Houdini - Mantra Node

Mantra Render Output Node

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

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

General Use

In order to use the Shotgun Mantra Node, 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 Mantra output node:

Mantra Node

The node can be configured with multiple output profiles, each using a different set of template paths for where the render output (images, ifd, dcm, aov, etc) should be written to disk.

Mantra Node

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

Mantra Node

The rendered 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 mantra 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-mantranode
          type: dev
          version: v0.2.2
        default_node_name: tk_mantra_out
        work_file_template: houdini_shot_work
          - name: Primary Render
            settings: {}
            color: [1.0, 0.5, 0.0]
            output_render_template: houdini_shot_render
            output_ifd_template: houdini_shot_ifd
            output_dcm_template: houdini_shot_dcm
            output_extra_plane_template: houdini_shot_extra_plane
          - name: Local Render
            settings: {}
            color: [0.0, 0.5, 1.0]
            output_render_template: houdini_shot_local_render
            output_ifd_template: houdini_shot_local_ifd
            output_dcm_template: houdini_shot_local_dcm
            output_extra_plane_template: houdini_shot_local_extra_plane

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_*_template fields drive the output paths for the files written to disk by the mantra renderer.

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-mantranode

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-mantranode.

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_mantra

Description: A default name for Mantra 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 mantra 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 mantra 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 Mantra node.


In Houdini 18 the sgtk Mantra node now more closely matches the native Mantra node. Node properties have been added or removed, and the layout of the node has been updated. When using the sgtk Mantra 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 mantra 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.



Adds API to support template based workflows for publish2



Adds metrics logging



Bug fixes discovered during testing related to extra plane aovs



Changed node label from SGTK Mantra to Shotgun Mantra



Bug fix in conversion classmethods wrt extra image planes



Updated config docs.



QA: Simplified the hadModule code for param callbacks



QA fixes. 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.



  • 0
    Andrew Cuthbert


    In the system requirements, it says "You need Engine version v0.2.3 or higher to use this" but I believe the latest version of the Houdini engine is actually v0.2.0?

    Is this correct?


  • 0
    Alan Dann

    Hi Andy,

    Sorry about this!  I've just pushed out a fix to this app (and also the tk-houdini-alembicnode app) that fixes the engine version requirement.

    Please note though that these two apps are still going through QA and as such haven't been officially released so keep an eye out for any issues and report them to toolkitsupport@shotgunsoftware.com.



  • 0
    Andrew Cuthbert

    I manually overrode the requirement on my version anyway.



  • 0
    Alan Dann

    Ok, cool - let us know if you have any issues and we'll try to get this officially released soon.



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