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Get time and date as a global variable

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I would like to avoid renders or exports from being overridden. I thought putting a time variable in the filename would be able to fix that for me.

I’ve found this _HIP_SAVETIME variable here, but that’s not enough as I can still make changes after I have saved the hip and export/override.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish this?


Thanks, :) 

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I think you can set this through a python expression with the datetime module.

import datetime

date = datetime.datetime.now()
export_date = date.day + "_" + date.month + "_" + date.year + "_" + date.hour + "_" + date.minute

filepath = hou.Node(".").Parm("my_export_path")
split = filepath.split("/")
new_filepath = split[0] + "/" + .... + export_date + split[-1]
hou.Node(".").setParm({"my_export_path" : new_filepath})

And you put this in a callback script of a custom button.

I'm not really into python and Houdini those times so I'm not sure if this would work, but give it a try ;)



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I second the use of the datetime module as well.

Here’s the documentation for that specific module.

I found myself in a similar spot when I changed naming conventions for saving project files. I was always doing the whole 01_, 02_ thing, until I realized it wasn’t very intuitive for me. So I created a custom Python shelf tool that saves my hip files to a specific location using a date based naming convention. Here’s a snippet of the code containing the date/time section:

def filePrep(self):
        timeStamp = datetime.datetime.now().strftime("%m-%d-%y_%I_%M_%p_") if self.ui.sys_time.isChecked() else None

The sys_time portion is Qt-centric code since I’m wrapping it all in a QWidget using PySide2, but after all is said and done, the script outputs a directory which is then fed to the hou.hipFile.save() method and saves it.

As an example, the code would spit out something like: $HOME/Projects/(Project Name Here)/hipfiles/02-18-20_10_49_AM_filename.hip

Those % characters are format codes you can feed to the strftime method to return a string according to what you need. Check out the linked documentation.


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