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Linux Tips

Install a renamer :-

So you can just incase rename those rendered files in a shell

sudo apt-get install pyrenamer .Enter your password and you will have a renaming application installed

Copy files into a new version folder : -

Create a text file named for instance  .Enter lines cp -r mybasegeov003        mynewbasegeov004  in the text file, then save. Run the file in a shell, this will then copy the contents into a new v004 version

Terminal Tips

Open a shell

The top directory is your startup disk, or root directory. The root directory location appears as a slash (/). The directory contained within the root is listed to the right, and each lower-level directory is listed to the right of its container and is separated by a slash

cd  = change directory

cd /  = go to root

pwd = to see the directory you are located in

ls = list contents

man ls  = gives you more details on listing files in a directory

Change permissions in a shell :-

Example of changing permissions   chmod a-w  mypointcloud.pc  , changes the point cloud to readonly

OS and custom otl paths

You can add custom search paths to the houdini.env file and also add statements to alter and change features within Houdini.

Otl’s choice 1 : -  create a folder named “otls” and place it in your houdini $home directory.This folder will then get picked up when Houdini starts up. An example path would be  /sideeast/houdini9.5/otls

Otls choice 2 :  is to create a custom path in the houdini.env file. This file path in osx is :-  Users/Library/Preferences/houdini/9.5/houdini.env .

Then add this path  HOUDINI_OTLSCAN_PATH=/Volumes/Macintosh_HD/Houdini_mproj/otls;&

Or try this in H11

HOUDINI_OTLSCAN_PATH= $HOME/houdini10.0/otls


Windows 7 Pro.

Setting the otl scan path has be an utterly painful experience.


Then in the houdini cmd line tools shell run hconfig -ap to make sure the paths expand and are correct 

houdini.env is a file under the user's houdini directory (ie ~/houdini9.5/houdini.env on Linux or ~/Library/Preferences/houdini/9.5/houdini.env on OS X). If you do not have such a file, then a template file with some helpful comments will be created when you run Houdini. That file should have one assignment per line. Some examples of valid entries are

HOUDINI_MAX_FILE_HISTORY :- which allows you to specify how many files you want in the history lists. Its default is 12 now, up from the previous default of 5, and you can raise it up to 64 (after which most menus will no longer fit nicely on the screen).

Note that it'll slowly take effect as you load and save more files, it won't instantly remember more than the previous default.

HOUDINI_USE_NATIVE_FILE_CHOOSER :- Houdini's file chooser in osx :-You can set the environment variable to 0.


The path to the env file  =  Users/Library/Preferences/houdini/9.5/houdini.env 

You can use the same methods to set $JOB for instance and also your own custom variables. So everytime you launch houdini via a shell the enviroment vars will be set. You can  test your own env variables by using the texport in Houdini.

ie  Create a new env varibale called RENDERPASS  in the houdini.env file. I then launch Houdini via a shell. In the new Houdini session I type in a texport

echo `$RENDERPASS`   press enter , you will then get a value printed in the texport for the variable RENDERPASS . Also you can change the value of the $RENDERPASS variable by using the set command.

Example of code in texport

Environment Variables

Key Board Tips

Filter those nodes :- in the network view , CTRL + f , with bring up a node filter dialogue box. 

Enlarge that window  CTRL + b  = enlarges the window your working in to full scree

Network view

I = dive inside a node

u =  Jump up a level

Press n over the network view hides the names of nodes.

r = on mulitiple input nodes , use r to switch inputs

OTL Creation Tips

Find those pesky icons for your otl help and interface on a windows box at C:/Program Files/Side Effects Software/Houdini 10.0.280/houdini/help/icons. Or inject your own.

To get them to show up first load the files as .png into the otl type properties window then use something like this


In the icon slot for the otl also add the same code to the help > icon parameter of the type properties window. You can also add an icon for use in the help for the otl like this

#largeicon: opdef:/Sop/rse_sop_randomcolours_v001?rse_monkey64x64.png

So to recap:-   opdef:/Sop/yourassetname? YourimageName_64x64.png .Often a restart is required to get the images all to show up :)

Example of icon code

Launch as many Houdini sessions as you like:-

To launch Houdini in osx as many times as you like just launch it from a shell typing  " houdini " 

shell tips

-s forces houdini to launch with a specific desktop

  1. -h for all command line options

  2. -f force the use of asset definations in otl files on the command line

  3. -j set maxium processors to nproc

  4. -s specifiy starting desktop by name

Windows:- Shell > download Cygwin or launch power shell in windows 7


Q. How do I start and stop the License Server?

A. Windows:

* Go to the Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services

* There is a service called HoudiniLicenseServer that you can stop/start/restart


* Run the sesinetd startup script located in /etc/init.d

* Usage: /etc/init.d/sesinetd {start|stop}

Mac OSX:

* Type commands in the Applications > Utilities > Terminal

To start (type all on one line):

sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.sidefx.sesinetd.plist

To stop (type all on one line):

sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.sidefx.sesinetd.plist

The licenses file is located:

* Windows: C:\Windows\keys\licenses

* Linux: /usr/lib/sesi/licenses

* Mac: /Library/Preferences/sesi/licenses

Compile a .vfl file:-

In a terminal navigate to the vfl file , then type vcc -I xxx.otl xxx.vfl . This will then compile a otl for you from the vex code.

User Prefs -

  1. Q.Where are my user preferences for Houdini 11 on OSX

A. As of H11 the user preferences are now located at Users/username/Library/Preferences/houdini  .To see the library files that are now hidden for OSX lion onwards hold down option + go > then select library from the drop down on OSX

For Linux:-


For Mac osx:-


For Windows:-

%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\houdini13

SMS MAC handler

sms mac_handler location on osx

Last login: Wed Sep 25 07:53:47 on ttys001

reasts-macbook-pro:~ reast$ /Library/Frameworks/Houdini.framework/Versions/12.5.511/Resources/houdini/sas/url_handler/sas_url_handler ; exit;

readlink: illegal option -- m

usage: readlink [-n] [file ...]

/Library/Frameworks/Houdini.framework/Versions/12.5.511/Resources/houdini/sas/url_handler/sas_url_handler: line 5: /bin/orbolt_url: No such file or directory


[Process completed]

3delight Install -

1:- down load and install 3delight. A licence is no longer required to be downloaded for evaluation. The default install for osx and Houdini is on a mac

reasts-macbook-pro:/ reast$ /Applications/Graphics/3Delight-8.5.0/ 

2:- Check it works > open a terminal

cd to root   $ cd /

cd to $ Applications/Graphics/3Delight-8.5.0/ examples/rtshadows renderdl shadtest.rib

A file named shadtest.tif will appear in the directory. View it using an image viewer.

Houdini env file.


load the 3delight otl .If it is not visible, go to Edit->Preferences->Rendering and select 3Delight from the list. OTLs and ROPs for 3Delight should be available. Then they should all show up in the material editor

Command Scripts 123 / 456 -

Shell > launch houdini the 123 script gets called and is loaded once, cmd 456 gets loaded with every file new.

texport  :- command echo

Command Scripts 123 / 456 -

Shell > launch houdini the 123 script gets called and is loaded once, cmd 456 gets loaded with every file new.

texport  :- command echo