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Art Directing Explosions using Axiom in Houdini

Create a Barrel Explosion using Houdini, Axiom & Nuke with Ganesh Lakshmigandan


Discover how to create a professional explosion shot in this 7.5-hour workshop with Ganesh Lakshmigandan, Senior FX Technical Director at Weta FX. From analyzing references to completing the final composite, Ganesh walks you through the entire creation process.

Ganesh demonstrates how to use the Axiom Solver (version 3.1 or higher) in Houdini 20 to create all the pyro simulations. He teaches every pro trick in the book to achieve a realistic-looking sim, including accurate shading and lighting.

Solaris/Karma XPU is used to shade, light, and render the shot. Ganesh reveals how to use the latest karma volume shader and take advantage of the latest features to achieve visually realistic-looking volume renders. In the final stage of the workshop, you’ll then tackle the Nuke composite of all the rendered elements.

Throughout this workshop, you will learn SOP tricks to create emitters and see how to split simulations to make art-directable elements quickly and efficiently. The GPU-based Axiom Solver with Karma XPU is a professional solution for creating faster iterations in both simulation and rendering.

The project files accompanying this workshop include the background asset courtesy of Enterables on CG Trader; Ganesh has also provided his own assets for subscribers to follow along with the tutorial.

Duration: 7h 44m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Ganesh Lakshmigandan

Senior FX Technical Director at Weta FX

Ganesh Lakshmigandan is a Senior FX Artist at Weta FX in Vancouver, Canada. His impressive credits include Avatar: The Way of Water, Dune: Part One, and Dunkirk. When he’s not noodling in Houdini, Ganesh can be found enjoying his passion for street photography in his spare time. 

Follow Ganesh on Instagram at @g.lakshmigandan.

  • Ganesh is one of the most talented artists I have had the honor to work with, especially when it comes to CG fire; he knows exactly how to set it up, and what to change in order to address any sort of notes and make the fire look natural. I am thrilled about this [workshop], it is for sure very valuable because it’s backed up by real production experience and the high expertise Ganesh has acquired over the years.

    - David Moraton
    FX Supervisor at Weta FX, New Zealand