A Deeper Understanding

Houdini is a node-based software that provides students with a deeper understanding of computer graphics while introducing them to concepts and workflows which can be applied effectively to real-life production scenarios.  

SideFX is dedicated to creating a positive learning experience for both students and instructors who are developing Houdini skills. This means building a strong education-based community that will help propel students to meaningful jobs in Film, TV and Game Development studios.



Certification Program

Our Certified Partners Program is a platform designed  to cultivate meaningful partnerships with schools and training centers. We love recognizing the inspiring work coming from students and offer our partners special access to people, resources and visibility to our top studios. 


The Houdini Insight LMS [Learning Management System] is an online community designed for educators who have 10 or more licenses in their lab and are incorporating Houdini into their program. This learning system provides access to educational material that can be used to develop personal skills while supporting teachers in the classroom. Using Adobe Captivate, the LMS offers a wide range of tools for the Houdini Education community to share resources and learn as a group.

Here are some of the features available in the Houdini Insight LMS:

COURSE CATALOG - Choose from a growing list of courses to properly align your learning to the needs of your students. 

COURSE PROGRAMS - Once you join a course, you will have access to a curated list of material, including suggested course outlines and videos.

VIDEO LESSONS - Video lessons are available to explore a topic and can include time-based notes to provide more in-depth information. 

ANNOTATED .HIP FILES - Completed scene files with the Network View annotated, gives instructors a full understanding of Houdini at work. 

QUIZZES - Courses may include quizzes to test your knowledge and provide questions you may want to use to challenge your students.

CONTENT LIBRARY - The Content library gives you access to a wider selection of resources that have been properly tagged for easy access. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like access to Houdini Insight and you don't have 10 licenses in your lab, let us know if you would like to add more licenses.

Weekly Houdini OFFICE HOURS

These regular sessions will give instructors a chance to meet with training lead John Moncrief to have open discussions on teaching Houdini. These Office Hour sessions will be held online  

Check the schedule on the right for upcoming sessions which will all be held on Wednesday. Information about how to join the meetings will be posted at a later date. Hope to see you there!


MARCH 13 |  5:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST
MARCH 20 |  (GDC)
MARCH 27 |  2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
APRIL 3 |  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
APRIL 10 |  5:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST
APRIL 17 |  2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
APRIL 24 |  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
MAY 1 |  5:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST

Licenses for Students and Schools

SideFX has two types of licenses focused on skill development---a free Apprentice Edition for students to use at home and an Education package for labs at school. Both of these license types share the same file format (.hipnc) and can be used in tandem.

Houdini Education | Schools have access to Houdini Education, a floating license designed to be used in computer labs. This version uses .hipnc files but has no restrictions on render size and no watermark. Houdini Digital Assets [.hdanc], created in either Houdini Education or Houdini Apprentice, can be loaded into host applications using the Education licenses.

Houdini Education includes the following:

  • 1 Houdini Education license including all of the features used for film, tv and gamedev that you would find in Houdini FX. 
  • 10 Mantra rendering tokens
  • 1 Houdini Engine Education license which lets you load Houdini Digital Assets into other digital content creation apps such as Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D or the Unity or Unreal Game Editors. Houdini Engine can also be used to batch process the distribution of rendering and simulation tasks.

Houdini Education | Instructors FREE Evaluation Licenses are available for instructors at qualified educational institutions who are looking to evaluate Houdini for use in their classroom.


Houdini Apprentice | Students can download our free learning edition called Houdini Apprentice. This is a node-locked license that has all the features of Houdini FX with some restrictions such as a limited render size and a watermark on final renderings. Houdini Apprentice also does not let you load Houdini Digital Assets [.hdanc]  into host applications using the Houdini Engine plug-ins therefore assets you create in Apprentice would have to be loaded using Education licenses in your school lab.

Education License FAQ

Are Education licenses floating or node locked? 

Our Education licenses are floating and can be used in a 100km radius from the administrative computer they are installed on. Houdini Apprentice licenses are node-locked.

Can students buy Houdini Education licenses? 

No, only institutions teaching Houdini can purchase the Education licenses. However, Houdini Education and Apprentice have compatible non-commercial file formats. That’s why we encourage students, instructors and researchers to use Houdini Apprentice at home then render out projects without resolution limitations or watermarks at their lab using the Education licenses.

Can we buy monthly or multi-year subscriptions to Houdini Education?

At this point, Houdini Education licenses are 12 month rentals only. 

How does the Houdini Education license compare with commercial or indie licenses?

You can explore the details in this Comparison Chart.