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Topics in this chapter:
■ About Toxik on page 1
■ About This Guide on page 2
■ Getting Help on page 2
Toxik is Autodesk’s interactive solution for film compositing. It brings
compositing and visual effects tools to high-end 2D artists working at HD, 2K,
4K or above, in film, television, and design. It features a full High Dynamic
Range (HDR) pipeline, next-generation 3D compositing, high performance
interaction at extremely high resolutions, and advanced rendering. It primarily
features a database-less workflow for data management, one Toxik seat, one
scripting license, and unlimited rendering capabilities.
The Toxik creative toolset includes keying, color correction, tracking, camera
mapping, paint, spline-based warping, motion blur, and depth of field.
Furthermore, it can be updated with extensions that add functionality to the
product by means of new tools and core fixes.
About This Guide
The Toxik User Guide is made up of two major sections: Getting Started and
This section describes the basic information you needs to know in order to
get up and running with Toxik quickly. Topics ranging from key interface
features and accessing the Help provide you with everything you need to start
compositing now! It is strongly recommended that you read this section before
exploring the Reference portion of the User Guide.
This section provides in-depth information about all the tools and key features
associated with Toxik. Some features discussed in the Getting Started section
are described in further detail here. The reference section includes advanced
topics and is most useful for users who have a good understanding of Toxik
There are two ways to access Help for Toxik, depending on whether you want
more information on a particular subject or whether you need assistance with
a specific problem
Viewing Online Help
Autodesk provides documentation in an HTML help system displayed in a
Web browser. The Help is automatically installed with the software.
To launch the Help, do one of the following:
1 From the Toxik menu, choose Help > Toxik Help.
2 From the Windows taskbar, choose Start > programs > Autodesk > Autodesk
Toxik 2010 > Toxik Documentation > Online Help.
The Help appears in the browser window.
2 | Chapter 1 Preface
For further assistance, please contact Technical Support at the following
Contacting Support | 3
About Getting Started
Topics in this chapter:
■ About The Chapters on page 7
About The Chapters
The Getting Started section describes fundamental Toxik concepts and explains
some of the tool’s basic functionality, which should allow you to begin using
Toxik as quickly as possible. Here is a brief description of the chapters included
in this section.
This chapter provides the first detailed descriptions about some essential Toxik
interface features. Toxik interface mechanics like the Gate UI and the Pick List,
as well as critical functions such as zooming and panning, and working with
nodes are explained. You’ll find more in-depth information about some of the
features discussed here, like The Player, in the Reference section.
Start Compositing Now! A Simple Workflow Overview
This chapter provides you with a step-by-step example of how to composite
using Toxik. The goal is to demonstrate how easily you can begin to use the
tool, even before you explore some of the more advanced topics covered in
the Reference section.
8 | Chapter 2 About Getting Started
Topics in this chapter:
■ Basic Interface Functions on page 9
■ The Gate UI on page 12
■ The Drop Gate on page 13
■ The Toxik Interface on page 17
■ Tools, Views & Pick List tabs on page 30
■ The Player on page 34
■ Zooming and Panning on page 39
■ Navigating and Browsing on page 40
■ Working with Schematic on page 51
Basic Interface Functions
An intuitive set of editing functions are available to manipulate elements, such
as compositions, folders, and so on. These include basic functions for cutting,
copying, pasting, and deleting, as well as more advanced functions.
Mouse, Pen, Keyboard
You can interact with the user interface using a mouse or a pen and graphics
tablet, in concert with the keyboard. If you have a mouse wheel, you can use
it to scroll through menus.
NOTE To generate a right-click with a pen, press the Context Menu key in
concert with the pen. If a key board includes a Context Menu key, it is typically
located three keys to the right of the Spacebar.
Cutting, Copying and Pasting
Standard cut, copy, and paste commands let you manipulate elements, such
as composition and folders.
To cut or copy, then paste an element:
1 Right-click the element and select Cut (Ctrl + X for Windows, Linux
or Cmd + X for Mac OS) or Copy (Ctrl + C for Windows, Linux or
Cmd + C for Mac OS).
2 Navigate to the location where you want to paste the element. Then
right-click the location and select Paste or press (Ctrl + V for Windows,
Linux or Cmd + V for Mac OS).
Tools such as the Slate and Notes tools require that you type into text editor
To accept changes in a text editor field, do one of the following:
■ Press Enter in the case of a single-line editor.
■ Press Ctrl + Enter in the case of a multi-line editor.
■ Click outside the editor.
To revert to the previous text:
■ Press Esc.
10 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
For more text editor/field hotkey combinations, see Text Editor and Text Fields
on page 796.
Dragging and Dropping
You can drag and drop the contents of most folders in the user interface. In
the user preferences, you can choose whether you see the ghosted image of
the composition or not. See Setting User Preferences on page 165.
Undoing and Redoing
You can undo most operations. You can also redo any operation you undo.
To undo or redo an operation, do one of the following:
■ From the Edit menu, select Undo (or press Ctrl + Z for Windows, Linux
or Cmd + Z for Mac OS). Or select Redo (or press Ctrl + Y for Windows,
Linux or Cmd + Shift +Z for Mac OS).
■ Or, in the taskbar, at the bottom of the UI, locate the Undo icon. The last
action performed is displayed beside it. Then do one of two things:
■ To undo the last operation you performed, click the arrow next the
■ To undo any operation other than the last one you performed, or to
redo an operation, click the text to the right of the Undo button, and
select the operation you want to undo or redo from the list. Note that
the arrow that appears in the list indicates the most recent operation
you performed. This operation and all operations above it are operations
you can undo. All operations below the arrow are ones you can redo.
Dragging and Dropping | 11
Things to Remember:
■ You set the maximum number of items in the undo/redo list in the user
preferences General tab.
■ Browsers have a separate undo/redo list.
■ Press Ctrl + Y for Windows and Linux, or Cmd + Shift + Z for
Mac OS to redo an operation.
Deleting Elements and Compositions
You can delete an element, such as a composition or folder.
To delete an element do one of the following:
■ Select the element and press Delete.
■ Right-click the element and select Delete.
The Gate UI
The Gate UI allows you to access any of the four hidden panels in the
workspace. The Gate UI resembles a compass; it has four gates that each
correspond to one of the hidden panels. The gates are distributed along the
four cardinal directions.
12 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
The four gates are as follows:
a) North gate The Schematic overlay. This is a semi-
transparent, larger view of the Schematic.
You can set the transparency of the back-
ground and nodes in the overlay, in the
Creative tab of the User Preferences.
b) East gate Pick List, Tools, or Views tab (depends on
the last chosen option). You can drop
views onto viewports, add tools to compos-
itions, and access the Pick List -- see Tools,
Views & Pick List tabs on page 30.
c) South gate View options for the view on which the
cursor is currently paused. For example, if
you access the Gate UI when the cursor is
over a Player, the south gate will display
the Player options.
d) West gate The Composition Browser.
To access the Gate UI:
1 Press the tilde (~) key or middle-click your mouse. The Gate UI appears.
2 Swipe north, south, east or west. The panel associated with that gate
3 To exit the panel. move the cursor away from the panel.
NOTE If you press the tilde (~) key, or middle-click and swipe simultaneously,
the Gate UI is not displayed. If you press the Alt key while swiping, the panel
will stay open until you press Esc.
The Drop Gate
Similar to the Gate UI in appearance, the Drop Gate appears when you drop
a composition or a tool into a Player, Layer Editor, or Schematic view. The
available options for the Drop Gate depend on whether you are dropping a
tool or composition, the view you are dropping it in, and also what node is
currently selected in the dependency graph. For example, if you drop a
The Drop Gate | 13
composition on a Reaction node in the Schematic view, the Composition
Drop Gate appears.
Here are the options associated with the Drop Gate when used in conjunction
with a composition or a tool.
To use the Drop gate when dropping a composition, do the following:
1 Either drop a composition into the Player or Layer Editor. Or, drop a
composition onto a tool in the Schematic view.
2 Then swipe through the appropriate option to select it, or click to cancel
NOTE If you drop the composition or tool, and swipe to select an option
simultaneously, the option is executed but the Drop Gate is not displayed.
To use the Drop gate when dropping a tool do one of the following:
1 Drop a tool into a Player, Composition Browser (with no composition or
tool selected), or Layer Editor (with no composition or tool selected).
14 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
2 Or, drop a tool onto a selected composition in the Schematic view or the
Composition Browser. The Tool Drop Gate appears.
3 Or, drop a tool onto a selected tool in the Schematic view or the
The Drop Gate | 15
4 Or, drop a tool onto a primary output node in the Schematic view or a
selected primary output node in the Composition Browser.
5 Drop a tool onto a secondary output node in the Schematic view or a
selected secondary output node in the Composition Browser. The Tool
Drop Gate appears.
16 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
6 After you have performed one of the preceding actions, swipe through
the appropriate option to select it, or click to cancel the drop.
The Toxik Interface
The Toxik interface may include a variety of views and elements, all of which
are designed to ensure a seamless and intuitive workflow. Each preset contains
views typically used to perform particular tasks.
The Toxik Interface | 17
Views and elements include:
a Menu Bar This is always visible by default and cannot be modified. See
The Menu Bar on page 19.
b Viewports There can be one or more viewports in the Toxik interface,
depending on the currently selected preset or on a user-defined layout.
You can populate the viewports with views such as the Player, the
Schematic, and Browser views. See Viewports and Views on page 20.
c Tool UI Displays information about the current tool or composition,
or the current view when accessed from the Gate UI. You can edit
information, or set options and attributes in this view. It is composed of
four main sections: Animation controls, Player controls,
Node-Independent tabs and Node-Specific tabs. See The Tool UI on page
d Taskbar This is always visible by default and cannot be modified. You
can, however, show/hide the taskbar by pressing Ctrl + T(for Windows
and Linux) or Cmd T(for Mac OS). See Taskbar on page 29.
18 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
The Menu Bar
The menu bar appears at the top of the Toxik window. It contains the following
menus: File, Edit Preferences, and Help. There is also a minimize button at
the far right.
To show or hide the menu bar: press Ctrl + M.
Open new or existing projects, save pro-
jects, archive or publish projects, perform
pre-compositing, import projects, or exit
Undo, redo actions, access the Hotkeys,
Project and User preferences and the Lay-
Create, delete, rename, reset layout pre-
sets. Or set a layout preset as default.
The Menu Bar | 19
Allows you to load or reload scripts.
Access Toxik help or documentation, Py-
thon scripting info, the New Feature or
Essential Skills movies, the What’s New
doc, the Hotkeys doc, the Token Substitu-
tions and Initialization Variables, the Re-
lease Notes, Support Center, or get inform-
ation about Toxik.
Minimize the Toxik window
Viewports and Views
The Toxik UI is composed of one or more viewports and populated with one
or more views.
A viewport is simply a container in which you can drop a view into. You can
modify a viewport’s layout using the Layout icon in the taskbar. You can
change a viewport’s size or drag it to another location by placing your cursor
over a viewport border. See Taskbar on page 29.
You can access all available views from the Views tab, using the Gate UI and
then dragging a view into a viewport.
NOTE You cannot undo a drag view operation. If you frequently add or remove
specific views, you can add them to the Pick List for even faster access.
20 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
A view can be:
1 A view where you work on or view your composition;
2 A browser where you work with files.
The following views are available:
Animation Allows you to edit animations.
Composition Allows you to view and to work with all
the tools and parameters in a composition
in a browser format. See The Composition
Browser on page 49.
File Browser Allows you to create compositions by im-
porting media and provides a view of the
folders that your installation references.
Layer Editor Allows you to add, edit and reorder layers
associated with one or more Reaction
Pick List Allows you to store frequently used tools,
views and compositions. See Pick List on
Player Allows you play a composition. The Player
options determine what appears in the
Player. See Player on page 151.
Schematic Allows you to build a dependency graph
for a composition. See Working with
Schematic on page 51.
Tools Allows you to add a tools browser to any
Viewports and Views | 21
Four Views: a) File browser b) Layer Editor c) Schematic d) Player
To add a view to a viewport:
1 Press the tilde key or middle-click your mouse to display the Gate UI,
then swipe through the east gate to display the Tools, Views and Pick List
2 Select the Views tab.
22 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
3 Select a view and drag it into a viewport.
To display a view in a fullscreen view:
1 Pause over a view you want to display as a fullscreen view and press the
2 In the Player controls, click the fullscreen button to play the composition.
The view displays as a fullscreen view. Press F to exit the fullscreen view.
The Tool UI
The Tool UI is located at the bottom of the user interface, just above the task
bar. It allows you to view information about the composition which is currently
open, as well as view and adjust settings for any of the tool nodes in that
The Tool UI | 23
The Tool UI has four main areas:
a) Animation controls Controls for setting and working with cue
marks and keyframes. See Keyframing
Workflows on page 664.
b) Player controls Controls for playing media associated with
a composition, in any of the views. See
Using the Player Controls on page 36.
c) Details or node-independent tabs A set of tabs that contain information
about the composition and controls that
are relevant for any of the nodes in the
d) Tool UI or node-specific tabs A tab that contains information and con-
trols specific to the currently selected node
in the composition.
There are several node-independent tabs, including (from left to right in the
user interface): Composition, Versions, Metadata, Animation, Cue Marks and
Pick List. Here is a short description of each tab:
Composition: Displays information about the composition you currently have
24 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
Versions: Displays a list of all current versions, including the working or current
version, associated with the composition you currently have open.
Metadata: Displays the description of the composition you currently have
open, along with any custom attributes you have added. You can use this tab
to edit the data associated with an individual field.
Animation: Displays controls for animating individual variables in the
composition. See The Animation Tab on page 651.
Cue Marks: Displays the list of cue marks set for the composition you currently
have open. See Working with Cue Marks on page 658.
Pick List: Provides a place for storing frequently used tools, view and
compositions. See Working with the Pick List on page 140.
The Tool UI | 25
One or more node-specific tabs appear when you select a node in a
composition. For example, if you select the CC Histo tool, you’ll see that it
has a main tab, as well as a Ranges tab. You will typically select a node from
the Schematic view, from the Composition Browser or from the Layer Editor
Each composition node has a tab associated with it. In the case of imported
media, the composition node for the composition you currently have open
has an Image Import tab that contains the same information as in the Import
browser when you imported the media to create the composition -- see
Importing Media on page 115. The composition node for a linked composition
has a Link Image tab that contains a list of the rendered output associated
with that composition -- see Linking Compositions on page 237.
A vertical bar in the tab indicates more options may exist underneath the area
to the right of the bar. Drag right on the bar to expose the options.
The contents of most tool node tabs are organized into left and right areas.
The left hand area contains Player-related controls and direct manipulation
controls unrelated to the Player (for example, in the Diamond Keyer, the color
prism), and fields and widgets you can use to set or enter values. The area on
the right is the Tool Options area; these options are common to all tools.
The top row is used for selection history and navigation, and contains the
(a) Navigate to previously selected node (b) Navigate to next selected node (c) Go to
home node (d) History (e) Set Home
a Navigate to previous node Navigate nodes before current selection.
b Navigate to next node Navigate to nodes selected after current selection.
26 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals
c Go to home node Navigate to node set as Home node.
d History View entire node list and select a node.
e Set Home Set a home node from the history list. To set another node
as a home node, select a node name and click Set Home.
The next set of controls is for using Tool presets. See Tool Presets on page 144.
(a) Preset (b) Save (c) Load (d) Reload
a Preset Displays the name of the tool preset currently loaded in a
selected tool node.
b Save After customizing a tool, you can save it as a tool preset.
c Load Displays a list of tool presets.
d Reload Reloads the currently selected tool node with the same tool
preset. This lets you revert back to the parameters contained in the tool
The lower portion of the Tool Options area contains the following controls:
(a) Back One Keyframe (b) Set Keyframe (c) Forward One Key (d) Mute (e) Reset (f)
Name (g) Time (h) Affects (i) IR (j) Delete
a Back one keyframe Move back one keyframe in the currently selected
animation curve for this too node. For more information on setting the
animation keys, see Keyframing Workflows on page 664.
b Set keyframe Set Keyframe: set a keyframe in the animation editor for
this tool node. For more information on setting the animation keys, see
Keyframing Workflows on page 664.
The Tool UI | 27
c Forward one key Move froward one keyframe in the currently selected
animation curve for this tool node. or more information on setting
animation keys, see Keyframing Workflows on page 664.
d Mute Mute the currently selected tool node. This is a convenient way
to toggle the effect of that node on or off. When you mute a tool node,
the node has no effect on the input it receives; it simply passes that input
to the next tool node in the dependency graph. If you mute a tool node
that accepts multiple inputs, the node passes its primary input to the
next too node.
NOTE Note that muting a tool node may not always be equivalent to
removing it from the dependency graph. That is, if the input and output
formats of a tool node are different, removing the tool node may cause format
conflicts in nodes further along the dependency graph, but muting the tool
would not cause format conflicts. For example, if the format of the output is
different from that of the primary input, the muted node adjusts the format,
possibly in a tool specific way. For example, a muted Diamond Keyer node
outputs a solid white matte, a muted Noise node outputs a black image. You
cannot mute a supertool.
e Reset Resets all parameters of this tool node to their default values.
f Name Examine or edit the name of the currently selected tool node.
To edit the name, click in the field, enter your edits, and then press Enter.
g Time Displays the global and local time in a node affected by a Time
Offset tool. Enables Global to display the global time in the field to the
right of the Global button. Disables Global to display the local time of
the node in that field.
h Affects Specifies the channels (RGB, RGBA, or A) the currently selected
tool uses. The options available depend on the currently selected tool.
In some tools, this options may not be available.
i IR Allows the currently selected tool node to create an intermediate
result whenever you play the composition. You can also enable or disable
intermediate results in the Schematic, by clicking the IR tab in the
bottom-right corner of the node icon; this tab is orange when you enable
IR. See Creating Intermediate Results on page 221.
j Delete Delete the currently selected tool node.
28 | Chapter 3 Interface Fundamentals