Nodes RANCH Cache and RANCH Cache Layer usage in SOP is similar to classic File Cache usage. Add the node to your SOP network and click on the button “Save To Disk” to generate the cache files using your computer.

These nodes are requested by the RANCHecker when working in simulation mode. But they may also be used when running in Render mode (To retreive files generated previously from a simulation on the RANCH and avoid unnecessary file transfer).

The out file path is partially configurable to ease the transition between your PC and the Farm.


  • Geometry Type :
    Choose the file format you need, it can be Bgeo, Vdb or Abc.
  • Save To Disk :
    Click on this button to execute the rop Save To Disk, (In Background): Click on this button to execute the rop in background (You can see the task progress in the menu Render>Scheduler).
  • Reload :
    Click on this button to reload the cache. however, the refresh beeing almost automatic, you should'nt need to trigger it manually very often.
  • Cache Time:
    Display the time spent for the cache calculation (Hour:Min:Sec)
  • Valid Frame Range:
    With the Render Current Frame mode, a new parameter Enable Specific Frame let you read only a specific frame in the cache.
  • Enable Specific Frame:
    This option activate a timeshift node, blocking the cache reading at a specific frame.
  • Frame To Load:
    Frame number to be loaded by the Ranch Cache.
  • Start/End/Inc:
    Specify begin/end frame numbers and increment of the cache process.
  • Enable pre/post behavior:
    Enable/Disable a cache reading behavior (cycle, hold, etc…).
  • Pre Hold:
    Reading behavior to apply on the frames prior to the beginning frame.
  • Post Hold:
    Reading behavior to apply on frames after the end frame.
  • Show Explorer (Yellow):
    Open a system explorer in the directory where are saved the cache files.
  • Show Explorer (Orange):
    Open a Houdini UI where is located the node with the cache files.
  • Output Folder:
    This parameter is the the first part of the path file the user can configure.
    It can be set and saved by default using the small wheel icon in the parameters panel > Save as permanent default

    However, the rest of the path will be set automatically for technical reasons and is not user customizable.
  • Cache Already On FTP Folder:
    Check this option if the file caches are already on your FTP account and don't need to be copied by the RANCHecker.
  • FTP Folder Path:
    This option tells the RANCHecker which directory on your FTP account must be used for the rendering or simulation calculation.
    Ex: If the Ranch Cache name is “collider” and the cache path files on the FTP site are: “project1/collider/collider.$F4.bgeo.sc”, you must write “project1” in this parameter to get the files being retrieved correctly.

Ranch Cache Layer

  • The usage of this tool is very similar to the Ranch Cache concerning all the parameters. But, you can't execute this node alone, it should be associated to a Ranch Cache.
    The purpose is to generate extra cache files in the same process than a Ranch Cache . This HDA generates different data in new separated cache files but in the same process than a Ranch Cache (For instance: low resolution cache versus high resolution for the main Ranch Cache).
    Input 1 : Main branch
    Input 2 : Extra data to put in new cache
  • Ex 1 - Pyro Simulation :

    The left branch (main branch), is the graph of a pyro simulation. These data will be put in cache using the Ranch Cache (explosion_highres).

    Simultaneously, the Ranch Cache Layer (explosion_lowres) will store in separated cache files a low resolution version of this simulation (Data low resolution calculated in the same process by the Node VDB resample (res_downscaled)). This data can be retrieved on the right in the Node ( Null EXPLOSION_LOW)

  • Ex 1 - (Next) :

    This is equivalent to the graph on the right side of this illustration, but optimizing the execution time.
    Indeed, on the right, if explosion_HR generate a huge volume of data, Houdini will need to re-evaluate this data to calculate explosion_LR, in case of high resolution this time can be drastically increased.
    On the other hand, the left side graph advantage is that it generates the new cache directly avoiding the re-evaluation step.
    As an example, if the right side graph spend 12h to calculate the two cache files (let's say 9h for the first and 3h for the other ), the left side graph will spend only 9h30 to generate two different data types on well separated Cache files. The difference of 30mn is the time to run the Node VDB resample.
  • Ex 2 - Flip Simulation :

    On this example, a flip simulation graph: time saving using the Ranch Cache Layer to generate the cache files on three file types (flip_sim=particles, flip_volumes=fields, flip_low_res=10% of the flip simulation points), in case of high resolution simulation (30 million points) can represent a huge amount of time compare to classic file cache sequence.
houdini/ranchecker/ranchcache.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/21 14:56 by ranchadmin