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Photorealistic simulations have become a necessary part of today’s entertainment landscape. From movies and tv shows, to games and vr experiences, audiences expect incredible visual effects. This rise in audience expectations has created increasing demand for studios to produce simulations that are not just realistic, but creative, original, and distinctive.

However, most 3d software doesn’t allow vfx creators and professionals to design custom simulations from scratch. Maya, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, and similar packages only allow you to create an emitter and tinker with the variables. Few software packages, and even fewer effects professionals, have the knowledge and skill to dig down deeper and make simulations that are truly their own.

Houdini is the exception, the software that gives vfx artists an unprecedented amount of control over their simulations.

And The Animation Workshop is where to learn Houdini.
An example of a project made in TAW’s Houdini & Simulation training course: The Beacon by Andrei Zberea

With the new Houdini & Simulation for Film and Games professional training course at The Animation Workshop (TAW), participants learn the skills to go “under the hood” and truly understand the core principles of how simulations are created. By focusing only on simulations, students can gain a deeper level of expertise and mastery of graphic solvers as well as real-time simulations, and pick up skills that are in demand in the film, video, and gaming industries.

This unique course was developed by TAW in collaboration with Andrew Lowell (Mummy 3, Aliens in the Attic, Invictus, Thor, Sucker Punch, Transformers 3, Jack the Giant Slayer, and Ender’s Game), who taught highly-specialized Houdini classes around the world. Lowell’s global experience and deep expertise has allowed him to customize this course curriculum for film and game professionals working in large or small teams, and for the innovators and outliers who want to challenge the status quo and make artistic simulations unlike anything on the market.

According to Lowell, to really get Houdini you need to be something of a mad scientist.

“Think of Leonardo da Vinci” he says. “Or the Wright brothers. They balanced art and science, craft and technology, to explore whole new ideas and do completely original work.”

This 12-week professional training course takes place at TAW in Viborg, Denmark’s thriving animation center. The course teaches in-depth mastery of both graphic and real-time simulations, including Touch Designer, Unity, and some programming, with each student focusing on their own original project.

An example of a project made in TAW’s Houdini & Simulation training course: Placempus by Jonas Bienz

Upon completion, course participants will have a fully executed simulation, along with a presentation and case study, that they can use to showcase their new expertise, and grow their careers. Houdini is an increasingly in-demand skill, with job opportunities around the world in a wide range of productions, and this course opens new doors for both experienced and aspiring TDs.

Applications for the spring term of the Houdini & Simulations class are open now. Visit The Animation Workshop web site for more information, and to be part of this extraordinary experience.
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