Ongoing questions thread from a new user

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Hello all -

A little bit of context : I have a background in polygonal modeling, having worked at game studios with model specifications ranging from oldschool lowpoly to high-end hard surface modeling and sculpting. Meaning that I am familiar with what one could call “destructive modeling”. Tools used : 3DSMax, Maya, Blender, Zbrush, Mudbox.

However my current needs are shifting from that and I need to develop a workflow with an emphasis on non-destructive creation. I am familiar with history-based CAD tools but these apps have a their own set of restrictions. I recently discovered Houdini, and its concept applied to polygonal modeling seems to fit my needs perfectly ! It looks really, really good.

I am currently going through a number of education material and things are starting to make sense. However there are still a few things that I have questions about, and I thought I'd centralize everything here. So on to the questions ! Some are Quality Of Life/UX related and might sound odd to Houdini veterans, but please bare with me.

- - - - -

1 - Is there a way to disable pre and post selection highlighting ? I find it oddly confusing and unnecessary. I am talking about the way objects get a yellow overlay, like here :



(This is not intended as an argument about whether or not such highlighting is useful or not, as I totally understand that some users like it. I simply want to know if there is a way to disable this yellow flashing )

2 - Could someone please highlight on a screenshot the Origin referred to in the option labelled “Display Origin” ? I would expect it to show the origin point of the currently selected model, but I don't see what is changing when toggling this option on and off.



3 - For navigation I am using “90s style Euler Tumbling” and “Use alt key for view controls” which mimics the Maya standard very well. However I am running into a small issue : mousewheel zoom works fine in “hand mode”, but in any other mode it seems required to hold down alt while mouse scrolling in order to zoom in and out. Is there a way to override this behavior, so that mousewheel always zooms in and out regardless of context ?

4 - Another small navigation thing : alt-rightclick-drag has a bit of an odd behavior. when dragging horizontally from left to right, it zooms in as expected ; however, dragging vertically from top to bottom zooms out, which is opposite of the Maya/Photoshop standard. Is there a way to revert this, so that a top-left to bottom-right drag zooms in (as opposed to cancelling itself out) ?

5 - Lets say I have multiple objects in a scene, each with their own procedural nodes/generators. What is the most efficient way to collapse all this this geometry to a single static mesh, acting similarly to an imported model ? (I of course understand the value of keeping things procedural). I have seen a few posts on the topic, and a solution seems to be to export the geometry and import it back, but that doesn't seem very efficient or elegant hence I would like to find something a bit more clean (for lack of a better word).

6 - In the hotkey editor, is there a way to filter for the current uses of a specific hotkey ?

Thank you for your time !
Edited by PO - Nov. 30, 2017 18:44:49
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1 - Is there a way to disable pre and post selection highlighting ?

Sort of, by unchecking Display Options > Fill Selections.



6 - In the hotkey editor, is there a way to filter for the current uses of a specific hotkey ?

The editor in 16.0 used to, but I don't see that same behavior in 16.5 at the moment. But you can press non-modifier to see list of all entries that share that key.

Attachments:
highlight.png (30.5 KB)

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Hello Cyzor, thank you for your help !

- About highlighting : this option seems to affect the fill-in effect on polygon faces, but doesn't seem to disable the yellow highlight on objects.

- About the hotkey editor : would you mind screenshotting what you mean ? I cannot seem to find anything labelled “non modifier”.

Thanks !
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“Modifier” refers to keys like control, alt, and shift that only affect the behavior of other keys. For example, these keys highlighted in color:



Here are commands that use the xkey:



An empty geo object node containing an object merge SOP is one way to condense multiple items.

http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/nodes/sop/object_merge [www.sidefx.com]

What is the most efficient way to collapse all this this geometry to a single static mesh, acting similarly to an imported model ?

You can also collapse a selection of nodes into a compact subnet that behaves as a single entity.

http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/network/organize [www.sidefx.com]

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non_modifier.png (9.4 KB)
filter.png (51.0 KB)

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PO
- About highlighting : this option seems to affect the fill-in effect on polygon faces, but doesn't seem to disable the yellow highlight on objects.

This is unfortunately pretty hard to turn off currently - can you send a RFE from the Support menu above.

The highlight is related the green selectable flag on the node but you can also kind of disable it by using the handle tool instead of the arrow tool to select things in the viewport.
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Hello @Cyzor, @aRtye -

Thank you so much for taking the time to chime in ! I am getting a bit more familiar with the program now.

- Cyzor, about the hotkey editor : thank you for pointing that out about the modifiers ! It took me a little while to wrap myself around the following, which is really non-trivial :

  • Typing a key in the search field on the top right filters for this keypress, but *also* filters for any command name using this letter (or string of letters). This filtering is performed on all contexts.
  • Pressing a key on the virtual keyboard shows the current assignment for this button (and modifier combinations). But this filtering is performed *only* for the currently selected context. That's why clicking U and I will reveal nothing if the “Houdini” context is not the currently highlighted one.

That's not exactly user friendly but I think I understand now. Basically it *is* possible to filter for a key (as asked in my original question 6) - it's just a little bit counter-intuitive

7 - Now with that said, I think there might be a few bugs in the hotkey editor that I'll eventually need to report once I can consistently reproduce them. For instance I am unable to make a given key perform a “Frame Selected”, even though it works just fine if I add a modifier to it. It's as if Houdini prevents some conflicts, but allows for some others But close and relaunch Houdini seems to sometimes resolve the issue, and both assignments may start functioning as intended. Is anyone running into this issue too ?

- aRtye : indeed, it looks like there is no way to fully turn off the highlight effect - and similarly, no way to invert the horizontal and vertical drag-zoom behavior. I'll definitely file a report/suggestion on that topic.

To sum up for now :

1 - (Turning off pre-selection highlighting) : currently not possible, RfE sent.
2 - (Display origin) : still confused about that.
3 - (Need to press alt in order to mousewheel in some contexts) : Still really puzzled by that one too, any idea ?
4 - (Unexpected zoom behavior) : no option to edit, will RfE.
5 - (Hard merging) thank you for the suggestions, will try them and will let you know how that goes.
6 - (Filtering for a given key) : Solved, but not intuitive, will RfE..

New issue :
7 - Some hotkey assignments are not immediately functional after assignment. Can anyone confirm this ?

Thank you for your time !!
Edited by PO - Dec. 6, 2017 16:34:18
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Hello all, here's another question :

8 - How does one clean up the HDA list when it comes to assets that do not show up in the Asset manager ? I created a few broken ones while experimenting with the system (as expected !) and now I would like to clean up my little mess



Note that the .hdanc files in question are not in the user folder, as I deleted them manually. Now I would like to delete their entries in the asset list too.

Thanks !
Edited by PO - Dec. 9, 2017 17:13:09
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Hi! Have a question about it:
PO
For instance I am unable to make a given key perform a “Frame Selected”, even though it works just fine if I add a modifier to it.
Have you figured out how to make Frame Selected work with pressing F (not Space+F) during modeling? After 4+ years in Maya I cannot get use to this strange hotkey combination…

Any help appreciated
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