HOUDINI AS THE BACKBONE
Plugins provide the glue between Houdini and third-party software
Another big reason Labs has become so popular has to do with third-party integrations. Labs is the primary way of interfacing with other popular 3D software into Houdini. Throughout the years, tools have been developed with a focus on the popular commercial game engines such as Unity and Unreal. The tools however do not restrict studios from using them with proprietary game engines, which are also a substantial percentage of users in the AAA games industry. Many tools in Labs have a single purpose such as the exporting or converting of VFX into a real-time ready format.
We make a big point of staying up to date with what artists use day to day in their pipeline, since game development is complex and has many moving pieces. The most popular integrations we have done are Substance, Gaea, Quixel Megascans, Mapbox, Zbrush and Realitycapture. Since these are dependent on thirdparty software, they are more fragile tools and therefore fit nicely in the agile development philosophy of the Labs team.