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LinkedIn Learning

Houdini Essential Training

via LinkedIn Learning


Discover Houdini, a leading package for procedural 3D content creation. Learn about core geometry and animation concepts, lighting, shading and rendering techniques, and more.

There's a multitude of tools for 3D content creation on the market, and each has its own advantages and merits. Houdini—a leading package for 3D content creation—offers a procedural workflow that allows for powerful experimentation, system reusability, and overall process efficiency in building an array of assets and animations.

While known for its VFX strengths, Houdini has powerful tools for end-to-end 3D production for projects ranging from photorealistic visual effects to stylized motion graphics. In this course, Scott Pagano starts from the ground up to provide you with a solid foundation in Houdini. First, he takes you through the interface, covering topics such as global animation options, nomenclature, and viewport and display nodes. Next, he covers core geometry and animation concepts, followed by lighting, shading, and rendering techniques using the Houdini Mantra renderer. Once you have those primary 3D skills under your belt, Scott moves on to particles and volumes—some of the package's most lauded strengths. He wraps up with an overview of the package's compositing context, where you can create procedural imagery useful for processes across all contexts.


  • Welcome
  • What you need to know
  • Exercise files
1. Interface
  • Navigation
  • Viewport and display modes
  • Panes
  • Desktops
  • Preferences
  • Display options and visualizers
  • Global animation options
  • Nomenclature
  • Network view
  • Node flags
  • Geometry spreadsheet
  • Tree view
  • Shelf Tools
2. Geometry
  • Object vs. suface context
  • Geometry types
  • Viewing standard attributes
  • Selection
  • Grid and snapping
  • Basic box up modeling
  • Polysplit and edge loops
  • Clip and mirror
  • Polybevel and divide
  • Curve SOP
  • UV unwrap
  • Creating groups
  • Creating attributes
  • Copy SOP
  • Copy SOP with template attributes
  • Copy SOP with stamping
  • Packed feometry
  • Geometry with VDBs
  • Subnetworks
  • Caching geometry
  • Export Alembic
  • Import Alembic
3. Animation
  • Keyframes
  • Animation editor
  • CHOP networks
  • Expressions in parameters
  • Noise and filtering
  • Copy stamp channels
  • Apply copy stamp channels
  • Channel SOP
  • Importing animation into CHOPS
  • Cache animation data
4. Rendering
  • Cameras
  • Flipbooks
  • Mplay
  • IPR rendering
  • Basic mantra settings
  • Mantra quality settings
  • Render passes, AOV
  • Open GL ROP
  • Geometry ROP
  • Alembic ROP
5. Shading
  • Assigning materials
  • Principled shader
  • Using textures
  • Displacement
  • Basic custom shader
  • Subdivision settings
6. Lighting
  • Light types: Point and spot
  • Light types: Distant
  • Light types: Area
  • Light types: Environment and HDR
  • Sun and sky lighting
  • Light bank and light linking
7 . Dynamics
  • Rigid body dynamics setup
  • Adding objects to the simulation
  • Changing dynamic object types
  • Collision geometry fundamentals
  • Refining dynamics network
  • RBD active node
  • Caching simulation results
  • Applying lo-res sim to hi-res geometry
  • Wire simulation setup
  • Refining wire simulation
  • Deforming geometry with wires
8. Particles
  • Creating velocity attribute on objects
  • Emitting particles from objects
  • Emitting particles from attributes
  • Refining particle simulation
  • Caching particles
  • Post-simulation color modification
  • Rendering particles
9. Volumetric Simulations
  • Emitting smoke from an object
  • Refining smoke simulation
  • Key fluid simulation nodes
  • Caching output
  • Pyro Shader
10. Compositing
  • Render scene overview
  • Compositing layers
  • Rendering output
  • Next steps

Taught by

Scott Pagano

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