How to install Redshift for Houdini?

SideFX Houdini allows the use of third-party render engines in addition to its built-in Mantra and Karma. Among the integrated rendering plugins, Maxon Redshift is a popular renderer. So, today, VFXRendering will show you how to install Redshift for Houdini.

how to install redshift for houdini


Houdini is the most powerful VFX software. Developed by SideFX, it has conquered the visual effects industry in film and game production for years. Since its first release, SideFX has been providing artists with procedural 3D animation and visual effects tools that help them create the highest-quality cinematic results. This digital content creation application supports third-party render engines including Renderman, Redshift, Octane, Arnold, and Vray in addition to the robust render engines Mantra and Karma that are included out of the box.

A powerful rendering engine with GPU acceleration is Redshift from Maxon. It is a biased renderer that focuses more on rendering optimization than physically realistic rendering outcomes. Also, Redshift emphasizes speed and quality. Redshift has satisfied the high standards of modern production rendering because of this.

Setting up Redshift for Houdini

Redshift installation for Houdini can be a little challenging at first. Last time, we talked about how to install Octane Render for Houdini. The process is quite similar for most 3rd party render plugins but the environment variables will vary. You can refer to our Octane Render for Houdini installation article.

Let’s discover the steps below.

Download Redshift for Houdini

First of all, you have to find the Houdini Production Build that matches your Redshift plugin version. Running the Redshift plugin while using the correct Houdini version is very important. Because failure to do so will cause Houdini to crash since the libraries will be no longer compatible.

For example, the following Production Builds of Houdini 19 will work with these Redshift versions:

  • H19.0.383: From Redshift 3.0.59 to 3.0.65
  • H19.0.561: From Redshift 3.0.67 to the last available

You can find which Redshift plugins support which Houdini versions here.

Install Redshift for Houdini

As soon as download the installer, you can start installing the Redshift plugin. When you run the installer file, you will be greeted with a welcome message. Make sure you have closed the running instance of Houdini if any before continuing. After you accept the licensing terms, the installer will show the Select target DCC applications screen. You can choose which DCC programs and versions to install the Redshift plugin. In this case, you will choose Houdini and a suitable production build.

Image source: Redshift Documentation

Next steps are Node-locked License Warning and TDR Settings pages. Type the word “yes” and choose the TDR delay settings (increasing the TDR delay is highly recommended). The Redshift installation is now complete. Click Finish to exit the installer.

Image source: Redshift Documentation

However, to use Redshift3D with Houdini, you will need an additional step after running the installer. To specify, you will need to edit your houdini.env file to include the following lines. This will inform Houdini software of the location of the plugin.


The houdini.env file is located at C:\Users\<username>\Documents\houdiniX.X\houdini.env (for example: C:\Users\<username>\Documents\houdini19.0\houdini.env)

Add the lines:

PATH = "C:/ProgramData/Redshift/bin;$PATH"
HOUDINI_PATH = "C:/ProgramData/Redshift/Plugins/Houdini/${HOUDINI_VERSION};&"


The houdini.env file is located at ~/houdiniX.X/houdini.env

Add the lines:

PATH = "/usr/redshift/bin:$PATH"
HOUDINI_PATH = "/usr/redshift/redshift4houdini/${HOUDINI_VERSION};&"


The houdini.env file is located at ~/Library/Preferences/houdini/X.X/houdini.env

Add the lines:

HOUDINI_PATH = "/Applications/redshift/redshift4houdini/${HOUDINI_VERSION};&"


  • Not all the Houdini production builds have the same version of the plugin build. Please check the section above to know the available Redshift plugin versions.
  • Updating to a new version of Redshift does not require this extra step; it is only necessary when installing Redshift for the first time.

This is a quick Redshift installation guide for Houdini by Lorcan O’Shanahan. The video is done for Houdini 17.5 but any version should work.

Render farm recommendations

There are times when you need a rendering solution faster than your computer. Because of the deadline, or very complex scenes that render like forever. For those cases, an online render farm is a really helpful and scalable solution. VFXRendering has recommended the four best render farms in Best Houdini Redshift render farm article. But here they are again:

These four render farms provide excellent support for RedshiftRenderer and Houdini3D. iRender continues to support all Houdini and Redshift versions due to its IaaS model. The other three – RANCH, Fox, and GridMarkets offer a wide variety of Houdini builds and Redshift versions.

To wrap up, this is our quick guide for installing Redshift for Houdini3D. We also give a few suggestions for Houdini Redshift rendering services if you are looking for a good render farm.

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