Houdini 17.0 Animation

Working with the Channel List

The Channel List is used to select which parameters are displayed in the animation editor and on the timeline.

On this page

Overview

When press K to set keyframes, Houdini keys the values of the parameters in the Channel List. When selecting objects, Houdini will usually auto-add channels to the Channel List

How to see which channels are in the Channel List

To see what channels are in the Channel List, click the Channel List button on the right side of the playbar to open a floating Channel List or open the Animation Editor.

The bottom left sub-pane of the Animation Editor shows the Channel List. You can click the name of a channel to show or hide the channel in the graph display. This changes the channel list selection. You can choose to key all the channels or only the selected channels by changing the Global Set Key animation preference.

The playbar Channel List Button also displays Channel List statistics about the number of selected channels, the total number of channels, the number channels that have keys at the current frames and if channel list filtering is active.

The Parameter Editor can also display a visual hint if a parameter is in the Channel List. See the Underline in the Parameter Editor animation preference animation preference.

Tip

The top left sub-pane lists the channel groups. You can choose View ▸ Channel List or press ⇥ Tab in the animation editor to hide this sub-pane.

How to add channels to the Channel List

  • When you select an object, certain parameters will be auto-added to the channel list. These are usually the most important parameters for animation, such as translation (position), rotation, and scale. Different types of objects may have different default auto-add lists (for example, the Dimmer parameter on lights has the auto-add to channel list flag.). You can customize which parameters are auto-add for each object (see below).

    Customizing the auto-add parameters is especially useful when you only want to key a couple of channels (for example, Translate Y and Translate Z of a bouncing ball), since you can make sure than whenever you select and key the ball, only those channels are keyed, without paying attention to the channel list.

  • To add a single parameter or channel to the Channel List, right-click the parameter name (for all channels in the parameter, such as all translates) or an individual component (for just that channel, such as Translate Y) in the parameter editor and choose Channels ▸ Add to Channel List.

    or

    ⇧ Shift + a parameter name or individual component in the parameter editor.

  • To isolate a parameter or channel to the Channel List, right-click the parameter name (for all channels in the parameter, such as all translates) or an individual component (for just that channel, such as Translate Y) in the parameter editor and choose Channels ▸ Isolate in Channel List.

    or

    ⇧ Shift + a parameter name or individual component in the parameter editor.

    or

    Drag a parameter name or individual component into the channel list of the animation editor or channel list pane.

Tip

You can also use the mouse click with modifiers shortcuts on parameter editor tabs and groups. If you don’t remember the shortcuts, you can get them by right-clicking on a parameter.

Tip

When you start adding channels to the Channel List manually, you will probably notice that the Animation Editor window pops out in front of the screen. You can turn it off by setting the Open Animation Editor if Closed animation preference animation preference.

Keep Channel List Selections

When you select an object, you can choose to reset the channel list selection to its default state or keep the channel list selection in the state it was.

You can turn it on by setting the Keep Channel List Selection animation preference animation preference or on the playbar channel list refresh button’s drop-down menu.

Tip

You can quickly switch between different objects in the Animation Editor without having to always reselect the channels you want to edit if you keep channel list selections.

Tip

This works really well with the Modify Channels state tool using the J key.

Auto-add to the Channel List

When you select an object, certain parameters will be automatically added to the channel list. A list of default auto-add parameters is set for each object type, with the parameters you usually want to animate, such as translates, rotations, and scales.

You can customize which parameters are auto-add for each object. This is especially useful when you only want to key a couple of channels (for example, Translate Y and Translate Z of a bouncing ball), since you can make sure than whenever you select and key the ball, only those channels are keyed, without paying attention to the channel list.

  • Select the object you want to customize. In the parameter editor, right-click a parameter name or number field and choose the Channels ▸ Auto-Add checkbox.

  • Select nothing, then select the object again to check whether which channels are auto-added to the channel list.

Tip

When you create a digital asset, you can choose which of the asset’s parameters auto-add in the Parameters pane of the asset’s type properties window.

Auto-select in the Channel List

When you select an object, certain parameters will be automatically added to the channel list and by default all are selected in the Channel List. You can use change the default Channel List selection state of a parameter by turning off the Auto-Select flag. This is normally used to provide secondary controls on a rig controller that you don’t want to keyframe all the time, such as the FK/IK blend on a foot controller.

  • Select the object you want to customize. In the parameter editor, right-click a parameter name or number field and choose the Channels ▸ Auto-Select checkbox.

  • Select nothing, then select the object again to check whether which channels are auto-selected in the channel list.

Tip

When you create a digital asset, you can choose which of the asset’s parameters auto-select in the Parameters pane of the asset’s type properties window.

Keep Channel List Selections

When you select an object, you can choose to reset the channel list selection to its default state or keep the channel list selection in the state it was.

You can turn it on by setting the Keep Channel List Selection animation preference animation preference or on the playbar channel list refresh button’s drop-down menu.

Tip

You can quickly switch between different objects in the Animation Editor without having to always reselect the channels you want to edit if you keep channel list selections.

Tip

This works really well with the Modify Channels state tool using the J key.

See also

Animation

Getting started

Next steps