Basics User interface overview
Introduces Houdini’s new user interface, with a tour of the main window and links to various user interface topics.
Houdini’s user interface is substantially improved over previous versions, with new, faster workflows and powerful tools. The new user interface makes it easier than ever to model, animate, and render in Houdini, while still allowing Houdini experts to access the raw power of Houdini unobstructed.
Longtime Houdini users can get a quick rundown of what’s changed in the user interface in the what’s new section.
Learn how to select objects and components.
Some tools use a brush interface instead of handles. For example, you can paint color onto polygonal points using a brush interface.
The main window
Click parts of the screen shot to learn about the Houdini interface.
Houdini’s main interface is divided into a few sections…
The main menu bar at the top of the window has menus that control global options. Most panes also have their own menus or pop-up menu icons with commands and options specific to that pane.
The menu strip also contains controls for takes.
When you click the help icon in the menu bar, it opens or closes the help browser pane. The help browser is an embedded web browser you can use to read Houdini’s online help while you work.
The toolbox along the left side of the 3D scene viewer gives you tools you can use to select and manipulate objects and components, as well as quick access to snapping and rendering buttons.
The shelf contains buttons you can click to affect the scene. Some buttons insert new objects, some affect the selected objects in the scene.
For example, to insert a sphere into the scene, first click the Create tab in the dock, then click the Sphere icon.
The largest area of the main window is divided into panes. Different panes have different functions. The interface is divided into three panes at first: the 3D view pane, the parameter editor, and the network view pane.
Below the panes, the playbar has controls for playing, stopping, fast-forwarding, and rewinding animation.
Below the playbar, the status line displays help prompts for using tools, and messages from Houdini.
The Move, Scale, Rotate, and Handles tools let you edit geometry and parameters in the viewer using handles. You can make handles persistent so they're available even when the corresponding object or node is not selected. You can also Drag parameters from a node into the viewer to make that parameter available as a “heads up” control.