Artwork by Natalia Loktionova


Non-Graphical Houdini

A Houdini Engine license can be used to batch process Houdini scenes on the farm. Whether you are rendering to Houdini Mantra, processing a large fluid sim or combining a library of assets into a single scene, Houdini Engine provides behind-the-scenes control.


Houdini’s Mantra renderer works by processing scene description [.ifd] files created by Houdini at render time. To free up your workstation from this task, you can utilize Houdini Batch to create these .ifd files then send them to the unlimited Mantra tokens which come free with each license of Houdini.


To quickly explore multiple iterations in Houdini, you can use the Wedge tool to render or simulate a shot multiple times, using different parameter settings. This approach lets you easily compare results with randomized values. Houdini Batch can be used to rapidly generate different wedges and to add text to the output file name or stamp a settings watermark on the resulting images to identify the impact of each wedge on the result.

Job Manager

HQueue is a general-purpose job management system that distributes, monitors and manages tasks across a collection of computing nodes, or client machines. It specializes in managing render and dynamic simulation jobs submitted from Houdini however it can be customized to work with any job from any application.

HQueue Docs



To create smoke and fire, VFX artists can turn to Houdini’s Pyro FX tools to simulate and render fire and smoke effects then partition and distribute them to your farm using Houdini Engine. The speed and memory advantages make this a great way to meet key deadlines.


In Houdini, FLIP fluids provide a unique combination of particle and fluid dynamics to create realistic simulations of flowing and splashing liquids. In Houdini, these processor-heavy calculations can be sliced into smaller simulations that are distributed to the farm. These slices not only speed up your overall simulation time but also allow for bigger overall sims because the total memory used is split into smaller, more manageable chunks.


With Houdini’s Digital Asset technology it is possible to encapsulate and store scene components into easily updatable parts, then manage the scene layout using an external asset management system. With Houdini Batch, asset-based scenes can be easily built on the farm. This approach ensures that the latest assets are in place and makes it easy to re-process shots using updated assets down the line.


As an animation or VFX is passed from the creation stage to final output, it is often useful to cache out geometry to disk using either .bgeo or Alembic files to lock down motion and deformation and make the rendering process more secure. Houdini Batch can be used to manage this output as changes are made to your scenes and assets. This geometry could be a deforming character, points from a particle sim or a surfaced fluid simulation.

Python & Hscript

Python can be used to launch and drive Houdini Batch from within your existing pipeline. You can use scripting to make Houdini Batch a part of your wider pipeline and to integrate it fully into your workflow. You can also use scripting inside your Houdini scene files to customize your solution using either Python or Houdini's hscript.



Houdini Engine

Houdini Engine licenses let you run the plug-ins and batch process on computers which don't have access to interactive licenses. They offer a more affordable solution for larger pipelines.


FREE Houdini Engine Indie

Houdini Engine Indie offers a way for indie artists to have free access to running the plug-ins or batch processing on up to 3 computers which don't have access to interactive licenses. 



Assets created in Houdini Apprentice can be deployed in school labs using Houdini Engine Education to load them into Host apps.Hobbyists or artists working at home, should consider working with Houdini Indie to work with the Engine Plug-ins.