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TOTAL DURATION: 1h 31m 14s

This overview chapter contains general information about Houdini that will help you get started with important concepts and ideas. While at first, you might not understand what it all means, this chapter will be a valuable reference point as you work through the foundation tutorials and build up your knowledge.

If you already work with 3D software then learning Houdini will be a transfer of existing skills. You will learn how to interactively build-up shots using the scene view and shelf tools, then how to work with the nodes and networks to take advantage of Houdini’s procedural nature.

If you are new to 3D and Computer Graphics then Houdini is a great package to start with. The Foundations material assumes some general knowledge, therefore you may want to read up on CG concepts that you are unfamiliar with. In the end, Houdini will help you achieve a deeper understanding of what goes on under the hood of not only Houdini but other 3D apps as well.

Houdini Foundations for Houdini 19.5 is now available as Downloadable PDF and a Print-on-Demand book through the Lulu Ebook company. This 224 page book contains 9 chapters designed to help artists take their first steps into Houdini.



Robert Magee is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at SideFX who has been working with Houdini for 20 years. He has created lots of learning material and demos designed to help artists understand how going procedural with Houdini can benefit their work.

More from Robert Magee


  • AlfredoSMC 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

    there is an incredible variety of ways to get results with the tools, thanks!

  • LukeP 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

    Great intro for newcomers to Houdini! Thanks for putting this together Robert.

  • limatvfx 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

    Thanks a lot.. I have been searching for long day.. thankyou once again. I am form Tamilnadu INDIA

  • zev0 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

    King Robert from Sidex guild is on the move again. Dear Robert I am showing my students this as example, how to do a proper, sharp and exact tutorials. Your contribution to Houdini universe is impeccable. Congratulation dear master.

    • rmagee 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

      Thanks for the kind feedback - glad that the tutorials are helping out!

  • 9th_Gluon 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

    this series is good but not as good as the football tutorial. Nothing beats the football tutorial. ヽ(´▽`)/

    • rmagee 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

      Updating the football tutorial right now - it will be back soon with videos

    • rmagee 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

      FOOTBALL TUTORIAL: https://www.sidefx.com/tutorials/foundations-model-render-animate/

      • 9th_Gluon 1 year, 4 months ago  | 

        Thank you very much.

  • weierba913 1 year, 3 months ago  | 

    I like the form of this tutorial!

  • expat42451 1 year, 3 months ago  | 

    Just started with Apprentice on Majaro Linux....Absolute cudos to Monica in support for the kind assistance on getting the license server issue straightened out. My creative work has been here to fore photography and I am very excited to start with Houudini. Have watched a number of the tutorials and those of you that have produced them deserve cudos as well for the excellent work you have done here. This is my first 3 D software experience and the tutorials are an excellent introduction.

    Many kind thanks for the program, the great support and the tutorials

    Cotacachi Ecuador

  • BrucePPV 1 year, 3 months ago  | 

    I like this much better than searching through YouTube to find tuts from people with varying degrees of knowledge. I just installed Houdini, so I plan on going through all the info here, then start playing.... rather than just diving in which always ends in frustration

  • skygenesis86 1 year, 2 months ago  | 

    I have a question, I am following along and got up to the point to press play but when I press play nothing happens they dont fall. Is there something that I can check?

  • TheinThan 1 year, 2 months ago  | 

    Hello Sir,I am from Myanmar.First Time user Houdini.Because of the politiccal situation.I canot go outside and so I learn self study.I have a question I make cup exactly like your step but when I use shutter on model,doesnot look like you.Inside of the cup is not like you.ployface is not flat anymore.How can I solve it.

  • dimitridev 1 year, 2 months ago  | 

    thank you, such a good introduction! :)

  • PolyNOD 1 year, 2 months ago  | 

    It was so clear! Thanks!

  • Shezan 1 year, 2 months ago  | 

    Thanks you so much, it's very good performance topics.

  • hyeonshin 1 year, 1 month ago  | 

    I use the polybevel. but spares are also affected.

  • kimjsik08 1 year, 1 month ago  | 

    Where are the project files? I cannot keep up with the tutorials unless I try the exercises myself.

  • ZPC 1 year ago  | 

    thansk for you lensons ,it help me more

  • saif0316 1 year ago  | 

    At 4:22 when I add in the second randomize, it doesn't scale like it does in yours. Am I missing something?
    Btw thank you so much!

    • saif0316 1 year ago  | 

      I found it! I capitalized the S on pscale so it should be pscale instead of pScale.
      I'm surprised! that changing the attribute name could have that effect. That is so cool!

  • dhuiting 11 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

    I downloaded Houdini apprentice, but Boolean and Polyextrude are not available nodes in this version. Do I have to purchase Houdini Indie to follow along?

  • phil8 11 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    Hey Robert nice job on the instructional content as always. I noticed that there is a Foundation Book that you can buy printed. Will there be a pdf or e-book version of this? Thanks!

  • eosmalta 11 months ago  | 

    I'm new in houdini, and i'm loving the free content dor begginers. After I finish learning the basics, would anyone have any courses to recommend ? I already work in the industry as a 3D artist, but I want to be able to focus on FX.

  • sophia73583 9 months, 1 week ago  | 

    This tutorial is very helpful to get started! But I ran into an issue when adding rbdBulletSolver around 5:15. When I set display to the rbdBulletSolver node, the mesh of objects disappeared. I followed the exact steps so I'm not sure what went wrong there. Any thoughts?

    • simplychenable 5 months ago  | 

      I ran into the same 'issue'. turns out it stems from where the playhead is in the timeline. for some reason it was at frame 3 when I applied the solver. The torus will come back once you drag the playhead back to frame 1.

      hope that helps.

  • zahedmirza 8 months, 1 week ago  | 

    Hi Robert, Thank you for providing such an easy-to-follow tutorial. As a beginner, it was extremely helpful.
    Looking forward for your tutorials on motion design with Houdini and UE5.
    Once again, thank you very much.

  • Lightbox3d 8 months ago  | 

    When I download the project files, they are ll empty...

    • rmagee 5 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

      There are files in the subfolders - you will create the main hip files in the lessons

  • Kari66 6 months, 3 weeks ago  | 

    Hi Robert,

    regarding the first video of Houdini work space at a certain point once I added the grid I lost all the colors!!
    FYI I am using Mac.

    Thank you so much in advance for your reply.

    • rmagee 5 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

      Not sure why that happened - could you share the file in the learning forum.

  • JanMartinB 5 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    I have a question regarding this foundation series - Does the video tutorials cover all the information that is in the "foundations book" or is there additional information in the book? How would you in that case recommend using these resources? Thank you.

    • rmagee 5 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

      The overview chapter has a lot of reference information that goes beyond these videos. For the other foundation chapters, the videos and print match up. We did both because some people like to watch videos and others like to reference the printed page. l

  • adamghering 4 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

    I cant seem to find the support files. (scene files) when I download them I get the folder structure but nothing is inside them, it says 108 megs but I cant fined anything in the folders

    • adamghering 4 months, 2 weeks ago  | 

      for example when you get to working with nodes, there is a box a sphere and a boolean, but nothing before that goes over how to navigate, or set that system up. I would like a project file to look at or at least a step by step to recreate; otherwise how will I follow along if I cant recreate or have access to the file?

  • natrianvfx 4 months, 1 week ago  | 

    I loved this tutorial. Started yesterday with my Houdini Journey. I'm coming from Nuke so I can relate some things but it's really fun to think of all of Houdini possibilities.

  • natrianvfx 4 months, 1 week ago  | 

    I've just finished with this foundations tutorial and I'm very grateful. It was a great introduction to Houdini. The only thing that I can't figure it out is that I have no color reference when using the "Soft edit radius" slider. But otherwise it has been a series of incredibly useful videos to introduce yourself to this software.

    • natrianvfx 4 months, 1 week ago  | 

      Nevermind, just restarted Houdini and now it shows me the color reference using the "soft edit radius" slider. As always in life it got fixed shutting off and open it again haha!

  • mahmoudkashef 3 months, 1 week ago  | 

    i hope to learn this amazing app

  • calderonmateo67 3 months, 1 week ago  | 

    Thank you very much for the videos, no disrespect to courses or anything but literally everyone who starts in houdini should watch them.

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