Learning Houdini to the power of 2.

A review of LearnSquared’s Houdini Procedural Foundations with Adam Swaab.

Last week, I wrote about what I consider my top 3 resources for C4D artists looking to convert to or learn Houdini. Number two on my list is LearnSquared’s Houdini Procedural Foundations course with Adam Swaab. I thought, since it is a paid course, I’d give you a review of the course.

What is LearnSquared?

LearnSquared is an online art educational platform co-founded by most notably, Ash Thorp. The “squared” aspect of it comes from the ability to take a course under the mentorship of an industry-leading artist or watch a mentorship depending on which tier of a course a student takes. The idea is that students learn better by watching a mentor teach, and a student learn.

LearnSquared also touts having a community, downloadable files, and quite a few other things.

What is covered in Houdini Procedural Foundations?

Here is the description straight from the site:

Houdini is one of the most intimidating pieces of software out there, but it doesn’t have to be! Industry-leading artist and creative director Adam Swaab breaks it down for you in an easy and accessible way. He’ll take you through the foundations of the program, getting you started on making your first mind-blowing procedural images in Houdini.

The actual lessons in the course are:

  1. Core Concepts: An introduction to the software and core procedural modeling techniques.
  2. The Multi-Scatter Tool: How to randomize objects and create organic looking scenes/patterns.
  3. Greeble Tool: Students learn how to build a greeble tool.
  4. Rendering the Environment: You guessed it. Rendering the scene.

The Review

It isn’t the best course but it is the best for most people starting out…until you finish it.

Adam Swaab is an amazing teacher and to start learning Houdini at an extremely low entry cost of $65 sounds hard to beat. But in reality, it can easily be beat.

“Over 10 hours of lessons” to watch and learn from sounds like a lot. That sounds like a lot until you finish the course. If you finish the course and haven’t been scared off yet, you’ll feel left wanting more. Way more. The course is tremendously broad. A way to fill that void can be found through Adam’s other series of learning Houdini, Houdini Jumpstart. Right now the entire eight part series (a metric ton of content) is available from HelloLuxx for $249. All of it. The entire series is usually priced closer to $400 if that gives you any insight into how much content you’re getting for such a big discount.

For less than $300, albeit a bit more than $65, you can learn just about everything Houdini can do. Adam’s content is almost identical to LearnSqured, too. The only difference is it goes into much more detail.

If you are seriously interested in learning Houdini and have already started to learn some of it through Entagma or other resources, skip LearnSquared’s course. You’re blowing at a minimum $65 on content that is available, in more detail, elsewhere. The other extraordinary offerings such as community, etc. etc. are kind of bunk when compared to other online education platforms like Mograph Mentor and School of Motion.

At this point you may be asking why I even included this course on my top 3 list? The best benefit of the course is you can drop $65 and confirm whether or not Houdini is a software package you want to learn. That’s a lot less of a financial blow than $249. That is really where the LearnSquared package comes in strong. Beyond that, if you’re dedicated, stay the away from it and go with the big guns through Houdini Jumpstart.

I give LearnSquared’s Houdini Procedural Foundations 3 out of 5 magic hats.

As always, if you’d like more Houdini resources, have questions, or generally want to shoot the shit about the industry, owning a business/freelancing or stupid dad jokes, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Liam Clisham is the owner of the content creation firm, Five31, in Bel Air. You can find him on Twitter or Instagram with the username @_five31.