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Houdini Artist Docs

Houdini addon - 0.2.6

AYON global tools

Ayon Menu

ayon-menu

  1. asset_name, task_name
  2. Ayon create, publish, load and manage loaded assets
  3. manage workfiles and artist notes
  4. set global start and end frames for your Houdini session as well as FPS
  5. Update Houdini variables as in studio settings
  6. Not implemented yet

Ayon Publishing Process

info

Ayon tries to not be opinionated on your workflow, it only ensures that your work meets your studio's technical specifications using studio project settings customizations to customize it for particular studio or project's needs.

The current publishing process is

  1. Create a publish instance using Create menu or tab menu
  2. Click publish!
Tab MenuCreate Menu
tab_menumenu_create_creator_ui
Publisher UIAYON Publish Button
publisher_ui_publish_buttonpublisher_ui_publish_button
info

The AYON Publish button is a self-publish button that performs publishing in a native Houdini way. Currently, it only tells the publisher what to include in the publishing, it also includes the connected Ayon ROPs because it calculates the dependency graph.

The order of ROPs is not considered because the Publisher UI follows alphabetical order by default.

Create and publish products

Alembic Camera

Publish baked camera in Alembic format.

Steps:

  • Select your camera
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Camera (abc), toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Create Camera (abc) from the tab menu. tab_menu_alembic_camera

  • Ayon will create Alembic ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your camera will be published to .abc file.

Arnold Scene Source

Publish Arnold .ass Archive.

Steps:

  • Go AYON -> Create, select Arnold ASS, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Arnold ASS from the tab menu. tab_menu_arnold_ass

  • Ayon will create Arnold ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your scene source will be published to .ass file.

Arnold ROP

Publish Arnold Render.

Steps:

  • Go AYON -> Create, select Arnold ROP, set Variant name, set user attributes and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Arnold ROP from the tab menu. tab_menu_arnold_rop

  • Ayon will create Arnold ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the selected format.

publisher_ui_arnold_rop

Composite (Image Sequence)

Publish image sequence from Houdini cop networks.

Steps:

  • Select your cop node
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Composite (Image Sequence), toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Composite (Image Sequence) from the tab menu. tab_menu_composite_image_sequences

  • Ayon will create Composite ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your cop will be published to exr file.

Houdini Digital Asset

Publish Houdini Digital Asset for an easy interchange of data between Houdini instances or even other DCCs with Houdini Engine. HDAs can be used to publish most of Houdini nodes.

Current limitations
  1. Any HDA created by Ayon, you are not supposed to change its definition otherwise it will break.
  2. It only works in Objects level
  3. Having consistent data inside the HDA is your responsibility

Steps:

  • Go AYON -> Create, select Houdini digital asset (hda), set Variant name and click Create 》.
  • Ayon will create a HDA definition in /obj and move your selection inside it.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your HDA will be published to .hda file.

Karma ROP

Publish Karma render from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your candidate objects
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Karma ROP, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Karma ROP from the tab menu. tab_menu_karma_rop

  • Ayon will create Karma ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the selected format.

Mantra ROP

Publish Mantra render from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your candidate objects
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Mantra ROP, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Mantra ROP from the tab menu. tab_menu_mantra_rop

  • Ayon will create Mantra ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the selected format.

PointCache (Abc)

Publish Alembic point caches from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your sop node or obj node
  • Go AYON -> Create, select PointCache (Abc), toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create PointCache (Abc) from the tab menu. tab_menu_pointcache_alembic

  • Ayon will create Alembic ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the .abc file.
Node Selection

When selecting an ObjNode, Ayon will try to get its sop output node with the minimum Output Index otherwise it will get the sop node with display flag.

caution

Adding a path attribute to alembic point caches is a mandatory which achieves better compatibility with other DCCs.How you handle path attribute is up to you. Ayon does not enforce specific values, it only checks for path presence and suggests a default path value if it is missing.

PointCache (Bgeo)

Publish Bgeo point caches from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your sop node
  • Go AYON -> Create, select PointCache (Bgeo), toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create PointCache (Bgeo) from the tab menu. tab_menu_pointcache_bgeo

  • Ayon will create Geometry ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the selected bgeo format.

publish_pointcache_bgeo

Redshift Proxy

Publish Bgeo point caches from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your sop node
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Redshift Proxy, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Redshift Proxy from the tab menu. tab_menu_redshift_proxy_rop

  • Ayon will create Redshift Proxy ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the .rs file.

Redshift ROP

Publish Redshift render from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your candidate objects
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Redshift ROP, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Redshift ROP from the tab menu. tab_menu_redshift_rop

  • Ayon will create Redshift ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the selected format.

Review

Publish Reviews from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your candidate objects
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Review, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Review from the tab menu. tab_menu_review_rop

  • Ayon will create OpenGl ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the selected format.
Notes

ColorManagement: Specifying a value for OCIO Colorspace parameter is a mandatory if OCIO is enabled. Ayon doesn't enforce specific values, it only validates the value is an existent colorspace otherwise it suggests using default colorspace.

Convert to video and add burnins: Ayon will do them automatically on publishing if they are enabled in studio settings.

Static Mesh (FBX)

Publish Static Meshes from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your sop node or obj node or obj subnetwork.
  • Go AYON -> Create, select Static Mesh, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create Static Mesh (FBX) from the tab menu. tab_menu_filmbox_fbx

  • Ayon will create Flimbox FBX ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your mesh will be published to a .fbx file.
Node Name and product name

By default, the name will be something like this staticMeshMain

staticmesh-name-default

If your admin used unreal static mesh namings, you'll find names be something like this S_assetNameMain

staticmesh-name-unreal

USD (experimental)

Publish Solaris Stage as USD file.

Solaris USD

caution

This is an experimental product-type, and may not work properly.

  • Select your lop node
  • Go AYON -> Create, select USD (experimental), toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create USD (experimental) from the tab menu. tab_menu_usd

  • Ayon will create USD ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your Solaris Stage will be published to a .usd file.

USD render (experimental)

Publish USD Render.

caution

This is an experimental product-type, and may not work properly.

  • Select your lop node
  • Go AYON -> Create, select USD render (experimental), toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create USD render (experimental) from the tab menu. tab_menu_usd_render

  • Ayon will create USD ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to a .usd file.

VDB Cache

Publish VDB caches from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your sop node or obj node
  • Go AYON -> Create, select VDB Cache, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create VDB Cache from the tab menu. tab_menu_vdb_geometry_rop

  • Ayon will create Geometry ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your vdb cache will be published to a .vdb file.
Node Selection

When selecting an ObjNode, Ayon will try to get its sop output node with the minimum Output Index otherwise it will get the sop node with display flag.

VDB and Volumes

VDB publishing uses Houdini Geometry Rop Node which doesn't export volumes. Therefore, you should always convert any volumes to VDB.

VRay ROP

Publish VRay render from Houdini.

Steps:

  • Select your camera
  • Go AYON -> Create, select VRay ROP, toggle Use selection, set Variant name and click Create 》.

    Alternatively, you can just select Create VRay ROP from the tab menu. tab_menu_vray_rop

  • Ayon will create VRay ROP in /out with path and frame range already set.
  • After that, you can AYON -> Publish and after some validations your render will be published to the selected format.

publisher_ui_vray_rop

Publishing cache to Deadline

Artist can publish cache to deadline while using local machine for other tasks which increases productivity. Caching on the farm is supported for:

  • Arnold ASS (.ass)
  • Pointcache (.bgeo and .abc)
  • VDB (.vdb)
  • Redshift Proxy (.rs)

Follow these steps to submit your cache to deadline:

  1. you need to create the instance(s) with Submitting to Farm enabled, you also can still enable Use selection to select the object for caching in farm. Houdini Farm Cache Creator

  2. When you go to Publish Tab and click the instance(s), you can set up your preferred Frame per task. If you want to publish the existing instances to farm, you can enable the toggled button Submitting to Farm. Houdini Farm Per Task

  3. Once you hit Publish, the cache would be submitted and rendered in deadline. When the render is finished, all the caches would be located in your publish folder. You can see them in the Loader. Houdini Farm Per Task

Load published products

Loading is done by

  • load... : load products from the current project
  • library... : load products from a library project

menu_load_load_library

Loaded stuff is by default wrapped in subnetwork node called AVALON_CONTAINERS. Artist can move nodes inside AVALON_CONTAINERS out without losing management ability. For more info, Go to Load and Library Loader

Loading HDA

When you load hda, it will install its type in your hip file and add published version as its definition file. When you switch version via Scene Manager, it will add its definition and set it as preferred.

Push to library project

You can use the loader to push a product to a library project. push_to_library_project

Manage Loaded products

Use Inventory menu button to manage loaded products.

Key features:

  1. Set Version
  2. Switch Asset
  3. Inventory Actions

For more info, Go to Manage (Inventory)

Inventory_manage_products

FAQ

How does Ayon name ROP nodes ? and is it safe to rename them ?

Nodes are named after their product names by default. It's safe to change the node name but it's not safe to change the product name (found in Extra attributes) without referring to your pipeline admin. extra_attributes_product

The default product naming profile consists of family name (product type) and variant name For example if you are creating a camera publish and set the variant to name Main Then Ayon will create a rop node with the name cameraMain.

info

Admins are free to update product naming profiles.

faq_product_name

Does Ayon work with vanilla Houdini ROPs and Deadline nodes ?

This feature is not implemented yet.

How to publish existing files on disk ?

This feature is not implemented yet. For more info, Follow this Github Issue Enhancement: Houdini publish existing caches/frames