New course: Rendering Foundations for Houdini and Karma

This course, taught by Niall Flinn, provides a comprehensive introduction to rendering in Houdini, with a focus on FX simulations, such as rigid bodies, particles and volumes. It assumes a basic familiarity with FX simulation and with the Houdini UI. There is a focus throughout the course on a balance of speed and quality which will help ensure your success in the industry.

The first few lessons walk the viewer through the very basics of rendering in Houdini; different ways of starting and monitoring renders; Houdini’s various light types (and their uses); and provides a very solid foundation in shader development, from simple constant shaders, through to volume displacement.

The course later moves into more advanced topics such as how modern path tracers work (complete with a functioning renderer built into an Attribute Wrangle SOP; rendering with physically correct motion blur (a topic rarely well understood by FX and Lighting artists) and efficient delayed load workflows.

The last few lessons walk through the specifics of rendering an example scene containing rigid bodies, particle instances and volumes, with attention given to the integration of these elements in the comp. Finally, there is a brief introduction to Houdini’s new Lighting OPerators (LOPs) and render engine, Karma.

For a class by class breakdown of the course, visit the course information page, here.

Niall Flinn is a senior Houdini FX artist and Computer Graphics Supervisor with over 17 years experience of working on feature films and high-end television productions, with many credits to his name. He has hired, supervised, and mentored numerous artists and built FX departments at two different companies. This experience has given him an intimate familiarity with the balance of creativity and technical excellence required to succeed in today’s visual effects industry.