Houdini 2 Blender Cycles Pyro Exporter

by Alexander's Artwork in Materials, Shaders, Textures

A tool that helps you to export Houdini Pyro/Volume Simulations with Heat Attribute to Blender. 

What you get:

  1. A Houdini test file (format: Houdini Indie)
  2. The Houdini Export HDA
  3. The Blender Cycles Volume Material
  4. A Blender Cycles Testscene 
  5. Additional Information and updates for use with Houdini 16
  6. The Asset was successfully tested without errors in Blender 2.79

Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhxvj-7-dLg&feature=youtu.be

Information for the future in regard to Blender 2.8 and beyond.

I will further provide support for Blender Users which will stay with Blender 2.79, but 

the Support for this product will be stopped for all Blender Versions beyond Blender Version 2.79. Means exactly that there will be no support or further development for Blender Version 2.8 and beyond.

Is this exporter working with Houdini Apprentice?

Simple Answer: No, because in Houdini Apprentice the Alembic function is disabled.

Are there any plans to make it working under Apprentice? : 

Also No, cause it works at least with Houdini Indie and all other non Apprentice Versions, wich is quite fair. For more Information about Houdini Indie check out: www.sidefx.com 

How much Houdini and Blender experience i should have to get it working in the propper way?

At least you should have intermediate experience in both tools. (around - 6 month Houdini experience in Dynamics)

Its highly important to understand that this exporter tool is supposed to be a "few click solution" to get pyro simulations exported from Houdini to Blender.

This exporter is not a "one click and all is fine solution", cause of the nature of individual projects and the time you need to get setup the correct values for your own individual case and project. 

How can i get more documentation and help to understand the exporter tool better:

Please watch the Youtube Tutorial in full length. The exporter is not easy to use, so its important to watch the video. 

The video shows what can cause problems and explain errors and solutions: 


After Importing the Alembic File Sequence i had issues to get my simulation rendered in Blender Cycles. My GPU broke up with rendering cause of complexity and polycount of the simulation:

Its important you have at least intermediate experience in rendering volumes in Blender Cycles:

For reducing the amount of GPU you need to change and adapt the Step Size and the Max Steps values in the Rendertap of Blender. You have to find a good mix between quality and the needed Stepsize for getting your Simulations look great. 

Blenders own volume simulation system has not such detail, compared to Houdinis, so you need to tweak these values, to get good rendertimes and small VRAm usage. 

What type of Type of Computer do you have to have to get high quality Houdini Simulations to render in Blender Cycles on GPU

at least:

Intel i3 (or similar AMD) with 8gb of DD3 RAM and a Nivdia GPU with at least 2 GB of VRAM. 


intel i7 (or similar AMD) with 16 gb of DDR3 RAM or higher and Nivida GPU with 4GB of VRAM or higher.

Item Rating

This item has an average rating of 3 from 1 ratings by the community.

  • mithunkris over 1 year ago

    It works fantastically for stills. But here are the few challenges I faced.
    1. Animation import almost everytime crashes. not only during import into blender but even if it was successful it crashes during render.
    2. The poly count is way too high for blender to handle. Its extremely sluggish.
    3. To export in Houdini 16 I had to do some modifications to get it to work. The documentation doesn't explain this.
    4. The main purpose of this purchase was for me to use my graphics card in blender but it runs out of memory due to heavy loading making it not so useful.

    Saying all this this tool is very good. Need some improvements over animation rendering.

    • Alexander Weide over 1 year ago

      HI, first of all thanks to your Feedback. to 1.: A fail of importing the animation, has nothing to do with the export tool itself. Cause the exporter tool dosen't manage the import of alembic files into blender at all. Its highly recommended to have at least 8 gb of ram to import large alembic files. to 2.: In the Houdini exporter Sop Node you have a description in the node which provide all information you need to determine how much detail you want to cache out. to 3.: i will add a description in the Blendermarket description that the user has to have at least intermediate experience in Houdini Dynamics and particles. Cause this exporter is not only the only tool available on the market, which can export those highend Houdini Simulation to blender, but it also needs some experience. to 4.: to get highend simulations rendered in Blender Cycles on GPU or any other GPU renderer you should have at least 2 GB of VRAM, i recommend 4 GB of Vram. conclusion: I had no issues in terms of animation or rendering of animation in 1 year since ive build this. its highly recommended to have a good vfx capable workstation for doing houdini simulation in combination with blender cycles and the exporter, cause of the amount of data houdini is producing in general. at the moment there is no other solution for getting Houdini Simulations rendered in Blender Cycles. Thanks for you Feedback. I will add some further descriptions to the blendermarket product information.

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