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Project Management In H


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I personally have a "empty DB" which includes directories like "GEO, PICTUERS, RENDERS, CACHES, OBJ (for imported geometry)" and such ... i create a new directory and drag those empty Dirs on the newly created DB ..

all my DB are organized by Production .. i come from Softimage where Database had a strong meaning and was easy to get things organized...

dunno if I answered your question.. but that was my 0.02 :)

oh.. and I always use incremental save. (and incremental directories for different tests)


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I have a structure kida like Jean,

My Folder structure for houdini has:

Audio, Camera_Track, Chan, Composites, Farm, Footage, Geo, Hip, IFD, Maps, MI, Objs, Pics, Otl, Ribs, Shaders, Scripts.

I have this setup for every shot that I'm working on. The scripts and otl folders are in my path so houdini can find them easily.

I normally setup a JOB variable so that I can easily cd into that directory as well as reference that variable in my paths inside houdini.

When I reference textures in my scene I normally do something like:



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How do you change the default $JOB variable?

SO that whenever a new scene is started, it points to a predefined location.

It always points to the default Houdini install...



once you make your first file save.. $JOB will point at that path.

In fact, when I start a new project, second thing I do after having created such above empty directory structure, is saving a "setup_1.hipnc" file which will set my $JOB variable and my incremental file saving.

I also always use relatives path for OPs and for Files.


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10x Sum, that I know...

I meant how to set it from a startup script or sth similar.

So that you don't type in the Aliases/Vars editor.


you dont have to type it in the var/aliases editor actually... i mean ... which an empty scene (Houdini just fired up) that's not even set... after first save.. that points to the location of your file.. sorry but i see your question but not your point :)... btw.. i guess best way would be creating a script which creates (if not there) the empty database.. then launches a customized version of 123.cmd which sets variables? I use my own defaultscene.cmd for similar reasons.. but I usually manually create the empty DB.. since i never had the needs to "manually set" the $JOB variable cause that's automatically done after first file save...

could you tell more details about your needs?.. this sounds interesting but i dont get it now..


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Yep, I know that when you save the hip it will set the $JOB as well...I don't phrase my questions well today..or ever...

What I am looking for is a new default project structure (similar to Maya's default project path) that can be set via startup scripts, or even better, from a dialog (to make things easier). Sum][one, since you have XSI experience, you know what I mean :)

So - One starts H and the Aliases/Vars are filled with e predefined set of paths. eg. $JOB=D:\Projects $HIP=$JOB/hip $TEX=$JOB/tex, etc...

I am still a complete newbie in H, so I don't know how to do it with scripts, or maybe from OTLs (if they can somehow modify the filesystem to create the dirs and then set the vars)..It is a bit unclear to me the order of executions in the Houdini/scripts dir...what comes frst, what can override what....


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ah...searching...it's so fun and informative :)


I'm not sure how current the scripts are - maybe wolfwood can spare some time to update it if his other work isn't 'crowding' him ;)

generally it's a great idea to create an environment /first/ then run Houdini - so everything is set up before you even begin working...

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Are you using windows or linux?

We use linux and we have scripts that create our database structure for us as well as set our environment variables.

Unlike other softwares, Houdini doesn't really care about your database structure. You can set it up any way you please.

Hip files don't have to go into HIP folder they can go into scenes or foo or whatever.

Houdini should read all of your environment variables as well.

On linux in a cshell it would be something like

setenv JOB /path/to/my/shot
setenv RENDER /path/to/my/render/pictures/folder

Inside houdini I can reference this or any other variable I set.

I guess you can do the same on windows with some type of batch script.

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ok Diula ... now i got it :) sorry for being pretty slow on it.

I guess you can trick the startup files for that (123.cmd) with the following:

(copy the $houdini/houdini/scripts/123.cmd" into you houdini8.0 folder inside your $HOME)

at the end add the following

set HIP = "C:/"

I have my own 123.cmd file in my $HOME with all my custom settings and cleaned "defaultscene.cmd"... the above example sets the $HIP variable to C:/ ...

your problem would be to "per project" settings... which involves loading furthes script or a script per project.. anyway .. the above "set" should do what u ask for.

hope this helps


EDIT: oh right... my example was on Windows....

EDIT2 : uhm.. seems like its working with HIP.. but not with JOB or HIPNAME... gotta find why... sorry. cheers.

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right... use setenv instead of set

setenv HIP = x:/databases

setenv HIPNAME = setup1.hipnc

setenv JOB = x:/databases

still have to find how to set PICTURE to $JOB/PICTURES tought..


EDIT: i should wait until posting here...

here is it

setenv PICTURES = $HIP/PICTURES (remove ending "/" after prior setenv)

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