Houdini Plug-in Guide

Job Submission

You can submit jobs from within Houdini by installing the integrated submission script, or you can submit them from the Monitor. The instructions for installing the integrated submission script can be found further down this page.

To submit from within Houdini, select Render -> Submit To Deadline.


Submission Options

The general Deadline options are explained in the Job Submission documentation, and the Draft/Shotgun options are explained in the Draft and Shotgun documentation. The Houdini specific options are:

  • Houdini File: The Houdini file to be rendered. Note that anything within the hip file that points to an outside file absolutely must have a an absolute address on a shared network location, or the render nodes won’t be able to find the external references.
  • Output File: The output filename.
  • Render Node: You must manually enter a renderer (output driver) to use. Note that the full node path must be specified, so if your output driver is ‘mantra1’, it’s likely that the full node path would be ‘/out/mantra1’.
  • Version: The version of Houdini to use.
  • Build to Force: Force 32 or 64 bit rendering.
  • Override Export IFD: Enable this option to export IFD files from the Houdini scene file. Specify the path to the output IFD files here.
  • Submit Dependent Mantra Standalone Job: Enable this option to submit a dependent Mantra standalone job that will render the resulting IFD files.
  • Mantra Threads: The number of threads to use for the Mantra stanadlone job.

Plug-in Configuration

You can configure the Houdini plug-in settings from the Deadline Monitor. While in super user mode, select Tools -> Configure Plugins and select the Houdini plug-in from the list on the left. To get a description of each setting, simply hover the mouse cursor over a setting and a tool tip will be displayed.


Integrated Submission Script Setup

The following procedure describes how to setup the integrated Houdini submission script for Deadline. This script has been tested with Houdini 9 and later.

  • Copy the client setup script to the Houdini install dir

    • If the folder [Houdini Install Directory]\houdini\scripts\deadline\ doesn’t exist, create it.
    • Copy [Repository]\ClientSetup\Houdini\SubmitToDeadline.py to [Houdini Install Directory]\houdini\scripts\deadline\SubmitToDeadline.py
  • Add a menu item to execute the script

    • Open the file [Houdini Install Directory]/houdini/MainMenuCommon in a text editor.
    • Add the following in between the <mainMenu> and </mainMenu> tags, and make sure it is added after the </menuBar> closing tag.

    <addScriptItem id=”h.deadline”>


    <label>Submit To Deadline</label>




For example, this is what the last few lines of your MainMenuCommon file might look like:


  <addScriptItem id="h.deadline">
    <label>Submit To Deadline</label>



Which versions of Houdini are supported by Deadline?

Houdini 9 and later are supported. To render with Houdini 7 or 8, use the Mantra Plug-in.

Which Houdini license(s) are required to render with Deadline?

Deadline uses Hython to render, which uses hbatch licenses. If those are not available, it will try to use a Master License instead.

Error Messages And Meanings

This is a collection of known Houdini error messages and their meanings, as well as possible solutions. We want to keep this list as up to date as possible, so if you run into an error message that isn’t listed here, please email Deadline Support and let us know.

Currently, no error messages have been reported for this plug-in.