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Learn how to simulate a wave crashing onto a lighthouse. This workflow will involve the use of FLIP fluids to create the wave, colliding surfaces, and an ocean spectrum. Once that is complete, learn how to surface the water, add white water and generate spray effects. Finally, render out the sequence using Mantra and composite the AOVs to complete the shot.

Note: Lighthouse model by Pieter Talens. A version of this shot was originally created by Stephen Tucker when Fluids were first introduced into Houdini.

Note: Fluid simulations consume a lot of disk space and you should set aside at least 1TB to fully complete a project like this. If you don’t have that available then you will have to work with a low res simulation. RAM also plays a big part in simulations and at least 32 GB is recommended but more will be needed for a detailed sim.

This project was completed by using AWS Thinkbox cloud services to get access to bigger computers with more RAM for simulating and rendering.



Mark Spevick is the Head of 3D at Escape Studios, Pearson College London, and combines teaching with working at the highest level in the industry. He has 10 years working in industry and 6 working in higher education and teaching. He got his big break at Peerless Camera, the production house co-owned by Terry Gilliam, and worked on every Gilliam film from ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ to ‘The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus’, starring the late Heath Ledger. He also worked with director Martin Campbell on ‘Zorro’ and ‘Mask of Zorro’ before supervising on the set of ‘Casino Royale’. Mark also managed the CG team that worked on the parachute scene in ‘Angels and Demons’, on behalf of post-house Double Negative. Mark was heavily involved in the design and development of our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

More from Mark Spevick


  • HerculesMare3 1 month ago  | 

    thank you so much for this. Really usefull.

  • Infinity_Fx 1 month ago  | 

    Really Helpfull

  • Scara 1 month ago  | 

    Mark, looking forward to learning from this. Cheers.

  • Kjellono 4 weeks, 1 day ago  | 

    Very nice. Thank you.

  • spev 4 weeks, 1 day ago  | 

    Thank you all for the kind comments. I hope you enjoy and pick up some tips.

  • CYTE 4 weeks, 1 day ago  | 

    Hey Mark,
    this tutorial is gold! Thank you very much!


  • ostaek 4 weeks ago  | 

    Awesome! Always appreciates any course from you

  • VFXMA 2 weeks, 2 days ago  | 

    Very nice. Thank you.

  • stevestone35 2 weeks ago  | 

    Much appreciated, awesome tutorial. Thank u ♥

  • spev 1 week, 5 days ago  | 

    Thanks for all the kind comments.

  • leizhao9050 1 week, 4 days ago  | 

    Thank you so much Mark. I have learnt a lot from all your courses.

  • OneBigTree 4 days, 2 hours ago  | 

    3h per frame? Mantra is horribly slow. I've been rendering sims like this with Redshift in minutes per frame.
    Still great tut, nicely structured and very helpful.

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