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TD mentorship program

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Was seriously considering taking Allan McKays TD Mentorship program. Quite expensive, but I guess that's relative.

Is anyone else considering or has taken his courses and can recommend?



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Guest tar

The main thing you can learn from these types of things is the art of self promotion ;)

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This guy had a Houdini course before on CG Society but when people started calling him out in the middle of the program, he got kicked out and another person started teaching where he left off.

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I've followed Allan for a long time and he's got good tips and general effects advice and has a lot of experience creating high end effects work. But his main tool is 3dsmax, so if you want to become an expert at that it might be worth it.
If you want to learn Houdini at the high-end my vote would go to the CG Circuit series as well as Matt Estela's Tokeru mixed in with a bit of Entagma.

Also on the main sidefx website you can go through the masterclasses too:

If you are near LA you could come take my houdini class at Gnomon. My class is an advanced houdini class, I used to teach the beginner and then the intermediate levels as well, but now I only teach the advanced Houdini level. My class goes into some of the underlying computer graphics principles and data management as well. Over the last 3 years I've taught around 30-40 new junior Houdini artists. The majority of them are all working as fx artists in the LA area. The main reason why I started teaching was to create a houdini talent pool in LA that I could draw from as an fx supervisor. Also to teach the knowledge that I think the students should know and that prepares them for industry. The side effect was that a bunch of other studios also gained access to more junior houdini talent and that some of the more traditional Maya or Max houses started to adopt Houdini in their fx pipeline. So by the time I need more mid level talent the original students have had a bit more experience at a variety of studios and then they can move around. Also I have directly hired students from my own course as production needs arose. Some of my students also became assistant technical directors or show technical directors because they gained a deep understanding of cg.

This is the curriculum (10 weeks total, 3 hours per class, I think Gnomon charges students around $2k - so not cheap either)
Class 1: Lightning bolts setup, tool building, custom mask for comp, case study
Class 2: Clustering techniques for efficiently processing large volumetric data sets and breaking down complexity.
Class 3: growth systems 1: growing patterns, tool building, chaos theory, feedback systems, growth behaviors, 2d & 3d growth, reconnecting branches.
Class 4: growth systems 2: procedural animation, tool building, pathfinding, custom masks for comp.
Class 5: Art directed destruction 1: rigid body dynamics, fracture patterns, constraint networks, case study
Class 6: Art directed destruction 2: constraint networks, hero pieces flying at camera, secondary simulations
Class 7: Art directed destruction 3: Destroying a production asset and bringing all elements together.
Class 8: volumes 1: liquid explosion - pyro sim sourced from flip simulation, detailing sims and shader, fractals.
Class 9: volumes 2: nebula, tornado, cloud puff, portal, and custom volumetric solver.
Class 10: Controlling data through multiple phase changes - rigid, melting, liquid, evaporation, rigid

Since you are in Canada, you might also want to consider Andrew Lowells program at Lost Boys - I've heard good things about it and Andrew is a long time houdini user as well:

I think overall there are a lot of good resources available (mostly for free or for less than ~$500 online), it will mostly cost you time. There are no short-cuts.
For me the in-person teaching experience is something I enjoy as well as you can instantly get a students level of understanding and expand on where they need more clarification or sometimes expand on a tangent that they are interested in. Also a physical teacher will generally have good ties with industry and can help you build connections. - I recommend each of my students to be active on the forums, post to vimeo and share some of their hip files so they can get to know the community and the community gets to know them. I just provide a stepping stone.

Good luck!



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Hey peter, thanks! If I was LA based would definitely sign up. Will consider Lost Boys and ask around at the next THUG meetup here in Toronto

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