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!



Study duration

36 weeks


20 hrs weekly

Skill level



Houdini Essentials course or portfolio submission


Weekly online classes, feedback and support


Houdini, Redshift, Nuke

Start date

Jun 10, 2024

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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

Foundations 2: Core Effects Principles

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.

  • How to use Rigid Body Dynamics & constraints
  • Add complexity with data driven particles
  • Create realistic smoke, dust, fire, liquid
  • Produce complex explosion simulations
  1. Working with Production Assets
  2. Visual Operators and Noise
  3. Practical Vex
  4. Advanced Copying
  5. Geometry Fracturing Techniques
  6.  Constraint Techniques
  7. Production Shot Part 01
  8. Production Shot Part 02
  9. Volume Simulations Expanded
  10. Pyro Fire FX
  11. Pyro - Production Shot 01
  12. Pyro - Production Shot 02
Term 2: 12 weeks

Foundations 3: Professional Dynamic Effects

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.

  • 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. Flip Solver: Ocean Simulation Part 01
  6. Flip Solver: 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

Mentored Studio: Effects

This final term is dedicated to getting you job-ready! With your mentor’s guidance, you’ll polish your best work for your portfolio and learn how to develop your competitive edge, market yourself, and make the best possible impression in front of employers. You'll also receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Coach.

  • How to polish your portfolio to impress employers
  • Interview and negotiation strategies
  • Effective networking and self-promotion
  • Accessing the hidden job market 
  1. Career Pathways
  2. Industry Overview
  3. Portfolio Upgrade
  4. Networking and Online Presence
  5. Resume and Cover Letter
  6. Job Hunting
  7. Freelance Work
  8. Interviews and Pitching
  9. Personal Projects and Challenges
  10. Working in a Studio
  11. Contracts and Negotiations
  12. Personal Roadblocks
Course structure

Your pathway to the industry

Dive right into the full study pathway and be industry ready in 12 months.

Pathway illustration for Career Track (12 months)

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


Choose your class size

$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,200 USD

(3 x payments)

$1,750 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$4,725 USD

(3 x payments)

Frequently asked questions

Houdini FX Course FAQs

This course requires the successful completion of the Effects Essentials or portfolio submission demonstrating professional experience and an accompanying reel/resume.

To skip the foundations course you must show that you have a fundamental understanding of how Houdini works. Your portfolio must demonstrate an understanding of the topics taught in the course. These include:

  • Geometry creation
  • Particle simulations
  • Rigid body simulations
  • Smoke and pyro simulations
  • Flip fluid simulations
  • Lighting and rendering
  • Demonstration of compositing skills and complex shot production.

It’s important that you understand how Houdini works because in this course, the pace is faster, the lessons more complex, and we don’t want you to be confused or fall behind. 

The foundations course is by no means basic, you will learn how to really harness Houdini for a wide range of common visual effects.

A large component of our course is about how to present your effects in the best way possible, so if you have a portfolio but your presentation skills need work then we may still encourage you to take the foundations course to make sure you become the best artist you can be!  

If you are unsure if your skills are sufficient, send us your portfolio and we'll arrange a review by the department head and a possible student interview, depending on circumstances.


You will also need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).


A student license of Houdini from SideFX, and a non commercial license of Nuke for a free educational version is available.


You will need a dedicated graphics card and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for Houdini and Nuke. A minimum of 32GB RAM is ideal.

The Houdini FX Course is designed to get you ready to hit the ground running at your next job. It covers more complex techniques and includes an entire term dedicated to career development and portfolio preparation to get you industry-ready.

Some of the junior FX jobs you could pursue after completing the course (provided you have fully committed to your studies and built out your portfolio) include:

Discover more VFX jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page:

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