Course Overview

Class Description:

This recorded course introduces students to the history of Houdini and how the software has developed over time. Learning how the software operates is a huge part of becoming a VFX artist. But understanding how the operators and the networks evolved over time is a plus. In this course, we will discuss certain tools inside of Houdini, and how they grew into the SOPs, DOPs, and other functions we know today.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will leave this class with a fundamental understanding of how Houdini works, as well as an appreciation of how the industry has evolved around the VFX industry. 

Course curriculum

    1. Files

    1. 1. Introduction

    2. 2. L-Systems

    3. 3. Noise Operators and Texturing Techniques

    4. 4. Development of Particle System

    5. 5. Conclusion

    1. 1. Introduction

    2. 2. Development of Fluid Systems in Computer Graphics

    3. 3. Fluid Systems Continued

    4. 4. A History of FLIP Systems

    5. 5. Conclusion

    1. 1. Introduction

    2. 2. History of Ray Tracing

    3. 3. History of Render Engines Used in the Industry

    4. 4. History of Mantra and Karma

    5. 5. Conclusion

    1. 1. Introduction

    2. 2. The First Computer Graphics

    3. 3. PRISMs Omnibus Computer Graphics

    4. 4. PRISMs and Houdini

    5. 5. Conclusion

    1. 1. Introduction

    2. 2. History of Alias Computer Graphics

    3. 3. History of Softimage

    4. 4. Noteworthy Software Moments From Alias || Wavefront

    5. 5. Conclusion

About this course

  • $135.00
  • 32 lessons
  • 2 hours of video content

Course Teaser

Session 1

History of Fundamental Systems in Computer Graphics.

In this lesson about the history of fundamental systems found in computer graphics. In this lesson, students will learn the history of graphical concepts, including L-Systems, Noise Functions, and much more. All of these computer graphic systems are found not only inside Houdini but also in various computer programs.

Session 2

Breakdown FLIP Particle Systems

In this lesson, we will learn about the history of FLIP and fluid systems in computer graphics. We will learn how they developed and evolved into today's popular systems. We will learn about the overall mathematical concepts and the important figures who made the magic happen behind the scenes of our favorite software.

Session 3

History of Rendering

In this lesson, students will learn the history behind specific rendering methods used in computer graphics. Students will learn about ray tracing and the physical concepts that helped develop the 3D systems. Students will also learn about various rendering software packages that have played a significant role in VFX. Finally, students will also learn the history of Karma and Mantra—Sidefx’s Houdini’s render engines. We will discuss how they were developed, the benefits of using the render engines, and how the renders have been adopted in the industry.

Session 4

History of Houdini

This chapter will teach us about the first computers and computer graphics created for visual effects and animation. We will journey from the beginning and meet the first pioneers of the trade. We will also learn about the history of Houdini and where and to whom the software was created. In this journey, we will learn more about Canada’s first commercial computer graphics company, Omnibus Computer Graphics, and the software they developed called PRISMs.

Session 5

History of Maya and Graphics Packages

In this lesson, we will learn about software packages other than Houdini. We will learn about the history of one of the companies that helped shape the software Maya as we know it today. That company is Alias || Wavefront, known as Alias Computer Graphics. Alias helped develop and create Maya before Autodesk acquired it. Today, we will learn the company's history and noteworthy moments in the company and software’s history.

Session 6

Oldschool Visual Effects

This lesson will teach us about the pioneers who made visual effects possible. As well as how the visual effects techniques we use today evolved inside the film industry and through various camera functions. We will also learn about the father of visual effects, Georges Méliès. Méliès helped create iconic imagery that still impacts the VFX industry today, and his work has left a legendary impact on the world. Today, we will gain a great insight into what our industry is, was, and can be.


Kate Xagoraris

VFX Artist

I am a VFX artist at Mr. X in Toronto, Canada. I have a passion for researching science and its interaction with the world of visual effects. In my spare time, I also run a VFX site for artists to better understand Houdini and to think outside the box. Some of my previous works have included popular TV productions such as Umbrella Academy and The Boys.



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Multi-Session Courses
Students may request a refund up to 1 day before the start of the course. Students may also withdraw from Multi-Session Courses at any time and are entitled to a pro-rated refund. The withdrawal date must be 1 day before the next class they intend to drop.

On-Demand Courses
All on-demand courses are non-refundable.

How to Drop a Class
Please send a request to drop a class via email to [email protected].
Your written request to drop any or all of your classes must include:
  1. Student’s full name
  2. Name of the course(s) being dropped


“Hey, just wanted to drop a message here that really enjoyed the class, was interesting to learn as started to learn Houdini fairly recently, besides history I'm especially interested in things that were added more later than earlier, so you can figure out the "old-school" to do things and "new school" can be valuable to know as many approaches as possible”


See you in Class!