Generating channel groups from a character asset
The channel list shows the parameters for selected items in the viewport. Channel list parameters get keys set on them when you press the K key. However, selecting all of the character controls will not really allow you to manipulate all parts of the character the way you might want. The better approach would be to click RMB the node and select Create Nested Channel Groups.
For example, if you do this for the Toon character, you will get channel groups for switchers, facial controls, spine, head and neck, arms, legs, and character placer. Then when you click on a section you will see all of the controls for that body part are added to the channel list. You can also pin the channels by clicking the pin icon, so that when you select other objects in the scene you don’t lose their selection. When you press K all of the channels for that body part get added to the channel list, as well as anything else you have selected in the scene.
You can also create channel groups by right-clicking on a tab in the parameter editor.
You can pin the character using its top level channel group, so that any changes you make to the character’s position are keyframed, and stay in the channel list.
When you are on a keyframe in Houdini, you can adjust the values of the channels and they are automatically saved so you do not have to keyframe them again.