Course Description

In this online course, the viewer will learn about Houdini simulating realistic Smoke and having it interact with the environment as well as animated objects.

The course will start exploring DOPs and Smoke simulation in Houdini as a way to introduce you to simulating real world phenomenon in Houdini. We’ll work on smaller projects such as a smoke vortex portal, a tire burnout effect and a big project which will consist of simulating a smoke grenade and having a car collide with it. Not only will we be creating great smoke effects but we’ll also learn about lighting, shading and rendering with Vray inside Houdini.

Along the way, we’ll go through many tips and tricks to work efficiently and get amazing results.

This course has been designed for users already familiar with Houdini’s UI and workflow. The complexity of the topics and assignments will start fairly simple but get progressively more complex every week.

After viewing this course, people can expect to feel confident while creating complex Smoke FX with Houdini using the Pyro Solver and the new Pyro Sparse Solver, and also lighting and shading with Vray 5 for Houdini.

The workshop week by week

Week 1: Introduction to Volumes and Pyro

In this first week, we’ll start by doing a quick overview of the workshop and its structure throughout the weeks. Next, we’ll go over some essential notions of working with volumes in Houdini.
Finally, we’ll start playing with Pyro. We’ll do our first smoke sim to go over the basics and then we’ll advance to a mini project where we’ll create a smoke vortex introducing a few more concepts of how to control pyro simulations.

Week 2: Tire Burnout

In the second week we’ll go through the process of creating a tire burnout effect from start to finish using the new Pyro Sparse Solver, and we’ll be rendering the whole sequence in Vray. We’ll not only dive deeper into some smoke and sourcing concepts, but we’ll also cover other cool techniques including the use of the SOP Solver for our smoke source.

Week 3: Starting the Car Project

In the third week we’ll start working on our final project, starting with the development of a realistic smoke grenade effect and how to use PDGs for automate the whole process of wedging, caching, rendering and generating an mp4 video file with all the variations generated while displaying the parameters’ values used in the each version.

Week 4: Finishing the Car Project

In the fourth week of the workshop, we’ll be finishing our main project, by processing the animated car to have it properly collide with our smoke column. We’ll go through some pretty cool techniques to optimize your simulations and to give you a lot of control over how the smoke reacts.
By the end of this week, you should have recreated the shot where the car collides with the smoke.

Week 5: Working on Final Projects

This extra week of the course is intended to give you more time to really tweak your scene and simulations and to be able to render everything out.


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