Intro to Houdini FX

Embrace the industry's latest 3D software to gain a deeper grasp of how it works

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This course will demystify VFX in Houdini and show you how to make the most out of it.

We will take you from zero to hero with Houdini’s procedural workflow. The course aims at starters in Houdini providing a unique opportunity to accept the challenge of learning not-so-easy-tool faster than struggling home alone. You will gain confidence and experience in all key areas of Houdini’s powerful pipeline including procedural geometry, particles, fluids, dynamics.

On completion of this course, you will

  • Gain a good understanding of the core concepts of VFX in Houdini and proceduralism
  • Be able to develop simple procedural workflows and have them rendered in
  • Learn how to troubleshoot a workflow
  • Fix problems on your own, allowing you to further learn Houdini by yourself
  • Understand the key elements that make an FX believable
  • Know the best practices to develop production quality procedural FX setups
16. - 27. 8. 2021
/ 12 participants New
10 days [80 hours]
Beginner to intermediate
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

About the course

How it works

Whether you follow the prepared assignments or choose to bring in your own project instead, you will approach the project as in the industry, starting with a model or animation, and building up on that with various layers of FX.

You’ll use procedural modelling techniques to dynamically create and alter our base geometry. Once you have something to work with, you’ll look into pre-fracturing your geometry and destroying using Rigid Body Dynamics. You’ll handle timing and constraining your geometry for art directability as well.

You’ll then layer in particle simulations for fine detail and use smoke and pyro simulations to simulate dust, smoke and add an explosive component to our shot.

Finally, you’ll deal with making it all interact with a body of water, using the FLIP solver, and on top of that you’ll add white water and spray for additional detail and beauty.

After the Intro to Houdini FX course, you will be able to confidently use the above solvers and techniques to further build your Houdini skill set upon. Of course mentor will be there to guide you along the way and to make sure you get the most out of your time at Anomalia.


Lesson plan

  • Procedural Modelling techniques.
  • Preparation and pre-fracturing for destruction.
  • Rigid Body Dynamics and constraint networks (destruction simulation).
  • Particle FX using for additional destruction detail, and for smoke and pyro sourcing.
  • Smoke FX with the smoke solver, to simulate dust and smoke coming off debris.
  • Pyro FX with the pyro solver, to simulate explosions.
  • Lighting and rendering smoke and pyro simulations.
  • FLIP fluid simulation and water interaction.
  • White Water simulation to complement our FLIP fluid simulation.
  • Meshing, lighting and rendering FLIP fluids and White Water.

Who is it for

The course aims at starters in Houdini providing a unique opportunity to accept the challenge of learning not-so-easy-tool faster than struggling home alone. The intensive everyday nature with constant help by a top industry professional and in a small group of participants helps stimulate your muscle memory and overcome the fear of an industry unique but very powerful tool. Still, the more familiar you are with Houdini prior to arriving at ANOMALIA, the more and faster you can advance on-site.

Equally suited for avid learners as well as more experienced artists who wish to hone and/or diversify their skill sets. The course is for CG artists to embrace Houdini as either:

  • beginners for whom it’s a new VFX tool or,
  • strengthen skills and understanding for those who already have some experience with VFX in Houdini.

We require

  • Working knowledge of any other 3D package.
  • Openness to learning new approaches and topics.
  • Communication skills in English.

Preferences would be given to those registered for both Houdini courses; Intro to Houdini FX and Houdini VFX Laboratory

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 a 3D artist on completion of the course.

All participants will get well-respected qualification within the industry, demonstrating you’ve studied an industry-based course under expert supervision and have the practical, hands-on skills to continually growing as a professional 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 course, 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: 12 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
Double Negative

More than
800 students from
32 countries

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The Houdini course is lead by a real-life professional working on a daily basis with the world leading VFX projects, such as Hollywood movies or Netflix shows. The teaching center is located in historical and beautiful Cesky Krumlov, South of Czech Republic. The conditions are excellent and two weeks are a substantial dose of training to get you stareted with Houdini. Keep in mind it's still only the beginning of a much longer learning process.
The Houdini course is great way to get general knowledge of FX in Houdini and to set you on the path of deeper understanding how things work under the hood(ini).
A nice place to start with Houdini, which gave me the basics to continue on my own to develop my knowledge and skills in Houdini.

1 500 EUR

per participant

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