Houdini 19.0 Shelf tools

Pose shelf tool

Pose characters by manipulating control objects.

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See the pose tool for more information.

  1. Select one or more objects to pose.

  2. Click the Pose tool in the Toolbox menu.

  3. In the operation controls toolbar, choose either Object-specific Handles or Global Transform Handle from the Handle Mode drop-down menu.

    The default is Object-specific handles.

This tool has a special function for bones with no kinematics, as it drives bones or bone chains by pointing at your cursor. It is similar to having a bone chain with Inverse Kinematics; however, it animates with rotates, not transforms. This creates a looser, arc-like interpolation, which makes the motion appear less linear and more natural. This tool can be used, for example, to animate a character kicking.

Invisible Rigs

The Use Surface Region Controllers option gives you the ability to pose geometry without using handles, if it detects a pose_scope attribute in your skin geometry network. This improves workflow and makes character animation easier by removing clutter from the viewport. Complicated rigs can have hundred of controllers, which can make animating quite difficult. Hiding these controls and using invisible rigs allows you to click and drag parts of the character in the viewport, which makes animating feel more like working with a stop motion puppet.

If the group has more than one channel, a pop-up wheel will allow you to easily toggle between the channels. For example, the simple female character has both translate and rotate abilities on her hand.


The display of the skin geometry must be turned off for invisible rigs to work.


Turning off Show Controls on the Display tab of your character will clean up the viewport further by removing the null controls from the scene.

For information on how to set up invisible rigs, see the Pose Scope SOP help.

See also

Shelf tools

Using the shelf

  • Customize the shelf

    How to change the look of the shelf, change and rearrange its contents, and create your own shelf tools.