Has anyone tried this paid Houdini fire tutorial?

One of the aggravating things with Houdini is you learn one workflow and then they update the software and the workflow changes entirely.

I don’t mind updates, but don’t take away my OLD workflow and force me to learn a different way every six months.

THIS. This absolutely drives me nuts about learning Houdini. I appreciate SideFX is trying to improve their system, but Pyro in particular is already unnecessarily overly-complicated enough without them pulling the rug out from under you every release.

There is a lot of documentation out there, but so much of that documentation and tutorial resource seems obsolete within a year for not just Pyro but RBDs, FLIP, etc. Really frustrating

1 Like

Exactly… I’ve followed a lot of tutorials only to be blocked at some point because the node is now hidden or no longer exists.

The apprentice version of Houdini is great too… BUT… (unless things have changed) if you do work in the apprentice at home say (which I was doing) and try to open that file on a fully licensed version of Houdini-- it won’t open.

So it’s good… and bad.

Houdini is a tough sell for a studio for FX only. Unless your pipeline revolves around it or at least there’s a lot of environment guys that use it… it’s kind of unlikely, at least in my experience. Fume is far cheaper and, at least for me, far easier to get a decent result.

I put this together in about an hour, rendered it in another hour.


Now granted I’ve been using Fume for years, but this isn’t a result that any beginner couldn’t at least get close to within a day or so after watching some tutorial videos.

Also this is a straight render from Max. No post production, CC or anything else done in any comp program.

I’ve never gotten fire from Houdini to look anywhere near as good. But I don’t have as much experience with Houdini for the reason I listed above… I’d start to get some traction and then they’d change the entire workflow so I bailed.


Houdini is hard to learn to do complex film quality FX and yes overall has a steep learning curve for most of it, but if you learn some basics and try this tutorial you can get decent fire quickly. As good as that Fume FX example. Read about adding Curl Noise and you can get even better. Add Breakup to your Emitter | SideFX
Rendering and shading from any fire tutorial from the past few years will teach you what you need, and Mantra can definitely handle good fire shading easily.

And yes while SideFX is always changing for the better (actually most Pyro setups stayed the same for years) you can always still use the older methods if you do not want to learn the newest method. So dont go overboard thinking just because they improve it you cant use it. Plus there are SO many free tutorials on all the new great tools.

Pro tip, you can unhide any old legacy nodes you think may have disappeared using “opunhide”… type that in a textport to get a list, then type the correct syntax such as “opunhide Sop fluidsource”

Embergen looks quite nice and is great since its real time, also you get all your flipbooks right out the gate. Houdini has great new SideFX Labs tools to help get flipbooks out, but it is a bit more work.

This was a quick sample from that houdini tut with Curl Noise added… of course needs to be a bit more high res and better shading.
Also try the SideFX Labs shelf tool, it has a few decent fire presets to get you going without having to learn too much.

As for Goodman, I would love to know if someone has gotten that quality from his tutorials.

LOL I realise this has nothing to do with your original question - how to get nice crisp wavy flames, etc… that will require a relatively high res sim, with many substeps, and proper shading, which can be done with ramps. Again plenty of tutorials from last 10 years on how to shade fluids better like that.

I tried Goodman fire tutorial. You can get that quality fire from this tutorial. But production wise it’s unusable imo. As this is tiny simulation. Camera is like 10 cm from source. To be honest I thought that this is wall on fire, but actually it is grid laying flat and we don’t even see the source in the render. I did understand more shading after watching this tutorial. So there’s things to learn from it and you can get exactly same result as you see in his video.