Houdini 17.0 Basics

Radial menus

Radial menus give you quick access to commonly used features in the viewer.

On this page

Using radial menus

By default, Houdini assigns radial menus to three hotkeys. You can assign radial menus to other hotkeys in the hotkey editor.

Key

Menu type

X

Snapping controls

C

Custom. You can choose the menu on this key using the Radial switching menu.

V

View controls

You can interact with the menus in three different ways. Different people may be more comfortable with one interaction style than the others, and different styles may be more appropriate for different input devices.

  • Hold the key to show the menu, then move the mouse to choose a menu item and release the key.

  • Tap the key to show the menu, then move the mouse to choose a menu item and click.

  • Press the key and start dragging the mouse, then move the mouse to choose a menu item and release the mouse button.

    This style may work best if you're used to marking menus, or if you're using a tablet.

  • Click inside the circle or press ⎋ Esc to cancel the menu.

  • When the menu is open you can use the number pad keys (1-9) to "select" different directions on the current menu rather than using the mouse.

Custom menu

Houdini associates a custom menu with each desktop. For example, if you switch to the Modeling desktop, the C key will show a menu with modeling tools. The generic Build desktop has a menu with lots of generally useful tools.

You can also switch to different menus at any time using the Radial switching menu. For example, there are specialized modeling menus for curve modeling, polygonal modeling, and UV Editing.

Normally when you switch desktops, Houdini switches the C key to the custom radial menu associated with that desktop. You can "pin" the current radial menu so it doesn’t change with the desktop by opening the Radial switching menu and turning on Pin current menu at the bottom.

Creating and editing menus

Opening the editor

To...Do this

Edit a menu

  1. Use the Radial switching menu to switch to the menu you want to edit.

  2. Open the Radial switching menu again and choose Edit current to open the editor.

Edit the menu items (see below) and then click Apply to update the menu, or Accept to update the menu and close the editor.

Create a new menu

  1. Open the Radial switching menu and choose Create new to start a new menu.

  2. In the editor, set the Name to a short internal name for the menu. This string cannot have spaces. It will be used for scripting and to build the filename when the menu is saved.

  3. Set the Label to the "human readable" name for the menu. This label will appear in the radial switcher menu.

Edit the menu items (see below) and then click Apply to update the menu, or Accept to update the menu and close the editor.

Editing menus

To...Do this

Create a menu item that invokes a shelf tool

  1. Click the Shelf tools tab and navigate through the shelves tree to find the shelf tool you want to add to the menu.

  2. Drag the tool from the left pane onto one of the eight positions around the radial menu on the right.

Create a menu item that creates a node

  1. Click the Nodes tab and navigate through the node type and category tree to find the node you want to add to the menu.

  2. Drag the node from the left pane onto one of the eight positions around the radial menu on the right.

Create a menu item that runs an arbitrary Python script

  1. Click the Utilities tab and drag the "Script" item onto one of the eight positions around the radial menu on the right.

  2. Set the Label to the text that should appear in the menu slot.

  3. You can specify an Icon. If you leave the icon field blank, the menu will use a small dot.

  4. Enter the script to run when the user selects the menu item in the Script tab.

    The script can access a global dictionary called access. Currently the only item in the dictionary is kwargs["pane"] which returns a hou.SceneViewer object representing the viewer pane in which the user opened the menu.

    You can get an object representing viewport (split view) the mouse is over using hou.SceneViewer.curViewport().

If you want the menu item to be an on/off toggle, click the Check on/off tab and enter a Python expression that will return True if the menu item is on.

For example, if you have a global boolean variable in the session module called hou.session.mytoggle, you could set the Script tab to:

# When the user invokes this menu item,
# flip the toggle state
hou.session.mytoggle = not hou.session.mytoggle

…and set the Check on/off tab to:

hou.session.mytoggle is True

or just

hou.session.mytoggle

See scripting Houdini with Python for more on Python scripting.

Create a submenu

  1. Click the Utilities tab and drag the "Submenu" item onto one of the eight positions around the radial menu on the right.

  2. Double-click the submenu item to jump to the submenu.

  3. Edit the submenu.

    In a submenu, the menu slot opposite the submenu item slot on the parent menu is dedicated as a "go back" item (marked with a "rewind" icon) to allow the user to back out of the submenu. You can’t edit this slot.

  4. To go back "up" to the parent menu, double-click the "go back" item, or click in the path above the menu.

Tips and notes

Basics

Getting started

Next steps

Customization

Guru-level