Instant Meshes Bridge

Instant Meshes is an open source Quad Remesher that works incredibly well.
In this video we cover a way to call Instant Meshes from inside Houdini and use it on a normal workflow. 
You will need to download the Instant Meshes executable and place it in your houdini16.0 directory, or select a custom path as shown in the video. 

Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments! 

Houdini 16.5 Update

Few updates to the Instant Meshes SOP to expose more control.

You can download the HDA from the Games Tools Github Page along with the rest of the Game Development Toolset


  • copernicusmuffin 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    definitely helpful. thank you!

  • trelobyte 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    This looks like a great way to auto retopologizing, is there a way to make it work on MACOSX ?
    Many Thanks

  • akvahouse 2 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Hi, unfortunately, this tool makes holes in geometry, maybe need add more options besides desired vertex count?

  • limbicnation 2 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Thanks! Good Tool!
    However, does it have issue with AMD Ryzen TR processor?
    Meshes intersecting.

  • albehany 1 year, 9 months ago  | 

    , how can i point the sop_instant_meshes to the app if the app in the application folder. in mac OS X system. check the image. thank you

  • DASD 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

    The executable version indeed has far more features than the node version. One thing I could imagine doing would be to mark a few points on the high-res geo, turn those into curves (via shortest path), possibly smooth it out a bit and use the result to guide the orientation field. I suppose this could be automated with an array (multiparm) of group inputs.

    I am not sure the software has this feature, but it should have a way to paint/mark areas where you want more or less detail.

  • Simon van de Lagemaat 1 year, 1 month ago  | 

    Ya it would be nice to be able to localize detail somehow.

  • 62665_M 11 months, 1 week ago  | 

    I don't known how to install

    where is the location in windows
    can u pls help me

    • MrBrad 9 months ago  | 


      just drop exe in there

      • chanson78 7 months ago  | 

        Just downloaded this but there is no .exe file in the folder. I have a folder called instant-meshes-master but no .exe anzwhere in it.

        • madforce95 6 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

          You have to scroll down to Pre-compiled binaries in the github page. You will have Microsoft Windows and other operating systems listed there. this will give you the exe

  • AcrylicCode 6 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

    Will the option to paint curves to the mesh to drive toppology ever be added to this?

  • courtneyjenkinson 6 months, 1 week ago  | 

    For those having trouble with installation, I’d encourage you to visit their Game Development Toolset Overview page

    That being said, since the instructions on how to implement this into Houdini is… hilariously vague on this page:

    1) Follow the download link

    2) Scroll down to ‘Pre-compiled binaries’ section
    -Note. Don’t download/clone from the github repository (that shiny green button)

    3) Download the binary applicable to your OS linked (under the 'Pre-compiled binaries' section)

    4) Extract the file
    -You will get an .exe
    -You can run a standalone with this .exe

    5) Place the file in <C:\Users\<name>\Documents\ Houdini[version number]>
    -Or whatever OS equivalent
    -You’d think it would be placed in <Program Files/Side Effect Software/Houdini[version number]>, this is not the case

    6) Launch Houdini

    7) In the Shelf, set your UI present to ‘Games’
    -Located to the right of the ‘Help’ dropdown

    8) Open ‘Game Development Toolset’ tab

    9) Open ‘Update Toolset’

    10) Choose ‘Update’ and restart Houdini

    You can now access GameDev Instant Mesh node within your geometry. Hurray.

    • peppy 2 months, 1 week ago  | 


  • XTT 5 months, 1 week ago  | 

    When can I support the direction of my own control wiring? Now there is almost no adjustability. In some cases, the calculated line direction is not very satisfactory. Thank you.

  • cushwa 3 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

    This is a very important functionality to have inside of Houdini. For modern modeling workflows this kind of retopolgy is essential. This seems to be a bare bones implementation of this kind of retopology tool. I think that at a minimum that Instant Mesh node needs to respect groups in Houdini. This would go a long way to being able to control edge flow of the retopologized mesh. Respecting Groups would be a much better way of controlling the surface than drawing curves! I have spend many hours in Zbrush working with the zremesher and I can honestly say that using polygroups is WAY better than drawing curves on the surface. I would love to see a full functioned and robust retopology tool in Houdini that would compete with zremesher. I would stay in Houdini much longer for modeling if such a tool existed. This is a fabulous start but is just scratching the surface of what is needed. IMHO

  • yanndrevon 2 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Hi guys I am working in Linux, I could update my gamedevtoolset and have access to the IM node. But when created I have an error. "There were errors while matching the new node to its definition". Then when I press show details : "Error: Bad node type found: instant_meshes in /obj/geo1/sop_instant_meshes1.
    Warning: Unknown channel(s) "v_count, cr_angle, num_smooth_iter, traceLines, deterministic_parm" converted to spare parameter(s).

    I did dowload instan meshes from the gitub source and copy and paste it in the home/userName/houdini17.5 folder but nothing happened.
    I tried to move it to several other places but could solve the issue.

    Any suggestions ?

    Thank you

    • lkruel 2 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

      The new version of the instant meshes node v2.0 is not currently supported on Linux.

      • pacrobots 1 month, 3 weeks ago  | 

        I have the same error on the Mac. Updating to the 307 branch (i.e., non-production) didn't help.

        Error: Bad node type found: labs::instant_meshes_core in /obj/geo1/instant_meshes1.
        Warning: Unknown channel(s) "v_count, cr_angle, num_smooth_iter, traceLines, deterministic_parm" converted to spare parameter(s).

        • lkruel 1 month, 3 weeks ago  | 

          Hey there. Unfortunately Mac isnt supported yet. We've added support for Linux, Mac is next

  • Punkt 1 month, 3 weeks ago  | 

    I've just downloaded the new SideFxLabs utility for H18 but the "instant_Meshes" Node seems dosen't work. Any suggestions ?

    Thank you


  • kevinthebright 4 weeks, 1 day ago  | 

    As Labs gets more fragmented across OS'es, would be great to have OS icons at the top of the help page, similar to the social networks icons. I'm on a Mac and it would be an easy way to check if there's Mac version of Substance, Instant Bridges, etc yet. Thanks, loving the work you guys do.

Please log in to leave a comment.