This incredible technology demonstration from nVIDIA is quite relevant to the future of animation tools. A paper called “Real Time Dynamic Fracture with Volumetric Approximate Convex Decompositions” describes the technology behind this real-time destruction simulation. I still remember fiddling with Rayfire and waiting for the simulation to calculate. This will probably go a lot faster in the future, again opening new creative possibilities for VFX artists.
nVIDIA Switzerland is still working on improving the simulation, adding collapsing structures to the mix to enhace realism.