FXGURU – Pulverizing Character Effect by MIX Training

FXGURU – Pulverizing Character Effect

Fx Guru is a new course series were you’ll learn how to create Production Quality effects, based and/or inspired by blockbuster film effects.
In this course you'll learn how to create an amazing Production Quality Pulverizing effect that is ready for a blockbuster, inspired by the latest Avengers movie. Varomix will teach you all the techniques he has used in production to do blockbuster effects in this course, handling moving/animated characters is not a simple task and is always different, here you'll learn how to deal with an animated character, how generate large amounts of particles without breaking your workstation and even how to script your own tools like a pro to make YOU a more effective FX Artist. The value you get with this course is amazing, it would cost $600 USD to hire varomix to get private mentor ship for 7 hours and you are getting this for way less than that, also consider, the effect didn't took 7 hours to make, it took weeks, so you are getting thousands of dollars in savings and your value as an FX Artist increases exponentially.
Are you ready to become the next FX Guru?.

Total duration: 6:38 Hours

Checkout the FREE!! lessons to get you started in the CONTENT section.

4K 60 fps quality for crisp image on any device.

About the author

Topics you will learn

By the end of this training you will learn all these topics

  • How a professional FX Artist works on film effects.
  • How to deal with animated characters
  • Script your own tools the proper way to maximize your output.
  • How to mix any amount of shaders using attributes you have control over
  • Plan you effects before doing any CG
  • How to deal with large amounts of particles and not make a mess
  • and tons more


  • Houdini 17 (Apprentice, Indie or FX,  CORE doesn’t have FX) 
  • Redshift, only if you want to render with it
  • Basic knowledge of VEX
  • Basic knowledge of Python
  • Patience and practice, FX are not done in one day

What you will be learning in each chapter

Chapter 1 : Overview and inspiration

This effect is inspired by Avengers, you know the effect, we will recreate it exactly, visually, as is seen in the movie, with this techniques you can do any similar effect in the movie.

Chapter 2: Planning the effect

Before we start dropping nodes, we need a plan of attack, that way we know where we are going and everything will be simpler, this is also the time to talk to your supervisor and or other artists at the studio and discuss what you want to do and get feedback on that.

Chapter 3: Getting the character from Mixamo

The character we are using here is freely available from Mixamo, is a great resource to practice your effects with a large amount of character and animations, that being said, we can't distribute the character so we'll get it in this chapter.

Chapter 4: Preparing the Scene

First thing you ALWAYS need to do is prepare your scene and assets, this will come most of the time from Maya which has a different scale and we also want to work on a copy of the asset to never destroy what we got from production.

Chapter 5: How to approach animated character FX

Here we discuss the HOW to approach and animated character, is very simple to do FX on static geo, animation is where stuff gets tricky, here you'll learn how to deal with that and how is as simple as doing it on static geo.

Chapter 6: Fracturing the character

Fracturing is something we all love, the new Edge Fracture tool in Houdini 17 is great and gives us exactly what we need for this effect, also we'll see why we never just grab the whole mesh and fracture it in one go.

Chapter 7: Simple attribute infection

In this chapter you'll learn to do a simple attribute spreading effect, this will be the base for the effect, you'll learn a very FAST and simple technique to do it here.

Chapter 8: Advanced infection with triggers

After we understood the basics of attribute infection, we'll enhance the effect adding triggers to it so we can control it and make it do exactly want we need, this is important cause Supervisors always have specific notes.

Chapter 9: Transferring animation

When we are done with our attributes and fracturing then we need to transfer the original animation back to the staic geo and make it move so we can have all our work in the animated mesh, this KEY knowledge, if you know this, you are ahead.

Chapter 10: Emitting Geometry as Particles

There are tons of ways to deal and or handle this effect, the most effective I think for this effect is emitting geo as particles, this is a really useful technique to deal with a lot of geometry really fast and still looking super interesting and is really controllable.

Chapter 11: Controlling the sim with forces

As our geo is just particles, we'll use the POP forces to control the movement, you'll learn that you really don't need much to make them look really nice and natural.

Chapter 12: Creating the edge attribute

We will create an attribute on the leading edge of the effect that will be used for emitting and extra layer of particles and also for mixing between the shaders. This is just one of the ways you can manipulate attributes to be used in many ways in Houdini.

Chapter 13.1: Caching the body simulation

Caching to disk is one of the amazing things about Houdini, not only do you manage to make very heavy simulations and/or procedures, by making them almost real-time, you also conserve all the properties, attributes, materials and groups, nothing is lost, so you can keep working.
In this part well cache several nodes in one go using ROP nodes.

Chapter 13.2: Caching the body simulation (SCRIPT)

Caching is sometimes really heavy and using the Houdini GUI consumes RAM, also, sometimes you just send your cache job to a render farm, that is why you need to know how to setup a script that you can batch render.

Chapter 14: Adding volume particles layer

The inside of our character must have a volume, it shouldn't feel like the effect is only coming from the edges or shell, that's why whe'll add a volumetric layer of particles to make the effect feel like they are coming from inside the body.

Chapter 15: Caching several variations

For the inside layer of particles we need a large amount, simulating very large amounts of particles sometimes can be slow or even impossible depending on the resources of your workstation, this is why rendering several passes is much better, it also gives the effect depth and variation as well as control over how much you want to layer the effect, all this without killing your machine.

Chapter 16: Edge particles layer

Every effect consist of several layers, actually the sucess of any effect is breaking it into smaller parts, in this chapter we'll add an extra layer of particles that follow the edge, this are the first particles, where the effect is happening and they behave a bit more randomly.

Chapter 17: Adding materials and mixing

Now that all the elements of the effect are done, we need to do the materials, this is really important because no one wants to finish an effect just to find out they left out the uv coordinates.
In this chapter we create the shader for rendering and use attributes we created to blend between 2 totally different Materials.

Chapter 18: Wedge loader script

Scripting is an ability EVERY FX Artist should have, it just makes you more efficient and efficient artists are hireable artist.
In this chapter not only will we write our own tool to load the different variations we previously cached, we will do it in a proper package a method that will scale well for any size production, if you want to know the proper way to do and handle your scripts, this is it.

Chapter 19: Fading particles by proximity

A lot of particles without any care, just on top of each other could look like just noise, that's why we'll create a little script in VEX to give particles that are closer a stronger look, making the effect more clear and readable.

Chapter 20: Adding color variation

We also need to vary the color of our particles so they look more natural, nothing in the real world is just one solid color and we should never use just solid colors, there's always variations, the techniques used here will be helpful for many different situations.

Chapter 21: Rendering with Mantra

Mantra is a production proven renderer and we'll see how to render our effect with it in this chapter, we'll also learn an old school trick to make your particles render faster and make them look better.

Chapter 22: Rendering with Redshift

Rendshift has taken the industry by storm and is been used more and more because of it's speed, is really a great tool and handles large amounts of geometry really nicely, so we'll use it here to render the effect as well.

Chapter 23: Assignment

Everything is the result of how much time you put into it, that's why I will leave you with an assignment to continue your journey to become an FX Guru.

What's included?

File Icon 25 files Text Icon 1 text file


FXGuru01 - 01 Overview and inspiration
FXGuru01 - 02 Planning the FX
FXGuru01 - 03 Getting the Character from Mixamo
FXGuru01 - 04 Preparing the Scene
FXGuru01 - 05 How to approach animated character FX
FXGuru01 - 06 Fracturing the character
FXGuru01 - 07 Simple attribute infection
FXGuru01 - 08 Advanced infection with triggers
FXGuru01 - 09 Transferring animation
FXGuru01 - 10 Emitting Geometry as Particles
FXGuru01 - 11 Controlling the sim with forces
FXGuru01 - 12 Creating the edge attribute
FXGuru01 - 13 a Caching the body simulation
FXGuru01 - 13 b Caching the body simulation (script)
FXGuru01 - 14 Adding volume particles layer
FXGuru01 - 15 Caching several variations
FXGuru01 - 16 Edge particles layer
FXGuru01 - 17 Adding materials and mixing
FXGuru01 - 18 Wedge loader script
FXGuru01 - 19 Fading particles by proximity
FXGuru01 - 20 Adding color variation
FXGuru01 - 21 Rendering with Mantra
FXGuru01 - 22 Rendering with Redshift
FXGuru01 - 23 Assignment
130 MB