Deadline, Houdini, Python, Scripting

ns_Startup 0.1.03 & Deadline Scripts

This python script was created to starting Houdini easily with the right workgroups/renderers etc. without changing everytime the local env file.
Done with PyQt4. Including a WOL functionality for my NAS and a preset/job system. The preset System can be used globally and pushed, to make them accessible to other clients/worksations. Global presets have a “_” char at the first position. 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.

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 from a workgroup location. I implement also a checkup function 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.


Preset Check:

Preset Check with a missing source:

Settings Tab:


Houdini: ns_Version – ENV Checkup per project inside Houdini. (You can see, the project was original created with Houdini 16.0.736 and with a lower Redshift version).


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 user specific configurations.
More variables and descriptions find here:

Another Hint:

Found this yesterday. Pretty good article about Houdini Environment Variables from Juraj Tomori:
Houdini tip | Taking advantage of environment variables