Course Overview

Class Description:

This recorded course introduces students to incorporate scientific ideas into their visual effects. By incorporating science into your visual effects you can create a better understanding on how effects should be built as well as how they should interact with their native environment. 

Learning Outcomes:

Students will leave this class with a fundamental understanding of how you can improve your VFX builds through an understanding of scientific application. The more realistic your visual effects are, the more of a chance you will have at having an impressive demo reel.  

Course curriculum

    1. Files

    2. Let's Build a Solar System

    3. Marine Systems - Exploring Coral, and Other Marine Structures

    4. Aerostatic and Aerodynamic Simulations

    1. 1. Introduction

    2. 2. Science Behind Clouds

    3. 3. Goals

    4. 4. Scene Breakdown

    5. 5. Creating Side Clouds Part 1

    6. 6. Creating Side Clouds Part 2

    7. 7. Creating Main Clouds

    8. 8. Creating Large Clouds

    9. 9. Creating a Cirrus Cloud

    10. 10. Creating a Cloud Head

    11. 11. Q&A: Add SOP

    12. 12. Creating Top Clouds

    13. 13. Creating Background Clouds

    14. 14. The Final Clouds

    15. 15. Background Clouds Part 1

    16. 16. Background Clouds Part 2

    17. 17. Background Clouds Part 3

    18. 18. Background Clouds Part 4

    19. 19. Background Clouds Part 5

    20. 20. Background Clouds Part 6

    21. 21. Background Clouds Part 7

    22. 22. Large Clouds

    23. 23. Rain

    24. 24. Lightning

    25. 25. Render

    1. 1. Introduction

    2. 2. Overview of Solar System

    3. 3. Project Overview

    4. 4. Creating the Sun

    1. 1. Points

    2. 2. Point Attributes

    3. 3. Geometry Creation

    4. 4. Orbit Ring

    5. 5. Moon Orbit

    6. 6. Merging Orbit Ring

    7. 7. Merging Part 2

    1. 1. SetUp

    2. 2. Rings

    3. 3. Moon Geometry

    4. 4. Bringing it all Together

    1. 1. Overview of Growth Systems

    2. 2. Initial Setup

    3. 3. Remove Large Edges

    4. 4. Creating Growth Start Points

    5. 5. Add Initial Direction

    6. 6. Creating Food Group

    7. 7. Set Seed Direction of Growth System

    8. 8. Q&A: Setting Number of Food Points

    9. 9. Making Branch Algorithm

    10. 10. Making the Growth System Lines

    11. 11. Cleaning up the System

    12. 12. Making the system Renderable

    13. 13. Q&A: Growth-System Normals

    14. 14. Q&A: Creating Growth System on Other Geometry

About this course

  • $235.00
  • 109 lessons
  • 5.5 hours of video content

Course Teaser

Session 1

Storm Clouds - Discovering and Simulating the Systems of Storms

In this lesson, we will learn how to build storm clouds and explore volumetrics. We will also cover the science behind storm systems, and base our simulation around this science.

Session 2

Planetary Systems - Let’s Build a Solar System

In this lesson, we will build a functioning procedural planetary system. We will be discussing the science of why our Solar System formed the way it did, and how other exoplanetary systems operate. We will then integrate these ideas into our work, and end up with a customizable system you can use in your projects.

Session 3

Growth Systems and Natural Patterns

Everywhere in nature, there are repeating patterns and procedural shapes. In this lesson, we will discuss and create a few of them. As well as discuss how you can find larger copies of these patterns in larger bodies of the Universe. We will also talk about the science behind these shapes, and why they form the way they do.

Session 4

Marine Systems - Exploring Coral, and Other Marine Structures

When building a marine environment, it is important to understand the structures and different forms of life that could exist in your scenes. In this lesson, we will discuss the different levels of the ocean, and the various systems that exist in the ocean. Then based on the information we’ve discussed, we will model a section of the ocean in Houdini.

Session 5

Nebulae and Galaxies - Creating Space Structures Within Houdini

Simulating fish and other squishy creatures can be a bit of a challenge. In this lesson, we will discuss some of the science behind some of the creatures that live in the dark depths of the ocean. Then we will pick a deep-sea creature to model and simulate based on how it behaves in an ocean environment.

Session 6

Aerostatic and Aerodynamic Simulations

In this lesson, we will talk about Universal structures and the science behind them. There is much more going on behind nebula formations than just their basic visible forms. They are made up of both visible and non-visible matter. After learning about their internal structure, we will visualize a structure based on its scientific formations and surrounding details.


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


“I thought this course was great. Really takes you to a place that crosses science and art and for me is an expression of how maybe no single creator is good as the universe itself. Enjoy!”

Timothy Bladel

See you in Class!