

Good luck finding an answer for that kind of question.

Setting an env file never worked for me.

My case is not excatly like yours and I'm not very technical but..

For other reason than Houdini we decided to setup virtual disks meaning everyone has the same directory for source files and project.

let's say s:\project_source
and p:`\project

So what I do with my dependencies is put them into a folder in s:\project_source\Houdini\

We have a perforce for source files so I can submit them and then inside unreal under Houdini plugin setting I put the folder s:\project_source\Houdini\ in the field for OTL SEARCH PATH

It seems to work for us since my colleague is able to use my tool. Inside the folder I can have 3D or other HDA, it works.

If having the same directory isn't a possibility maybe you can get env file to work or try to setup a relative path directly in windows for each machine.

I think Houdini is clearly lacking when it comes to the unreal pipeline.

Hope it helps a little.
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