Houdini VFX Laboratory

Master visual effects for films, video games, and commercials with the tool of the future!

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If you want to advance your career in VFX using Houdini this lab is perfect for those with some previous experience.  The goals of the lab are to progress your understanding of your art in Houdini. You will work on your own project during the workshop under mentor’s guidance.

On completion of this laboratory, you will

  • be able to take on more difficult FX – particles and dynamics,
  • gain valuable experience for transitioning from other software packages or roles into working with Houdini and FX
  • advance your personal project
30.8. - 10. 9. 2021
/ 12 participants Last Seats
10 days [80 hours]
Intermediate to advanced
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

About the course



How it works

This course provides a very flexible approach to your individual needs to progress in Houdini. Yes, there is a lesson outline. Nevertheless, if you already know and have skills in Houdini, our mentor will address your specific needs and wants so you don’t spend time working on something you already master. The mentor will coach you individually to reach your goal while working on a project you bring to the lab. By the end of the lab, challenges and solutions will be shared across the group.

You should provide few lines about a personal project that you wish to perfect during the lab. The project does not require to be started, but references must be brought with you before starting the course. You will discuss the project with the mentor before the start of the residential lab.

Lesson plan

  • The basics of particle simulation
    Transfering attributes from a mesh or a volume to a particle simulation is key to keep the control on your effects.
  • Instancing and sourcing rigid body dynamics
    The basics of rigid body dynamics sourcing and simulation are delved into on a technical level with a source model.
  • Fracturing geometries
    Realistic destruction simulations depend on proper pre-fractured geometries.
  • Rigid body dynamics application
    Participants will form unique rigid body dynamics simulations from learned setups. Additional layers such as particle hits will be demonstrated.
  • Mastering RBD constraints
    You’ll gain control over your rigid body simulations by understanding how to use constraints
  • Pyro dynamics primer
    The full workflow of pyro dynamics, from sourcing, simulation, to rendering, is covered
  • Pyro dynamics application
    Participants will form unique pyro simulations and renders. Additional layers such as sparks and embers will be demonstrated.
  • Fluid dynamics primer
    The full workflow of medium-range (human-sized splash) fluid dynamics is covered to the rendering phase.
  • Large range fluid dynamics application
    Participants will generate open oceans.
  • Additional fluid elements, mist, whitewater, bubbles
    Lectures on the augmentation of fluids with additional particle and fluid simulations
  • Rendering and compositing of simulations
    The rendering and compositing process for rigid body, fire and fluids 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 for 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: 1 500 EUR

The fee covers the fee of 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 – 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 30 working days 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

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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.

1 500 EUR

per participant

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