Learn FX for film and games with mentorship from industry FX artists

Take your first steps towards a career as an FX artist! Guided by your industry mentor, you'll learn how to navigate SideFX Houdini and begin creating your own FX shots from scratch, even without prior experience.

Why study Houdini FX with us:

  • Learn from FX artists who have worked on blockbuster films and AAA games
  • We are a Houdini Certified School 
  • Study with more flexibility (100% online)
  • Choose 1-on-1 or small group classes with max. 4 students

You'll work with with basic particles to understand element attributes and interactivity, helping you move towards complex animated FX like smoke and fire.


Industry Certificate


3 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level


Start date

August 5th, 2024
September 9th, 2024
October 7th, 2024


Group Class: $3,333 USD
Private Class: $4,677 USD
Ask about our payment plans

(SizeLimitingPyMap: {form_id=fad79dc7-4875-4e6e-bfb8-559d493dc494, form_type=HUBSPOT, gotowebinar_webinar_key=null, message=Thanks for submitting the form., redirect_id=34690303461, redirect_url=null, response_type=redirect})


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

Term 1: 12 weeks

Foundations 1: Essentials of Effects

Start with the fundamentals of FX and simulations with Houdini software. Learn scripting with VEX and see how scripts can help create more complex VFX shots. Learn all about particles in Houdini and the concepts behind what drives them. Dive into advanced geometry concepts which will help you build assets for your VFX shots and ultimately destroy them! Apply rendering techniques used in VFX production and start building your first fully rendered shots.

*This short course is equivalent to the first term of the Effects Foundations. If you continue your learning journey, you'll be eligible to join the Foundations course from Term 2 onwards.

  • How to navigate the Houdini user interface
  • Build geometry for your simulations
  • Understand and apply particle concepts
  • Light and render your shots
  1. Introduction to Houdini Networks
  2. Creating Motion in Houdini
  3. Particle FX Project
  4. Transforming Attributes
  5. Intro to RBD FX
  6. RBD FX Project
  7. Intro to Smoke & Pyro
  8. Pyro FX Project
  9. Intro to FLIP
  10. Flip FX project
  11. FX Project Introduction
  12. FX Project Presentation
Course Structure

Your pathway to the industry

This short course is equivalent to term one of the Foundations course. On completion of the Essentials course, if you decide to progress further with your studies, you'll enroll straight into term two of the corresponding Foundations course which means you'll already be one-third of the way through your studies! Continue your learning journey towards an exciting career in the industry by enrolling into the Foundations Career Track.

Pathway illustration for Essentials 3 Month Course

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.

Frequently asked questions

FX Essentials Course FAQs

Learn more about the prerequisites for this course and the FX careers you could explore in the future. For general questions about studying at CG Spectrum, visit the main FAQ page or contact us.

Age Minimum
The general minimum age to be able to enroll in our industry certificate courses is 16. We require parent or guardian consent during the enrollment process for applicants under 18.

Students under 16 will require a further assessment before they can officially enrol. This may include an interview with a course advisor and the creation of a study plan to ensure they have considered how they will manage a college-level workload.

English Proficiency
We expect our students to have a good understanding of written and spoken English. There’s no specific ’level'; however, you must be able to understand video tutorials in English (no subtitles) and speak with your mentor in English during your live Q&A session.

Computer Literacy
To be successful in this program, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).


You will need to purchase an education license of Houdini from SideFX and download a non-commercial license of Nuke, which is free.

Instructions for how to obtain an educational license for the required software will be provided upon enrollment.


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.

This short course will get you started on your creative journey, but in a competitive industry, we advise continuing your studies with the full career track.

The FX career track includes the FX Foundations and FX Artist Specialization (available early 2025). It is designed to better prepare you for a job in the industry and help increase your employment opportunities.

The career track ensures you build strong foundational skills before moving on to more complex techniques and workflows. You will also dedicate time to career development and preparing a polished portfolio while you gain invaluable industry insights.

Some of the junior FX jobs you could pursue after completing the full study pathway include:

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