Installation Instructions: GoZ Plugin for Zbrush (Beta) 

GoZ is Zbrush's fast file transfer feature. This tool allows you to send meshes back and forth between Houdini and Zbrush seamlessly without having to deal with file paths or extensions. 

Currently the tool supports: 

  • Point Positions
  • PolyPaint
  • PolyGroups 
  • Mask
  • UVs

This tool is currently in Beta and can benefit from your feedback, so post comments here or send me a message !

Installation Instructions

Houdini 17

  1. Install the Game Development Toolset (1.63 or newer)
  2. Restart Houdini
  3. Enable GoZ from the Game Development shelf 
  4. Follow the Setup Process in Zbrush for a new GoZ Application
  5. Enjoy! 

With Houdini 17, the GoZ plugin is now part of the Game Development Toolset. 

Install a build later than 1.63 to have access to it. 

The GoZ file format is enabled with the GoZ_Houdini.dll and the necessary files are installed when running any of the GoZ nodes. 

Houdini 16 and 16.5

  1. Install the HDA provided
  2. Restart Houdini
  3. Enable GoZ from the GoZ shelf 
  4. Follow the Setup Process in Zbrush for a new GoZ Application
  5. Enjoy! 

You can download the HDA For 16.0 HERE  and HDA For 16.5 HERE 

Workflow Demo


  • harryabreu 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Very good :-)

    • Rcraig35 3 years, 2 months ago  | 

      will this work with Houdini 16.0.504.20?

      • lkruel 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

        Yes it should, although it was developed with 16.0.600

  • Strob 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    oh yes finally!

  • shahkar010 3 years, 3 months ago  | 


  • mwessels 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    This is great but at the moment it only works one way: From Houdini to Zbrush. I can't get it to send it back to Houdini. Any ideas? I'm running houdini apprentice and zbrush 4r8.

  • mwessels 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    If I dive into the GoZ export HDA and manually find the file and click "reload geometry" on the IN_MESH node (with Load From Disk ticked on manually on the GoZ HDA) it works. Seems like the GoZ button in Zbrush is not automating these steps for me.

    • lkruel 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

      Make sure to open the port in houdini by clicking on the GoZ shelf tool

      • mwessels 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

        Yes, I have. If I hit the Go Z shelf button again it prints out:
        ``` return getattr(self._sock,name)(*args)
        error: [Errno 10048] Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted```

        If I have an empty Houdini scene with the port opened and zbrush with and active Ztool, the zbrush GoZ push does not register in houdini.

        In zbrush I have tried the paths to happrentice.exe, houdini.exe and houdinifx.exe. To make sure I'm pointing to the path of the correct houdini I right click on the houdini icon to check that I am running happrentice.exe or houdinifx.exe etc. Not sure if this is significant. Only other thing I can think of mentioning is I'm running Houdini 16.0.633. In your demo I see you are running a slightly earlier version.

  • lkruel 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    That error means that you have more than one instance of houdini open. Make sure there's only one

    • mwessels 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

      I can confirm that I only have one instance of houdini running. I get that error message if I click the shelf button more than once in a session.

  • mwessels 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Hi Luiz, I seemed to have found the problem. In Zbrush the tiny "R" next to "GoZ | All | Visible " There I specified Houdini and Zbrush knew what to do. Sorry for the hassle and thanks for the tool. I have been hoping for a bridge for a while now.

    • lkruel 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

      I'm glad you got it figured out!

    • Zoo 3 years ago  | 

      I have missed that detail, thanks now every think work :)

  • montoyland 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Thank you for this tool! This is very exciting, especially with the release of ZR8!

  • FakePilot 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

    I did the installment, but it seems Zbrush is always using C4D before Houdini for GoZ. Cannot find any setting inside Zbush preferences for changing this. Tried changing the update path for C4D to "not installed", but that only created a pop-up saying C4D cannot be opened, every time I hit GoZ. Anyone know how to fix this?
    PS. The GoZ port is open from Houdini. I use Houdini Indie 16.0.600 and have the path to hindie.exe.

    • lkruel 3 years, 3 months ago  | 

      Hey FakePilot,

      You need to click on the little R in the GoZ row next to "GoZ | All | Visible " to choose which software is the default GoZ Application.

      Hope that helps!

      • FakePilot 3 years, 2 months ago  | 

        Yes it did! Thanks. :-) I should have known...

  • Sam Rolfes 3 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Only the inital GOZ works for me. I can send my mesh from zbrush to houdini easy, but after I update anything in zbrush and try again it wont update. Any ideas?

  • trelobyte 3 years, 2 months ago  | 

    note that this is for windows only...

  • Henrik Mauler 3 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Hey Thanks so much for the bridge !
    I have problems with getting stuff from zbrush to houdini ! I have the bridge port open and I also get a geometry node with the name of the subtool but its empty no matter what I try ?

    • lkruel 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

      Hey Henrik!

      Sorry the late reply. Can you try grabbing the tool from dropbox again and reinstalling it? I recently fixed a bug that might solve this for you


  • lkruel 3 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Hi Henrik,

    That's pretty odd. Can you send meshes from Houdini and get the updates back?

  • H-mech 3 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Hi lkruel.
    The bridge works well if send the geometry from Houdini to ZBrush, however after modification the update in Houdini is not immediate - if done scrolll network. If start transfer geometry from ZBrush - geometry send to the Houdini, but updates not happening in the aftermath. In Houdini you have to remove the node and send for a new one.

    Zbrush 4R8 <-> Houdini 16.0.669
    Win 10 64

    • lkruel 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

      Hey H-mech.

      I have recently updated the tool to fix a bug related to that, could you try grabbing the file from dropbox and trying again?

      Let me know if that fixes it for you. Also make sure that your port is open per the video instructions

  • giantcanvas 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

    Should it work with Houdini Indie 16.0.633 or Houdini Indie 16.0.671 on a Mac? I'm not sure version 16.0.600 is still available for download (at least on Mac). I followed the steps outlined above and got the message to restart houdini. I did this, however, GoZ shelf doesn't show up in the list. Thanks much.

    • lkruel 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

      Hey there. I'm not sure if it works on a Mac just yet. Currently it's only supported on Windows.

      • 3 years ago  | 

        Hi, Thanks for your effort! It really does not work on Mac. I tried several times. I hope it works one day!

        Have an Enlightened Life!

  • giantcanvas 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

    Hi, Hopefully, someday. :) It's nice to see a bridge between the two packages. Thanks for your efforts and your response!

  • twelveplusplus 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

    this doesn't seem to work for me. I downloaded it right back a couple months ago and it crashed immediately. that was in 4r7. i got around to trying it with 4r8 and houdini 16.0.671 today, and it's pretty much the same thing.

    I got the new download as you mentioned up the thread, and it gave some dll error when i tried to install. deleted the old dll. reinstalled... set up the path to 671 houdini.
    nope. it just instacrashes zbrush as soon as i try to send some geometry over there from houdini... sadface.

    • lkruel 3 years, 1 month ago  | 

      that's odd, even when you send something simple like a cube?

      • twelveplusplus 3 years ago  | 

        yeah, i'm not sure what the problem was, exactly. I went and deleted a bunch of files and cleared a bunch of caches and everything i could think of/read about on the zbrush web site. One (or all) of those things worked, and now it works perfectly. thanks.

        • astrand 2 years, 9 months ago  | 

          I think I am experiencing the same problem.

  • JoKo 3 years ago  | 

    Hello Luiz, thank you for that plugin.
    works pretty good with 16.0.694 <-> 4R8
    I wonder how managed to bring the texture/color into ZBrush in your workflow demo? Can you please explain? When I do I get just the geo with the actual material in ZBrush.

  • JoKo 3 years ago  | 

    I tried with a sphere, uvtextured it with polar, material with earth image, goz export. In Zbrush I load the texture an it looks like every second row of it is flipped. But adjusting the UV Map in ZBrush by Flip U etc. does not make it better.

    • lkruel 3 years ago  | 

      In the demos it's actually just poly paint. I subdivide the mesh in Houdini a few times and then I use an attribute from map node to transfer the images into vertex colors.

      I think there is an outstanding bug with UVs right now, specifically on quad meshes. It's on my list of things to look into. That might be what you're seeing

  • JoKo 3 years ago  | 

    Thanks for your explanation.
    UV works fine from ZBrush to Houdini.
    UV from Houdini to ZBrush workaroud is exporting the geometry via Save > Geometry... as obj and import that in ZBrush, then UV Map > Flip V

  • xsi38 2 years, 11 months ago  | 

    With houdini 16.0.750 and Zbrush 4R8, the first time I send a mesh zbrush to houdini. It's OK.
    But, if I modify the same mesh in Zbrush then I send back the mesh to houdini for the second time. The mesh is not updated in the houdini viewport. So, I have three solutions to get the update:
    1. change the name of the first export in houdini before performing the 2nd export.
    2. delete the first export before performing the 2nd export.
    3. dive in goz export node and manually perform the "reload geometry" (Node "IN_MESH") after performing the 2nd export to houdini.
    Maybe, bitdefender blocks something. I'm not sure. If you have a solution for the auto-update of the same mesh (zbrush -> houdini), it will be nice. Otherwise, I will manually do the update.

    In all case, thank you very much for the plugin.

  • illin 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

    Good day! Thanks, everything works fine. But! I can easily send whole scene of 50 subtools from Zbrush to Houdini by pressing "GoZ All", but how do I send all the 50 meshes from Houdini to Zbrush? One by one, adding nodes manually? Or how is it done? Please help. Thanks in advance.

  • takashisakai 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

    goz on zbrash does not appear on the menu What kind of procedure is necessary?

    Houdini indiy 16
    hda is in a state
    goz open has no goz icon

    You can export from goz node to zb

    • illin 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

      Watch the video above until the end, there are some more actions that must be done for the icon to appear.

  • takashisakai 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

    I installed it on H 16.5, but the GOZ doesn't come out to Shelf. Is there anyone who can install it?

    • lkruel 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

      Try this

      Still working through some kinks, but it seems to be working for some users. Let me know if this works for you

      • peru.inspiration 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

        why, error 404

  • Txeroki 2 years, 10 months ago  | 


    Using Houdini apprentice here, trying to install the plugin but after runing the installer and restarting Houdini I can't find the GoZ shelf anywhere, not even in the shelves list. Is it not supposed to work on apprentice or is there a different problem here? Thanks!

    • Txeroki 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

      Ok, I just tried the link in the comment above and got the shelf to show up, haha. Seems to work fine.

  • Tetsuoo 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

    Hmm not working for me, I get this :
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "opdef:/Object/goz_installer?OnCreated", line 37, in <module>
    File "opdef:/Object/goz_installer?OnCreated", line 22, in saveSectionToFile
    IOError: (13, 'Permission denied', 'C:/Users/Ooustet/Documents/houdini16.0/dso/GoZ_Houdini.dll')

    I think the problem is probably that I'm using a hardlink for "My Documents", which is located on another disk. Most programs won't see the trick but sometimes it's not working; Houdini try to write in C:User/MyDocs while it's virtually on Z:
    I know I make it work before but I don't remember how I did. Oh well... -_-;

    • Tetsuoo 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

      Alright problem fixed (I can't delete the post btw) : the DLL was already there from a previous install, that's why it was failing -_-

  • mmbakalars 2 years, 10 months ago  | 


    I installed the new 16.5 via this link:
    The shelf button shows up and I can send from Houdini to Zbrush fine. However, when I try to send from Zbrush to Houdini, I get a Goz node in Houdini with the name of the subtool from zbrush, but it is empty. There is nothing there. The node has an error that says this:

    Invalid source /obj/GoZ_untitled_sop_goz_export1/untitled_sop_goz_export1/IN_MESH
    Error: Unable to read file "C:/Users/Public/Pixologic/GoZProjects/Default/untitled_sop_goz_export1.GoZ".
    Expected array object (near byte offset 4, line 1, column 5)
    Backend IO.

    • lkruel 2 years, 10 months ago  | 

      Hey there, There was a slight issue with the dlls but these should be resolved. That dropbox link should now work.

  • Jcreator 2 years, 10 months ago  | 


    GoZEditHoudini.bat is identified as IDP Generic infection by AVAST...should I ignore the alert?

    • astrand 2 years, 9 months ago  | 


  • Rommany Allen 2 years, 9 months ago  | 

    Would love to see this working on Mac.
    This unofficial GoZ for blender project works quite well using python.
    Was thinking it may be worth re-engineering it for houdini python ?
    I would rather see a Mac version of what you are doing, than going down that rabbit hole.

  • slave1 2 years, 6 months ago  | 

    I am struggling to get GoZ to work.

    I am getting this error. Please can anybody help. Just lost at what to do.

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>Traceba
    File "opdef:/Sop/sop_goz_export?PythonModule", line 49, in export
    File "opdef:/Sop/sop_goz_export?PythonModule", line 30, in write_object_path
    IOError: (2, 'No such file or directory', 'C:\\Users\\Public\\Pixologic\\GoZBrush/GoZ_ObjectList.txt')


  • cc1010 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    Having a problem with zbrush 2018 and the live link to houdini 16.5.405

    Everything seems to be installed correctly and houdini says the port is open. But when goz is pressed in zbrush nothing happens in houdini. If I create a geometry node and then put a goz import node inside and hit relode it brings in the goz object but the live link doesn't seem to work.

  • magic_dragon 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    same here ^^^ nothing happens

  • magic_dragon 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    any update:
    just curious if anyone is having trouble with the ZBrush GoZ function and Houdini. I have it all setup and ready, and when I click GoZ in ZBrush, nothing happens in Houdini (GoZ portal is on and installed in Houdini). I am using the recently new ZBRUSH 2018. I was also using 4r8, and would not work. I am not sure what is going on.

  • magic_dragon 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    yo i got it @cc1010 you have to reset the tool in ZBrush.. I think that R button.

    • cc1010 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

      Thanks for getting back to me on that, but for me at least it doesn't do anything.

  • lkruel 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    2018 still hasn't been tested. I'll install it this week and update as needed

    • cc1010 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

      Any updates ?


      • lkruel 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

        Sorry, haven't gotten to this just yet. I'll let you guys know. I'm out of town next week so it might be the week after before I get to it. Apologies for the delay, I'll see if I can sneak it in before that

        • cc1010 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

          No Problem, Thanks again for looking into it.

  • trelobyte 2 years, 5 months ago  | 

    Have any magicians made this working for mac? any plans on making it?

  • mbbuckley 2 years, 4 months ago  | 

    Awesome! Thank you so much!

  • Dmitry Gorohov 2 years, 3 months ago  | 

    Hello! Great work, for 2018 zbrush works well! May be you can make githib repository? Comunity can help you with further support, and I would be interested to participate in this work too. Make it much more practice solution - instalation way is not so clear - copy files without permission, it does not make anyone happy). Any way, its a great stuff, thanks so much, you saved alot of my time!

    • lkruel 2 years, 3 months ago  | 

      Hi Dmitry, unfortunately I can't make this one on Github because it has the Zbrush SDK which is under NDA. I could make the little python scripts that assemble the data properly (all that the plugin does is enable the file SOP to read .goz files) but I don't know if that's too useful.

      We'll likely change the installation method to be a proper installer in the next version, so you don't have to deal with running it from within Houdini and run into the issues you are currently running into.


  • bonsak 2 years, 2 months ago  | 

    Hi. I just tried this with 16.5.496 and 2018.1. Tried to send a simple box to ZB but ZB crashes after sending. Not sure where to report this.

  • Eroc999 2 years, 2 months ago  | 

    I'm also getting a crash with 16.5.268 and Zbrush 2018. Any updates for this? It would be a life saver for the current project I'm working on.

    • Eroc999 2 years, 2 months ago  | 

      Problem resolved...thanks for this!

      • Njordy 2 years ago  | 

        But how did you solve it? :P

      • Kouza 2 years ago  | 

        Be nice help us...
        how did you solve it?

        • Eroc999 1 year, 10 months ago  | 

          It had to do with the above comments. You need to click the little R button in the corner of Zbrush. {GoZ/All/Visible/R}

  • Kenny Wood2 2 years, 1 month ago  | 

    On 16.0 the vertex colours arent coming across properly .
    If you have something with vertex colours coming across from zbrush and then apply a smooth Cd in Houdini then send it back .There are black areas appearing when it comes into zbrush . Maybe there is some clamping of the colours coming across to zbrush ?

  • Kouza 2 years ago  | 

    Work better when you triangulate (Divide sop) before send it.

  • jon jonmes 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    wheres the goz for houdini 17?

  • limbicnation 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    Hi Luiz,
    What’s the status for the H17 GoZ plugin?

  • lkruel 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    H17 plugin is coming. It's being added to the regular gamedev toolset, but I'll post here when it's up and running. End of the week at the latest

  • limbicnation 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    Awesome! Thanks for the notice.

  • lars korb 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    Is there a way to deinstall the 16.5 GoZ HDA? I'm just getting started with Houdini, and was using H16.5 with GoZ... When H17 came out, I immediately installed GoZ 16.5 only to find that it unfortunately doesn't work H17. To be safe, I'd like to deinstall it before installing the new version

  • lkruel 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    Yeah, you can just remove dll from houdini17.0/dso and the hda from houdini17.0/otls

  • lkruel 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    Alright! The build system has been updated for H17, so now the GameDev releases have both H16.5 and H17 tools in them.

    If you download the tools from within H17, and choose the latest daily build (today's is 1.63) it will also come with the GoZ plugin compiled for H17 and the GoZ Import and Export Nodes. The GoZ shelf is no longer needed and there is a GoZ Button in the GameDevelopmentToolset shelf

    Let me know if you have any questions. I'll work on updating the tutorial now

  • limbicnation 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    Thank you for this update, Luiz. It’s working well. I love the game shelf tools!

  • lars korb 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    Super cool! Thank you Luiz!

  • EricSheng 1 year, 11 months ago  | 

    So I'm currently use Houdini 17 and Zbrush 2018. I upgrade the GameDevTool to 1.63 and the GoZ tool is usable. But the behavior is a little different. Every time I press the "GoZ" button in Zbrush, there's a new geometry created in Houdini. It's not so "live link" as the video showing. Is it normal or the plugin will be updated later on?

  • angusgiorgi 1 year, 10 months ago  | 

    Hi Louis, this doesn't seem to be working with Houdini Indie 17. Will GoZ be updated for H17?

  • angusgiorgi 1 year, 10 months ago  | 

    Oh sorry I just read that I need to launch GoZ from the Game Development toolset shelf so I did and it's working. Thanks for this update! please disregard my previous question. Awesome. much appreciated. Zbrush and Houdini is the best combo there is.

  • Vectonaut 1 year, 9 months ago  | 

    Hey, I'm having touble getting this to work. Currently using Houdini Indie 17.0.352 with the Game Dev Toolset updated to 1.98 and Zbrush 2018.1.

    Load up Houdini -> Start Goz -> Load up Zbrush -> Export tool via GoZ. Zbrush saves the file successfully to disk, but when I switch back to Houdini, there's no GoZ node created.

    I've also tried starting Zbrush, and the Houdini, but same result. So I think there's something happening that's preventing the Houdini GoZ tool from detecting the exported file. Any help would be super appreciated!

  • Hellhound 1 year, 7 months ago  | 

    Hi. I like this plugin thanks a lot. I am shattering an object and it has hundreds of pieces, is there a way where I can export a frame to zbrush as one whole mesh? Right now it is exporting every shattered piece as a subtool.

  • limbicnationArt 1 year, 6 months ago  | 

    Hello, in Zbrush 2019, I'm getting the error: Unable to read from file "C:\Users\Public\Pixologic\GoZProjects\Default"

  • burakumincgi 2 months ago  | 

    zbrush 2020.1.4 can't find Houdini in the list of available software, any ideas?

    • lkruel 2 months ago  | 

      You'll need to run the goz node once in Houdini to install things.

  • pesca0 1 month, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Hi, Im running Houdini 18.0.348 and zBrush 2020.1.1. When sending geometry to zbrush it promts "Error encountered while importing a file" and it wont import anything. In the other way around when I send a geometry from zBrush to Houdini it creates the Labs Goz Import SOP but nothing is loaded. Going into the SOP I can find an error in the File SOP that says "Expected array object (near byte offset 4, line 1, column 5) Backend IO".

    Then I tried to import the GoZ file that was created by zBrush into zBrush and it worked. Houdini is able to open the GoZ files it creates too. However, zBrush cannot open GoZ files from Houdini and Houdini cant open GoZ file from zBrush.

    Im using SideFx Labs Version 512.

    By the way, thanks a lot for all those tools you guys do for us.

  • JudeMarv 1 month ago  | 

    @lkruel is it possible to have GoZ support for edge creasing? Or does it already support creasing and it's just not working for me? Thanks!

    • lkruel 1 month ago  | 

      Hey there, it doesn't seem like the GoZ file format supports edge creasing. Is that something GoZ supports in other applications?

      • JudeMarv 1 month ago  | 

        Hey @lkruel,

        Thanks for the reply. Yes, GoZ for Maya support edge creasing both from ZBrush to Maya and vice versa. I use Houdini as my primarily modelling tool and have been looking for a way to get creasing information from ZBrush to Houdini. Unfortunately I haven't found a straightforward way to do this. Exporting FBX from ZBrush seems to write crease data as Edge attributes and it seems Houdini only writes out crease values as Polygon Vertex attributes (Is this correct?). Maybe I could read the file and parse the values and convert in a way that Houdini understands, but ZBrush doesn't really play nicely with FBX so I don't really want to use this file format. I was hoping you could come out with some magic using the GoZ file format. Thanks

        • JudeMarv 1 month ago  | 

          Here are a list of tags that the GoZ file format contains. It would seem that it contains creasing information.


Please log in to leave a comment.