Houdini 16 is coming February 21st! A bunch of people have asked what Applied Houdini will be doing regarding this happy event, so I figured I'd lay it all out here.
First and foremost, all of the existing Applied Houdini tutorials will remain completely relevant in 16. While the look of the network editor has changed (and even added some cool new functionality), volumetric and rigid body simulations have remained essentially the same. Check out this quick video going over the new features:
Lots of really cool stuff in there - especially the new booleans! Booleans refer to taking solid geometry and subtracting, intersecting, or unioning to another piece of geometry. A solid model in this way can be deconstructed into many small pieces, which is of course great for fracturing! The Cookie SOP (and Shatter SOP, which relies on the underlying Cookie SOP) is the existing way to do this, but never really worked reliably on complex geometry, and as such was useless to do any major fracturing.
The new cut planes and booleans in general will open up a lot of new fracturing techniques that until now were only enjoyed by major studios who could afford to develop their own. That said, Voronoi fracturing is still the cornerstone of many/most Bullet driven rigid body systems. Bullet simply works best when all of the rigids are non-intersecting, convex pieces - which is exactly what Voronoi gives us. The trick then is how to best balance the look of arbitrarily cut geometry, with the speed of basic convex shapes.
Tune into my next rigid body lesson, Rigids IV - Terrain Destruction to see how we're going to do just that. You can bet we'll be tackling Houdini 16's new booleans plus a lot more there!