qLib – A procedural asset library

Procedural Asset Library for Houdini: qLib

So now that you have become nice and cozy with Houdini, it’s time to step it up a notch and at the same time make your life easier. Don’t you wish some of Houdini’s operators had that one extra parameter to do certain things? Maybe a weight option or better yet, how about having certain operators for commonly created objects as opposed to creating them from scratch. For example, certain predefined curve shapes such as rounded squares or a cat shape. Ever wish you could just drop down a camera rig operator? Well, you are in luck because the folks over at qLab have created a great procedural asset library for Houdini called qLib just for these situations.


The qLib library is open source software licensed under the New BSD license. It’s developed by VFX professionals from several studios working on feature films, game cinematics and commercials.

The toolset is composed of tools that have unique functionality and/or highly optimized, multithreaded reimplementations of existing native Houdini operators.

qLib is a procedural digital asset library for SideFX’s Houdini. It is a collection of tools designed to work in accordance with Houdini’s native toolset. It improves the production process by allowing you to spend more time on what you want to achieve instead of how to achieve it.

Each asset is nicely documented with help cards and the best part is there are a bunch of example scenes showing you how to work with the toolset. There are a lot of cool tricks being used with the native operators as well so make sure to check those out.

qLib Toolset
qLib Toolset



Installing the tools is rather easy. First, you should either clone a copy of the Git repository or just download the zip file. Then all you have to do is add a few lines to your houdini.env file and you are ready to go. You’ll find the houdini.env file in your Houdini preferences folder.

QLIB=<<path to qLib install>>

HOUDINI_OTLSCAN_PATH = $HIH/otls:$HIH/otls/wip:$QOTL/base:$QOTL/future:$QOTL/experimental:@/otls
HOUDINI_GALLERY_PATH = $QLIB/gallery:@/gallery
HOUDINI_TOOLBAR_PATH = $QLIB/toolbar:@/toolbar
HOUDINI_SCRIPT_PATH = $QLIB/scripts:@/scripts
qLib Installation
qLib Installation


For more detailed installation notes and overall information about the toolset, head over to their site. I think you will find a bunch of useful tools in there.




I am a motion designer & developer based out of South Florida. When not designing or animating pixels, I wrangle some code. If all else fails, I watch Twilight Zone, I Love Lucy, or Three's Company reruns.