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VEX in Houdini

An 8-week course on mastering the power of VEX in Houdini; learn to create sophisticated tools that leverage the latest features of VEX like geometry creation

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Course Categories
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Course Format:
Standard
Duration:
8 weeks
Materials:
Latest Houdini
Lecture Type:
Pre-recorded
Assignment:
Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and assignments” to classes
Skills Level:
Advanced
Feedback:
Individual recordings
Q&A:
Once a week
Prerequisites:
Comfortable knowledge of Houdini and its principles and programming experience, preferably in a C-like language (C, C++, MEL, RSL, Java)
Course Format:
Standard
Duration:
8 weeks
Materials:
Latest Houdini
Lecture Type:
Pre-recorded
Assignment:
Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and assignments” to classes
Skills Level:
Advanced
Feedback:
Individual recordings
Q&A:
Once a week
Prerequisites:
Comfortable knowledge of Houdini and its principles and programming experience, preferably in a C-like language (C, C++, MEL, RSL, Java)
Course Format:
Standard
Duration:
8 weeks
Materials:
Latest Houdini
Lecture Type:
Pre-recorded
Assignment:
Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and assignments” to classes
Skills Level:
Advanced
Feedback:
Individual recordings
Q&A:
Once a week
Prerequisites:
Comfortable knowledge of Houdini and its principles and programming experience, preferably in a C-like language (C, C++, MEL, RSL, Java)
COURSE OVERVIEW
COURSE OVERVIEW
Instructor Trailer
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
EXPAND ALL COLLAPSE ALL

The more you know, the better.

Week 1 | Introduction to VEX, Geometry Manipulation

The first class deals with setting up Houdini to work with VEX and VOPs and starting to get our feet wet with writing a few geometry deformers in SOPs. We will be talking through the theory behind Laplacian and Taubin smoothing and learn how to implement those algorithms in VEX.

Week 2 | 3d Noise, Implementation and Application

One of the fundamental principles in VFX is noise. We will be looking in detail into the theory of noise and learn some specific terminology and compare different functions in small VEX examples. We will then go ahead and implement our own fBM functions which we will then use to create procedural effects like a fireball and lightning. We will touch upon how to treat noise functions on animated characters and then slightly bend our minds to create amazing patterns using the concept of domain warping.

Week 3 | Dynamic Geometry Generation

Main topic of this week is geometry creation. We will be growing some grass curves, implement features on how to even animate it, and learn how to turn them into polygonal geometry we can render. We move on to implementing our first SOP solver to create some actual animated lightning –applying what we learned about noise and geometry creation.

Week 4 | Gray-Scott Reaction Diffusion

This week focuses on the great Grey Scott Reaction/Diffusion model. We will learn about its theory and how to implement it in VEX. With the resulting setup we will experiment in various ways, to create some amazing naturalistic looking pictures.

Week 5 | Flocking Systems Implementing Boids

Another often used method is flocking. Used for birds, fish or spaceships, the flocking mechanism by Reynolds – often referred to as BOIDS – is a fundamental principle driving many workflows in VFX. We will look into BOIDs theory and then learn about and implement a full flocking setup with behaviours like separation, alignment, wander and cohesion and instantiate geometry to the simulated points to create a flock of birds.

Week 6 | Growth Algorithms and Space Colonisation

Growth algorithms are an important part of VFX work. Veins, magic, plants and other vegetation can be created with space colonization algorithms. We will be looking at the principle of seed and feed points, create ivy overgrowth and bushy plants to populate a 3D scene, making it more believable and life-like.

Week 7 | Volume Manipulation, Pyroclastic Noise and Point Replication

After dealing a lot with polygonal geometry, our focus will shift to other primitive types. We will be looking at the principle of advection by moving points and volumes through a velocity field and also implement a volume displacement setup to create cloud like effects. We will learn how to use point replication to increase the detail of point renders in a geometry context but also as a render time procedural. We will extend that excursion into rendering land by writing a more complex procedural that turns points into fur at render time.

Week 8 | Hydraulic Erosion

We finish off the class by learning about concepts of Thermal and Hydraulic erosion. We will apply those algorithms to write our own VEX setup, creating highly realistic landscapes to be used in VFX or Games.

VEX in Houdini
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Instructor

Taking your skills, to the next level

Johannes has had a varied and illustrious career in the VFX industry, with over 10 years experience in Visual Effects. As Lead FX Artist at Framestore, Johannes' recent credits boast an array of VFX heavy Hollywood productions, including; Marvel's Avengers Infinity Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and is currently working on Pokemon Detective Pikachu. He has a background in Computer Graphics and Software Engineering and is a Houdini aficionado for a decade now. Johannes is an Entertainment Engineer at hear, runs a small Indie Game Studio, and conducts experiments in Augmented and Virtual Reality.

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SUMMER TERM REGISTRATION
May 3, 2021 - Jul 19, 2021
ONLY
$699
COURSE BEGINS
October 4th

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The level of the course is really deep and helpful.

It was great to have a course like this which I felt was more advanced than the usual. I’ll be going over the material several more times to make sure I got it all.

Roy Nieterau

Johannes is a great tutor that knows well how to explain the concepts in an approachable manner. Even later in the course, he was able to keep hinting at things that were thought in the course so it would remain in the back of your mind. Excellent instructor.

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BENEFITS
What makes this learning experience unique?
Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industry’s best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

VEX in Houdini
BENEFITS

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We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review / course recommendations!

SUMMER TERM REGISTRATION
May 3, 2021 - Jul 19, 2021
ONLY
$699
COURSE BEGINS
October 4th
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