Houdini Advanced Lab

Master visual effects for films, video games, and commercials with the tools used in production!

14. 8. - 26. 8. 2022
2 / 10 participants Last Seats
10 days
Intermediate to advanced
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

1 790 EUR

per participant

1 290 EUR

per participant

Open registration

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 laboratory, you will

  • learn how to come up with the best fracturing and fluid sourcing 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,
  • be able to take on more difficult FX in their workplace,
  • gain valuable experience for transitioning from other software packages or roles into working with Houdini and FX.

About the course

How it works

The advanced lab aims to go in-depth with the topics outlined in the lessons plan. The teacher will prepare the assignments and exercises with such intentions in mind. The level of advancement is also up to each participant and should be discussed before arriving in Krumlov, so the teacher is able to adjust his plans to accommodate for your current level of expertise.

There will be room for your personal (or commercial) project to bring into the lab and get supervision from the mentor, turning your project ideas into the very learning material. Participants should provide a few lines about a personal project that they 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

  • The core of particles simulations

Transfer attributes efficiently from a mesh or a volume into a particle simulation. Controlling forces with vex and vop.

  • Instancing and sourcing rigid body dynamics

Sourcing rigid body dynamics and prepping object names properly for rigid body simulations.

  • Fracturing geometries

Creation of pre-fractured geometries for realistic destruction simulations. 

  • Rigid body dynamics application

Production techniques suited for complex rigid body dynamics simulations. Additional layers such as secondary debris and dust simulations will be demonstrated.

  • Mastering RBD constraints

Using and understanding RBD constraints to gain control of rigid body simulations combining multiple materials types such as wood, metal, concrete, and glass.

  • Pyro dynamics primer

The full workflow of pyro dynamics, from sourcing, customizing simulations, to rendering volumes is covered.

  • Pyro dynamics application

Participants will form unique pyro simulations and renders. Additional layers such as sparks and embers will be demonstrated.

  • Fluid dynamic primer

The full workflow of small-scale fluid dynamics (human size splashes): sourcing, FLIP simulations, meshing, white-water, and the rendering phase.

  • Large range fluid dynamics application

Participants will understand how to properly blend from a non-simulated open ocean to a simulated FLIP tank. 

  • Additional fluid elements, mist, white water, bubbles

Lectures on the augmentation of fluids with additional particles and fluid simulations

  • Rendering and compositing of simulations

The rendering and compositing process for a rigid body, fire and fluid effects, and the layering of additional elements.

  • Personal project

A dedicated timeframe will be reserved to pursue your personal project with the advice of your trainer.

  • Geometry generation and proceduralism

An overview of workflows in both additive and subtractive procedural modeling. Geometric data flow is honed to make way for more advanced simulations.

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.

Preferences would be given to those registered for both Houdini courses; Houdini for 3D Artists and Houdini Lab.

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

Fees: 1 790 EUR

The fee covers the fee of the course and VAT.

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 – 5 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

More than
900 students from
32 countries

Show all testimonials
  • 1/3
  • 2/3
  • 3/3
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.