Sidefx realeased a new beta of houdini with lots of cool new features for all those things cg artist have to do, but that are oh so diffucult to do or you have to buy a plugin to do.
One of the features I would love to try is their fracture tools to break up geomentry for explosions or impacats. It's something that I never ge to do at my job but I always think has to be so much fun.
Also they have some new volumetric tools for dealing with volumes. If you've ever had to deal with volumetrics before you know it can be a real pain in the ass. Is it geometry? are they particles? well houdini has some tools to swap between them and back again. Now that sounds like that's worth a look.
Check out their feature demo videos here