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In Houdini, different parts of your scene get stored into networks of nodes that are focused on building geometry, creating particles or setting up dynamic simulations. In Houdini 9, the new selection modes let you use the objects in your scene to navigate to the different networks and work with the appropriate nodes.
There are four main selection modes in Houdini 9 – Objects, Geometry, Particles and Dynamics. Each of these modes contains various masks and options that determine how you can make your selections. If your network pane is unpinned then selecting using these modes will navigate to the appropriate network and show you the nodes that are contributing to the animation or effect.
The geometry selection mode also includes masks for different geometry types. Points, faces, vertices and edges are all accessible from this selection mode. You will often jump from object level to geometry level using one or more of these modes.