Houdini 16.5 Basics

Visualizers

Visualizers create visual representations of otherwise hard-to-see information in the 3D view, such as attribute values and volume interiors.

On this page

Overview

Types

Color

Colors points/surfaces according to some scheme, for example mapping attribute values to a color ramp.

Marker

Displays text next to points in the viewport, for example attribute values.

Tag

Displays an object’s name in a selectable tag pointing to it, even if it’s offscreen.

Volume

Displays a moveable cross-section of a volume.

Generic

Generic visualizer type used to enclosing render hooks or unrecognized visualizer data.

Where you can put visualizers

Common

  • For visualizers that are useful to show on all (applicable) geometry at once.

  • Applies per-viewport.

  • Saved in user preferences, so they're available across different scene files.

  • Active/inactive state is not saved, so common visualizers start active when you start/reload a scene.

Scene

  • Like common visualizers, applies to all (applicable) geometry at once.

  • Applies per-viewport.

  • Saved in the scene file.

  • Active/inactive state is not saved, so scene visualizers start active when you load the scene.

Node

  • Applies only to the geometry generated by a specific node.

  • On network nodes, applies to all geometry inside the network. You can restrict the visualizer to only apply to descendent nodes of the same network type.

  • Appears in all viewports.

  • Settings for the visualizer appear in a tab in the node’s parameters.

  • Settings and state stored on the node, so whether the visualizer is active or inactive persists across saving and reloading the scene.

  • Overrides visualizers on nodes higher in the scene hierarchy.

Priority

When two (or more) visualizers can apply to the same geometry:

  • Scene visualizers have priority over common visualizers.

  • Node visualizers have priority over common and scene visualizers.

  • Node visualizers lower in the hierarchy win over visualizers higher in the hierarchy.

    For example, a visualizer on a geometry (SOP) node overrides a visualizer on the parent Geometry object.

  • For visualizers at the same level, the one higher in the list of visualizers has priority.

How to

You can add/edit visualizers in the 3D viewport display options on the Visualizers tab, or in the menu of the Visualization icon on the right side of the viewport.

To...Do this

Create a common or scene visualizer

  1. Right-Click the Visualization icon on the right side of the viewport to open the visualizers menu.

  2. Click the icon next to Common or Scene file and choose a visualizer type to add.

Create a node or network visualizer

  1. In the network editor, navigate to the network containing the node you want to visualize.

  2. Right-Click the Visualization icon on the right side of the viewport to open the visualizers menu.

  3. On the right side of the pop-up menu, click the icon next to the node and choose a visualizer type to add.

Edit an existing visualizer

Right-Click the Visualization icon on the right side of the viewport to open the visualizers menu, then click the icon next to the visualizer.

Or

If a node has a visualizer, you can use the settings on the Visualizers tab in the parameter editor.

Enable/disable visualization at once

Click the Visualization icon on the right side of the viewport.

Show/hide a visualizer

  1. Right-Click the Visualization icon on the right side of the viewport to open the visualizers menu.

  2. To show/hide an invidual visualizer, click the checkbox next to the visualizer.

If you hide the visualizer on a network node, it doesn’t affect visualizers on node inside the network.

Show/hide all common or scene visualizers at once

  1. Right-Click the Visualization icon on the right side of the viewport to open the visualizers menu.

  2. Click the checkbox next to the the "Common" or "Scene" headings.

Reorder visualizers

In the visualizers menu, drag the visualizers up or down in the list.

Visualizers higher in the list have priority over visualizers lower in the list when they could both apply to the same geometry.

Change whether a visualizer is Common, Scene, or on a node

In the visualizers menu, drag the visualizer from one list to another.

Delete a visualizer

Edit the visualizer and click the Delete button in the toolbar at the top of the editor.

Duplicate an existing visualizer

Edit the visualizer and click the Copy button in the toolbar at the top of the editor.

Note

Some Generic visualizers representing render hooks cannot be deleted or moved outside of the Scene visualizers list.

Editing visualizers

Clicking on the icon next to the name of a visualizer in the Visualizers menu pops open that visualizer in the "Edit Visualizer" dialog.

Here you can edit the following general settings common to all visualizers as well specific visualizer parameters.

Active

Whether this visualizer appears in the viewport.

Name

A unique (within the visualizer list) identifier for this visualizer instance. This is how scripts can refer to the visualizer. Houdini may automatically add a number to this name if it’s not unique.

Label

A human-readable name for this visualizer to appear in the interface.

Icon

Click the icon to choose a new image to use. You can use this to make individual visualizers of the same type easier to find in the list.

Type

See visualizer types above.

Scope

Which nodes this visualizer applies to.

Node Only

Only apply to the geometry generated by this node.

Same Network Type Descendants

Apply to the geometry generated by this node, and (if it’s a network node) all the nodes inside the network that have the same network type.

All Descendants

Apply to the geometry generated by this node, and (if it’s a network node) all the nodes inside the network.

Global

Common and Scene visualizers display this setting and it can’t be changed.

At scene level/At geometry level

Use the checkboxes to choose whether the visualizer applies to unselected, selected, and/or ghosted geometry.

See the visualizer type’s page for information on the settings for each type.

Exporting and importing

You can save visualizer settings to a file and then import them into another scene.

  1. Open the visualizers menu.

  2. Right click a Common, Scene, or a node with visualizers, and choose Export to file. Choose the file to save the settings to.

  3. In another scene, open the visualizers menu, right click Common, Scene, or a node, and choose Import from file. Choose the saved settings file.

See also

Basics

Getting started

Next steps

Customization

Guru-level