The Artists Guide to Technical Direction in Houdini

houdini hscript tutorial stephen tucker

echo Hello World!

Was that an Houdini HScript command you just saw as a greeting?! Yes it was! Maybe that little “echo” bit threw you off, but it was actually pretty simple. And you know what? Scripting in Houdini is pretty simple too once someone shows you the ropes. You know what’d be totally awesome? If you let me be the one to show you the ropes. Ok, ok… you’ve charmed me into it. I’ll totally help you out.

All you have to do is visit this link, right here!

Ok, ok, not sold yet?

Maybe you came across a previous course of mine from a couple of years back introducing Houdini to Unreal Engine workflows? Maybe you want just a little bit more of the inside scoop on what this course is?

Back in 2005 I got my start as an intern at Side Effects Software Inc. while I was getting my animation degree at school. In a course that was primarily focused on hand drawn character animation, I was one of the few in my program that decided to get into 3D and one of the fewer who decided to get into effects. There weren’t a tremendous amount of resources back then, and if you wanted to learn Houdini there were only a handful aimed at people like me without a technical background. For me though, I found that once you started to understand how the pieces fit together Houdini became one of the most liberating packages on the market.

Over the past decade of using Houdini, I’ve worked around the world in the film (Starz Animation, Dr. D, Digital Domain) and games (The Coalition, BioWare, EA Motive). In this time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many artists who were new to Houdini and sharing some of the insight I’ve gained. While most people are pretty excited to get their hands on the flashier parts of the software such as FLIP and Pyro, I think that Houdini’s greatest strength comes from it’s sheer flexibility. And that flexibility is something that only opens up the deeper you delve into how things work.

One complaint I’ve heard time and again, is that after following a tutorial, new artists are often left with something that looks pretty but with little understanding of how anything actually works. I’m always hearing complaints about how steep the learning curve is with Houdini. I’m seeking to help fix that with 7 hours of new training material that focus specifically on HScript scripting in Houdini. I’ve designed this course for artists who are either lacking a technical background, or who may have experience in other packages but want to understand Houdini better.

We’ll avoid creating pretty things in this series. Instead, I want to keep a sharp focus on how things work. That means learning about procedural networks, variables and attributes, functions, and for-each loops. Most importantly, I address how to self-learn Houdini. My hope is that this course will build a solid foundation for you to get the most of any future training you pursue and help you to understand how to get the most out of your Houdini networks.

If you’d like to become more adept at scripting in Houdini, please consider signing up for my course: here!

Have a Great Day!

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