CityEngine Plugin for SideFX Houdini

Palladio is a plugin for SideFX Houdini. It provides "surface operator" nodes which enable the execution of CityEngine CGA rules within Houdini networks. Therefore, 3D environment artists do not have to leave their familiar Houdini toolset anymore to make use of the procedural modeling power of CityEngine.

About Palladio

With Palladio, complicated export-import pipelines are no longer needed to get CityEngine models into Houdini. This also means that the procedural building models do not need to be “baked” anymore. The buildings stay procedural during the entire modeling workflow (optionally even at render time). Consequently, the 3D environment artist can change the height, style and appearance of buildings easily with a parametric interface at any point during production.

Palladio requires Rule Packages (RPK) as input, which are authored in CityEngine. An RPK includes assets and a CGA rule file which encodes an architectural style. Comprehensive RPK examples are available below and can be used “out-of-the-box” in Palladio. More examples for CGA rule files can additionally be found in the CityEngine tutorials.

Palladio is well suited for managing the procedural generation of architectural 3D content in digital sets. However, Palladio is restricted to the procedural generation of single buildings/objects. Palladio does not include the city layout and street network editing tools of CityEngine (i.e. the rich CityEngine toolset to design a city from scratch, or based on geographic data, is still needed).

Palladio is free for personal, educational, and non-commercial use. Commercial use requires at least one commercial license of the latest CityEngine version installed in the organization. Redistribution or web service offerings are not allowed unless expressly permitted. Please refer to the licensing section below for more detailed licensing information.

Downloads and Resources


Download the latest version of Palladio here.

→ Go to downloads


A full documentation of Palladio is available on our github repository.

→ Read documentation


For more information, assets and resources check our Github repository.

→ Go to Github


Angkor Thom

This example includes full CityEngine and Houdini projects. It demonstrates how to use CityEngine to author procedural assets like Walls, Stairs, Porticos and combine them in Houdini via Palladio and Rule Packages.

  • Created by Matthias Buehler
  • Also covered in "Digital Production" Issue 05/18 (Article in German).


Houdini and CityEngine projects (Palladio 2.0) Instructions


The Favela example demonstrates the packaging of a complex Rule Package into a Houdini Digital Asset with custom high-level parameters. The provided Houdini scene additionally shows how to prepare the input geometry for Palladio out of an Alembic archive (setup of random seed and start rule).


  • Requires Houdini 17.5 and Palladio 1.6.1 or later.
  • Based on the original "Favela" project (YouTube) created with CityEngine, Maya and Maxwell.
  • Created by Matthias Buehler


Houdini Project (Palladio 2.0) Favela RPK

CityEngine material handling for the Mantra renderer

This example shows how to use the generated CityEngine material attributes with Mantra.


Houdini Scene (HIPNC) (Palladio 2.0) Houdini Digital Asset (HDANC)

Palladio Basic Use Case


Houdini Scene (HIPNC) (Palladio 2.0)

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