School of Motion

Houdini Simulation Inspiration

  • By Caleb Ward
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Is it possible to watch a Houdini simulation and not be impressed?

Houdini simulations are just one of those things that consistently blow your socks off. There’s just something about the technical and artistic beauty that comes from simulated physics that just beckons attention. 

We love Houdini simulations so much that we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Houdini renders. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it does showcase some of our favorite Houdini projects. Enjoy!

Bubbles

Andrew Weiler put this simple bubble sequence together in Houdini and rendered it out in Mantra, Houdini’s built-in render engine which is similar to the physical renderer in Cinema 4D. Notice how differently the bubbles interact with each other. Houdini’s dynamic processing for particles is insane. 

Rapid River Whitewater

If you’ve ever tried to simulate realistic water you know how difficult the process can be. This video is a fantastic example of how intense it can be on your machine. To render out this sequence Adrien Rollet had to generate 113 Million particles. Holy Render Farm Batman!

Houdini RnD

One of my favorite things in the entire world is Houdini RnD work. There’s just something special about messing around with dynamic simulations that reminds me of a kid in a sandbox. Igor Kharitonov put together this RnD reel a few years ago and it’s just as cool today as it was back then. This is a great example of a well-rounded Houdini artist. 

Liquid Simulation

The commercial potential for Houdini simulations is pretty obvious. For products like drinks or chocolate having the ability to control the flow is essential for making it look appealing to an audience. So many advertisers turn to VFX studios to render out macros of their products instead of shooting it in-camera. This production company, appropriately named Melt, specializes in creating beautifully rendered liquid simulations and if you can't tell from their reel below, they're legit.

Do it Yourself

SideFX, the company that develops Houdini, offers a free version of Houdini to anyone who wishes to learn the software called Houdini Apprentice. The free download does of course come with a non-commercial stipulation, but if you’re looking to dive into the world of dynamic simulations the software is as industry-standard as it gets. So learn it and get a job at any major studio of your choice. It’s that easy, right?

If you ever create something awesome in Houdini send it over to us and we’ll share it out!