Houdini 20.0 Reference Windows

Color Editor

The color editor is an expanded interface for picking colors.

On this page


To...Do this

Open the color editor

In the parameter editor, click the color swatch to the left of a color parameter.

Color wheel


Pick a color from wheel

Click in the ring around the color wheel

Change only the hue.

Drag MMB across color wheel

Change the HSV value in small increments.

Drag RMB across color wheel

Change the HSV value in larger increments.

Hold T, M, I, R, G, or B while dragging

Change only one of the sliders.

Color sliders

The color sliders let you choose colors using different component models: TMI (temperature, magenta, intensity), HSV (hue, saturation, value), and RGB (red, green, blue).

TMI can be a convenient model for certain cinematic/photographic color operations. For example, in RGB you might increase red and decrease blue to warm the color, or increase blue and decrease red to cool it. In the TMI model, this is one slider, temperature. Intensity is also useful because it “brightens” or “dulls” a color while still retaining the color’s “character”.

Show color presets

Shows the palette of preset colors.

Show image picker

Shows the image color picker.

Dynamic TMI/RGB sliders

When dynamic sliders are off, the colors displayed in the background of the sliders do not update as you edit the color.

Color correction

When the button is off, the colors in the interface are not gamma corrected.

This is a shortcut for the Edit ▸ Color Settings, Color Corrections tab, Color pickers and swatches checkbox.

Pick color from screen

Click the icon, then click anywhere in a Houdini window.

Blackbody temperature

To choose a temperature from a menu, right click the icon. To enter an exact temperature in degrees Kelvin, click the icon and enter the temperature.

Secondary colors

You can display a small palette of “secondary” colors based on different selection methods (for example, complementary colors). These colors change dynamically as you change the current color.

  • To display secondary colors (for example, complementary colors), under the Previous and Current color swatches, click the Show secondary colors menu and choose a color scheme.

  • Use the slider under the secondary color swatches to adjust the color spread.

  • Click one of the colors in the secondary color swatches to make it the current color.

Color preset palette

In the top right, click the Color presets icon to switch to the palette of preset colors.

To...Do this

Save the current color to the presets

Hold Alt or ⌥ Option and click a square in the palette.

Remove a color from the presets

Hold ⌃ Ctrl and click a square in the palette.

Picking colors from an image

In the top right, click the Image color picker icon to switch to an interface for picking colors from an image.

Choose the image file to display.

Reload the image from disk.


Pick a color from the image.

⇧ Shift + LMB

Draw a rectangle around an area of the image. Picks the average of the colors inside the rectangle.

Alt + LMB

Copies a texture reference expression into the parameters you're editing instead of literal color values.


Pan around the image.

RMB or mouse_wheel

Zoom in/out on the image.