Houdini Resources

Updated on Dec 13  2017

copyright  Deborah R. Fowler

Houdini Tips and Tricks

Deborah R. Fowler

Houdini Tips and Tricks (general topic then alphabetical order):

Posted 2013
Updated on March 26  2017

Files created by Deborah R. Fowler unless otherwise noted.  Sections below relate to:

***New student/alumni contributions at the bottom of the page
***New modeling guidelines (see below)

Current odd behavior: Making your window a floating pane on the dual monitors can sometimes cause difficulties, ie. error of copying nodes, or network nodes forcing you to enter them in the scene view - simply close the floating pane and try it in the regular network view.

Click here for interface tips.
Click here for command line tips.  Learn how to do command line rendering - follow the link for rendering and caching command line
Click here for hscript common symbols. (also useful * is wild card and ^ is not, so * ^P in an attribute delete node would delete all but P)

Related to modeling/procedural modeling/procedural animation: (See also general modeling guidelines for Houdini)

TIPS: MODEL AT THE ORIGIN, there is no delete history, transformation order matters, where you put your node in the network matters.

Related to complex scenes/layout:

TIP: in dynamics scale matters.
Related to lighting and rendering:


TIP: if you are rendering water, metal, anything reflective - make sure you have something to reflect - the env light is a very handy method of adding an environment (trouble shooting tip - black parts of water, dull looking metal)

TIP: DATA TREE*** new in H13 - now you can easily select the lights and objects in a light-linker type format even when using instance lights - it's in the data tree under light bank viewer (sample file here)

TIP: Every object container has masks for refractions/reflections etc. which can come in handy

TIP: When using packed primitives, you may need to use the option in the mantra node to one of the save materials options located under the Rendering/Render tab parameter called Declare Materials

Student/Alumni  (remember to look at the example breakdowns as well)