Houdini 20.0 Nodes Channel nodes

Vector channel node

Performs vector operations on a set or sets of channels.

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Since 10.0

Vector math has several useful operations for use with channels, such as projections, dot products and distance/length calculations. This can be used for determining whether objects are facing each other, how far they are apart, or the angle between them.

This CHOP separates input channels into vectors based on the Vector Mask parameter, and applies a vector operation to each set individually. Two inputs can be used for binary vector operations. If the second input does not have as many vectors as the first, Vector cycles through the second input’s vectors.


Channels that are not assigned to a vector mask will not be processed or present in the output.

Some vector operations produce a scalar result. In this case, the vector channels are removed and replaced with a single channel, whose name depends on the operation performed (such as 'dist', 'dot' or 'angle').

Additionally, an optional test can be done, comparing the vector operation results to a constant value or other vector channels. The result of this test can be used to remove vector channels or to produce zero/one channels representing where these vectors fail or pass the test. The Test tab contains the parameters for the vector test.




Specifies which vector operation to perform on the vectors.

Magnitude of A

Computes the magnitude of A and replaces the vector channels with a single scalar channel, 'len'. If more than one vector is processed, the wildcard replacement is appended to 'len' (ie, (tx3,ty3,tz3) would produce len3). Only one input is required for this operation; the second input is ignored.

Normalize A

Reduces the vector to a unit-length vector. Only one input is required for this operation; the second input is ignored.

Distance between A and B

Computes the straight-line distance between A and B, as if they were points. This replaces the vector channels with a single channel named 'dist'.

A dot B

Computes the dot product of a vector from input 1 (A) with a vector from input 2 (B). If more vectors exist in A than B, the B vectors cycle back to the first vector. This replaces the vector channels with a single channel named 'dot'.

Normalized A dot B

Computes the dot product of A and B, but normalizes A and B first. This replaces the vector channels with a single channel named 'dot'.

Angle between A and B

Computes the angle between the two vectors, A and B, in degrees. This replaces the vector channels with a single channel named 'angle'.

A cross B

Computes the cross product of A and B. Both vectors must have exactly

three components. The cross product is the vector that is orthogonal to both A and B.

Scalar Project B onto A

The scalar projection of B onto A determines the length of the vector produced when B is projected onto A. This replaces the vector channels with a single channel named 'proj'.

Vector Project B onto A

Projects the vector B onto the vector A, so that the result is parallel to A, and the magnitude is proportional to the angle between A and B.


Adds vector A to B.


Subtracts vector A from B.

Reverse Subtract

Subtracts vector B from A.

No operation

Passes vector A through as-is. Generally only useful when used with Perform Vector Test to compare vectors.

Vector Mask

A set of patterns which describe the members of the vectors. A wildcard * can be used to match more than one vector. A single vector will contain one channel from each pattern with the same wildcard replacement (ie, tx* ty* tz* would process vectors like (tx1,ty1,tz1) and (txa,txb,txc).

Vector Mask B

An optional parameter which sets the vector mask for vectors in the second input (B vectors), in case they happen to represent a different vector quantity (such as N, P or V). If disabled, the Vector Mask is used.

Vector Mask C

The vector mask for the third comparison input, similar to the above two. If disabled, the Vector Mask is used.


For two-input vector operations, this parameter specifies which frame range to use if the inputs' frame ranges differ, and how to sample the inputs.

Extend to Min/Max

Find the earliest start and latest end, and extend all inputs to that range using the extend conditions.

Stretch to Min/Max

Find the earliest start and latest end, and stretch every input channel’s start and end to that range.

Shift to Minimum

Find the earliest start and shift all input channels so they all start at that index. All channels are extended to the length of the longest one.

Shift to Maximum

Find the latest end and shift all input channels so they all end at that index. Extend all channels to the length of the longest one.

Shift to First Interval

Shift all input channels to the start of the first channel and sample all inputs using the first input’s range.

Trim to First Interval

Trim all input channels to first channel’s range.

Stretch to First Interval

Stretch all input channels to the first channel’s range.

Trim to Smallest Interval

Trim all input channels to the smallest start/end interval. The start and end values may not come from the same channel.

Stretch to Smallest Interval

Stretch all channels to the smallest start/end interval. The start and end values may not come from the same channel.


A comparison test can be run after the initial vector operation, which can remove vectors that fail the test or produce a channel containing the samples which passed or failed for each vector.

Perform Vector Test

Enables the vector test on the result of the vector operation, which compares the result to a constant value or another input.

Result Vector Test

Describes how the vector is compared, with one of the inequality operations listed.

Test Against

The vector result is compared to a constant (Vector Constant) or vector/scalar channels from one of the three inputs.

Vector Constant

This parameter is the constant when Test Against is set to Constant. It will either have all fields enabled (if the vector result is a vector quantity) or only the first field enabled (if the result is a scalar).

Test Result

The output of the vector test can be the original vectors, modified vectors, or an on/off channel containing the test results.

Keep Original Vector A

If the test passes, the original A Vector is kept in the output. If the test failed, the vector channels are removed. This is useful for eliminating points or directions that fail the test in order to thin out the number of channels for faster downstream cooking.

Keep Result Vector

If the test passes, the result of the vector operation is kept in the output. If the test failed, it is removed.

Pass/Fail Channel

A single channel is created called 'test' for each vector, with the suffix of the vector appended to it. This channel is 1 for samples where the test passed, and 0 for where it failed. This can be used for controlling a Blend or Switch CHOP.

Pass If

When determining whether to keep or discard a channel (when Test Result is Keep Original Vector or Keep Result Vector), the test may pass for some samples and fail for others. Since a channel can only be entirely removed or entirely kept, vector channels that pass on some samples and fail on others must be resolved.

All Samples Pass

All samples in the vector test must pass the test in order for the vector channels to be kept.

One Sample Passes

Only one sample needs to pass the vector test in order for the vector channels to be kept.

A Fraction of the Samples Pass

A specified fraction (from 0.0 to 1.0) of the samples must pass the test in order for the vector channels to be kept.

Pass Fraction

If Pass If is set to 'Fraction of the Samples Pass', this sets the fraction of samples which must pass in order for the test to be considered successful. Zero means none need to pass, while 1.0 means that all samples must pass.


Some of these parameters may not be available on all CHOP nodes.


To determine the channels that are affected, some CHOPs have a scope string. Patterns can be used in Scope, for example * (match all), and ? (match single character).

The following are examples of possible channel name matching options:


Matches a single channel name.

chan3 tx ty tz

Matches four channel names, separated by spaces.


Matches each channel that starts with chan.


The ? matches a single character. t? matches two-character channels starting with t.


Matches number ranges, giving blend3, blend5, and blend7.


Matches channels blend2, blend3, blend5, blend13.


[xyz]matches three characters, giving channels tx, ty and tz.

Sample Rate Match

The Sample Rate Match options handle cases where multiple input CHOPs’ sample rates are different.

Resample At First Input’s Rate

Use the rate of the first input to resample the others.

Resample At Maximum Rate

Resample to the highest sample rate.

Resample At Minimum Rate

Resample to the lowest sample rate.

Error if Rates Differ

Does not accept conflicting sample rates.


The units of the time parameters.

For example, you can specify the amount of time a lag should last for in seconds (default), frames (at the Houdini FPS), or samples (in the CHOP’s sample rate).


When you change the Units parameter, the existing parameters are not converted to the new units.

Time Slice

Time slicing is a feature that boosts cooking performance and reduces memory usage. Traditionally, CHOPs calculate the channel over its entire frame range. If the channel needs to be evaluated every frame, then cooking the entire range of the channel is unnecessary. It is more efficient to calculate only the fraction of the channel that is needed. This fraction is the Time Slice.


Causes the memory consumed by a CHOP to be released after it is cooked, and the data passed to the next CHOP.

Export Prefix

The Export Prefix is prepended to CHOP channel names to determine where to export to.

For example, if the CHOP channel was named geo1:tx, and the prefix was /obj, the channel would be exported to /obj/geo1/tx.


You can leave the Export Prefix blank, but then your CHOP track names need to be absolute paths, such as obj:geo1:tx.

Graph Color

Every CHOP has this option. Each CHOP gets a default color assigned to it for display in the graph, but you can override the color with the Graph Color. There are 36 RGB color combinations in the palette.

Graph Color Step

When the graph displays the animation curves, and a CHOP has two or more channels, this defines the difference in color from one channel to the next, giving a rainbow spectrum of colors.



The current channel (0 to NC-1).


The total number of channels.

See also

Channel nodes

  • Acoustic

    Design audio filters and sound materials for the spatial audio system.

  • Agent

    Imports an animation clip from an agent primitive.

  • Area

    Calculates the area under a channel’s graph, which is the same as calculating the integral of a channel, or integrating the channel.

  • Attribute

    Adds, removes or updates attributes of the input chop.

  • Audio In

    Receives audio input from the analog audio ports or the digital port.

  • Band EQ

    A 14-band equalizer which filters audio input channels in the same way that a conventional band equalizer uses a bank of sliders to filter fixed-frequency bands of sound.

  • Beat

    Manually tap the beat of a piece of music, and automatically generate a repeating ramp or pulse that continues to keep time with the music after the taps stop.

  • Blend

    Combines two or more chops in input 2, 3 and so on, by using a set of blending channels in input 1.

  • BlendPose

    Performs multi-dimensional, example-based interpolation of channels.

  • Channel

    Creates channels from the value of its parameters.

  • Channel VOP

    Contains a VOP network that can manipulate channel data.

  • Channel Wrangle

    Runs a VEX snippet to modify channel data.

  • Composite

    Layers (blends) the channels of one CHOP on the channels of another CHOP.

  • Constant

    Create up to forty new channels.

  • Constraint Blend

    Combines two or more CHOP inputs using a list of weights specified as parameters.

  • Constraint Get Local Space

    Returns an Object Local Transform.

  • Constraint Get Parent Space

    Returns an Object Parent Transform.

  • Constraint Get World Space

    Returns an Object World Transform.

  • Constraint Lookat

    Constrains rotation so it always points toward a target position.

  • Constraint Object

    Compares two objects and returns information on their relative positions and orientations.

  • Constraint Object Offset

    Compares two objects and returns information on their relative positions and orientations.

  • Constraint Object Pretransform

    Returns an Object Pretransform.

  • Constraint Offset

    Applies an transformation offset after evaluating a constraint.

  • Constraint Parent

    Reparent an object.

  • Constraint Path

    Position an object on a path and orient it to the path’s direction.

  • Constraint Points

    Position and Orient an object using point positions from a geometry.

  • Constraint Sequence

    Combines multiple chops by blending the inputs in sequence.

  • Constraint Simple Blend

    Combines two chops by using a single weight specified as a parameter.

  • Constraint Surface

    Position and Orient an object using the surface of a geometry.

  • Constraint Transform

    Takes translate, rotate, and/or scale channels and transforms them.

  • Copy

    Produces multiple copies of the second input along the timeline of the first input.

  • Count

    Counts the number of times a channel crosses a trigger or release threshold.

  • Cycle

    Creates cycles.

  • Delay

    Delays the input, and can be run in normal or time-sliced mode.

  • Delete

    Removes channels coming from its input.

  • Device Transform

    Turns data from device inputs into transform data

  • Dynamic Warp

    Time-warps the node’s first input (source clip) using its second input (reference clip) as a reference.

  • Dynamics

    Extracts any information from a DOP simulation that is accessible through the dopfield expression function.

  • Envelope

    Outputs the maximum amplitude in the vicinity of each sample of the input.

  • Euler Rotation Filter

    Fixes discontinuity of rotation data after cracking matrices

  • Export

    A convenient tool for exporting channels.

  • Export Constraints

    Export Constraints Network on any object

  • Export Transforms

    Export Transforms to Constraints Network of many objects

  • Expression

    Modify input channels by using expressions.

  • Extend

    Only sets the extend conditions of a chop, which determines what values you get when sampling the CHOP before or after its interval.

  • Extract Bone Transforms

    (Deprecated) Extracts the current world or local space bone transforms from a geometry object.

  • Extract Locomotion

    Extracts locomotion from an animation clip.

  • Extract Pose-Drivers

    (Deprecated) Creates channels from the specified derived transforms, node parameters and CHOP channels for pose-space deformation.

  • FBX

    Reads in channel data from an FBX file.

  • Fan

    Used for controlling other CHOPs.

  • Feedback

    Get the state of a chop as it was one frame or time slice ago.

  • Fetch Channels

    Imports channels from other CHOPs.

  • Fetch Parameters

    Imports channels from other OPs.

  • File

    Reads in channel and audio files for use by chops.

  • Filter

    Smooths or sharpens the input channels.

  • Foot Plant

    Computes when position channels are stationary.

  • Foreach

    Divides the input channels into groups, cooking the contained network for each group.

  • Function

    Provides more complicated math functions than found in the Math CHOP such as trigonometic functions, logarithmic functions, and exponential functions.

  • Gamepad

    Turns input values for the gamepad or joystick device into channel outputs.

  • Geometry

    Uses a geometry object to choose a sop from which the channels will be created.

  • Gesture

  • Handle

    The engine which drives Inverse Kinematic solutions using the Handle object.

  • Hold

    Sample and hold the value of the first input.

  • IKSolver

    Solves inverse kinematics rotations for bone chains.

  • Identity

    Returns an identity transform.

  • Image

    Converts rows and/or columns of pixels in an image to CHOP channels.

  • Interpolate

    Treats its multiple-inputs as keyframes and interpolates between them.

  • InverseKin

    Generates channels for bone objects based on a bone chain and an end affector.

  • Invert

    Returns an invert transform of the input.

  • Jiggle

    Creates a jiggling effect in the translate channels passed in.

  • Keyboard

    Turns key presses into channel output.

  • Lag

    Adds lag and overshoot to channels.

  • Layer

    Mix weighted layers of keyframed animation from multiple Channel CHOPs to a base Channel CHOP.

  • Limit

    Provides a variety of functions to limit and quantize the input channels.

  • Logic

    Converts channels of all its input chops into binary channels and combines them using a variety of logic operations.

  • Lookup

    Uses a channel in the first input to index into a lookup table in the second input, and output values from the lookup table.

  • MIDI In

    The MIDI In CHOP reads Note events, Controller events, Program Change events, and Timing events from both midi devices and files.

  • MIDI Out

    The MIDI Out CHOP sends MIDI events to any available MIDI devices.

  • Math

    Perform a variety of arithmetic operations on and between channels.

  • Merge

    Takes multiple inputs and merges them into the output.

  • Mouse

    Outputs X and Y screen values for the mouse device.

  • Mouse 3D

    Turns input values for the Connexion space mouse into channel outputs.

  • Multiply

    Post multiplies all the input transformations.

  • Network

    Similar to the Pipe In/Out CHOPs in Network mode.

  • Noise

    Makes an irregular wave that never repeats, with values approximately in the range -1 to +1.

  • Null

    Used as a place-holder and does not have a function of its own.

  • Object

    Compares two objects and returns information on their relative positions and orientations.

  • ObjectChain

    Creates channels representing the transforms for a chain of objects.

  • Oscillator

    Generates sounds in two ways.

  • Output

    Marks the output of a sub-network.

  • Parametric EQ

    Filters an audio clip, and then applies other audio effects.

  • Particle

    Produces translate and rotate channels to move Objects according to the positions of particles in a POP Network.

  • Pass Filter

    Filters audio input using one of four different filter types.

  • Phoneme

    Translates english text into a series of phonetic values.

  • Pipe In

    Pipes data from custom devices into a CHOP, without needing the Houdini Developers' Kit or knowledge of Houdini internals.

  • Pipe Out

    Transmit data out of Houdini to other processes.

  • Pitch

    Attempts to extract the fundamental pitch of a musical tone from the input audio.

  • Pose

    Store a transform pose for later use by evaluating the input.

  • Pose Difference

    Computes the difference between two poses.

  • Pretransform

    Takes translate, rotate, and/or scale channels and transforms them using the pretransform of the given object.

  • Pulse

    Generates pulses at regular intervals of one channel.

  • ROP Channel Output

  • Record

  • Rename

    Renames channels.

  • Reorder

    Reorders the first input CHOP’s channels by numeric or alphabetic patterns.

  • Resample

    Resamples an input’s channels to a new rate and/or start/end interval.

  • Sequence

    Takes all its inputs and appends one chop after another.

  • Shift

    This time-shifts a CHOP, changing the start and end of the CHOP’s interval.

  • Shuffle

    Reorganizes a list of channels.

  • Slope

    Calculates the slope (or derivative) of the input channels.

  • Spatial Audio

    The rendering engine for producing 3D audio.

  • Spectrum

    Calculates the frequency spectrum of the input channels, or a portion of the channels.

  • Spline

    Edit the channel data by using direct manipulation of cubic or Bezier handles in the graph of the CHOP.

  • Spring

    Creates vibrations influenced by the input channels, as if a mass was attached to a spring.

  • Stash

    Caches the input motion in the node on command, and then uses it as the node’s output.

  • Stash Pose

    (Deprecated) Stashes the bone transforms and pose-drivers for use by the Pose-Space Deform SOP and Pose-Space Edit SOP nodes.

  • Stretch

    Preserves the shape of channels and the sampling rate, but resamples the channels into a new interval.

  • Subnetwork

    Allows for the simplification of complex networks by collapsing several CHOPs into one.

  • Switch

    Control the flow of channels through a CHOPnet.

  • Time Range

    This converts an input node in Current Frame mode to a Time Range mode by re-cooking it multiple times.

  • Time Shift

    This time-shifts a CHOP, re-cooking the node using different time.

  • Transform

    Takes translate, rotate, and/or scale channels and transforms them.

  • Transform VOP CVEX

    Contains a VOP network that can manipulate transform data.

  • TransformChain

    Combines a chain of translate, rotate, and/or scale channels.

  • Trigger

    Adds an audio-style attack/decay/sustain/release (ADSR) envelope to all trigger points in the input channels.

  • Trim

    Shortens or lengthens the input’s channels.

  • VEX Waveform

    This function is a sub-set of the waveform CHOP.

  • Vector

    Performs vector operations on a set or sets of channels.

  • Voice Split

    The Voice Split CHOP takes an audio track and separates words out into different channels.

  • Voice Sync

    The Voice Sync CHOP detects phonemes in an audio channel given some audio phoneme samples and pro…

  • Warp

    Time-warps the channels of the first input (the Pre-Warp Channels) using one warping channel in the second input.

  • Wave

    Creates a waveform that is repeated.