Houdini Engine for 3ds Max is now available,


I didn’t find anything about that here or anywhere and I had a hard time finding where was the uinstaller and the doc but it’s finally here: Houdini engine for 3ds Max and yes you can really do stuff that only Houdini can do but inside of max. you expose the parameters that you choose and they appear in 3ds Max and you can tweak them and see the change in the viewport in real time. I couldn’t believe it! :keenly:

I created a swiss cheese plugin using the vdb feature from Houdini, now inside of max. Before, to model such a volume I would have use Krakatoa with some Magma magic that I didn’t really understand that I just copied from bobo and the mesh it with frost and it was fast but with houdini engine the vdb are even faster and it’s easy to understand their logic!

And the best of all is that Houdini Engine for 3ds Max is totally free. You just have to find the right link on Git hub here it is (just clicjk on “latest binaires” to download it from dropbox and there is a document explaining how to install it):


It seems to me that instead of buying so many expensive plugins for 3ds max, I can now just use houdini indie (for only 200$) and create plugins for max that I will load via houdini engine! That’s the best news of 2015 for me! Also i don’t feel like I need to learn the MCG anymore… I will instead learn Houdini more and more!


Thank you for the info.
I agree that it’s a great solution to avoid buying these expensive plugins.
Do you think we can use krakatoa to render particles loaded with houdini engine?


edit: post deleted


I haven’t tried this yet but I know you can export particles in prt from houdini and then load them in 3ds max.

here is a link to one of the prt exporter


Dude wow. Just wow.

Thanks for finding this gem.

A Trojan Horse, Houdini is :wink:



Thank you strob for the link :slight_smile:


LOL Yes a Trojan horse! It slowly integrates into max and then all max users will see Houdini power and use it more and more into max until they don’t use max at all and just go right into Houdini!


So… what kinds of max feature can u make with Houdini Engine?
I guess that object is possible.
How about modifier or controller?

A few more question…
Are you sure, you can use Houdini Engine for free?
Even though plugin is free, I don’t think Houdini Engine itself is free.
Houdini Engine is rental only.


It seems you can do anything houdini can do but inside of max. I still have to explore to discover the limitations.

About the price of Houdini engine for 3DS Max, since it is developped by a benevolent third party and without any warranty, I don’t think they can charge for it. There is no support and I found some major bug. Like it doesn’t update on animation. All I have is a houdini indi license and it’s working for now with non animated stuff. I aksed the question on sidefx forum but it seems there is not much people on that forum I still haven’t got any answer.


I checked Houdini Engine for Maya forum.

I think basically Houdini Engine will use your Houdini lic.
So… your Indie lic will be used if you do not use Houdini Indie at the moment.
If you need to use Houdini Indie and Houdini Engine at the same time, then you need a separate Engine lic.

It applies to render node, too.
If you render geo from Houdini Engine, each render node need to have a Engine lic.
Well… I think that’s expensive, even with Indie Engine price, $99/year.


Well… I think that’s expensive, even with Indie Engine price, $99/year

So how much did you paid for 3ds max plugins for 1 render node per year?


wow! impressive, glad to see this come to fruition :smiley:


I think Houdini engine for maya is different since it’s developped by SideFx. The one for 3ds max for now is developped by a third party who is not paid by anyone to do it so he just distribute it for free and obviously he didn’t spent time implementing a license system into it. And once you are in 3ds max and render from there, you are using your 3ds max or vray license so you don’t have limitation from sidefx anymore…

And even if it becomes developped by sidefx and they charge 99$ a year for it, it will be less than having to buy let’s say rayfire (385$), fumefx (845$), phoenixfd (around 1000$), stoke(595$), frost(495$), bulletFx(260$), grow FX (325$), hairfarm (699$) etc etc all those price in USD and I’m in Canada with a down the drain canadian dollar, all plugins that I have already bought and that I just renew and upgraded! But I’m not sure the engine is ready to replace all of those plugins yet so I will keep updating them until I can replace them by the engine, but I will be testing this ASAP cause it is maybe the case… we will see… And maybe it will save my business cause all those plugin cause me headaches cause they don’t always work well together, all of them work with their own logic so they are time consuming to learn and they cost too much for me!


I knew you would be happy Johnny!


About licensing here is what they say on sidefx webstore:

Your Houdini Indie license can be used to run Houdini Indie in batch mode or to load Houdini Digital Assets into other content creation apps such as Autodesk® Maya,® Cinema 4D, and 3DS Max® [coming soon], or game editors such as Unity® and Unreal® [beta]. Houdini Digital Assets can be accessed from the Orbolt Smart 3D Asset store or created in Houdini Indie for sharing with other artists.

Houdini Engine Indie is a standalone licence that can be used on another computer to either run the Houdini Engine inside other apps or run in batch mode to generate distributed renderings and simulations. Houdini Engine Indie comes with its own Mantra token.

They say the max engine is coming soon, but it’s out since a month!

So to use it on only one computer you can use only one license of houdini indie. the engine license itself is for loading digital asset on another computer. So you were right gandhics!

The thing is that you have a limit of 3 houdini indies + 3 houdini engine licenses. That means you can deploy a render farm with a max of 6 computers for simulation distribution or rendering with mantra for 900$. Still lower than a single PhoenixFD license,


Well… I think that comparison is a little bit of stretch.
Let me know if Houdini Engine could replace all the plugin features that you mentioned.

BTW, are you sure if you are eligible for Indie lic?
Knowing how good you are, I’ll be surprised if your yearly revenue is less than $100,000.


For what Houdini Engine does? Nothing.


I mentioned already that I still have to see which plugin it can replace. But it’s not just with houdini indie, it’s also with alembic and prt exporter…

Man are you sure you are eligible to ask me this question? Don’t forget 100 000 USD is around 134 000 CAD, which I’m still far from. I’m still not there yet. and this year even more cause I’m on parental leave! Leave me your phone number and I’ll tell you when I’m not eligible anymore :banghead:


Do you think houdini can do the same? I know houdini has procedural modeling but modeling plants must be time consuming from scratch. And I’ve heard growfx is pretty advanced in what it does, isn’t it?


Look for Houdini L-System:

watch this too:

and read this: