Houdini FX Diploma

Become an FX artist for film and games! Learn Houdini FX online from industry mentors


Certified Houdini FX course taught by film & game industry artists

Study Houdini FX and turn your creative passion into a career!

If you want to create incredible effects for film and games, this hands-on Houdini course is for you! Guided by a professional FX artist, you'll harness the true power of procedural, node-based workflow techniques to create destruction, explosions, and water simulations, learning how to model, texture, simulate and render cool VFX shots from scratch.

Why study Houdini FX at CG Spectrum:

  • Learn from FX artists who have worked on big films & games
  • Train on industry software at a Houdini certified school 
  • Get the latest skills studios are hiring for
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)


Start your journey into the film and game industry with CG Spectrum online visual effects school! Be personally mentored by FX artists who have worked at some of the best VFX studios, get plenty of hands-on experience, and graduate with original work for your demo reel.

Enjoy a personalized education experience like no other with unrivalled support and feedback from a mentor who is invested in your success. What a great way to start your career as an FX artist!

Industry Qualification



9 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level



Introduction to Houdini or portfolio submission


Weekly online classes, feedback and support

Included software

Houdini, Redshift

Start date

Dec 7, 2020

Why study with us

Learn FX from industry pros who have worked on feature films and best-selling games

Whether you’re straight out of high school, changing careers, or upgrading skills, our specialized expert-led FX programs help you build practical job skills that will serve throughout your career.

Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around your work and family commitments

Industry Mentors

Learn from industry experts who have worked on major films and games

Job-Ready Skills

Build practical and relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Pursue your passion and start working sooner with flexible payments


Industry-approved curriculum to help launch your career as an FX artist

Term 1: 12 weeks
Rigid Body Dynamics and Pyro

Explore procedural modeling and create a believable destruction shot using Rigid Body Dynamics (RBD). You’ll play with geometry fracturing and a range of FX solvers and constraints (Pin, String, and Glue Constraints) to dictate your simulation’s physical behavior. No FX artist’s skill set is complete without knowing how to blow stuff up! During this semester you’ll also discover how to create feature film quality smoke, fire, and explosions using the Pyro Solver and create impressive destruction shots.

Learn how to:

  • Use Rigid Body Dynamics & constraints
  • Add complexity with data driven particles
  • Create realistic smoke, dust, fire, liquid
  • Produce complex explosion simulations
  1. Rigid Body Simulation
  2. Geometry Fracturing Techniques
  3. Working with Constraints
  4. Intermediate Simulation Concepts
  5. Production Shot Part 01
  6. Production Shot Part 02
  7. Volume Simulations
  8. Intermediate Pyro Smoke Concepts
  9. Introduction to Pyro Fire FX
  10. Intermediate Pyro Fire FX
  11. Pyro FX Production – Part 1
  12. Pyro FX Production – Part 2
Term 2: 12 weeks
Liquid and Vellum FX

In this term of Houdini training, you’ll get your feet wet with liquid simulations. Practice creating everything from a splash in a pond to a raging ocean, and efficient ways to speed up your render times. You’ll learn how to create simulations for cloth, hair, and grains using the new Vellum solver. By the end of this term, you will have a deep understanding and hands-on experience creating realistic simulations for feature film and TV, along with impressive VFX shots for your portfolio.

Learn how to:

  • Create advanced liquid simulations
  • Generate realistic ocean scenes
  • Use the Vellum solver for cloth & hair
  • Render production shots for your portfolio
  1. Introduction: Liquid Simulations
  2. Intermediate Liquid Effects
  3. Advanced Liquid Effects
  4. Introduction: Houdini Ocean Tools
  5. Ocean Simulation Part 01
  6. Ocean Simulation Part 02
  7. Introduction to Vellum
  8. Velum Shelf Tools
  9. Vellum Hair
  10. Vellum Grains
  11. Final FX Project Part 01
  12. Final FX Project Part 02
Term 3: 12 weeks
Portfolio and Career Development

This final term is about launching your career! With your mentor’s guidance, you’ll polish your best pieces for your portfolio. As a diploma student, you can access additional career development services to learn how to develop your competitive edge, market yourself, and make the best possible impression in front of employers.

Learn how to:

  • Polish your portfolio to impress employers
  • Be more confident with negotiation
  • Network & self-promote effectively
  • Tap into the hidden job market 

All diploma students receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager.

  1. Getting your career started
  2. Self-promotion
  3. Portfolio prep
  4. Payments and contracts
  5. Your first commissions
  6. Finding your audience
  7. Staff vs. freelance
  8. Developing personal projects
  9. Path of the independent artist
  10. Skill development practices
  11. Motivational guidelines
  12. Emerging art career tips

Get direct access to Houdini FX artists and learn from the best

All Houdini FX classes are taught by industry mentors with years of experience working on films and video games.

Study Options

Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn
Study Options

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience


$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,199 USD

(3 x payments)

$1,485 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,999 USD

(3 x payments)

Study Pathway

Your journey to a successful career starts here

Duration: 11 months
Houdini Course Pathway

We've built our courses based on industry input and focus on teaching skills studios are hiring for. The three courses below form a complete study pathway designed to fast track your education so you can land your first job sooner. Each course can also be taken separately depending on your skill level and career goals.


The Introduction to Houdini FX Certificate teaches you solid foundations, giving you an idea of what it takes to pursue a career in this field.


Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Certificate
  • Duration: 3 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Software: A student educational license of Houdini is provided to all students for free

View Course


The Advanced Houdini FX Diploma takes your skills to a feature film and AAA game level, with the final term focused on career development and building your professional portfolio.

All diploma students receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager.


Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Advanced Diploma
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Software: A student educational license of Houdini is provided to all students for free

View Course

Student Showcase

High quality student work that speaks for itself

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. See what they are creating.

Studios that hire our students

Our commitment to job-outcomes and focus on career development has helped graduates find work at studios all over the world.

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