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Starting a new rig setup

To...Do this

Create a new setup

Set a character rig to the scene by selecting that character with .

Alternatively, the node name can be typed into the character text field, or dragged in from the Network Editor. A history of the selected characters is maintained in the drop down menu next to the character text field.

Turn on edit mode

Click the Edit button in the menu bar.

Tip

You can press E to toggle Edit mode on and off.

Add a new view

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Click the button beside an existing tab, select New Tab Type, and select either Single View or Multi View. A Single View will contain one character viewer pane, while a Multi View will contain four panes that can be resized.

Setting up control buttons

To...Do this

Add a new control button

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Click in the current view.

  3. Click the spot in the Character Picker pane where you'd like to place your new button.

Add a new control button at the center of the pane

  1. Click in the current view.

  2. Press Enter.

Alternatively, you can hold ⌃ Ctrl and click in the Character picker pane.

Stop adding a new button

If you have clicked the button to add a new button and want to cancel this process, press ⎋ Esc.

Reposition the control button

Click and drag the control when Edit mode is turned on.

Align a group of selected control buttons

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Right-click one of the selected controls and hover over Layout.

  3. In the Layout submenu, click on Align selected buttons vertically or Align selected buttons horizontally.

Space a group of selected control buttons

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Right-click one of the selected controls and hover over Layout.

  3. In the Layout submenu, click on Distribute selected buttons vertically or Distribute selected buttons horizontally.

Note

If the selected controls are already spaced out enough, these options will not do anything.

Link the button to a control

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Right-click the control and select Edit Target Nodes.

  3. Select the controls you want to link and click Accept.

Set/reset the target nodes of a button

  1. Select the desired nodes in the viewport.

  2. Right-click the control in the Character Picker pane and select Set from Viewport Selection.

Add another target node to a button

  1. Select the desired nodes in the viewport.

  2. Right-click the control in the Character Picker pane and select Add from Viewport Selection.

Select multiple controls at once

  1. Click the Select menu at the top of the Character Picker pane.

  2. Choose either Box Picking or Lasso Picking.

  3. Click and drag around the buttons you want to select.

Select individual controls

Click the control you want to select.

Add to selected controls

Hold ⇧ Shift and click additional buttons.

Remove a button from the selection

Hold ⌃ Ctrl and select the button to remove.

Select all controls at once

Hold ⇧ Shift and click the background.

Select mirrored control buttons

Hold ⇧ Shift + Alt and click when is on.

Note

To be mirror button pairs, the buttons must have the same node contents. This means the nodes they contain can only differ in name by the suffixes left and right, and the number of nodes they contain must be the same.

Change the color of a control.

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Right-click the control you want to removed and select Edit Color.

  3. Select the new color and click OK.

Change the label of a control.

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Right-click the control you want to removed and select Edit Label.

  3. Type the new label in the text field and click OK.

Remove a control

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Right-click the control you want to removed and select Delete.

If another control button shares any nodes with the button that is currently selected, it will be highlighted, but not selected.

Adding background images

You can set background images from either the current viewport, an external file, or an image supplied by a URL link.

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Click the the gear menu and select Set Background.

  3. Choose either From Viewport, From File, or From URL.

The images will be saved within the character picker, so there is no need to keep image files or maintain directory continuity.

Note

A Scene View tab must be visible for the background to be set with a viewport image. Additionally, the .hip must be saved and have an associated $HIP directory.

Working in the Character Picker pane

To...Do this

Show/hide the grid

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Click the gear menu > Show Grid.

Tip

You can press ⇧ Shift + G to toggle to grid on and off.

Snap to the grid

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Click the gear menu > Grid Snap ▸ Snap to Grid.

Tip

You can press ⇧ Shift + S to toggle to grid snapping on and off.

Adjust the size of the grid cells

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Click the gear menu Grid Snap ▸ Grid Snapping Options to open the Snap Options dialog.

  3. Drag the slider or enter a value from 40-100 in the Cell Size parameter.

Adjust the snapping gravity of the grid

  1. Make sure Edit mode is on.

  2. Click the gear menu Grid Snap ▸ Grid Snapping Options to open the Snap Options dialog.

Drag the slider or enter a value from 1-100 in the Gravity parameter.

Zoom in/out of the pane

Use , spinning it forwards to zoom in and backwards to zoom out.

You can also right-click and drag right and/or up to zoom in, and left and/or down to zoom out.

Pan around the pane

-click and drag to pan, or hold Space and click and drag.

Automatically zoom to show whole view

Press Space + H.

Automatically pan and zoom to show the selected buttons

Press Space + G.

Working with multiple characters in a scene

If you have multiple characters in the scene with identical rigs and wish to use the same layout controls to manipulate both, select the other characters using the chooser. You can toggle between the characters using the dropdown menu. Whichever character is displayed in the Characters field is the character the controls will be applied to.

Loading and Saving

Views can be saved to a .json file or directly to the rig’s digital asset. For example, the Simple Biped character already includes a character picker rig. The view state is stored by using the File ▸ Save Layout menu. Views can be loaded from a digital asset or an external file via File ▸ Load Layout, dragging and dropping its node from the Network Editor into the Character Picker panel or Character text field, or by clicking and selecting your node.

Tip

Press ⌃ Ctrl + S to quick save changes to the place the layout was last saved or originally loaded from.

Note

Only HDA Object nodes can be loaded.

Registering an Event Callback

def eventCallback(event_type, kwargs):
    if event_type == mainwidget.EventType.ButtonSelected:
        targetPaths = kwargs["targetpaths"]
        # do something
        return True
    elif event_type == mainwidget.EventType.ButtonDeselected:
        targetPaths = kwargs["targetpaths"]
        # do something
        return True
    return False

# Open a character picker
pane_tab = hou.ui.curDesktop().createFloatingPaneTab(
    hou.paneTabType.PythonPanel,
    python_panel_interface="sesi_character_picker")
char_picker = pane_tab.activeInterfaceRootWidget()

# Register the callback 
char_picker.registerEventCallback(eventCallback)

# Now, any events will be routed to eventCallback first.

Users can customize the behavior of certain events by registering a callback with the CharacterPicker. Each event is associated with some EventType. The following EventTypes are available:

  • ButtonSelected

    Signaled whenever a button is selected. Default behavior is to select the nodes targeted by the button.

    Key-word arguments:

    • "targetpaths": full paths to the nodes targeted by the button.

    • "buttondefaultbehavior": one of cpglobals._PYS_DEF_BEH_* constants. This is called whenever a control button is selected.

  • ButtonDeselected

    Signaled whenever a button is deselected. Default behavior is to deselect the nodes targeted by the button.

    Key-word arguments:

    • "targetpaths": full paths to the nodes targeted by the button.

Callback Function

def eventCallback(event_type, kwargs):
    if event_type == mainwidget.EventType.ButtonSelected:
        targetPaths = kwargs["targetpaths"]
        # do something
        return True
    elif event_type == mainwidget.EventType.ButtonDeselected:
        targetPaths = kwargs["targetpaths"]
        # do something
        return True
    return False

When an event happens, the registered callback is passed 2 arguments: the type of the event, and a dictionary of arguments corresponding to the event.

If the callback returns True, then the default behavior won’t be executed. If the callback returns False, then the default behavior will be executed after the callback returns. It may be helpful to think of True as indicating that the event has finished being processed, and False indicating that the event hasn’t been fully processed and should be processed further.

If no callback is registered, the default behavior is performed.

For example: the default behavior for a button selection event is that the nodes assigned to the button are selected. If the registered callback returns False for the EventType.ButtonSelected event, then the buttons will be selected after the callback returns. If it returns True, then it’s up to the writer of the callback to select the nodes if they so choose.

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