I'd like to present my work for embedding the Houdini Engine within Blender:
For legal issues regarding the GPL license used by Blender, I had to split this project in three:
- Open Mesh Effect [openmesheffect.org]: An open source standard a bit like the Houdini Engine API in a way, based on OpenFX (the API for 2D compositing nodes developed by Foundry)
- Open Mesh Effect For Blender [github.com]: A branch of Blender 2.83 LTS that implements this API, which means it can load arbitrary C-based plugins as modifiers (the non-destructive effect stack in Blender, similar to a chain of nodes in Houdini)
- MfxHoudini [github.com], an Open Mesh Effect plugin that wraps the Houdini Engine and give access to the content of an HDA
It was not possible to just make a branch of Blender with support for Houdini Engine because the later not being open source was conflicting with the GPL, but split like this the non open source part is distributed separately and loaded only at runtime.
Any feedback about either the usage or the code is welcome!