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03. Houdini Transform and Selection Tools

As we have an object in the scene, let’s quickly look at some of the manipulation and selection tools at our disposal.

Transform and Selection Tools

Transform tools

As we have an object in the scene (if not, Ctrl click the Sphere tool), let’s quickly look at some of the manipulation tools at our disposal.
The common manipulation tools and shortcuts are as follows:

  • S = Select
  • T = Translate
  • R = Rotate
  • E = Scale
  • Enter = Shows Handle
  • Y = Toggles between the above tools
  • Holding down the RMB over a manipulator will also allow you to edit the behaviour of the tool.

Snapping Tools

Beneath the Manipulation tools, you will find a number of Snapping tools. From top to bottom, you will find:

  • X = Snap to Grid
  • C = Snap to Curve
  • V = Snap to Points
  • Ctrl+J = Multi-Snapping

Selection Tools
With an object selected, we can use a few tools to select and edit the different components of the object:

  • 1 = Object Select Mode
  • 2 = Points
  • 3 = Edges
  • 4 = Primitives (referred to as Faces in Maya)
  • 5 = Vertices

Now you may be thinking: Why so we have Points and Vertices? Hold that thought in your mind as we’ll be coming back to this later.
Other selection shortcuts that will be of use include:

  • Ctrl+Shift+LMB = Add to a selection
  • Ctrl+LMB = Remove from a selection
  • To select a loop of vertices, edges or primitives, select the first component, hold the A key and then MMB click on the neighbouring component.

With a component selected and a manipulator tool active, you can hold down the MMB over an axis to use the Value Ladder (more on this later) to manipulate the component with great precision.


You can also grow and shrink your component selection by using Shift+G and Shift+S respectively.


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