Houdini 17.5 Shelf tools

Pose shelf tool

Pose characters by manipulating control objects.

See the pose tool for more information.

  1. Select one or more objects to pose.

  2. Click the Pose tool in the Toolbox menu.

  3. In the operation controls toolbar, choose either Object-specific Handles or Global Transform Handle from the Handle Mode drop-down menu.

    The default is Object-specific handles.

This tool has a special function for bones with no kinematics, as it drives bones or bone chains by pointing at your cursor. It is similar to having a bone chain with Inverse Kinematics; however, it animates with rotates, not transforms. This creates a looser, arc-like interpolation, which makes the motion appear less linear and more natural. This tool can be used, for example, to animate a character kicking.

Invisible Rigs

The Use Surface Region Controllers option gives you the ability to pose geometry without using handles, if it detects a pose_scope attribute in your skin geometry network. This improves workflow and makes character animation easier by removing clutter from the viewport. Complicated rigs can have hundred of controllers, which can make animating quite difficult. Hiding these controls and using invisible rigs allows you to click and drag parts of the character in the viewport, which makes animating feel more like working with a stop motion puppet.

If the group has more than one channel, a pop-up wheel will allow you to easily toggle between the channels. For example, the simple female character has both translate and rotate abilities on her hand.


The display of the skin geometry must be turned off for invisible rigs to work.


Turning off Show Controls on the Display tab of your character will clean up the viewport further by removing the null controls from the scene.

For information on how to set up invisible rigs, see the Pose Scope SOP help.

See also

Shelf tools

Using the shelf

  • Customize the shelf

    How to change the look of the shelf, change and rearrange its contents, and create your own shelf tools.

Shelf tabs

  • Create tab

    Tools on the Create tab let you create and place primitives, curves, and null objects in the scene view.

  • Modify tab

    Tools on the Modify tab let you easily customize objects in the scene view.

  • Model tab

    Tools on the Model tab let you edit objects in the scene view.

  • Polygon tab

    Tools on the Polygon tab let you modify polygons in the scene view.

  • Deform tab

    Tools on the Deform tab let you deform objects in the scene view.

  • Texture tab

    Tools on the Texture tab let you texture objects in the scene view.

  • Rigging tab

    The Rigging tab contains tools for creating premade rigs.

  • Muscles tab

    The Muscles tab contains tools for creating muscles.

  • Characters tab

    Tools on the Character tab let you create characters in the scene view.

  • Constraints tab

    Tools on the Constraints tab create a constraint network where you can constrain objects to each other in the scene view.

  • Hair Utils tab

    Tools on the Hair Utils tab let you quickly set up hair and fur on objects.

  • Guide Process tab

    Tools on the Guide Process tab let you influence the placement and orientation of guide hairs by painting skin attributes.

  • Guide Brushes tab

    Tools on the Grooming tab let you add and directly manipulate hair.

  • Terrain FX shelf tab

  • Cloud FX tab

    The Cloud FX tab contains tools for creating cloud effects.

  • Volume tab

    The Volume tab contains tools for creating volume effects.

  • Lights and Cameras tab

    Tools on the Lights and Cameras tab let you create and place lights and cameras in the scene view.

  • Collisions tab

    Tools on the Collisions tab let you create collision objects in the scene view.

  • Particles tab

    Tools on the Particles tab let you create dynamic particle simulations.

  • Grains tab

    The Grains tab contains tools for simulate grains of sand and other granular matter.

  • Vellum tab

    The Vellum tab contains tools for creating different types of vellum effects.

  • Rigid Bodies tab

    Tools on the Rigid Bodies tab let you create dynamic RBD objects in the scene view.

  • Particle Fluids tab

    Tools on the Particle Fluids tab let you create particle based liquids in the scene view.

  • Viscous Fluids tab

    Viscous fluids are FLIP simulations that use a temperature attribute to drive viscosity.

  • Oceans tab

    The Oceans tab contains tools for creating ocean simulations.

  • Fluid Containers tab

    The Fluid Containers tab contains tools for creating pyro, smoke, and liquid containers.

  • Populate Containers tab

    The Populate Containers tab contains tools for creating and removing fire, smoke, and liquid.

  • Container Tools tab

    The Container Tools tab contains tools for manipulating fire, smoke, and liquid.

  • Pyro FX tab

    Tools on the Pryo FX tab let you create simulated smoke and fire effects.

  • Solid tab

    Tools on the Solid tab let you create and modify solid objects.

  • Wires tab

    Tools on the Wires tab let you create flexible dynamic objects in the scene view.

  • Crowds tab

    The Crowds tab contains tools for creating crowds, crowd behaviors, as well as examples.

  • Drive Simulation tab

    Tools on the Drive Simulation tab let you manipulate dynamic objects in the scene view.