Houdini Tutorial – Advanced Destruction – Lightning Strike

Watch one of the lectures here for free. And here is an overview on the entire project


Welcome to Advanced Destruction Series: Lightning Strike

Duration: 7h 30m

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Requirements: Houdini 19 (and above) and Nuke 12 (and above)


I will show you step by step how to create everything from scratch. The videos are split into easily digestible 5-10 min clips, so you can follow at your own pace one video at a time (or if you’re an advanced user blast through everything at 1.5-2x speed). 


• Creating the terrain

We will be creating this entire scene in Houdini from scratch, including all the effects, geometry, and compositing.

We will start by first creating a terrain, using the heightfield workflow. 

We are going to use multiple cutting techniques to obtain fractured pieces only where we need them.

For the simulation we will create a custom vector that will drive the movement of our pieces.

And then we will create some small rock debris which we add on top of our simulation to add more variation and realism.


• Lightning FX and Rays

For the lightning we will create the geometry in various ways. We will use a combination of POP simulations,

copy to points techniques, and attribute vops to have complete control over the lightning.

From our fractured pieces we will create some volumetric rays to add on top of the lightning.


• Debris Smoke and Dirt

And finally we will use our fractured geometry to create the smoke debris and another layer of particles which

will essentially act as dirt.


• Render and composite

In the rendering section I will go over how we can setup different renders for each layer that also contains AOV’s,

to have complete control over each of our elements.

In the Nuke section we will bring everything together to complete the final look. This part will be fairly

straightforward, with the ocasional tips and tricks, and some of my favorites nodes that I use on daily basis.

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