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Pragmatic VEX is a highly planned, highly edited series aimed to increase the technical capacity of the artists and TDs. This series will enable you to tackle more complex production shots with complete control and ease by acquiring a deeper technical understanding of how things work in Houdini at the lowest level with a strong applied focus on high-end feature film visual effects production.

Created by Yunus "animatrix" Balcioglu, currently a Senior FX Technical Director at Industrial Light & Magic. Feature film credits include The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Marvel's Eternals, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, X-Men: Apocalypse, Aquaman, Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Justice League and many more.

Pragmatic VEX is featured on ASUS ProArt showcase series.

Pragmatic VEX is showcased in GamesCom Asia 2022 (Singapore) while demonstrating a KineFX driven face peeling FX setup.

Pragmatic VEX is a carefully structured course where every single topic, concept and idea is planned in advance with no idle moments, dead space, gratuitous talking or unplanned debugging for what should have been done offline.

Some of the intricate planning inside the network editor for a single topic.

Everything is presented in a clear and concise manner, rather than impromptu recording with little to no editing, bloating the total runtime. Every topic is clearly explained through live concept drawings before showing how to implement it inside Houdini.

All course content is recorded in 4K resolution, providing pristine visual clarity for optimal learning in any device whether it's a tablet or a high resolution large display.

Provided in this course are over 15 hours of high-density practical video content spanning 163 videos.

Almost all cook times and idle moments are edited out, and some parts are sped up (2-5x) like concept drawing, code writing, viewport/network navigation, and node layout, etc. The focus is on quality rather than total running time, and as such the course length is not the best way to estimate the actual value.

That's why I don't spend 1 hour explaining what a string is, or how to call a function as there are so many resources online covering those to exhaustion. They will be assumed knowledge. Basic courses are plenty, it's the advanced courses that are scarce.

If you feel that, at any point, you are lacking some prerequisites, I would highly recommend referring to Houdini documentation. Entagma also has good videos covering the fundamentals.

Pragmatic VEX covers as many areas that have relevant areas to have a solid volume with a similar theme and flow, that not only progressively scales up on complexity and intricacy, but is also filled with countless practical production-proven tips and tricks from beginning to end.

Topics covered:

Point Clouds & Geometry Distribution
• Point Clouds, Smooth Point Cloud Filtering, Grid Based Point Cloud Lookup (pgfind), Camera Based Occlusion with Variable Pscale
• Point Relaxation, Uniform Point Distribution over Polygonal Surfaces, Self Proximity, Tighter Packing
• Clustering, Geometric Advection

Optimization, Kernel Processing & Hashing
• Multithreading Geometry Creation, Unique Pair Matching, Operator Decoupling, Kernel Code Generalization, Generic VEX Kernels, Unrolling For Loops
• Convolution Kernels, Blurring Attributes, Sharpening Attributes, Cubic Hermite Interpolation (smoothstep), Shaping Functions
• Hashing

Field Analysis, Geometry Dynamics & Tracing Techniques
• Attribute Gradient, Gradient Ascent, Gradient Descent & Contour Lines (Isolines) on Planar/Arbitrary Geometry & Heightfields
• Streamlines, Flowlines, Geometry Traversal
• Backward Tracing, Forward Tracing, Tracing Curves

Flow Analysis & Visualization
• Flow Fields, Flow Field Visualization, Vector Fields, Direction Fields

Edge Operations & Analysis
• K-Depth Neighbours Using Edges & Primitives, Half-Edges, Splitting Edges, Edge Divide, Optimizing Edge Operations

Subdivision Surfaces, Limit Surfaces, Adaptivity & Geometric Refinement
• Catmull-Clark Subdivision, Bilinear Subdivision, Improved OpenSubdiv Catmull-Clark Subdivision Surfaces Algorithm, Adaptive Subdivision, Boundary Rules
• Subdivision Limit Surface, Limit Surface Sampling, Isoline Display
• Orthonormalization, Quadtrees

Attributes, Group Handling & Fusing
• Custom Fusing in VEX, Attribute Preservation & Interpolation, Group Preservation

Light & Reflection
• Sea Caustics, Pool Caustics

Performance, Profiling & Design Principles
• Performance Profiling, Aggressive Performance Optimizations
• Generic HDA Design

Software: Houdini 20
Length: Over 15 hours
Number of Videos: 163

Special thanks to Jeff Lait and Mark Elendt.

Korean translation (WIP) by Seona Hwang.

Rendered using Redshift.

Overlay Network Editor feature is part of Supercharged extension