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If you already have a .vdb file, RenderMan will read it with blobbydso:impl_openvdb procedural without converting the .vdb file to volume.  Before Houdini 16.0.655, the only way is to create a box SOP and manually specify the Post include to inject it to the RIB.

Using Post Include

Make sure $RMANTREE/lib/plugins is in your Procedural Path. This is required for finding the

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Create a box OBJ. In the box's Render/Geometry's Obj post-include, include the RiVolume that will be emitted to the RIB.


  • Set your bounding box:  the numbers in [] after "blobbydso:impl_openvdb" is the bounding box for the vdb.  
  • Set the path and filename of the vdb after "constant string[2] blobbydso:stringargs". 
  • Set the channel name(s). The default channel of your vdb file is not required to be "density".  You just need to rename "density" to the channel in your vdb file.
  • If you have more than one channel name, you can append it to the list, e.g. "constant string[2] blobbydso:stringargs" ["$HIP/vdb/smoke.vdb" "density" "velocity"].