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National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Urbana, Illinois - United States
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Houdini Artist, Scientific Visualization


This is a remote job expected to be 0-10 hours/week, using Houdini to help create cinematic scientific visualizations.


Summary: Solve specific tasks in a given Houdini scene file. The applicant will work to visualize data and simulations created by external science teams, for example datasets of the Milky Way, stars, stellar orbits, and a black hole shredding a star. 

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NCSA is committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community. Candidates who have experience working with a diverse range of individuals and who can contribute to the climate of inclusivity are encouraged to apply.

Research Duties (70%):

  • Develop scientific visualizations in Houdini.

  • Iterate on Houdini scene files. Some tasks will require starting from scratch, others will involve adding to existing scenes.

  • Work with scientific data, represented in Houdini as particles, lines, surfaces, & volumes.

  • Design virtual scenes, which combine scientific data with artistic elements.

  • Design shaders with data-driven attributes.

  • Meet with the visualization team, science teams, and other stakeholders to iterate on the scientific visualization and ensure accurate scientific portrayal.


Training (30%):

  • Train other AVL staff members in the use of Houdini by explaining the thought process behind implemented solutions, and describing how tasks were accomplished.

  • Document solutions so that they can be easily understood, followed, and re-used in other situations.

  • Answer questions regarding how tasks might be accomplished.

  • Follow and encourage the use of best practices.



  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in a related field.

  • 2+ years of experience using Houdini software for visual effects, animation, and/or visualization.


Preferred Experience:

  • 5+ years of professional experience using Houdini.

  • Interest in science and/or data, especially astrophysics.

  • Some experience with compositing, especially in Nuke software.

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