The Gnomon Workshop

Creating Volumetric Effects with Houdini


The Gnomon Workshop is pleased to announce the release of "Creating Volumetric Effects with Houdini", Clouds, Smoke, Haze and Fog with Robby Branham


In this introduction to creating volumetric effects in Houdini, Senior VFX Artist Robby Branham covers the principles of creating volumes using techniques including VDBs, metaballs, and Houdini’s Cloud FX Shelf tools. The workshop details an essential setup for creating clouds, which is then used as a template to create a large VDB library — useful for all general-purpose 3D environments.


This comprehensive, 12-chapter workshop covers the creation of both static and animated volume systems for convincing, industry-standard cloud, fog, haze, and smoke effects. Robby’s fast and efficient methods using both geometry and SOPs workflows give ultimate control when creating key volumetric shapes, and his techniques for adding micro details with Volume VOPs can be used extensively when creating a variety of environmental volumes.


The creation of the cover artwork is also explained, from the terrain layout and application of atmospheric elements, through to the lighting, rendering, and final composite. Rendering setups for both Mantra and Redshift are discussed, plus the workflow for exporting volumetrics from Houdini to Maya. Robby’s VDB library of static cloud, haze, fog, and mist volumes can also be downloaded with this workshop, along with the Houdini files, for you to tweak and adapt for any project.