Example File Guidelines

Author tip: Example hip files

What is the best way to show off your work? These guidelines can help...

It's a topic we've had a bit of time to wrestle with, and after working though a few [hundred] cases, we've put together these guidelines:

Example files

What we hope for in an example file is something which..

Demonstrates key features and value of the asset.
  • Not every feature need be highlighted.
  • Captures the imagination/interest of the user.
  • Demonstrates a literal, practical application.
  • Preferably a production-case scenario of some sort.
  • Shows the asset is a configurable smart asset.
  • Shows different instances of the asset in different configurations.

You can launch an example file directly from the Asset Browser using the Right mouse Button over the asset.:

It is a goal of ours to have the user be able to click one asset in the store, and have it open in Houdini looking exactly like its screen shot preview. We really want to avoid the situation where the user downloads and asset, and gets...
  • A blank example file.
  • A file that opens with "incomplete asset definition" errors.
  • Looks quite different from the screen-shot image


Here are some possible guides to consider.

When creating an example file...

The scope of the file should be a single asset.
  • Dependencies are fine, as they are considered part of the single higher level asset.
  • Use of other, non-dependent, assets should be avoided.

If use of another, non-dependent, asset is necessary for some reason, consider one of these work-arounds:

Create an artificial dependency.
  • If those non-dependent assets are really necessary, perhaps they should (artificially) become dependants of the asset in question.

  • For example, if tool A's hip file absolutely needs to include tool B, then the author could create an instance of tool B inside tool A, to create an artificial dependency.
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