I've been using Maya, ZBrush, Substance, for a bit now, but only for modeling. I've recently had the idea that it would be neat to learn how to do effects like stormy oceans, explosions, giant laser beams... So after looking around online, I've seen a lot of people strongly advise to learn Houdini. Apparently, you'll be way more in demand if you know the program, and will be paid more. This really caught my eye.
I've started an online tutorial on Houdini and then realized it'd probably be good to get some advice from more experienced people before dedicating a substantial amount of my life to learning such a massive program.
1) How long will learning FX take me? If you check out my portfolio, it took me roughly 2 (un-directed and awkward) years to get to that point. Of course everyone is different, but is it as steep a learning curve as modeling? I'm looking to keep on my journey with modeling, but would also like to spend an hour or so every day learning this program, and have a slight fear that this will cause me to take 100 years to get good with the program.
- I really want to start working in 3D soon, so maybe I should just stick to enhancing my modeling portfolio with all my free time, and start learning FX in my spare time when I finally get a job?
2) Do small game studios use Houdini? Or is it just the big studios? Should I just stick to learning FX on Unreal, or would learning the program help me with a career? I'm wondering if I spend a year learning Houdini, if I'll get into the workforce and find out only 10% of studios actually use the program.
3) What kind of pay difference can I expect when knowing Houdini? I've found some very different stats online.
Thanks for any advice guys, appreciate it!