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DigiPen Institute of Technology has been named a Certified Partner school by SideFX, developers of the 3D procedural art software, Houdini. The software is popular among professional technical artists who use it to produce complex simulations and 3D art in a variety of creative industries. For students, proficiency in Houdini offers a big advantage as they begin their careers.

“Certification means that if you take Houdini courses at DigiPen, you will be learning the most advanced art software tools in the world,” says Matt Brunner, senior lecturer in DigiPen’s Department of Animation and Production. “It’s a way of saying, ‘You can learn what is most relevant to the film, game, and visualization industries at DigiPen.’”

To qualify as a certified school, DigiPen was judged by a panel of industry professionals based on three criteria set by SideFX:

  • Quality of student work
  • Instructor knowledge and quality of curriculum
  • Professional development of students

Gaining experience in a tool like Houdini is especially important for graduates entering the workforce today. Besides the direct utility it has for artists, designers, and animators, having a background in procedurally generated art is an in-demand skill that many employers are looking for, and the job market seems to be growing.

“[Houdini] has primarily been software focused on feature film projects, but in the last five years or so, they have been making a huge push into games,” says Brunner. “The latest Spiderman game, for example, had the entire city procedurally built inside of Houdini. [It] allows artists to make assets with parameters that can be changed interactively by non-artists inside game engines like Unreal 4 and Unity.”

In addition to assuring students that they receive high-quality instruction in Houdini, certification entitles DigiPen students to a full SideFX license for free while enrolled in a Houdini-related course. Graduates also receive a free license for up to a year after graduating.

Watch a reel of Houdini in action featuring work created by DigiPen students: