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Add User Channels

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User created channel are incredibly useful when animating. Often times users will want to create controllers for an animation rig. A rig is simply a generic term that takes a complex action and creates a simplified control for it. So in the case of a user channel, this allows users to add additional channels to an item, such as to a Locator. For example, if a machine had several gears that needed to work in sync with each other, a Locator could have a user channel added called gear spin, making it easy to understand its intent. Then the channel would be linked to all the gears in such a way so they would spin in proper relation to one another. Then the single channel of the Locator could be animated, simplifying the overall process and making it really easy to find the item that is needed to control the gears.

There are a couple ways users can add custom channels to an item. With the target item selected in the Items list, users can use the menu bar command under "Animate > Channels > Add User Channel", or users may also click the button in the 'Modifiers' subtab of the toolbox in the Animate interface. Additionally, MODO provides options to add user channels in the 'Channels' viewport, both in the viewport itself (as an option) and from within the context menu. Invoking the 'Add User Channel' command open the 'Create User Channel' dialog. These are the options that determines the type of channel that is created-

Create User Channel

Username: The 'Username' is an optional identifier when creating channel sets. If a username is not defined, the internal name is displayed in the user interface.

Channel Name: Defines a name that will be used to identify the new channel.

Type:Channels are really just a place to store a value. Depending on its use, the formatting of the values contained in a channel will have bearing in how they're used. An angle channel would be appropriate for rotations, where a distance channel would be necessary for transform info. The channel 'Type' basically defines what format the values take. The available options are--
Float- Channel produces a floating point value e.g. generally a decimal and typically between 0 & 1
Distance- Channel produces a distance output value.
Angle- Channel produces an angle output value in number of degrees.
Percent- Channel produces a percentage value e.g. 0% - 100%
Light Intensity- Channel produces standard physically based unit of Watts per volumetric meter.
Time- Channel produces time values (default in is 'frames').
Speed- Channel produces speed values in meters per second (m/s).
Force- Channel produces force values in newtons (N).
Mass- Channel produces Mass values in kilograms.
Acceleration- Channel produces acceleration values in meters per second squared (m/s²).
Pixel (integer)- Channels produces whole pixel values.
Pixel (fractional)- Channels produces sub-pixel values (fractions of pixels).
Integer- Channel produces a whole number value (not a fraction) e.g. 1,2,3,4,5...
Boolean- Channel produces only a 'True' or 'False' type value
String- Channel stores multiple values as a string.
Matrix- Channel stores multiple values as a matrix.
Divider- The 'Divider' type channel creates a named collapsible divider in the Properties panel and is very useful as an organization device when dealing with multiple channels. They can be moved and renamed but have no value.

Mode: By default a single channel will be created with the given name, but multiple channels can also be created by using the options of the Mode popup, they are as follows:
Scalar- Creates a single channel, e.g. MyChannel
Vector XY- creates two channels; e.g. MyChannel.X and MyChannel.Y
Vector XYZ- creates 3 channels; e.g. MyChannel.X, MyChannel.Y and MyChannel.Z
Vector RGB- creates 3 channels; e.g. MyChannel.R, MyChannel.G and MyChannel.B
Vector RGBA- creates 4 channels; e.g. MyChannel.R, MyChannel.G, MyChannel.B and MyChannel.A

Default Value: Allows the user to specify the default value of the channel.

Use Minimum Value: Allows the user to specify and define a minimum value.

Use Maximum Value: Allows the user to specify and define a maximum value.



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