How to tumble (orbit), track, dolly (zoom), and customize the scene view.
|Tumble, track, and dolly|
Hold ⇧ Shift while tumbling, dollying, tracking, or tilting for more precision.
|Change the viewport layout|
Click the viewport layout menu icon on the viewer toolbar and choose a layout from the menu.
To quickly switch from a multi-viewport layout such as the four-up and widescreen three-port layouts to a single viewport, move the mouse over the viewport and press Space + B. Press Space + B over the single viewport to switch back to the multi-viewport layout.
To have the orthographic viewports pan and zoom together, open the viewport layout menu and choose Link ortho views.
|Home the view|
Homing means to reset the view, either to a default view looking at the origin. You can also home to show all objects in the scene, or to show the selected objects. This is similar to the “zoom to fit” functionality in 2D illustration programs, PDF and image viewers, and so on.
Homing and framing controls are located in the viewport options menu (the left menu in the top right corner of viewports). This menu contains commands for homing the view, and lets you customize the default home view. For most homing functions, you’ll want to use the hotkeys.
|Change the home view to a look along an axis|
Open the viewport menu, click Home, then choose a view direction (along the X-axis, Y-axis, or Z-axis).
|Change the home view to look along a custom direction|
|Show or hide different geometry features|
Click the icons in the display options toolbar (on the right side of the viewer pane) to show or hide different types of information of the 3D scene view. For example, you can show/hide points, point numbers, and point UV and XYZ coordinates.
If normals are hard to see at the scale you're working, you can adjust their length in the Misc tab of the display options window (see below).
|Open the full display options window|
For greater control of the display, open the viewport options menu and choose Display > Display Options or press move the mouse over the viewer and press D.
|Switch between wireframe and shaded mode|
Open the viewport options menu and choose Shading > Toggle wireframe/shaded, or press W.
|Change the shading in the viewer|
Click the shading mode menu icon and choose a shading mode.
|Use different feature visibility/shading for selected and non-selected geometry|
You can set different display modes for normal (non-selected) and selected geometry. So, for example, you can only show hulls on selected surfaces.
|Control the feature visibility and shading of templated and “current” surfaces|
Templated surfaces are the result of a surface node with the template flag set, which means the surface is visible for reference, but doesn’t render.
“Current” surfaces result when you are inside a Geometry container object and you select a node other than the display node. Houdini shows the geometry from the display node using the normal display settings, and the selected node using these settings (usually wireframe). This lets you edit the geometry of the selected (“current”) node and see the effect on the display node at the same time.
See also how to optimize drawing and tumbling of large scenes.
|Visualize the display of attributes|
|Turn off primitive highlighting so that you can see the UV texture beneath|
Change the Shading Mode to Smooth Wire Shaded.
|Show or hide other objects|
When you're editing geometry, particles, or dynamics inside an object, you can choose how/whether Houdini displays other objects and levels in the scene using the Show all/current/ghosted menu.
|Change the viewport shading mode|
Shaded modes can only show a maximum of eight lights. This is a hard-coded limitation of OpenGL.
|Match the view to a camera or light|
Click the camera menu in the viewport (to the right of the viewport options menu) and choose a camera or light to look through.
Normally using the tumble keys after looking through a camera or light will switch the view back to “no cam” – by default the view has no connection to a camera/light. See the Lock camera/light to view button below for how to tie the view to a camera or light.
To prevent cameras from appearing in the viewport menu, add a spare parameter named
|Match a camera or light to the current view|
Moves and rotates the chosen camera or light to look down the current view.
|Use the view keys to position a camera or light|
Normally the Houdini viewer is set to “no cam”, meaning it’s not looking through any camera or light. When you choose a camera or light from the camera menu, the viewer switches to look through that camera/light, but if you use the tumble/track/dolly controls to change the view, the viewer switches back to “no cam”. Using the view keys to change the view does not normally move a camera or light.
To use the view keys to move the camera or light you are looking through, you need to lock the view to the camera/light.
|Create a new camera from the current view|
Click the camera menu and choose New camera, or Ctrl-click a camera or light icon on the shelf.
|Put an image in the background of a 3D view|