Houdini Production Studio: Fluid FX | CG Master Academy

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Houdini Production Studio: Fluid FX

An 8 week Houdini FLIP fluid master class culminating in a large-scale water simulation and village flooding

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Get swept away by Houdini FLIP

This Houdini FLIP Masterclass tackles the exciting subject of creating a large-scale water simulation commonly seen in VFX and film industry today. This course is designed to equip artists with production-ready knowledge of fluid workflow in Houdini, and is a perfect next step for many students who have taken the Intro to FX Using Houdini course. Students will learn and explore the fundamental fluid fx theories, and implement this knowledge first-hand by creating a wide variety of water-based FX such as waterfall, pipe bursts, fountains, blood, and more. In this course, students will learn various techniques like creating a custom emitter tool, generating fluid-based velocity fields to drive simulations, utilizing pumps and since, custom fluid meshing network, deep dive into white water simulations, and post-processing big data sets. All of the materials covered will culminate in the "Hero" large-scale simulation shot that will be a showcase piece. By the end of this course, students should feel confident in developing, problem-solving, and tackling a wide variety of water types effects and have good production-ready knowledge of and working practices for Houdini Fluid. 

*NOTE: Students can still take the course with a computer that has less performance, but the computations will take longer and some simulations won't be as high resolution due to RAM limitations. Houdini's Apprentice education edition software is available as a free download and is all you will need to take this course. 


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Houdini 17.5 and up
Skills level:   Intermediate - Advanced
Prerequisites:   Good basic Houdini Knowledge - comfortable navigating in Houdini; good understanding of sops and dops, Basic VEX knowledge. Course: intro to FX Using Houdini

Houdini Production Studio: Fluid FX WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Introduction: Course outline, learning outcomes, what to expect, course structure | FLIP Basics: Incompressability, POP vs FLIP, how FLIP process data, Fluid Compress, FLIP simulation types (static tank, emissive, narrow band, ocean specturm) general theory | FLIP Warmup: Creating a basic FLIP setup from scratch | Emission & Collision basics | Housekeeping: Creating core otls that will be used throughout the project, naming convention, playblast managements, data management tips
Theory: Deep dive into FLIP solver, the importance of emission, using id | Creating Emitter otl | understanding Forces, manipulating DOP data, basic meshing | FLIP Warmup: Exploring various basic water setups | FLIP Post Process
Theory: The importance of reference, AirField theory and implementation, Setting up scale and speed | FLIP Warm up : Simple waterfall | Quick look at white water and mist | Setup for wave crashing
Theory: Quick introduction to fields (Pumps, Sinks, Divergence, Vorticity) | FLIP Warmup: Simple River | Simulate 2D pyro for rapid velocity injection | Setup simple rapid river
Theory: Dev tasks, how to approach a new FX during production, incremental development, the importance of communication | Setting up the scene, proxies, optimizing assets, working with environment assets | Setting up velocity field injections, controlling the look of water.
Continue working on the sim | Deep dive into meshing theory and ParticleFluidSurface | VDB combine, creating custom mesher | Running secondaries ( common issues, particle size theory, blending water elements)
Thoery: How to get the most out of your sims, post- processing tips and tricks, camera culling | Water Bending | Blending and rebalancing elements (VEX) | Extra Passes ( additional spray, bubbles, mist, wetmap solver, aeration) | Data management
Theory: Lighting water elements. Learning about basic shading, IOR, water density, passing extra attributes for lighting, balancing elements | Render optimization (Lecture and demonstration by Phillip Engstrom) | 2 weeks for final render + bonus Q&A

Prepare to meet your master.

Edward is currently a Lead FX TD at Framestore London. Having worked in some of the biggest VFX houses such as Double Negative and MPC, Edward brings years of production experience and expert knowledge to the table. He has worked on a wide variety of exciting projects such as the Oscar-Winning “The Jungle Book”, "Suicide Squad", "Thor: Ragnarok", "Alita Battle Angel", "The Mandalorian", and many more. Edward is most well-known for his water/fluid effects work. He has an in-depth understanding of tool development, production workflow, and water creation techniques in Houdini. He also has a demonstrated history of delivering consistent, high-quality visuals for movies and visual effects. Edward is excited to share his technical knowledge as well as cultivating independent problem-solving skills and production-ready qualities essential to any successful VFX Artist.


July 10th!

Spring TERM Registration

Feb 8, 2021 - Apr 26, 2021




July 10th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

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