Custom Hotkeys in Houdini

Custom Hotkeys in Houdini

In Cinema 4D, one feature that I make great use of is the Render Region tool. Unfortunately, it does not come with its own hotkey. This is not a problem since C4D allows you to map custom hotkeys to commands via the Customize Commands Editor. Well, Houdini also lacks a default assigned hotkey for the use of its own Render Region tool but this is not a problem either, because just like C4D, you also have the ability to add or change hotkeys in the application. I mean come on, it’s not 2001 anymore. In this #QuickTip, I’ll show you how to create custom hotkeys in Houdini.

Custom Hotkeys

In Cinema 4D I decided to map the = key to the Render Region tool and haven’t looked back since. You hit your hotkey and draw a box around the area you want to preview without having to render the whole image. Very handy! I want this same hotkey functionality in Houdini.

Cinema 4D Customize Commands Window
Cinema 4D Customize Commands Window

 

In Houdini you use the Hotkey Manager Window to control hotkeys assigned to actions. You can almost add a hotkey to any action or tool in Houdini but just be aware not all interface elements support hotkeys. In the Hotkey Manager, Houdini uses context paths to drill down to the action. The problem is that there are so many actions, finding the name of the action you want to assign a hotkey to can prove difficult.

Houdini Hotkey Manager
Houdini Hotkey Manager

 

Luckily, for those hard to find actions you can use the Search functionality but even better, you can use the hotkey ALT + CTRL + SHIFT + Left Mouse Click on the action you want to modify and Houdini will open the Hotkey Manager with the action already selected. Can’t beat that!

Houdini Hotkey Manager Search
Houdini Hotkey Manager Search

 

In this case, I want a hotkey for the Render Region action so I press ALT + CTRL + SHIFT + Left Mouse Click on the Render Region button and once the Hotkey Manager opens, I can either enter a key by typing it in or select a key from the pop up menu. You then press Apply and Accept and you are good to go! You can just press Accept but I usually do both to make sure it registers. The hotkey will also appear in the pop up help text when you hover over the tool but this will require you restart Houdini.

Houdini Hotkeys
Houdini Hotkeys

 

Very nice and so simple! Check out the SideFX Houdini help docs for the lowdown on how to work with the Hotkey Manager Window.

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990adjustments

990adjustments

I am a motion designer & developer based out of South Florida. When not designing or animating pixels, I wrangle some code. If all else fails, I watch Twilight Zone, I Love Lucy, or Three's Company reruns.