Turn on the Apply Operation to all Split Views checkbox at the bottom of the window to control the display of all viewports, not just the active one.
Guides and Markers tab
|Set display options for|
Choose the type of geometry to apply the display options to.
Displays unselected geometry points in blue (unselected)/yellow (selected).
Displays the index of each point in blue (unselected)/cyan (selected). Numbers start at 0.
If the point has a normal attribute, displays the point normal. A normal specifies the direction in which a point or surface faces. To change existing point normals, use the Point SOP.
|Point UV’s (Texture Coordinates)|
Displays the UV texture coordinates at each point. UV coordinates determine the placement of textures.
|Point Positions (XYZ)|
Displays the XYZ coordinates for each point. This option can clutter the display quickly on complex geometry. If you need it, you may want to only activate it for selected geometry (see the use of the All/Non-selected pop-up menu above).
Displays the hulls of NURBS, Bezier surfaces, curves, and metaballs.
This option is useful when there are a large number of such objects that fill the screen. Displaying hulls and hiding the actual geometry reduces the visual clutter, and speeds up the display.
Displays the number of each primitive in violet, starting at 0. Primitives include ellipses, metaballs, tubes, meshes, particle systems, NURBS, and polygons.
Displays spline edit points. This helps you build very clean skinned surfaces by minimizing isoparms by lining up edit points on the cross-sections.
Displays the normal (in pink) for primitives that have normals (primitives such as spheres, cylinders, and metaballs do not have normals).
Displays selected profiles (that is, profiles that are themselves selected. Profiles on selected surfaces are not automatically shown).
It can be useful to turn off display of profiles after a boolean operation (for example, the Surfsect SOP) to avoid cluttering the display with profiles that appear to float in space after the trim.
|Profile curve numbers|
Displays the index of profile curves. The profile index is always prefixed by the primitive number of the profile’s parent surface, For example, 0.2 for the third profile of first primitive (since numbering starts at 0) in the geo detail.
Displays the number of each vertex in violet (unselected)/pink (selected), starting at zero.
|Vertex UV coords|
Displays the UV texture coordinates for each vertex (if coordinates exist) in violet (unselected)/pink (selected). UV coordinates determine the placement of textures.
(Only applicable to the UV Editor.)
|Filled UV backfaces|
Back facing polygons in the viewport are drawn filled to distinguish them from front facing polygons.
This is actually a pop-up menu that lets you choose a shading mode in which the given type of geometry will be drawn. For example, you can have normal geometry drawn smooth shaded and templated geometry drawn in wireframe.
Displays a small gnomon in the bottom left corner of the view, showing the current orientation of the world axes.
Displays a gnomon at the world-space origin (0,0,0). (See also how to display an object’s origin/pivot.)
|Particle gnomon (Particle Axes / Center of Mass)|
Displays gnomons at the origins of particle systems. If the
particle system’s Display Particle Axes option is on, and the
particles have a center of mass attribute (
Displays object names or object paths.
|Video safe areas|
Overlays rectangles showing the video “safe area” for picture and titles (the area in which the picture and titles (text) will be visible and undistorted on most TVs).
Displays a “field guide”, a traditional cell-animation tool that overlays a grid to help align elements by eye and provide points of reference between frames.
Controls the display of the view mask and overlay specified by the camera.
|XZ, XY, and YZ Reference Planes|
Displays a 20 unit by 20 unit grid on the XZ, XY, or YZ plane, centered at the origin.
Controls the display of node guide geometry.
Controls the display of node handles.
|Follow Section mask|
Controls whether the viewport automatically turns on certain display options based on the component selection type. For instance, point markers will be automatically turned on when picking points.
|IK Critical zone|
Controls the display of the IK critical zone guide geometry for bones.
Displays objects and geometry in the current object.
Displays the selected SOP in the current object when different from the display SOP.
Displays templated geometry.
Displays nodes with the selectable template flag enabled.
|Auto Detect Attribute Type|
Automatically detects the attribute type in a UV texture editor viewport using the current Display SOP.
|UV Viewport Attribute Type|
When Auto Detect Attribute Type is off, you can manually specify the attribute type for a UV texture editor viewport using these controls.
Increases or decreases the length of displayed normals. This is useful to increase the size of normals when you are zoomed out to view a large object, or decrease the size of normals when you are zoomed in on a small object.
|Thick Selected Normals|
Draws normals thicker on selected objects.
|Scale UV Grip|
Increases or decreases the size of UV grips in a UV texture editor viewport.
|Thick Selected UV Grips|
Draws UV grips thicker on selected objects in a UV texture editor viewport.
|Override Color Attribute|
Allows you to use an attribute other than Cd as your color. For example, if you set it to temperature, you will get a false color map of your temperature attribute.
Name of the viewport.
Orthographic or Perspective.
Displays the viewport’s name in its top left corner.
|Show Camera Name|
|Show State Name|
Displays the name of the current tool (if any) in the viewport’s top right corner.
|Level of Detail|
Increases or decreases the display resolution of Metaballs, NURBS, and Bezier surfaces.
Sets the ratio of width divided by height.
|View Mask Opacity|
When looking through a camera, there is a mask applied to the areas that aren’t going to be rendered. This option controls the opacity of that mask.
For example, a very low value would display a transparent mask; a medium value would display a gray mask; and a high value would display a black mask.
|Stereo Display Mode|
Allows you to choose the display mode of stereo images in MPlay. You can choose between Anaglyph, Horizontal Interlace, or Horizontal Interlace (Reverse).
You can use passive polarization glasses to view the images in horizontal interlace mode.
Applies gamma correction to the beauty pass of the viewport, which contains only user-generated geometry. Guides, handles and other visual aids are not affected.
Applies a LookUp Table (LUT) to the beauty pass, after gamma is applied.
|Apply to Background Image|
The gamma correction and LUT are applied to the background image in addition to the beauty pass.
Some controls may be disabled if the detected graphics hardware does
Enables high-quality display of the viewport by smoothing jagged edges of lines and polygons. Increasing this setting will proportionately increase the amount of framebuffer memory used. 4x and 8x modes should only be used if the graphics memory installed on the graphics card is 1GiB or higher.
Removes jagged edges of lines from wireframe models and guides with a smaller performance hit than using Scene Antialiasing. See also, the Draw Lines Smoothly option in the General User Interface section of the Main Preferences window.
Enables High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering which produces higher quality results for volumes and transparency. It can also be used in
superwhite values. If enabled, HDR images are render to flipbooks. Enabling this option doubles the framebuffer size.
Displays textures on geometry. Turning this option off will increase display speed.
The quality and caching of viewport textures can be controlled with the Texture Optimization options.
Displays all layers of multi-layered textures. Turning this option off will increase display speed when multiple texture layers are present, but only the first layer will be displayed.
When this option is on spotlights render their projected maps in the viewport.
If the Light object has the Projector Map parameter set in its Light/Spot Light Options tab, the map will be used when this option is enabled.
Like Transparency, this is a multi-pass solution with one drawing pass per spotlight in the scene.
This option will not light transparent objects or volumes with the projected texture; they will render as if this option is off.
Increase the quality of displayed textures by producing a mipmap for enhanced filtering. Without mipmapping, textured objects will sparkle when viewed at a smaller scale. Enabling this option will cause textures to use 50% more graphics memory.
Specifies the level of anisotropic texture filtering to use. Higher values increase the quality of textured objects when a surface is nearly parallel to the view direction. This has the effect of sharpening textured objects in this case. The level represents the maximum number of texture samples to filter, and will slightly slow performance as it is increased.
Enabling HDR Rendering will remove any banding artifacts from volumes.
Use per-pixel shading instead of per-vertex shading, enable OGL shaders and enables the use of almost all the Lighting and Transparency effects. A default GLSL shader is used on all geometry that does not have an OGL shader explicitly assigned as a Material. The default shader supports diffuse, specular, bump, normal and reflection maps (found in the SHOP/OGL rendering parameters in Edit Rendering Parameters for the SHOP). Enabling this option incurs a slight performance penalty which may be significant on lower-end graphics hardware.
Draw objects with per-pixel alpha, texture maps with alpha or material transparency using alpha blending (via an over operation). When off, pixels with non-zero alpha are drawn and zero alpha pixels are discarded. The quality of the transparency can also be selected, with the higher quality options impacting performance.
Medium and High transparency modes require Material Shaders.
When this option is on, selected components are drawn filled with the selection color when in Smooth Wire Shaded display mode. You can turn this option off to see an object’s shading clearly when components are selected.
Displays specular highlights on geometry in Smooth Shaded modes. Light objects can individually disable specular lighting, and both options must be on in order to see specular highlights.
|High Quality Light Shading|
Area and environment lights are rendered with more accurate representations. Spotlight falloff and ramp-based attenuation are also incorporated into the shading. This mode attempts to closely match the results seen in mantra at the expense of performance.
This may disable Scene Antialiasing if the graphics hardware does not support certain OpenGL features.
This shading does not apply to transparent objects if Transparency is enabled. Normal shading is used instead.
This feature requires Material Shaders.
The number of samples to use when rendering area and environment lights in High Quality Light Shading mode. It is ignored when this mode is not active. Higher numbers produce more accurate results, at a slight performance hit.
Enable Screen-space Ambient Occlusion, which shadows objects based on the amount of ambient light that could reach a surface. Areas in corners and sunken areas will receive shadowing. The numeric value increases the quality and range of effect of the occlusion. Enabling this option will slow performance somewhat. High Quality Light Shading and Material Shaders are required for occlusion to work.
The HIP file’s Unit Length parameter affects how far away the shadowing effect extended.
Enables light shadowing from those lights which have their Shadow Type parameter set to a shadowing method. This option decreases performance and increases graphics memory use but greatly improves the quality of the viewport display.
The light’s shadow map(s) are re-calculated when its position, orientation or projection changes. You may want to disable shadows while editing a light to improve interactivity.
These values correct for shadow mapping artifacts, which look like moire patterns or 'shadow acne' on surfaces. In general, to fix self-shadowing artifacts on surfaces that are oriented more edge-on to the light, change the first value. Change the second value for artifacts appearing on surfaces perpendicular to the direction to the light.
Increasing the shadow quality will improve the shadow’s visualization, especially for area and environment lights, with a corresponding performance decrease.
|Light Map Size|
Controls the resolution of the shadow maps, based on the individual light object’s settings, or using a global setting for all lights. Increasing the shadow map size will reduce the jaggedness of shadow edges and improve fine shadow detail. Larger maps may affect performance and will use more graphics memory.
This tab controls the display of the grid in orthographic viewports.
To show a grid in a perspective viewport, use the XZ, XY, and YZ Reference Plane buttons on the Guides and Markers tab.
|Display Ortho Grid|
Shows a grid in the orthographic viewport.
The distance in X, Y, and Z between the grid origin and the world-space origin. Click one of the boxes between the textboxes to link the values.
The horizontal and vertical distance between grid lines. Click the box between the textboxes to link the values.
Draws every nth grid line thicker. Set this to 0 to not draw thicker lines. Click the box between the textboxes to link the values.
This tab controls the display of the grid in the UV texture editor viewport.
|Display Reference Grid|
Turning on this option displays a grid for references which divides the uv space with the spacing specified in Reference Grid Spacing.
|Reference Grid Spacing|
Allows you to specify the spacing of the reference grid.
|Display Grid Over Image|
Displays a pixel-based grid over the texture image. Use the Grid Pixel Spacing and Grid Pixel Offset options to position and scale the image grid.
|Clamp Grid to Image|
Prevents display of the grid outside the image boundaries.
|Grid Pixel Spacing/Grid Pixel Offset|
When Display Grid Over Image is on, these options control the placement and size of the grid in pixels. You can use fractional values, for example 0.5 to snap to the center of pixels. Click the boxes between textboxes to link the values.
|Display Tile Boundaries|
Displays a grid representing the UV boundary around the UV 0-1 tiling of the image.
|Display Background Images|
Displays a bitmap image as the background for viewports. This can be useful for tracing over a sketch or reference image (rotoscoping). For more on rotoscoping in Houdini see rotoscoping and the Roto parameters in the Camera object.
Choose between a light gray or black background color.
Image Source tab
If the viewport is looking through a camera, the COP is automatically taken from the COP parameters on the camera object's Roto tab.This means rotoscoping is relative to the current camera that you have selected. So, if you have shots from different physical cameras, you can assign those shots to corresponding virtual cameras.
You can override the camera’s COP using the options on this tab but the next time the scene cooks it will set the COP back to the camera’s rotoscope settings.
Choose whether the image comes from a file on disk or the output of a compositing operator (COP).
(File) The path to the image file to use. Click the plus icon to choose the file.
(File) Reduces the number of pixels loaded from the source file to quickly downsample the image. A value of 1 uses the full resolution of the source image. A value of 0.5 uses half the resolution of the source image.
The compositing operator to use as the image source. Click the plus icon to choose the operator from the network hierarchy.
These two pop-up menus let you choose which bitmap planes to use from the compositing operator, and whether to use the alpha channel, for the background image.
Controls the fidelity of the background image. Higher values give higher quality background images but use more memory.
3D Viewport tab
Attempts to use hardware texture mapping to speed up and improve the display of textures.
|Apply Zoom to Background|
When this option is on, zooming in increases the size of the background image as well. When this option is off, the background image stays the same size when you zoom.
This option has no effect when Automatically place image is on.
|Automatically Place Image|
When this option is on, Houdini automatically calculates the image offset and scale to fit the image inside the viewport. When this option is off, you can use the Image Offset and Image Scale controls to place and scale the image manually.
|Image Offset/Image Scale|
Manually control the placement and scale of the background image in the viewport. The Automatically Place Image checkbox must be off to use these options.
A scale value of 1 retains the original size of the source image. A scale value of 0.5 would reduce the source image by half.
Texture Viewport tab
This tab only affects UV texture editor viewports.
The smallest and largest UV values display horizontally (U) and vertically (V) in the viewport. Click the box between the textboxes to link the values.
Oversamples the background image to create a smoother, blurry look when zoomed in instead of a blocky look.
Limit Resolution (2D)
|HDR Textures (2D)|
Enables support for High Dynamic Range textures, which will produce better shading for textured surfaces when lighting is enabled.
Reduces all 2D textures to a fraction of their original size. This can be used to quickly improve performance of a heavily textured scene if it is stuttering on redraw. This scale is applied before the Limit Resolution clamp.
|Limit Resolution (3D)|
Limit the resolution of 3D textures, which are commonly used to represent volumes. If disabled, volumes are clamped at the maximum OpenGL 3D texture size.
It is not recommended that this option be disabled, as larger 3D textures can use a huge amount of graphics memory (a 256^3 volume would use 64MiB of graphics memory for an 8b SDR volume). Accurate volume simulations can use far more memory than can be reasonably displayed. It is recommended that the limit be increased in most instances where more accurate display is required.
|Use 2D Texture Settings|
Use the 2D HDR Textures and Scale Textures settings for 3D textures, otherwise, they can be specified separately.
8b Compressed is not supported for 3D textures, so 8b SDR will be used if the 2D setting is 8b Compressed.
|HDR Textures (3D)|
Enable High Dynamic Range color and opacity for volumes and other 3D textures. This can improve the quality of volumes at the expense of performance and graphics memory use.
|Scale Textures (3D)|
Downscales volumes to a smaller 3D texture, which can be useful for displaying extremely large volume simulations. This scale is applied before the Limit Resolution clamp.
|Texture Cache Size|
The maximum amount of memory to use for textures, both 2D and 3D. OpenGL always stores textures in main memory and may swap them to and from graphics memory, so this setting can affect the amount of memory available to Houdini. The maximum texture cache size is limited on 32b machines.
|Viewport Cache Size|
Displays the amount of texture cache currently in use. This is for display only and cannot be set. To flush the cache, use Render>Update Textures from the main menu.
|Dynamically reduce texture scale when cache is full|
When rendering the viewport, if the total size of all textures used is greater than the texture cache size, texture thrashing will result. This causes severe performance degradation as textures are continually reloaded and deleted on every redraw.
If this option is enabled, this situation is detected and on the next redraw, textures' resolutions will be automatically scaled to a size that will fit in the cache. This will cause a momentary performance hiccup instead of a continual performance problem.
|Reduce 2D textures|
If enabled, 2D texture participate in dynamic texture scale reduction. The field next to the option shows the current dynamic scale. If it matches the Scale Textures option, no dynamic scaling has occurred.
|Reduce 3D textures|
3D textures will be dynamically scaled if required during dynamic texture scale reduction.
When this option is on, Houdini does not draw primitives whose normals face away from the view (the back sides) to improve display speed.
For closed geometry back sides are not normally visible, but open surfaces often have visible back-facing faces which this option will prevent Houdini from drawing.
This option only applies to Gouraud shading mode .
|Display Hulls Only|
Displays hulls instead of the actual geometry of objects.
A mask of the visible objects.
|Display geometry of type|
Only displays geometry of the type you select, and hides all others. Use this option to simplify the display of the scene and to help work on geometry of a certain type.
|Cull by drawing... primitives out of every..|
Skips drawing a certain percentage of primitives to speed display.
|Homing automatically adjusts|
You can specify which clip planes are adjusted when a home is done, none, either one or both. This allows you to explicitly set near or far clipping planes that are not automatically recomputed when homing.
|Near/Far Clipping Planes|
Define nearest to and farthest away from the view geometry is drawn. That is, geometry closer to the view than the Near clipping plane, and farther away than the far clipping plane, is not visible.
Due to GPU Z-buffering issues, the far/near ratio will never be more than one million. If a larger range is selected, the near clip plane will be moved out into the scene until a one million far/near ratio is acheived.
The thickness, in pixels, of wireframe lines.
|Hidden Line Sensitivity|
These two parameters allow you to work around a limitation of some OpenGL implementations that affects hidden line removal. On some OpenGLs, the lines intersect with the fill, causing the lines to appear broken. These options shift the lines in 3D to bring them in front of the fill. The left value is an offset by which the lines are shifted. The right value is an additional offset when the surface is oblique to the viewer.
Most people can leave these options at 2:2 and forget about them. However, on certain machines (SGI Indy, NT Oxygen) you may have to tweak the values to prevent broken lines in hidden line display. Try adjusting the values by small increments. The setting is also affected by how much the view is dollied in/out.
|Use Z Buffer in Wireframe Modes|
Controls whether the z buffer is used for wire frame drawing. If this option is turned on, you can see which wires are in front of others. The option exists primarily because this creates smooth line.
|Shade Open Curves in Shaded Mode|
Applies lighting to open curves to make them look more like hair.
Use a simpler shading mode when tracking, zooming, or tumbling to improve interactivity. Choose the shading mode from the pop-up menu.
Only switch to the simpler shading mode if the time Houdini takes to draw the view exceeds this number of milliseconds. This lets you only use the simpler shading mode when view redraw is actually slow.
|Display particles as|
Choose lines (the length of the line indicates the velocity of the particle), points, or discs. Displaying particles as discs is useful for simulating clouds, since it uses correct transparency.
Draw particles that quality as sprites as sprites (choose a Sprite POP to specify the sprite). A particle must have one of the spriteshop, spriterot or spritescale attributes present to be considered a sprite.
The size, in pixels, of particle points.
The size, in Houdini units, of the discs.
|Orient Discs to N|
Turning this on will orient discs to normals. If there are no normals, it will orient to velocity.
|Maximum Sprite Texture Size|
The maximum display size of a sprite texture.