Santa Monicas Side Effects Software has announced new dates for free Houdini introductory workshops and training in Santa Monica, San Francisco and Toronto. In these sessions, artists will be exposed to the power of Houdini, the award-winning 3D animation software package used in such recent blockbusters as Dr. Seuss' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, X-MEN, HOLLOW MAN and THE MATRIX. This class includes an introduction to the object, SOP (surface operator), material, composite and output editors. Dates for the Houdini introductory workshops are: Santa Monica, May 12, May 15-16, and May 19, 2001; San Francisco, May 19, 2001; Toronto, May 4 and May 26, 2001. Side Effects Software is also offering a new production-style course: The Nova. This session focuses on particles, materials, lighting effects (lens flares and glows), rendering and compositing. This exercise provides a good basis for artists to explore the myriad of effects capabilities of Houdini. Dates for the $200, two-night training session in Santa Monica are May 22-23, 2001. Reservations are required for all Side Effects Software workshops and training sessions. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Side Effects Software at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional course descriptions, dates and times, visit www.sidefx.com/education/training.shtml.