The National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) at Bournemouth University (BU) has retained Houdini Certified School Status for the sixth year running.
The certification means that postgraduate NCCA students are eligible for a free Education licence to use at home and students who recently graduated are eligible for a free 6-month Commercial Houdini licence, a 3D animation and effects software application produced by SideFX. Houdini is widely used in the Visual Effects Industry.
To gain the certification, a panel of more than 20 judges from major studios are appointed by Side FX to review BU's Houdini curriculum and students' Houdini work. In addition to polished pieces of work, judges seek to evaluate the development of students' soft skills, preparing them for Industry.
Phil Spicer, Senior Academic for MA Digital Effects, said: “It is brilliant to see that Houdini, software we have championed for so long, is now the leading Industry software for Visual Effects work. This means that students coming to study with us are not only getting the official SideFX stamp of approval for the quality of our teaching, but they are also benefitting from our long legacy of working with Houdini. Our large army of Houdini graduates also contribute to our current students learning journey through Houdini masterclasses and talks”
Iulia Chirculescu studied MA Digital Effects at BU, and used Houdini in their Masters Project, Accessing Portals, which was nominated for several awards. Iulia said: “The benefit of knowing such a powerful VFX software as SideFX Houdini is that it makes you a more versatile artist and a better problem solver, regardless of the department you are working in.
After finishing my MA in Digital Effects I started out as a Junior Compositor that was not yet using Houdini, but the course at BU gave me the confidence to sign myself up for most of the FX work that was needed at the studio, and so we slowly started implementing Houdini into our pipeline, which led to beautiful visuals in both advertising and film projects.”
The Houdini software has been a staple for BU and Director and former student Martin Aufinger, used Houdini to make the opening title sequences for a James Bond film. Martin said: “I was introduced to Sidefx Houdini during my time at Bournemouth University in 2006/2007. Houdini has since been a key ingredient in almost all projects I have been involved in - ranging from film/tv visual effects to design and interactive installations.
It allows for almost limitless visual creations and helps in solving problems efficiently whilst being an incredibly enjoyable tool to work with. I am grateful to Phil Spicer and the MA Digital Effects team at BU for getting me hooked on Houdini early in my career.”