FINE 3835: Procedural Workflows for 3D



A lecture/lab course covering the procedural workflow methods for developing art for 3D animation, dynamics, and visual effects. Students will develop skills/ knowledge about the techniques for creating procedural 3D models, simulations, texturing, lighting, and rendering in Side FX Houdini.  Special emphasis will be placed on volumetric simulations and rendering. This course is at the DAC Tier 1 tuition rate.



  • Basic knowledge of procedural 3D modeling, dynamics,  lighting, and rendering methods
  • Basic knowledge of data translation from Houdini to Maya
  • Intermediate  knowledge of the various lighting methods using Houdini’s Mantra rendering engine
  • Ability to effectively communicate in the visual effects industry
  • The student will increase in the awareness, understanding, and problem solving capacity needed to effectively visualize simulated effects


  • Students should gain the skills necessary to criticize the realistic nature of a simulation project
  • Create professional level animations of simulation projects
  • Recreate accurate lighting scenarios
  • Use photo realistic rendering shaders to replicate real world effects and materials
  • Gain a sound understanding of the Houdini interface and workflow


  • Understand and involve a wide variety of resources in the effects simulation process
  • Develop skills as problem-solvers as they progress toward becoming independent, self-directed learners
  • Effective project planning and organization as tools in maximizing the time for project realization
  • Collaborate with other professionals to improve the overall learning of student


  • Students should be able model a simple interior scene using procedural and polygon modeling methods
  • Students should be able to accurately represent realistic materials on their 3D models through advance texturing methods
  • Students should be able to recreate realistic lighting scenarios according to architectural plans and site specific illumination scenarios
  • Students should be able simulate simple rigid body dynamics simulation
  • Students should be able simulate simple fractured objects
  • Students should be able simulate simple volumetric effects
  • Students should be able to determine the optimum Mantra rendering settings for efficient rending.
  • Students should be able to effectively manage the rendering of such images for still frames and animations