Andrew Lowell's Open Master Class and Intensive Houdini course

Open Master Class - Fundamentals of FX in Production

The lecture will highlight the uniqueness of FX and it's role in feature film and other fields. These areas include reference gathering of/this includes natural phenomenon, proceduralism / low level software methodologies, and motion through simulation. Time tested FX setups from on-stage work will be paralleled in modern workflows and digital FX setups, and short explanations will be given. Final part of the lecture will be dedicated to question and answer session for the audience to connect with the lecturer's experience in best possible way.

Time: 5pm, 60 minutes
Date: November 11th, 2017
Place: Crater VFX Training Center
Language: English


Intensive Houdini course - From Rigid Bodies to FX and Fluids

From Rigid Bodies to FX and Fluids is a five-day intensive course for fx artists in Houdini software that will be held from November 13th to 17th at Crater VFX Training Center.

As one of the biggest challenges in the VFX industry is creation of dynamic simulations, Serbian Film Association and Crater VFX Training Center have designed this course with aim to assist VFX artists in advancing their skills in Houdini software, the most powerful program for dynamic effects. We are also partnering with SideFX to ensure the training content is in accordance with latest industry developments and standards. The total of 30 hours of training will answer variety of aspects, protocols, workflows and real time examples.

The course is conducted by Andrew Lowell, lead instructor from Lost Boys Studio, Vancouver VFX school and a certified SideFX instructor.


Basic information:

Date:  Novembar 13th-17th, duration 10h-17h
Place: Crater VFX Training Center, Knićaninova 3, Belgrade
Number of attendees: maximum 12

Knowledge requirements: general 3D knowledge and FX interest/knowledge

Price: 800 EUR**
Application deadline: Novembar 5th, or until the avaliable seats are filled
Early Bird price: 700 EUR
Early Bird deadine: September 15th
Serbia Film Commission members enjoy special course price of 700 EUR
      *or  equivalent computer skills
    **Payment in RSD, VAT included in the price

Course organizers are providing all necessary equipment, software, course materials, refreshments and lunches throughout the week. All course participants will need to send their CV and portfolio/reel for a short review prior to the course at the email posted in the application form below.

Apply for Houdini intensive course through online form here.

For additional questions or details, feel free to reach out: 
General Inquires: Jasna Milošević,
Payment Inquires: Milica Božanić, 



Andrew Lowell

Andrew’s CG experience includes Houdini film effects at studios such as Rhythm and Hues, Ring of Fire, CIS Vancouver, Animal Logic and Digital Domain. Andrew’s teaching credentials include teaching college classes in 3D graphics, teaching classes for Sidefx, FXPHD, CG Masters. He is now FX Department Head and Lead Instructor at Lost Boys School of Visual Effects in Vancouver. He is also the author of a book on music and animation with Houdini. Andrew’s personal interests deal with the interaction of visual and sonic perception. Houdini is his primary application because of it’s audio features and unique abilities with visual effects.



Day 1 Fundamentals (Monday, November 13th 2017)

This day will introduce the participants, instructor, and goals for the course. Foundations will be formed in basic-to-advanced proceduralism focusing on geometric and particle low-level procedures and set the foundations for the more advanced subject matters in the course. The demonstrations and class will focus on creating a procedural noise-based environment with particle augmentation.

  • Brief introductions of instructor and participants. Instructor history and experience overview  
  • SOPs / Particles advanced fundamentals (vector math and noise)  
  • Procedural systems modeling demonstration  
  • Procedural systems modeling class-work and help  

Day 2 Dynamics: Rigid Bodies (Tuesday, November 14th 2017)

The second class-day will introduce DOPs workflows with a subject matter of rigid body dynamics. Here dops basics can be addressed and fracture patterns / object-to-object interaction studied. Constrain workflows with bullet are taught throughout the day. The class do a destruction example for the last two hours of class.

  • Destruction and DOPs overview    
  • Constraints     
  • Fracturing and basic simulation overview     
  • Post Transformation workflow    
  • Rigid body Dynamics demonstration     
  • Rigid body class-work and help    

Day 3 Solvers and Smoke/Steam (Wednesday, November 15th 2017)
The third class day will use reference and study the dynamics and technical process of smoke / steam. Basic production-line rendering and compositing of smoke/steam will also be addressed.

  • Smoke technical process      
  • Smoke rendering and compositing     
  • Smoke reference matching demonstration       
  • Smoke reference matching class-work and help        
  • Sand simulation example            
  • Custom solvers sample (organics)           

Day 4 Fluids (Thursday, November 16th 2017)
The fourth day will cover practical fluids FX and use. Various workflows will be explored to cover different FX needs. Setups included would be splashes with particle simulations, flip fluids, and surfacing/rendering.

  • Fluids technical information  
  • Flip fluids example and demonstration  
  • Flip fluids class-work and help  
  • Particle fluids example and demonstration  
  • Particle fluids class-work and help  
  • Fluid surfacing techniques example  

Day 5 Fire and Sparks (Friday, November 17th 2017)
The last class day will focus on arguably the most advanced FX in the week-long curriculum which is the process of simulating and rendering pyro/fire.

  • Pyro overview and example  
  • Pyro class-work and help  
  • Pyro rendering example and demonstration  
  • Sparks FX example  
  • Sparks FX class-work and help  
  • Fire composite integration example  


Serbia Film Commission is a cluster organisation of leading film production companies in film, TV, advertizing and visual effects aimed to promote Serbia as international location under Film in Serbia brand. SFC is dedicated in providing training opportunities across all positions in film production to match the industry skills and trends. All training programs are moduled in cooperation with SFC members and international professional guilds and organisations.

Crater VFX Training Center is a branch of one of the most successful regional studios for the development of visual effects for film and television - Crater Studio 

Through the experience and knowledge  we have seen how healthy communication and cooperation in a team, while gently nurturing each individual talent, produces the highest results and customer satisfaction. With this in mind, we decided to put our experience to use at the Crater VFX Training Center. Learning and perfecting skills in visual effects used in the film, TV and video games industry offers those interested practical, applicable knowledge. The aim of our education is to give graduates the necessary experience to create visual effects of the highest quality in a positive atmosphere while fulfilling the highest professional standards and, in this way, to ensure they're ready to compete in the global market and create world-class visual effects. 


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