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Home >> The MODO Interface >> List/Info Viewports >> Channels

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Channels ViewportThe Channel viewport provides an exhaustive window into the soul of the MODO animation system. All Channels of any item can be viewed in the Channel Viewport. Channels are simply any of the animateable attributes of an item (the identical attributes found in the Properties viewport!). The Channels viewport provides a direct method for selecting channels as well as creating, navigating and managing any keyframes on said channels. There are four columns on the Channel viewport; Channels, Value, Status and Source. Obviously the first column displays the channel names for the currently selected Item, the second column displays the value of the channel at the current scene time. The Status (S) column shows the state of the channel be it animated, static or actually having a keyframe; this is communicated via the same dot method used on the Channel keyframing control. The last column is the Source, it describes where the current channel value is stored, this is referencing the use of Passes. This could be the base 'Setup' state, in a temporary 'Edit' state when the value is modified, or the named Pass state when the value is applied to Pass.

Interacting with Channels--

Same as the 'Properties' viewport, the Channels viewport updates to reflect the current item selection. This can be items within the item list, the shader tree, or even the Groups palette. Once selected, all the animateable attributes appear in the Channels viewport. To affect an attributes value, the user simple needs to LMB+click directly over the current value in the 'Value' column. For toggles (boolean values), this will change the value field between true/false, representing their enabled/disabled states. For attributes with various properties, a menu will open presenting all the possible options. For numerical values, users can use the click+pause action to activate the field to enter a new numerical value, pressing enter to set it, or simply clicking away from the field.

Setting Keyframes--

Users can set animation keyframes in all the usual ways using the keyframe buttons, the 'S' keyboard shortcut, in the 'Properties' viewport, or within the 'Graph Editor'. To set a keyframe for a value directly in the Channels viewport, users can RMB+click on the target value and choose the 'Add Key' option from the context menu. Users may also remove keyframes using this methodology. When any attribute has a keyframe, colored circles will appear next to the value in the 'S' (Status) column referencing the attributes current state. The possible states are--
None None- Channels is at the default value
Constant- Channel has a constant value
Animated No Key Animated- No keyframe at the current time position
Animated Key Set Animated- Keyframe at the current time position
Mixed Mixed- Channels have differing values or state
Driven Driven- Channel is driven by an external source
Undefined Undefined- Channel is not defined
An arrow over the dot represents that channel as driving another for a channel link.
Driver Driver- Channel is linked to another
A gear icon represent a channel that is being controlled by another for a channel link
Driver Driven- Channel is linked to another

Tip icon

TIP: Users can automatically select input/output items by selecting the appropriate channels and pressing ' i ' to select input, and 'o' to select output.

Contextual Menu--

Context MenuRMB+clicking in the Channels viewport opens up the contextual menu with options for modifying the keyframes of the various channels, as well as some shortcuts to access some often used viewports.

Graph Editor: Opens a Graph Editor viewport as a popup palette.

Channel Links: Opens a Channel Links viewport as a popup palette.

Groups: Opens a Groups viewport as a popup palette.

Add to current Channel Set: Will add the selected Channel(s) to the current Channel Set.

Add to current Key Set: Will add the selected Channel(s) to the current Key Set.

Add to current Pass Group: Will add the selected Channel(s) to the current 'Pass Group.

Add Key: Sets a keyframe at the current time with the current value.

Remove Key: Removes the keyframe at the current time.

Next/Previous/First/Last Key: Moves the timeline to the appropriate time.

Bake: For a modifier driven Channel, this option will open a dialog allowing users to convert the procedural values to actual keyframes at every frame and disconnect the modifier(s). Useful when exporting animation.

Remove Value: Will remove the current value, resetting the Channel to its default state.

Remove All: Removes all keyframes and returns to the default (unmodified) value.

Move Action/Pass Value to Scene: Assigns the current Channel value(s) to the Scene. Used to move a value inadvertently assigned while in a Render Pass or Actor/Action/Pose.

Assign as Setup/Rest Value:

Apply to Setup/Rest Value: Takes the current channel values associated to the selected item and moves them to the Setup action state.

Restore Setup/Rest Value: Replaces the current value of the selected Channel(s) and replaces it with the 'Setup' action state value.

Select Input Items: For driven channels, this option selects the driver item or channel.

Select Output Items: For driven channels, this option selects any items or channels being driven by the current channel.

Add Channel to Schematic: This option will add the currently selected channel to the Schematic viewport.

Assign Channel as Input/Output: Users can define various User Channels for Assembly nodes which adds them to the nodes Channels list. The resulting Channels, once created, can be selected and defined as either Inputs or Outputs of the appropriate Assembly node allowing users to connect any elements external to the Assembly.

Remove Channel Assignment: Removes any Channel assigned as an Input/Output from the Assembly node.

Edit User Channel: Opens a dialogue that allows the user to modify the settings of the Users Channel, such as 'Name', 'Default Value' and the Minimum and Maximum values.

Change User Channel Type: Opens a dialogue to change the User Channel Type. The 'Type' determines the formatting of the resulting value, such as a Scalar, Float or Boolean.

Expose as User Channel on Group: When making Presets for surfacing, often times the author only wants to show certain channels for users to edit, instead of giving them everything. This command allows Preset creators to control which channels are exposed. By selecting specific Shader Tree item channels, the 'Expose as User Channel on Group', command will link the channels to properly defined User Channel on the Material Group item where they can be edited directly (under the 'User Channels' subtab). RMB contextual menu for the Material Group item allows authors to also 'Lock' the preset making it easier to direct the Preset end-user to the appropriate controls. See the 'Presets' page of the documentation for more information on creating presets.

Assign Handle:

Delete Channel: Removes the selected User Channel.


Viewport Contextual Menu--

Channels Viewport MenuRMB+clicking on the 'Channels' tab itself will open the viewport menu as well as selecting the menu under the viewport triangle 'Widget'. Select the 'Viewport Settings' option to open the Channels viewport settings menu.

Grouping: The first three options define how channels are grouped in the channel list
Group By Package- Organizes channels by package, sub-groupings of related elements by individual item.
Group By Item- Organizes channels strictly by item.
Flat List- Channels listed as straight list with no grouping.

Show All: When enabled shows all channels on an item, when disabled certain less used channels are hidden such as Matrix channels.

Show Merged: When enabled, combines all the channel values for all selected items, instead of listing each item's channel one after another. Useful when gang editing multiple items at once.

Show Group Members: When enabled, show the members of any selected Group.

Show Add Transform Entries: Displays the 'Add Position/Rotation/Scale' entries to the channel list. These options provide a shortcut to users for adding additional transform channels, but for smaller monitors removing them can save some screen real-estate.



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