From cgwiki

d hotkey is context sensitive

'd' over the viewport brings up display options, while over the network view it brings up different options. Easy to miss.

use d viewport menu to change point display size

default is 3 pixels, but you can make them super tiny if they get in the way, or giant. d in the viewport, geometry tab, 'point size' slider in the lower left.

d hotkey will hide the display options too

all the time i was closing the window manually like a chump. just hit 'd' again, it'll go away.

tab menu auto completes on initials

Trying to put down a point wrangle sop? You don't have to type '<tab>p o i n t w' to find it; just type the first letter of each word, ie, '<tab> p w'. The tab auto complete is very optimistic in its matching, so you can even type the first few characters of the first word, then the first letter of the second, and it'll find it, eg '<tab>p o i w' will also directly find the point wrangle.

tab menu shift-enter will auto drop and append to current selection

In theory this is awesome, but it also moves the network view, which I hate. You might love it though!

viewport got doubled up geo? try making a new scene view

The houdini viewport is generally pretty good, but sometimes (especially when you're first learning it for some reason), some geo will be duplicated in the view, and won't go away. Its easy to think its something you've done wrong, but if you catch yourself in time, just make a new scene view (little plus button in the tabs above the viewport, scene view), see if the view is ok again

w hotkey

  • shift-w in the viewport to toggle wireframe overlay
  • w in the viewport to toggle solid/wire
  • shift-w in network view to open outliner

p hotkey

  • p in the network view toggles the parameters in the corner
  • p in the viewport toggles a floating parameter pane (but its behavior is strange; eg when inside a dopnet, pops up paraters for the dopnet itself)
  • alt-p toggles the timeline to swap between panes
  • alt-shift-p pops open a python prompt
  • ctrl-p in the viewport creates a sticky note

1 and 2 to update display and render flags

I use this all the time, I think a hangover from using nuke too much. With the current node selected, hit 1 to set its display flag to here, 2 to set its render flag. This is often much faster than trying to hit that tiny blue rectangle.

colour correction toolbar in viewport

Mentioned elsewhere on the wiki, very handy. Viewport top-right menus (where it usually says persp1 or cam1), 'correction toolbar'.

understanding viewport selection and point display

I remember this really frustrated me when I first used Houdini, doesn't bother me at all now. When you're in sops, its the maya equivalent of being in component mode all the time (ie, like you've hit F8). Thing is Houdini doesn't shout at you the way maya does, and you can be in sops and have selection disabled, which can be more confusing. So here's what to look for:

  • s hotkey in viewport enables selection mode
  • esc hotkey quits this mode and normally puts you into view mode. so if I consciously want to get out of select and back again, i'll be going s, esc, s, esc
  • in select mode, 1 2 3 4 choose obj, point, edge, face respectively. 1 will kick you up a level into /obj context which is annoying, but just hitting 2 or 3 or 4 will drop you back down again
  • in view mode, 1 2 3 4 choose the persp/top/front/right view. as before, normally I don't want or expect this, so I'll swear, hit 1 to go back to the persp camera, hit s, then 1 to choose points
  • the toolbar at the top of the viewport tells you what mode your in. in view mode, its blank. in select mode, you see icons for point/edge/face, with one of them highlighted for the current mode.
  • if you can see blue points, you're either in point mode, OR you've enabled 'display points' with the toolbar on the right of the viewport.
  • most of the time i want to stay in select mode, but not clutter my view with points. i've found the simplest way is to hit '4' to get into face mode, the viewport looks clean, but i can jump back to points whenever I want

the frustration of seeing blue points when you don't want them, or not seeing them when you do, drove me crazy for the first week or so. Keep an eye on the toolbar, all makes more sense.