10 Best Houdini Software Courses and Certifications Online

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Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebookThis article aims to provide an overview of the best Houdini software courses available online. Houdini is a 3D animation and visual effects software widely used in the film and gaming industry. As Houdini has become increasingly popular, the demand for online courses that teach the software has also grown. This article will review a variety of online courses that focus on Houdini software, including their format, quality, and affordability. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, there is a course suitable for your level of expertise.

Here’s a look at the Best Houdini Software Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!

10 Best Houdini Software Courses and Certifications Online

1. Complete Houdini FX 19 Bootcamp by Raffi Bedross (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)

The Complete Houdini FX 19 Bootcamp Course is a beginner’s guide to Houdini FX 19, the most powerful 3D application in the world. The course consists of projects based on creating effects using Houdini. The course is continually updated and includes new sections such as Big scale explosion in Houdini 19, Flip fluids, and Introduction to Pyro in Houdini 19. The course also includes outdated lectures in the Introduction section that have been updated and are now applicable in Houdini 19.

Houdini FX is a visual effects and 3D animation software that offers a procedural system and a powerful dynamic system that other software lacks. It is the number 1 3D application used in VFX, 3D animation studios, and game studios. Houdini can create high-quality effects such as water, explosions, fire, and sand. Knowing Houdini gives an advantage in the Game industry and VFX companies. The course focuses on teaching how to use Houdini and not how to use it for games.

The course is designed to teach how to use Houdini software to create interesting effects. The instructor promises to make it fun to learn and simplify everything. Houdini apprentice is free software for non-commercial use and allows using all the tools that the paid version has. Game developers must know the basics of Houdini. Houdini is used in game studios to save time by creating tools used in game engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity.

The course includes sections such as Introduction, Houdini Core, Modeling, Pyro, Flip Fluids, Explosions, Rigid Bodies, Particles, VOPs, Vellum, Rain, Sand, Snow Effect, RBD Material Fracture, Small and Big Scale Ocean, Shark Jumping from Water, and Droplets Effect.

2. Procedural Race Tracks – Houdini 17.5/18 and Houdini Engine by Indie – Pixel (Udemy)

The Procedural Race Tracks course, taught by Indie-Pixel, provides training on how to create a complete procedurally built level using Houdini 17.5, Houdini Engine, Unity 3D, and Unreal Engine 4. The course is designed for those who want to speed up their level creation using procedural techniques and for those who have attempted to use Houdini or Houdini Engine but have experienced roadblocks. The course begins with a quick start guide to using Houdini, teaching the basics of navigation, UI, modeling, and creating Houdini Digital Assets.

The next level of the course covers building out the Track tools, which teaches how to effectively create a set of HDAs that can generate a Track complete with UVs, Track bumpers, and Track guard rails. The course also explains how to detect the direction of a turn in the Track so that either a Track bumper or guard rail can be placed. The course then moves onto creating procedural terrains with Houdini and Houdini Engine, including texture layering for use in Unity and Unreal.

The course also covers the process of creating and scattering foliage using Houdini Engine, how to use Unity’s Detail object system, and how to use Unreal’s grass system. Additional topics include creating procedural props and creating textures with Houdini using its own Compositing Operators. The course concludes by providing a complete understanding of how to build a procedural pipeline for game productions using Houdini 17.5, the Houdini Engine 3.4, and a game engine of choice.

Note that an Indie License or above is required to use Houdini Engine; individuals using the Apprentice version of Houdini will need to export Track pieces from Houdini Apprentice to OBJ.

3. Game Asset Creation With Houdini by Richard Banks (Udemy)

The Game Asset Creation With Houdini course is taught by Richard Banks and focuses on 3D modeling in Houdini. The course aims to teach students how to create game-ready assets from start to finish using Houdini’s Digital Asset workflow. This workflow is designed to speed up the modeling process and create infinite variation quickly and consistently.

The course covers a range of topics, including UV mapping, texture baking, and importing assets into the Unity Game Engine. The step-by-step guide is suitable for newcomers to Houdini, as well as experienced 3D designers who want to experiment with Houdini’s powerful procedural tools.

The course is broken down into four sections: Introduction, The Power of Houdini’s Digital Asset Paradigm, Modelling the Repeater Rifle in Houdini, and UVs and Materials. Students will learn about the fundamentals of Houdini and its Digital Asset Paradigm, and then move on to modeling a Repeater Rifle in Houdini. The course also covers UV mapping and materials to create a polished final product.

4. Houdini FX step to step – Visual Effects made easy by Stefano Cotardo (Udemy)

The “Houdini FX step to step – Visual Effects made easy” course is a practical handbook designed to help beginners learn the basics of the Houdini software. The course aims to simplify the complexities of Houdini, making it easy to take the first step in the world of visual effects. It is not recommended for those who are already experienced in the software. The course offers simple lessons that guide learners through the basic concepts of Houdini, allowing them to learn the basic techniques about Houdini’s modelling and special effects. The course is regularly updated to add new topics every week.

The course is the result of the instructor’s personal experience when he had difficulty finding courses or lessons that clearly explained the steps to achieve an effect or a simulation. The tutorials available for beginners were often unclear, and it was challenging to remember the steps explained in other tutorials. The instructor created the course to explain each step to achieve effects and simple simulations clearly, without delay. The course is for beginners and is a practical guide, made up of short lessons, simple steps, and clear explanations on how to use Houdini. For each lesson, learners will find an attached project file with all the explanations to be able to repeat the exercise independently.

The course covers various topics, including Houdini basics, materials and textures, rigid bodies, oceans, smoke, fire, terrains, particles system, advanced section, hair and fur, fluids, grain, modelling techniques, tips, quick effects, simple projects collection, reference guide and templates, motion FX templates and reference guide, procedural templates, and global recap and workflow.

Learners will learn how to make simple animations, create materials and apply textures to an object, and understand the principles of the procedural system that is the basis and the strength of Houdini. The course is suitable for those who want to learn this great software and provides a practical guide to help them do so.

5. Rigging with Houdini 18.5 – KineFX by Richard Banks (Udemy)

The “Rigging with Houdini 18.5 – KineFX” course is designed to teach users how to create custom, game-ready animation rigs in Houdini 18.5 with KineFX. The course is divided into two volumes.

In Volume 2, users will learn about the new Houdini rigging workflow KineFX, which includes over four hours of new video content. The course covers the creation of two complete game-ready rigs using the new KineFX tools: a tentacle and a zombie. The course aims to introduce the new workflows to users using step-by-step instructions, starting from the basics and leading to the creation of fully rigged, skinned, and animated assets. The user interface is designed to be versatile and animator-friendly. The course is ideal for beginner animators or anyone looking to translate their rigging knowledge from another 3D package to Houdini for game development projects.

In Volume 1, users will learn how to create an animation-ready zombie character rig with Houdini. The course covers the fundamentals of the role of the Technical Animator or Rigger. Users will create, node by node, a game-ready animation rig that is ready to be deployed into the Unity Game Engine. Along the way, users will learn about the fundamental concepts of rigging inside Houdini and create reusable rigging tools using Python and Houdini Digital Assets. The course is structured to create a fully rigged, skinned, and animated asset with a versatile user interface. The course is ideal for beginner animators or anyone looking to translate their rigging knowledge from another 3D package to Houdini for game development projects.

6. Houdini 16.5 – Procedural Prop Modeling – Ammo Crate by Indie – Pixel (Udemy)

The Houdini 16.5 – Procedural Prop Modeling – Ammo Crate Course, offered by Indie-Pixel, teaches students how to create a fully procedural Ammo Crate using Houdini and Substance Painter. This intermediate-level course provides over three hours of video training, as well as all the assets created in the course and a complete Unity setup. The course covers everything from geometry to UVs and textures, with a focus on procedural generation.

The course begins with an introduction and modeling section, followed by modeling details and high-resolution modeling. Students will also learn about texturing in Substance Painter. The course content includes Houdini project files, textures, a Painter project file, and a Unity package.

The duration of the course is three hours, and the file size is 325 megs. The course difficulty level is intermediate, making it suitable for students with some prior experience in Houdini and Substance Painter. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to create a fully procedural Ammo Crate using the tools provided in Houdini and Substance Painter.

7. Become An FX Artist Using Houdini by Shahzad Ahmad (Udemy)

The course “Become an FX Artist Using Houdini” is designed to help students learn how to create high-end visual effects using Houdini. The course instructors, Shahzad Ahmad, will start from the basics and cover the fundamentals before moving on to create fun and practical projects. The course will cover both the Houdini SOPs land and the DOPs Houdini dynamic operators land to understand the basics of Houdini dynamics and create more complex FX projects.

The course is comprehensive and covers a wide range of techniques for creating stunning VFX shots. Some of the techniques covered include working with Houdini 18.5, implementing circumference for accurate wheel rotation, creating smoke simulation networks, rendering millions of particles, and tearing cloth. The course also covers working with packed primitives, setting up constraints, and using curves to define tearing.

The course is broken down into several sections, including getting started, VEX VOPs, project 1: tank treads, smoke and pyro, particles, grains, RBD destruction, destruction project, Vellum, and FLIP fluids. Students will learn about powerful techniques for grouping geometry, the new chain SOP in Houdini 18.5, and the new scatter and align SOP in Houdini 18.5. They will also learn how to use Pyropyro bake volume SOP in Houdini 18.5, the new Pyro Sop Solver in Houdini 18.5, and how to efficiently write Flip caches to disk.

Throughout the course, students will learn how to set up materials, lighting, and rendering for their Flip Simulation projects. Overall, the “Become an FX Artist Using Houdini” course aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to create compelling visual effects using Houdini.

8. Houdini Game Art – Create foliage for Games with Houdini by Alexandre Stroukoff (Udemy)

The Houdini Game Art course, taught by Alexandre Stroukoff, focuses on creating real-time foliage using Houdini. The course is geared towards Houdini beginners who wish to learn procedural modeling in a production-based environment. The course starts with reference pictures and uses Houdini to create an Ivy Tool that can be expanded to a more generic vegetation tool. Throughout the course, a typical production workflow is demonstrated to enable the integration of Houdini into the video game art pipeline.

The course is designed to help increase work speed with a procedural workflow. The goal is to provide students with the necessary skills to finish their first Houdini project, moving from a beginner to an intermediate skill level. A typical production workflow is demonstrated, with shortcuts taken to achieve the end result as quickly as possible. The final Houdini file used in this tutorial will be provided to students.

The course covers a range of topics, including modeling the parts of the Ivy, understanding “Copy to Points,” populating branches with leaves, adding variation, exporting and baking for game engines, and showcasing assets in Unity and Unreal. The course concludes with a section on source files.

Overall, the Houdini Game Art course is a beginner-friendly tutorial that offers practical skills for procedural modeling in a production-based environment. It can help students integrate Houdini into their video game art pipeline and create game art assets with the help of Houdini.

9. Procedural House in Houdini by Aleksandr Shtyvoloka (Udemy)

Course Title: Procedural House in Houdini
Course Instructors: Aleksandr Shtyvoloka

The Procedural House in Houdini course is designed to teach students how to model a house using Houdini’s procedural modeling tools. By utilizing point clouds, attribute manipulation, and VEX coding, students will learn how to create an infinite number of model variations efficiently.

The course instructor will guide students through the process of modeling a stylized house and developing a system that will allow them to create multiple variations of the model. Additionally, students will learn how to use Redshift for rendering purposes, though other render engines can be substituted.

The course content is divided into five sections, beginning with an introduction to procedural modeling and Houdini’s functionality. The procedural foundation section teaches students how to create the main attributes necessary for the model while the adding modules section covers the process of adding detailed models and materials.

The course also includes a section on creating a crooked look for the model. Upon completion of this course, students will have the knowledge to create their own models and will have another project to add to their portfolio.

10. Houdini for beginners by Yonni de Haar (Udemy)

The course titled “Houdini for beginners” is taught by Yonni de Haar and is designed to ease the learning process of Houdini for users. The course aims to replace the user’s current 3D application with Houdini by creating a product-shot. The course provides a solid foundation in Houdini, starting with how to download and install the software and how to work with nodes. The topics covered include primitive handling, camera creation, point color, deformers, groups, copy objects, splines, lathes, booleans, extrude objects, normals, and UV’s. Additionally, the course includes a section on rendering in Redshift and using attributes, textures, and different types of materials.

The first section of the course is “Getting started,” which covers the basics of Houdini, including installing and navigating the UI. The second section, “Building the scene,” is where the user creates the product-shot scene. The third section, “Detailing the scene,” covers various details and enhancements to the scene. The fourth section, “Rendering the scene,” covers rendering the scene in Redshift and applying different types of lighting and materials. Finally, the course concludes with a summary of what was covered and the skills learned.

The course is designed for beginners who are afraid of the steep learning curve of Houdini and want to quickly get up to speed. The course is structured to help users replace their current 3D application with Houdini and dive into more complex topics. The course provides an overview of the most commonly used tools and features in Houdini, including rendering in Redshift. Users who are ready to begin their Houdini journey can sign up for this course and start learning right away.