SideFX Labs is a testing ground for over 150 tools designed to help you get up and running quicker.  The SideFX Labs tools wrap up and release common workflows and create tight integrations with software you use everyday. The tools are developed outside the regular Houdini development cycle which makes them more accessible for testing and feedback.

NOTE: The SideFX Labs Tools are for Houdini 18 and higher. For Houdini 17.5 you should still use the Gamedev Tools.


You can install the SideFX Labs Toolset directly from inside Houdini, (Requires Houdini 18.0 or newer) or install it manually using the packages system.

Method 1 (Recommended): 

Built in UpdaterUse the built in Updater in Houdini 18.0 or newer to install a version of the toolset. The updater can be found in the SideFX Labs shelf.

The updater provides several options of installation depending on your needs / limitations.

  1. If you do not have internet access, the updater allows you to install a local version of the toolset. This local version is tied to which version of Houdini you are running the updater from. (Ex Houdini 18.0.274 would install 274 of the toolset) To obtain a newer version, you would need a more recent version of Houdini.
  2. REQUIRES INTERNET ACCESS. Download a production build from Github. A production build is released every four weeks. This type of build will not contain the cutting edge additions to the toolset, but will have had more production testing prior to release than a development build. (These builds can be found in the releases section of this repository and are marked as "Release")
  3. REQUIRES INTERNET ACCESS. Download a development build from Github. A development build gets released every 24 hours. These builds will contain bugfixes that have been implemented in the day prior. To get access to these type of builds, untick the "Production Builds Only" checkbox in the updater.

Method 2: Manually Download from Github

  1. Download the repository using the green Clone or Download Button and unzip contents into the folder of your choosing.
  2. Copy the SideFXLabs.json file from the location used in step 1 to $HOME/Houdini18.0/packages, and change the contained paths to match the location chosen in step 1. Information on Packages



Paul Ambrosiussen is currently a Technical Artist and Game Tools Developer at SideFX Software. He finished his BASc in International Game Architecture and Design at NHTV University of Applied Sciences in Breda. Paul enjoys writing tools to support effective art-pipelines, and maintaining tool / workflow quality for the artists he is assisting. His goal is to help others create amazing things in a better, faster and more flexible way. He creates tutorials, gives live lectures, attends events, and presents custom workshops to customers.

More from Paul Ambrosiussen


  • dyts 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

    great but when H18 will be available ?

  • gaxx 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

    Is it any different than GameDev Tools? It it a replacement or I should use both?

    • Ambrosiussen 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

      Hi, you only need Labs in 18 and onward. Labs contains all Gamedev tools and more.

  • Andi Farhall 1 month, 4 weeks ago  | 

    Having it install when you update houdini automatically would be good. It's a pain to have to go round all the farm machines and do it manually, so we currently have to bake the output of any tools from that shelf.

  • TOM-CGI 1 month, 3 weeks ago  | 

    The self-update doesn't work for Houdini indie via steam

  • LittlePony 1 month, 3 weeks ago  | 

    hmmm clicked Update Toolset =

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "update_toolset", line 8, in <module>
    ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'urllib2'

  • Tetsuoo 1 month, 1 week ago  | 

    If anyone is searching for the Github link, here it is :

    Not sure why the ZIP is 3 times bigger than with the shelf method; another thing to figure out, as usual.

Please log in to leave a comment.