Houdini Advanced FX Lab

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19. - 30. 8. 2024
10 / 12 participants Last Seats
10 days
Intermediate to advanced
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic


per artist

1 600€

per artist

Open registration
* Discounted price for Czech artists after deduction 1 312€ off (82%) from government funds.
** Price applies to all non-Czech artists without funding opportunities from Czech Government.
21% VAT is deductible for VAT payers in the EU.

If you want to advance your career in VFX using Houdini this course is perfect for those with some previous experience. Goals for the course are to progress your understanding of the best simulation workflows in Houdini.

On completion of this lab, you will

  • be able to understand Houdini’s procedural logic based on attributes flow
  • understand how to resolve errors in a graph and how to address client’s requests
  • learn how to come up with the best fracturing and fluid setups based on the type of effect that’s needed
  • learn how to form effective and efficient simulations and develop comfort in the ever-changing simulation methodologies
  • grasp how to deal with complex effects iteratively
  • gain valuable experience for transitioning from other software packages or roles into working with Houdini and FX

About the course

How it works

The mornings will contain lectures followed by a break, after which the rest of your day is spent building up your shot and applying the skills treated in the classes. Your tutor will be present to help you tackle obstacles and answer questions you may have along the way.

Personal project (optional)
A dedicated timeframe will be reserved to pursue your personal project with the advice of the mentor. Learn how to choose the best tool for your needs, using the best approach.

Participants should provide few lines about a personal project that you wish to perfect during the class. The project does not require to be started, but references must be brought with you before starting the course. The trainer will assist you individually to reach your goal. By the end of the class, challenges and solutions will be shared across the group.

Lesson plan

  • Building procedural modeling tools
    How to organise your graph to ease reading for anybody. Rapping your tools into Houdini Digital Assets.
  • The core of particles simulations
    Transferring attributes efficiently from a mesh or a volume into a particle simulation. Controling forces with vex and vop. Using instances at rendering time and in simulations.
  • Monitoring attribute flow across nodes
    Learn how to speed up simulation times and how to keep attribures you need throughout your graph.
  • Realistic fractured geometries
    Creation of pre-fractured geometries for realistic destruction simulations.
  • The logic behind rigid body dynamics
    Prepping object names properly for rigid body simulations.
  • Mastering RBD constraints
    Using and understanding RBD constraints to gain control of rigid body simulations
  • Rigid body dynamics application
    Production techniques suited for complex rigid body dynamics simulations such as metal bending.
  • Pyro dynamics for production
    What resolution is needed, how to resolve mushroom shapes in volume simulations, how to break-down an effect into layers of simulations and how to create custom forces.
  • Fluid dynamics
    Understanding the logic behind FLIP fluids. Sourcing fluid, velocity, and colliders. Meshing and rendering realistic water simulations.
  • Simulations of grains and fabric
    Learn how to create viscous liquids or high-res liquids such as blood splash using Vellum.
  • Rendering in GPU with Karma under Solaris
    The logic behind USD and Solaris. How to port geometry and attributes in Solaris.
  • Demo Reel
    How to improve and maximize your demo reel. Learn what elements are required and how to present them, so that you can focus on what really matters.

Who is it for

Equally suited for avid learners as well as more experienced artists who wish to hone and/or diversify their skill sets.

We require

  • Familiarity with the Houdini GUI as well as a basic understanding of 3D graphics and film-making or animation.
  • Participants should be familiar with the Houdini GUI.
  • Communication skills in English.

Where will this get you

If you’re looking to grow in the VFX industry and want to work towards ending up somewhere like one of those top-tier companies, becoming an expert in Houdini is a stepping stone to get you there. You can consider junior-level opportunities as 3D artist on completion of the course.

All participants will get well-respected qualifications within the industry, demonstrating you’ve studied an industry-based course and have the practical, hands-on skills studios are looking for.

Catch the list of studios at the end of the Houdini Customer Reel.

Why this is a residential and not online course

The advantage of this lab, as compared to online training, is that you will get direct interaction with the mentor, with dedicated answers, tailored to your needs. This will not only give you the chance to build on your own strengths quicker, but also to lean out and clarify immediately the concepts that would otherwise take days to grasp.

You will also benefit from a strong interaction with other students. Having different views on how to tackle a problem is key in learning this software, as more often than not, there are many different ways to achieve the same thing in Houdini. So this will give you the chance to challenge yourself with each other and learn faster and more efficiently.

Fees and funding


Czech artists: 288€
All other artists: 1 322€ + 277€
21% VAT (VAT is deductible for VAT payers in the EU countries)

The fee covers participation in the course. It doesn’t cover accommodation, meals, and travel.

Approximate living costs during your stay in the Czech Republic:

  • Accommodation at the venue: 25 EUR / night
  • Breakfast at the hotel – 7 EUR
  • Restaurant meal between 5 – 10 EUR
  • Grocery in general – 50 EUR per person a week

Funding for Czech employees and freelancers

Czech Labour Office (Úřad práce) offers to cover up to 85% of the course fee within the so-called POVEZ II project (Support of Vocational Training for Employees II). See the details and conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

  • In the case of cancellation 6 weeks or more before the course starting date, the whole fee (course fee, or course fee + accommodation) will be refunded minus 150€ admin fee.
  • With less than 6 weeks‘ notice, 50% of the total course fee will be refunded.
  • If cancellation occurs in the final 30days before the starting date, no refund will be given.
  • However, we will consider transferring the fees to another course (conditional upon vacancies) but a 20% cancellation fee will be charged if this change will be made in less than 4 weeks before the course starting date.
  • We reserve the right to cancel a course if fewer than 4 people are enrolled. In this case we can transfer your fees to any future course or refund the fees you have paid in full.
  • Refunds will be paid within 2 weeks after receiving your full bank details.

COVID-19: Be creative. Be safe!

We would like to assure you that our courses are just for small groups of people and we care about all hygiene recommendations. If the courses have to be canceled for reasons related to COVID-19, your money will be refunded. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that nothing will stop us!

Direct interaction
with world class
mentors from top

Our Mentors
Rodeo FX


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I very recommend this Houdini course mostly for people who need basic overview of the software to be able smoothly continue with personal development.
Great atmosphere and knowledge sharing between students and professors, both professional and human. Good introduction to Houdini, giving solid bases to approach Houdini at home by yourself.
The lab like intensive nature of the course is quite different from most and I think very helpful for learning Houdini specifically, as the absence of daily life distractions creates the time and focus to solve problems - and then create some more. Also it might be challenging to think of a better backdrop than lovely Český Krumlov.
I don't do FX often in practice, but it's my hobby, and I wanted to learn more about simulations, such as fire, smoke, and water. I thought the Houdini Advance FX Lab would be easier. I was a little worried that I might get bored, but that didn't happen. Benoit is a great mentor; he has a great attitude. I can ask anything; he explains it very well, semi-optionally. If someone still doesn't get it, he tries a different approach. Bootcamp exceeded my expectations. Character Design Labs 2023 (returning in 2024)
For me, Houdini is important because instead of working hard, I can work smart. It makes a big difference. You are more efficient. Houdini requires a different approach, which is worth it in the end. The boot camp is amazing. I don’t have to spend much time searching, trying, and learning. The mentors are really experienced and help to transfer their knowledge directly. 
I am from Spain, and I came to learn about Houdini. I am a visual artist working as a compositor, creating motion graphics mainly for UK clients. The quality of the training, the teachers, and the group are really good. The whole event was well organized. It’s kind of a holiday study, in a way. I really recommend it.


per artist

1 600€

per artist

Open registration
* Discounted price for Czech artists after deduction 1 312€ off (82%) from government funds.
** Price applies to all non-Czech artists without funding opportunities from Czech Government.
21% VAT is deductible for VAT payers in the EU.
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