Tutorial 8. How to create and edit digital assets for use in Houdini and other software.

Houdini Digital Assets (HDAs) are networks of nodes that can be packaged up to simplify commonly used tasks in Houdini or to create tools that can be used in external software.

HDAs can be used in any software that has a Houdini Engine Plugin. these include:

  • Houdini
  • Autodesk’s Maya
  • Autodesk’s 3DS Max
  • Epic’s Unreal Engine (UE4)
  • Unity

This tutorial shows you how to set them up for different uses and to create correctly formatted geometry.

This video covers:

  • Creating networks in Houdini to speed up commonly used tasks
  • Setting up networks for external software and how to integrate with objects that were not created in Houdini.
  • How to set up instancing of input objects in HDAs


The setup for instancing in the video skips an important step- The points onto which the instance is placed need an “up” attribute to orient them correctly on a curved surface. In the video this doesn’t matter because they sit on a plane. This is done with a polyframe node with “Normal Name” = “up” and “Tangent Name = “N”.

The changes are made after the surface output because reassigning N to the tangent will break the surface normals.

These changes are in the HDA Littleplanet_Instances which you can download at the bottom of this page.

For more information see the Houdini documentation on Copying and instancing point attributes http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/copy/instanceattrs

I have created a cheat sheet that covers the steps to create a Digital Asset and the process to edit and save existing assets

For more in depth information on using HDAs outside Houdini take a look at:

Houdini Engine for Unreal https://www.sidefx.com/docs/unreal/

Houdini Engine for Unity https://www.sidefx.com/docs/unity/

Houdini Engine for Maya https://www.sidefx.com/docs/maya/

Houdini Engine for 3ds Max https://www.sidefx.com/docs/3dsmax/


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