Houdini Job Submission Overview
As with most render applications, Houdini scene files need to be properly prepared prior to submitting them to Pixel Plow for rendering. All files external to the scene file being rendered need to be pointed to by using relative path names. Use of the $HIP variable in the scene file helps you out with this, as it generally points to the folder that holds the scene file. Use of absolute pathing to point to any external file can not be supported. We encourage you to prepare your scene file and assets in an empty folder prior to submission, so that the agent need only upload the files that are necessary for rendering your scene. Any simulation in your scene file will need to be baked and cache prior to submission of the render job. Simulation cache files need to be pointed to by relative pathing as well, and the cache files must reside in the scene file folder or a subfolder of that folder.
We have Houdini Engine deployed on our farm, which follows the guidelines, limitations, and restrictions put upon it by SideFX. We have tested rendering scene files created by Houdini Indie licensed instances, and they appear to render correctly. The Pixel Plow agent allows you to select .hip, .hiplc, and .hipnc files as the scene file to be submitted, but that doesn’t guarantee that Houdini Engine will render it as you expect. We have only tested .hip and .hiplc scene files.
Multiple output nodes (ROP’s) are read in your Houdini scene file by the agent after you select the scene file. You may assign frames to be rendered from any enabled ROP. Leaving the “Frame List” field of any ROP blank will cause the agent to ignore that ROP. In other words, only define a frame list for the ROP or ROP’s that you want rendered and delivered.