Free resources for amateur self-teaching (focus on channels and referencing, SOPs, and simulation)

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Hello all,

I am new to 3D and I have been learning how to use Houdini from all the recent videos and guides on the internet. I have been able to figure out rendering and materials for the most part, but in almost all regards I still feel like a toddler playing with plastic shapes in the sense that I have zero confidence in what I am doing. The new free beginner video series from Mr. Rohan Dalvi was very helpful for getting my feet on the ground but as soon as he started using channel references (i.e. “copy parameter” and “paste relative reference”) I got very lost. In my still feeble mind, the way these references work seem unintuitive and out of place in Houdini's node-based workflow. What sort of resources can I use to get a better grasp on how these work and what kind of operators I can use? And is there any way to graphically visualize parameter references within Houdini?

I'm also not sure where to start learning with Houdini's SOP nodes, let alone all the other kinds of nodes. Many of them are very confusing for me and the documentation from SideFX is often incomplete or outdated. Are there up-to-date guides on how to use the basic SOP nodes? Furthermore, are there guides like this for every network?

I've also been wanting to figure out how to model fluids and hair/fur and FEM materials, but I can't for the life of me get the hang of DOP networks or the grooming workflow.

Free resources are preferable but commercial stuff is also very helpful. Thanks very much for your time everyone.
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Even for experienced 3D artists (transitioning to) Houdini can be hard to learn, even with a very solid understanding of all areas of 3D.

Like you found out, Rohan's videos are excellent but may not be the place to start when you're not familiar with certain workflows in 3D.
Free training that goes into the basics in-depth might be a bit difficult to find, but have a look at Udemy, Gumroad, GameTutor, CGCircuit etc. for more (base) training.

Also have a look at YouTube and/or Vimeo for some more free video training.
People like Peter Quint have a large library of videos available. Unfortunately a lot of them cover older versions of Houdini, and workflow could have changed dramatically since.

But due to the nature of Houdini, things might get technical very quickly.
And start with one area at the time, or you get swamped with information

Good luck!

rob
Apprentice Attribute / Houdini 16.0.557 / GTX 970 - driver 378.66
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Hi Georgina welcome to Houdini!
Is nice to see someone start 3D with Houdini
If you can invest a little money you can start at Pluralsight with “Houdini Core Skill” stay with John Moncrief.
You will see Houdini 15, the logic is clear but some nodes and the interface is a little bit different but nothing to worry.
It is good to beginners.
After that will be good to choose what you are interested:
- modeling
- VFX
- render
…etc…
But if yet you need explanation about more possibilitys before choose what you like you can go to “Linkedin Learning” and watch more two courses
1 Learning Houdini
2 Houdini Essential

Now back and watch Mr Rohan Dalvi and your Head will make a lot of connection to make your life simple
Probably after this training you will make comfortable to watch a lot of intermediate tutorial in order to accomplish your goal.
Welcome to Houdini's procedural world.
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I agree with harryabreu and the John Moncrief Introduction to Houdini course is the course I wish I had started with to learn Houdini.

Rohan's rocket tutorial was my actual first introduction to Houdini and it looked simple enough by the imagery but it was way over my head. It made no sense at all to me when I was completely unfamiliar with the Houdini interface or the Houdini way of doing things. After John Moncrief's tutorial, Rohan's was a great follow-up.

Didn't know LinkedIn had Houdini tutorials. That's interesting.

Steve
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Thank you all for your responses! They were very helpful. I think Scott Pagano's “Houdini Essential Training” looked awesome but I am no longer willing to sign up for free trials on paid websites because LinkedIn has caused me terrible problems immediately after creating an account. Do any of you know whether Lynda requires a credit card number or not for viewing courses on free trial?
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bathyscaph
I agree with harryabreu and the John Moncrief Introduction to Houdini course is the course I wish I had started with to learn Houdini.

Will it be difficult to follow for a newcomer because of being based on Houdini 15?
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jarenas
Will it be difficult to follow for a newcomer because of being based on Houdini 15?
nope.
many tutorials as old as version 5 (!) will still work, with a bit of translation to newer nodes etc.
If you find something in a tutorial that you can't find how to do in the latest version just post a question here on the forums and someone will put you on the right track.
Michael Goldfarb | www.odforce.net
Senior Technical Director
SideFX
www.sidefx.com
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harryabreu
Hi Georgina welcome to Houdini!
Is nice to see someone start 3D with Houdini
If you can invest a little money you can start at Pluralsight with “Houdini Core Skill” stay with John Moncrief.
You will see Houdini 15, the logic is clear but some nodes and the interface is a little bit different but nothing to worry.
It is good to beginners.
After that will be good to choose what you are interested:
- modeling
- VFX
- render
…etc…
But if yet you need explanation about more possibilitys before choose what you like you can go to “Linkedin Learning” and watch more two courses
1 Learning Houdini
2 Houdini Essential

Now back and watch Mr Rohan Dalvi and your Head will make a lot of connection to make your life simple
Probably after this training you will make comfortable to watch a lot of intermediate tutorial in order to accomplish your goal.
Welcome to Houdini's procedural world.

And what about this long and apparently very complete tutorial series by Adam Swaab?
https://helloluxx.com/product-category/adam-swaab/ [helloluxx.com]
I arrived there looking for good commercial tutorials on Mantra, seems like he published one recently for H16 in these Jump Start Series…
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Christ on a bike these are expensive!
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