Houdini - Alembic Node

Alembic Output Node

Support for the Toolkit Alembic output node in Houdini.
Latest Version: v0.5.0 (prod)
For our version numbers, we follow the Semantic Versioning standard.
System Name: tk-houdini-alembicnode

Please Note: This document describes functionality only available if you have taken control over a Toolkit configuration. Please refer to the Shotgun Integrations User Guide for more details.

This app provides a Houdini Alembic output node whose output path is prepopulated with a location based off a set of Toolkit configurations and the path of the Houdini scene generating the content.


The Houdini Alembic Node App provides a custom Shotgun Alembic Output node which makes it easy to standardise the location where alembic files are output. It can be configured for each environment.

General Use

In order to use the Shotgun Alembic Output, save your script as a Toolkit work file first and then create a new node via the TAB menu in Houdini. This will create a node which looks similar to a normal Alembic output node:

Alembic Node

The node can be configured with multiple output profiles, each using a different template path for where the alembic cache should be written to disk.

Alembic Node

Rather than entering a path by hand, you just specify which output profile to use and the node will compute the rest of the path automatically. You can see the computed path in the UI.

Alembic Node

The output alembic files will be versioned and the version number will always follow the current Houdini scene file version which will be incremented automatically when you publish using Multi Publish.


The Toolkit alembic node provides the ability to specify multiple output profiles for an environment configuration. Here's an example of configuring the node with multiple profiles:

          name: tk-houdini-alembicnode
          type: app_store
          version: v0.2.2
        work_file_template: houdini_shot_work
        default_node_name: tk_alembic_out
          - name: For Publishing
            settings: {}
            color: [1.0, 0.5, 0.0]
            output_cache_template: houdini_shot_work_alembic_cache
          - name: Local Testing
            settings: {}
            color: [0.0, 0.5, 1.0]
            output_cache_template: houdini_shot_local_alembic_cache

You can use the output profiles to alter the look of the node via the color field, and you can adjust individual parms on the underlying Alembic node by supplying key/value pairs matching those parms in the settings field. Finally, the output_cache_template field drives the output path for the alembic cache written to disk.

Installation and Updates

Adding this App to the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit

If you want to add this app to Project XYZ, in an environment named asset, execute the following command:

> tank Project XYZ install_app asset tk-houdini tk-houdini-alembicnode

Updating to the latest version

If you already have this item installed in a project and you want to get the latest version, you can run the update command. You can either navigate to the tank command that comes with that specific project, and run it there:

> cd /my_tank_configs/project_xyz
> ./tank updates

Alternatively, you can run your studio tank command and specify the project name to tell it which project to run the update check for:

> tank Project XYZ updates

Collaboration and Evolution

If you have access to the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit, you also have access to the source code for all apps, engines and frameworks in Github where we store and manage them. Feel free to evolve these items; use them as a base for further independent development, make changes (and submit pull requests back to us!) or simply tinker with them to see how they have been built and how the toolkit works. You can access this code repository at https://github.com/shotgunsoftware/tk-houdini-alembicnode.

Special Requirements

  • You need Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit Core API version v0.12.5 or higher to use this.
  • You need Engine version v1.7.1 or higher to use this.


Below is a summary of all the configuration settings used. These settings need to be defined in the environment file where you want to enable this App or Engine.


Type: str

Default Value: sgtk_alembic

Description: A default name for Alembic output nodes created in houdini. Allowed characters include letters, numbers, periods, dashes, or underscores.


Type: template

Description: A reference to a template which locates a Houdini work file on disk. This is used to drive the version and optionally the name of output files.


Type: list

Description: A list of dictionaries defining the various alembic output profiles. Each profile contains a unique name that describes the profile, the cach template for writing to disk, a color to distinguish each profile type in the node graph, and optional settings to apply to the internal Alembic node.

Release Notes

Welcome to the release notes for this tk-houdini-alembicnode. Below you will find an overview of all the changes we did for each release. We try to be as detailed as possible and include all bugs we have fixed, features we have added and things that may have changed. If you have questions about a particular release, don't hesitate to contact our support team!



Rebranded to ShotGrid



Updates the otl files for Houdini 18 so the node better matches the native Alembic node.


In Houdini 18 the sgtk Alembic node now more closely matches the native Alembic node. Node properties have been added or removed, and the layout of the node has been updated. When using the sgtk Alembic node in Houdini versions prior to 18, it will use the original otls that don't contain parameter updates.



Adds support for Python 3.



  • Fixes a bug with converting to a standard Houdini alembic node.
  • Fixes a bug with setting color values on node profiles. Color values now must be a list of rgb colors with values between 0.0 - 1.0.
  • Fixes a bug where specifying settings for a profile in the app's configuration would cause it to error when creating a node.



Adds API to support template based workflows for publish2



Adds metrics logging



Changed node label from SGTK Alembic to Shotgun Alembic



Updated config docs.



QA: Fixed issue where renaming node did not update output path



OTL regenerated in preparation for release.



Merged updates from Pixomondo, cleanup, refactor


Fixed app so that it will install with the current engine version. - Note that this app is still going through QA and is yet to be officially released!


Initial release to the App Store.



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