Getting Started with Houdini Engine: Installation Licensing and First Steps

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Here is how you install and load Houdini Digital Assets.

Learn how to install and load Houdini Digital Assets.

You can’t load assets in Cinema 4D, if you don’t have C4D installed. That’s obvious. But did you know that you can’t load Houdini Digital Assets inside C4D if you don’t have the Houdini Engine installed? Well, now you do, and here’s how it’s done.

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♪ [music] ♪ If you have a Houdini Engine enabled Cinema 4D installation, you will see a new menu entry called Pipeline in the main menu. In the Houdini Engine submenu, select Get Houdini Installer. This will launch your web browser, and automatically download the latest Houdini Engine version. Launch the downloaded file, and follow the installation instructions. If you already have Houdini or the Houdini Engine installed, you can skip this step, but make sure you have the correct version of Houdini or Houdini Engine installed as each version of the plug-in is specifically compiled to work with the appropriate Houdini or Engine version. At this point, please make sure that your Houdini or Houdini Engine is properly licensed. For more information on how to do that, please consult the appropriate Houdini documentation and seek help from Side Effects. Maxon is unable to offer any assistance on licensing issues. Once you have licensed Houdini or the Engine, quit and re-launch Cinema 4D to allow it to find the newly installed Houdini Engine. Now the pipeline Houdini Engine menu should be populated with additional items: Load Asset, Save Houdini Scene, Get Assets From Orbolt, and Get More Information. Finally, just to make sure everything is properly installed and licensed, open the Cinema 4D Preferences in the main menu, Edit, Preferences or Press Command E on a Mac or Ctrl E on Windows. Select the Houdini Engine tab, and you should be able to see the installed Houdini version number, installation path, and other useful information. If everything looks good, you can proceed with either downloading Houdini Digital Assets from the Orbolts store, or by loading any asset you have previously downloaded or created in Houdini yourselves. Let's test the installation and see if it works. To do that, first download the Simple Test Asset.hda digital asset. A link is provided below. Go to the Pipeline menu, and select Load Asset. Navigate to the folder that contains the simple Test Asset.hda and load it. You should see the green icon of the Houdini asset generator in the object manager, and a cube model in the viewport. Select the generator, go to the Attributes Manager, click on the Asset tab, and at the bottom you will see a menu named Select Input. Select between Simple Cube and Extruded Cube, and you should see the cube switch to an extruded cube in the viewport. If any of the above seems different to what you see in Cinema 4D, please check your installation and if the problem persists, please sign up to the Houdini user forum on the Side Effects' website and seek more help from our experts. All questions and comments should be posted there. Regardless of the above, please sign up anyway to share your experience and express your gratitude. Compliments are always welcome.
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