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Houdini Production Studio: Fluid FX

Houdini Production Studio: Fluid FX

An 8 week Houdini FLIP fluid master class culminating in a large-scale water simulation and village flooding
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Get swept away by Houdini FLIP

Get swept away by Houdini FLIP
This Houdini FLIP Masterclass tackles the exciting subject of creating a large-scale water simulation commonly seen in VFX and film industry today. This course is designed to equip artists with production-ready knowledge of fluid workflow in Houdini, and is a perfect next step for many students who have taken the Intro to FX Using Houdini course. Students will learn and explore the fundamental fluid fx theories, and implement this knowledge first-hand by creating a wide variety of water-based FX such as waterfall, pipe bursts, fountains, blood, and more.

In this course, students will learn various techniques like creating a custom emitter tool, generating fluid-based velocity fields to drive simulations, utilizing pumps and since, custom fluid meshing network, deep dive into white water simulations, and post-processing big data sets. All of the materials covered will culminate in the “Hero” large-scale simulation shot that will be a showcase piece. By the end of this course, students should feel confident in developing, problem-solving, and tackling a wide variety of water types effects and have good production-ready knowledge of and working practices for Houdini Fluid.

*NOTE: Students can still take the course with a computer that has less performance, but the computations will take longer and some simulations won’t be as high resolution due to RAM limitations. Houdini’s Apprentice education edition software is available as a free download and is all you will need to take this course. If you are interested in renting a Powerful Remote Workstation– for the duration of your course -to render more complex sims, please email us at vfxpc@cgmasteracademy.com
Registration Now Open
Registration Period
Apr 24, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
Course Start
Jul 13, 2024

Course Format


Skills Level

Intermediate - Advanced


9 weeks


Once a week


Individual recordings

Lecture Type

Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, Q&A, and time on assignments.
Good basic Houdini Knowledge - comfortable navigating in Houdini; good understanding of sops and dops, Basic VEX knowledge. Course: intro to FX Using Houdini
Houdini 17.5 and up

The more you know, the better.

Introduction: Course outline, learning outcomes, what to expect, course structure | FLIP Basics: Incompressability, POP vs FLIP, how FLIP process data, Fluid Compress, FLIP simulation types (static tank, emissive, narrow band, ocean specturm) general theory | FLIP Warmup: Creating a basic FLIP setup from scratch | Emission & Collision basics | Housekeeping: Creating core otls that will be used throughout the project, naming convention, playblast managements, data management tips
Theory: Deep dive into FLIP solver, the importance of emission, using id | Creating Emitter otl | understanding Forces, manipulating DOP data, basic meshing | FLIP Warmup: Exploring various basic water setups | FLIP Post Process
Theory: The importance of reference, AirField theory and implementation, Setting up scale and speed | FLIP Warm up : Simple waterfall | Quick look at white water and mist | Setup for wave crashing
Theory: Quick introduction to fields (Pumps, Sinks, Divergence, Vorticity) | FLIP Warmup: Simple River | Simulate 2D pyro for rapid velocity injection | Setup simple rapid river
Theory: Dev tasks, how to approach a new FX during production, incremental development, the importance of communication | Setting up the scene, proxies, optimizing assets, working with environment assets | Setting up velocity field injections, controlling the look of water.
Continue working on the sim | Deep dive into meshing theory and ParticleFluidSurface | VDB combine, creating custom mesher | Running secondaries ( common issues, particle size theory, blending water elements)
Theory: How to get the most out of your sims, post- processing tips and tricks, camera culling | Water Bending | Blending and rebalancing elements (VEX) | Extra Passes ( additional spray, bubbles, mist, wetmap solver, aeration) | Data management
Theory: Lighting water elements. Learning about basic shading, IOR, water density, passing extra attributes for lighting, balancing elements | Render optimization (Lecture and demonstration by Phillip Engstrom) | 2 weeks for final render + bonus Q&A

Prepare to meet your master

LECTURES BY Edward Ferrysienanda
Course Start: Jul 13, 2024
Edward is currently a Lead FX TD at Framestore London. Having worked in some of the biggest VFX houses such as Double Negative and MPC, Edward brings years of production experience and expert knowledge to the table. He has worked on a wide variety of exciting projects such as the Oscar-Winning “The Jungle Book”, “Suicide Squad”, “Thor: Ragnarok”, “Alita Battle Angel”, “The Mandalorian”, and many more. Edward is most well-known for his water/fluid effects work. He has an in-depth understanding of tool development, production workflow, and water creation techniques in Houdini. He also has a demonstrated history of delivering consistent, high-quality visuals for movies and visual effects. Edward is excited to share his technical knowledge as well as cultivating independent problem-solving skills and production-ready qualities essential to any successful VFX Artist.

Instructor's Gallery


What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.


I had a great time with the course, there were a lot of examples that showcased different aspects of using flip in Houdini, and the lecturer provided us projects that helped utilize and practice that knowledge.


Really enjoyed learning from Edward Ferrysienanda, really friendly and learnt a from him and his course.


I learned a lot about the Houdini FLIP (fluids) workflow, of which I knew very little about before.


Ed really showed me great techniques to make sure I got a realistic water simulation. Amazing course!


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