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Houdini Transformium

Building Complex Effects like are made easy in Houdini. Now all Houdini users can start building quality effects immediately!

Length: 2 Hours 58 Minutes 10 Seconds

Price: $74.97


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cmiVFX morphs its latest release on to your computer or mobile device by launching the new Houdini Transformium Effect training video, on sale now! You saw the movies, you marveled at the action packed sequences, and you sat through the satire created by the actors through the entire series. Your reward is learning this killer new and cmiVFX improved Houdini Transformium Liquid Metal animation effect! In this course we will examine and recreate the effect from the films in Houdini. You will learn how to divide the work into different part so is easier to manage and modify when your supervisor, director and/or client ask for changes. That alone is worth the price of admission to this killer video! There’s a lot of techniques and cool tricks to get the final effect and you’ll learn them all.

Chapter Descriptions

Introduction (Note from the author)

“Let me tell you a story… Transformers has been my favorite cartoon since the 80’s. I remember after school each day me and the kids living on my street used to go out to play outside for a bit, but at 5pm the street would empty and the daily habit of watching transformers commenced. Afterwards, or course, we took our new energized inspiration and applied it to beating each other up like space robots. When the first Michael Bay Transformers movie was out, I was anticipating a possible letdown, yet was still excited to watch it. At the end of my first viewing, I felt like I was 8 years old again.So this is my tutorial homage to the 8 year old in all of us. Cheers -V”

Monkey See, Monkey Do

First we need to know what we are going to do, so we’ll study reference and figure out all the parts that make up the effect and think about the approach we will go for.

That Sphere Is A Real Square

Let’s start building the actual geometry, which looks simple but is deceptively complex. We aim to keep it a spherical object and transition seamlessly into a bunch of divisions.

Pack It Nicely

Before we go into animation we need to understand “Packed Geometry”. It is a rather new primitive based tool that Houdini has. After our initial investigation, we will go to application of said tool.

Get To The Animated Point

In this chapter, we start animating our points, and make the master simulation that will make our particles loosely follow the animation, similar but not identical to flocking, so they behave more like a flow.

Crossing The PolyLine

From our current animated particles solution, we’ll generate the lines and drive them with the particles velocity to give them a bit more direction.

Back To Normals

Next, we need to control the division of normals which vary differently from the outside or inside parts of the sphere. This will help to have a perfectly shaded sphere at the start and no shading artifacts on the inside parts, which are common problems when rendering with Ambient Occlusion type effects.

Stay Fresh

Now that we have the main part of the effect finished, we need to make the reveal effect for the designated object of desire. In our case, we are using a soda can. There are a few different parts on this effect, so we’ll process them down the line procedurally one at a time.

Master Project Conclusion

In this project, we had to combine several techniques together and add different parts to create a very rich, commercial looking effect.


Varomix had so much fun bringing this technique to you, he decided to give a bonus chapter for your viewing pleasure. Find out what it is by watching!

About The Instructor

Varomix is a VFX Artist, Generalist TD, Game Developer, Musician and Founder of MIXStudio. Shortly after Side Effects launched the Houdini Apprentice Program in 2002, Varomix became an ardent Houdini user. Since then, Houdini has become his main tool for creation. Varomix is also a father and husband that enjoy doing lots of crazy, fun stuff with his family. In his spare time, he fixes broken linux installations through Teamviewer or SSH sessions, without this on his plate, Varomix would have had more children.

Download Free Houdini

Houdini Apprentice is a free version of Houdini FX which can be used by students, artists and hobbyists to create personal non-commercial projects. It has a limited render size, a watermark on renderings and other minor limitations. Unleash your talents with Houdini Apprentice. With Houdini Apprentice, you have access to virtually all of the features of the award-winning Houdini FX to develop your skills and work on personal projects. Apprentice lets you save to disk and render out with a word mark. Visit and follow links to Houdini Apprentice.

Transformers Film Series

Transformers is a series of American science fiction action films directed by Michael Bay, and based on the toys created by Hasbro and Tomy. The first film, Transformers, was released in 2007, the second, Revenge of the Fallen in 2009, the third, Dark of the Moon in 2011, and the fourth, Age of Extinction in 2014. The fifth is scheduled for a 2017 release with Bay directing, and a possible crossover with the G.I. Joe franchise is being considered.To date, the series has been distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks, and United International Pictures. In 2014, the live-action Transformers film series is now owned by Hasbro Studios' new self-finance/co-finance film production label Allspark Pictures. The series has received a mixed critical reception; critics expressed criticism on the thin plots, crude humor, and the lengths of the films. However, many praised the visual effects, action sequences, and music. It is currently the 9th highest-grossing film series and the 4th highest-grossing when averaged to gross per film, behind the The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean film series. It became the fourth series where two films grossed $1 billion worldwide in a franchise, after Pirates of the Caribbean, Batman and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Project Contents

You know you want it! This project is downloadable and ready to play right inside of Houdini. No matter what, cmiVFX has your back! This video is available today at the cmiVFX Store:


Video-on-demand streaming is available through the website to subscribers. In addition, video files are available for download for those who directly purchase individual titles from their cart.

About varomix

Varomix is a Freelance VFX Artist, Generalist TD, Game Developer, Musician and Founder of MIXStudio. Shortly after Side Effects launched the Houdini Apprentice Program in 2002, Varomix became an ardent Houdini user. Since then it has become his main tool for creation. Varomix is also a father and husband that enjoy doing lots of crazy stuff with his family.