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Houdini Course, Escape Studios

Due to Covid pandemic this course ran online instead of from Escape Studios London classroom. I joined the other 4 students every Monday and Wednesday night from 7pm to 10pm over the 20 weeks.

I had used Houdini before but without any formal training.

We started from basics of application. An introduction to interface and a simple modelling via Houdini during first lessons. We then moved onto Houdini’s programming language, VEH.

Houdini is used in Film and TV for visual effects and its main strength is in FX simulations. We built destruction examples, pyro: fire and smoke; explosions and cloth simulations. We also looked into volumes for creating clouds and the impressive terrain tools within Houdini.

The tutor, Mark Spevick has over 20yrs knowledge of using Houdini and has worked on films such as s Casino Royale, Angels and Demons and 2012. His insights and real life experience was a big benefit to the students.

We were also show how to create Houdini Digital Assets (HDA) that can modularise content creation. These HDA assets can then and these can then be used with game engines like Unreal Engine.

Shading and texturing was covered before we finished on rendering content via Mantra and new Karma render via Solaris.

We also had evenings where we focused on individual projects and due to low numbers on course this let to good 1-2-1 one time with the tutor. I focused on procedural buildings and recreating a rugby stadium.

I will continue working on these examples for a showreel. The course offers access to video recordings and Discord service 12 months after course completion.

I would recommend the course to anyone that needs to study Houdini remotely and can’t attend other courses due to location and working pattern. The course didn’t cover all aspects of Houdini but as a student it was possible to ask for a quick run through of any functionality not covered in syllabus.