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Questions to the experienced Houdini users


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Hello guys,

It always impress me to see how some of you here are really talented. It feels that everything is so easy for you in Houdini.

I started learning Houdini 5 month ago and i feel that my evolution is too slow. The only resource i have to learn are tutorials which is most of the time case specific. I wish i could take classes but where i leave it is inexistant.

I did flash action script programming after learning graphic design, then i shifted into 3d as i discovered it to be my passion.

My main software are modo and c4d, and i love compositing 3d into footage.

Now i want to get on the next level and my choice is full blast on houdini as i dont like the "plug in" world.

Also i fell in love with creating systems, and with mantra render it always gives amazing result but slow (as i dont know how to write my own shader yet)

my portfolio:(simpe stuff and a lot missing)


i presently work for Dubai TVs and i would like to shift into VFX over time.

So my questions are:

"how hard was it for you to get where you are?"

"was it painfull at times?"

"did you almost give up at times?"

"after how long did you start seeing the light?"

Basically i am interested in knowing how was your evolution thru time in houdini untill you reached maturity.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for answering!


Edited by FR3D
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hello, I´m not as experient as lots of guys here, but I think my experience with houdini may help you somehow.

I started with cinema 4d and then start learned houdini, so you can imagine some problems I have encountered...

1. Whas hard at first. Learning how sops work, then chops, then shops... each one a new world to explore. But then, things start to make sense.

2. Yes. But was delightful too, when I understood how something work. In houdini you can understand how anything works. It´s not a black box like most softwares out there.

3. In the beginning, sometimes, yes.

4. I think some light came for me in the first 6 months, but things started to really make sense by 1 year, when I had studied a little of every part of houdini. But I whas studying only in my spare time...

in the end, houdini is just another tool. It´s difficult to master it fast, but with some effort, you will master it. Just be patient...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I now use Houdini for about a year and a bit,

of which full time the last 6 months.

I started with 3d Max and was taught Maya at school.

Last year we were taught Houdini for the first time and I was looking forward to it.

When you have good tutorials to work from it gets easier,

but for most of my classmates, Houdini was not really their thing.

We were taught Houdini mainly for procedural modeling.

My personal experience is that understanding of programming, math,

and thinking of Houdini more as programming than Modeling really helps.

you do get stuck at times, but I embraced the workflow right away.

And saw the potential of the thing pretty fast.

But, yeah it takes a long time to learn and a lot of practice.

With Houdini you have to learn a lot right at the start and learn the rest over time,

whereas you can learn things more gradually with more traditional packages.

The main reason why I enjoy working with Houdini is the way creating makes you feel smart and efficient,

while letting the computer do the work. :P

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm an outlier because I've been in love with Houdini ever since I saw it in version 1.0 back in '97.

Still, the #1 that's helped me out is sitting next to an expert at work. I know that's not a lot of help, but maybe it will encourage you to find an established company to intern or work in an entry level position at.

The #2 thing that's helped me out is going through other people's .hip files. Nothing is more telling than the frozen thought process there in that file.

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