Interaction Preferences

| Playback and Audio | Tools | Property Editors/Views

These options let you set the default playback style for animation and audio, and set the default behavior of tools and property editors.

To display: Choose File Preferences from the main menu. In the explorer that appears, click Interaction or its icon.

You can also choose Playback Playback/Audio Preferences in the Playback panel to open this property editor.

Playback and Audio

These options let you set the default animation and audio playback behavior.


Playback View

Specifies which views to update during playback. When the playback is over, all other views are updated to the current frame. Specifying a single view can improve playback speed.

This option applies only when multiple 3D views are visible and no views are currently soloed. If a single view is displayed or if a view has been soloed, that view is used for playback.

If the specified viewport does not display a 3D view, Softimage logs a message at the beginning of playback and uses a different view.

Limit Max Playback Rate to Scene Frame Rate

Prevents the All Frames playback option from playing back faster than the scene's playback rate.

For more information, see Setting the Playback Speed Limit [Viewing and Playback].

Realtime Playback

For more information, see Playing Back All Frames or Playing in Real Time [Viewing and Playback].

User Rate (%)

Sets the realtime playback speed (percentage) of the animation and audio. You can set any positive value starting at 1. 100% is full speed, while 50% is half speed, 200% is double speed, and so on.

The slider goes only to 200, but you can enter higher values.

You can also select a predefined realtime playback speed (75%, 50%, or 25%) from the Playback menu in the playback panel. This is the same as setting the User Rate here to these values.


Scrubbing means to drag the playback cursor back and forth in timeline. This is something that you need to do frequently as you check your animation and audio.

Default Scrub Mode

Sets the main method to use when scrubbing audio and animation. You can select from:

  • Direct Seek: Plays exactly where you scrub the playback cursor.

  • Play User Rate: Plays at the speed you specify for the ScrubbingUser Rate percentage value (below).

  • Play Realtime: Plays at realtime speed.

  • Play Vari Speed: Plays according to the speed at which you scrub the playback cursor.

Alternate Scrub Mode

Sets a temporary scrub mode that is activated only when you press the Alt key. For example, you may want to scrub over only one area with a specific rate of playback (Play User Rate), but you want to do the main scrubbing with a different setting (such as Play Realtime).

The options for this parameter are the same as for Default Scrub Mode above.

User Rate (%)

Sets the playback speed when you select Play User Rage for the Default and/or Alternate Scrub Mode options. You can set any positive value starting at 1. 100% is full speed, while 50% is half speed, 200% is double speed, and so on.

This works in the same way as the Realtime Playback > User Rate % option (see Realtime Playback above).

The slider goes only to 200, but you can enter higher values.

Play Audio When Scrubbing

Toggles the audio playback only when scrubbing in the timeline.

If you deselect this option, the audio is muted when you're scrubbing, but is still active when you click the Play icon in the playback controls.

Play Frame Entered When Scrubbing

Toggles the audio behavior when scrubbing the playback cursor forward in the timeline, which can help you synchronize your audio with the animation.

  • When this option is off (default), the audio is played after the cursor has passed over the frame when you're scrubbing: it is not played at the beginning of the frame.

  • When this option is on, instead of playing the audio segment on the frame that the cursor has just passed over, Softimage instead plays the audio segment on the frame that the cursor enters. For example, if you are scrubbing from frame 1 to frame 2, Softimage plays the audio segment on frames 2 to 3 instead of the segment on frames 1 to 2.

Play Audio at Display Refresh When Scrubbing

Toggles the audio behavior with respect to the viewport display synchronization when scrubbing.

When this option is on, the audio is played only after the viewport display update calculations have finished.

You may want to select this option when the geometry in your scene is heavy. In these cases, it can take longer for the viewport to update, which can cause a gap between the audio and the visual update. This option helps synchronize your audio with animation under these conditions.

Quick Loop

For more information, see Looping the Playback [Viewing and Playback].

Enable Quick Loop Mode

Toggles a looping mode that plays back the animation and audio repeatedly within the range of frames that you define for the Frames Before/After Cursor parameters (below).

After you have activated this option, move the playback cursor in the main Softimage timeline or the animation mixer timeline to where you want to loop the audio and hold down the mouse button.

As long as you hold down the mouse button, the audio and animation loops around the playback cursor according to the frames you have set.

When you release the mouse button, the looping stops. You can then click anywhere else in the timeline to continue to quickly loop other parts of the audio.

Frames Before/After Cursor

The number of frames you want to loop that are before and after the position of the playback cursor in the timeline.

For example, you could set 1 for the Frames Before Cursor and 20 for the Frames After Cursor to loop the 20 frames of audio that occur after the position of the playback cursor in the timeline.


Enable Sticky Tools

Allows you to activate a tool by pressing a key quickly.

  • If this option is off, then you can activate tools only in supra mode; that is, by pressing and holding a key while using the mouse to interact.

  • If it is on, you have the choice of activating tools in sticky mode (by pressing and releasing a key and then using the mouse) or supra mode (by pressing and holding a key while using the mouse).

Enable Sticky Key Toggle

Allows sticky keys to act as toggles. Pressing and releasing the tool key again returns to the default tool. This is an alternative to pressing Esc.

Leaving this option off prevents you from accidentally keying nothing, for example, if you press V a second time and deactivate the Translate tool.

Sticky Key Delay

Specifies how long in seconds you must press a key to activate a tool in supra mode rather than sticky mode. If you press and hold a key for longer than this value before releasing, it is assumed that you meant to activate a tool in supra mode and then changed your mind, so the tool is not activated in sticky mode either.

Default 3D Tool

Defines the default mode when no tool has been selected:

  • Selection/SRT uses the last-used tool from among Select, Scale, Rotate, or Translate (Autodesk Softimage behavior).

  • Nil Tool uses no tool. Clicking does nothing.

Property Editors/Views

Property Editors

Select Entire Contents of Text Boxes on First Click

Selects (highlights) the entire contents of text boxes when you click on them. If you turn this option off, you can left-click to place the cursor on the first click or middle-click to select the contents.

Adjust Editor Size Based on Content

Size of the property editor window varies, depending on its content.

Tab-Style Property Editors

Displays multiple property sets in a single editor as tabs rather than a vertically scrolling list.

Pop-up Property Editors on Node Creation

Automatically displays property editors when you create 3D objects, textures, forces, etc. Pressing Ctrl when creating an element temporarily toggles the selected behavior.

Note that this preference is automatically turned on whenever Softimage starts. This is to prevent plug-ins from turning it off while creating elements and then failing to turn it back on again when finished.


Hide windows when switching

Controls whether open windows become minimized when you cycle to the next one using Ctrl+Tab or Ctl+Shift+Tab.