Houdini is a 3D animation and special effects application designed for CG artists working in game development, motion graphics, VFX, and VR.
Produced by the Toronto-based company SideFX, the software is notable for its node-based design that allows for the flexible passing of information in the form of attributes. This procedural form of development is particularly useful for creating 3D animations in an interactive process.
If you are curious or looking to get started with the software, you can download Houdini Apprentice for free.
This version of the software is meant for utilization by students, artists, and hobbyists for creation of non-commercial projects. Included within this download are essentially all major Houdini FX features.
Once you have the software downloaded, the next step is to start learning the fundamentals. Based on recommendations from creators in our community, here are the essential YouTube channels to check out:
When choosing a set of tutorials to start learning Houdini, the unmatched option is to go straight to the Houdini channel on YouTube and learn directly from the makers of the software. Here within the SideFX playlists you can find tutorials to get started with the basic tools, software updates, and much more.
It is highly recommended to begin with this channel and then dive into some of the others listed!
As a dedicated YouTube channel to all things computer graphics, Entagma provides tutorials, tech guides, and practical examples to propel your skills at the intersection of design and advanced CGI. With a new tutorial posted every other week, there are quite a few great Houdini playlists to check out and get started with the fundamentals, shortened explanation videos, and various examples using the software.
The two hosts of this channel also have a series of videos discussing different softwares and topics in their playlist nerd rants, with pretty interesting conversations as well! With over 20K subscribers to this channel, the content here is worth checking out.
Right-Brained Tutorials 🔗
With close to 3K subscribers, Right-Brained Tutorials is a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching Houdini and other 3D animation softwares to more creative & less tech-inclined people. Here you can find one playlist particularly helpful for learning Houdini titled Houdini for Right-Brained People, which includes topics like configuring Houdini packages, working with SideFX labs, and assigning materials.
Check out this video discussing Motion Operator add-ons for Houdini!
bubble pins 🔗
With over 8K subscribers, bubble pins is a YouTube channel dedicated to Houdini with specifics in VEX and CVE. The host of this channel started his CG journey in Blender but has refocused the channel to be specifically centered around Houdini, and this is easy to tell from the number of videos they provide!
In over 25 playlists, viewers can find a wide variety of topics to learn more about the software, such as procedural modules, RBD tools, and mantra rendering to name a few. If you are completely new to the software, start with the playlist Houdini Beginner Tutorials which contains walkthroughs on the various simulation renders.
Although on a short break from posting videos to build their CG learning website, Arise.Works has a decent selection of playlist tutorials in Blender, Unreal Engine, and Houdini. Specific to Houdini, viewers here can find tutorials on Houdini fundamentals, but more notably, the tutorials on mantra rendering and VOPs here are unmatched.
If you are interested in learning more about mantra rendering and VOPs within Houdini, we recommend checking out the Mantra Shading and Rendering Course and Houdini Attributes and VOPs playlists to get started.