Join Scott Pagano for an in-depth discussion in this video How to set keyframes, part of Learning Houdini.
- Animation in Houdini can be accomplished via keyframe techniques as well as procedural techniques where we use networks of nodes to generate animation data. We'll take a look at keyframe techniques first. There are three ways of generating keyframe data. We'll start with the most laborious and we'll move towards the ways that are more automatic and more fun. So we'll start by creating a box, we'll just grab a box from our shelf and drop it down in the middle of our scene. Next we're gonna go over to little Transform values here that got set when we dropped the box in the scene.
I'm just gonna zero these out, by doing 0, tab, 0, tab, 0. We know that it's right exactly in the middle now. So I'm gonna take the box, I'm gonna move it -2 on the X, so I'm gonna type -2 in this Translate field, and to set our first keyframe, I'm gonna right-click in this field, we're gonna go to Channels and Keyframes, Set Keyframe. And you can see that that field turned green, and it means there's a keyframe there. Now I'm gonna scroll to the end of our timeline, you can see the field is now, like, a dimmer green, it means that there's animation data in that field but just no keyframe on that frame.
So I'm gonna change it to 2, and now you can see that that field turns this kind of amber-ish color, and that means that you've changed it but you haven't committed that keyframe change yet. And so, again, the laborious, manual way to do it is for you to right-click on this field, Channels and Keyframes, Commit Change. And so now it turns brighter green, and now we have set a keyframe. So now if I play this timeline back, yay, we have our first animation in Houdini. Now I'm gonna show you a little bit more of a shortcut way to set these keyframes. So let's scroll back to the beginning, I'm gonna right-click where it says Translate, here, and go Delete Channels, and that'll delete out the animation data.
And I'm gonna Alt-left mouse click to set a keyframe, and you see it turns green like it did before, but we didn't have to navigate to any menus. Now I'm gonna scroll to the end of the timeline, I'm gonna change this to a 2, and then Alt-left mouse click. And we just did the exact same thing we did before, but instead of having to navigate through menus, we used an Alt-left mouse click to set the keyframes. So if we play this back, we get the same animation but we were able to make it faster. And I'm gonna show you a third way to set keyframes that's even faster and is a lot more handy when you're doing a lot more complicated things and you don't wanna have to manually deal with setting these keyframes at all, you want them to automatically get set.
So we'll scroll back to the beginning. Again, I'm gonna right-click on Translate, and Delete Channels. And I'm gonna Alt-left mouse click to set my first keyframe, but if we scroll to the end, and then I hit this key here, with the plus sign over it, the Auto Key, now, when we make a change it will automatically set that keyframe without us having to commit the change with another Alt-left mouse click. So now, and I'm just gonna manually drag this box over here this time, let it go, you can see that this field turned that green color, it wasn't that sort of in-between state, it automatically did it.
And now if I press Play, there we go, there we have our animation. So now we've seen three different ways to set keyframes, from the menu style to the clicking style, to then ultimately the auto key style, which, you know, once you set your initial keyframes, will enable you to not have to worry about actually manually setting them all the time.
These tutorials introduce the fundamental 3D concepts (modeling, animation, texturing, lighting, and rendering) as they apply in Houdini. Instructor Scott Pagano shows how to manipulate geometry; apply materials; add lights and cameras to a scene; render work with Houdini's internal renderer, Mantra; and even create simple particle systems. The course will start new users on a path to more advanced 3D work and show experienced users of other 3D packages how to transfer their skills to the world of Houdini.
- Setting Houdini preferences
- Modifying geometry
- Copy stamping
- Setting keyframes
- Manipulating animation channels
- Shading and texture mapping
- Lighting scenes
- Rendering with Mantra
- Creating particle emitters