Deadline, Houdini, Python, Scripting

Houdini Snippet Vol.15 – ns_Startup

ns_Startup release v0.1.25

This python script was created to starting Houdini easily with the right workgroups/renderers etc. without changing everytime the local env file.

Done with Python 2.7 & PyQt4. Including a WOL functionality for my FreeNAS fileserver and a preset/job system.
The preset system can be used globally – and pushed, to make them accessible to other clients/workstations.
I implemented a preset “Check” to make sure the workgroups/renderers are physically existing.
If not, you will get a warning, so you can reinstall them.

Also onboard, a little chat client.

I also modified my Thinkbox Deadline submission scripts to handle variable environments & the proper Houdini version for my render machines.

Right now i can start Arnold, Redshift, V-Ray and Octane from a workgroup location. I implement also a checkup function “ns_Version – ENV Check” to my ns_Version plugin for Houdini. The checkup starts with the script and guaranteed the right environments for my projects. I implemented a update function per robocopy as well, to keep all up-to-date over all clients/workstations.


To pass the right environments/version through Deadline, i write out a .xml-file which is uniqe named against the render-.hip.

Common path:

This .xml-file, i read back when hython.exe starts and setting the right enviroment/version variables, before the clients begin to render. (Two functions are modded here)

Common path:

In the Deadline “Configure Plugins…” Editor, i replaced the executable pathes with my <ns_version> tags.


Set HOUDINI_NO_ENV_FILE=1 to ignore local user specific configurations.
More variables and descriptions find here: