no tool has changed the way we work in blender like generators, they have replaced modeling, texturing, uv unwrapping, fluid simulation, smoke simulation, rigging and even animation at some level.
today modeling objects from scratch is becoming optional, you can easily generate, simulate and procedurally create objects without ever extruding a vertex in blender.
a good example of how things have changed just take a look at building generators, they let you create entire buildings, skyscrapers, castles of any type by just extruding a few faces. before generators where a thing to make a building like this, you had to do alot of manual work, you start from a plane or cube then from there you add details like windows, doors and work your way to materials and texturing and dont forget about uv unwrapping otherwise the textures wont map on the building correctly.
but now all the major steps of making the building can be handled by a generator, you just extrude one face and the generator adds the windows, roof, uv unwrap and texture.
what is even more amusing is how easy it is to switch from one style of building to another without ever switch to edit mode again.
its mind blowing how the generator understands correctly where to add the windows or doors, and the spacing to give them.
you would need like an hour to make a building this detailed, yet here all you need is less than a minute.
How geometry nodes has replaced the particle system.
and its not just modeling that generators are replacing, the particle system is now a redundant part of blender only useful if you can’t use geometry nodes or when you want something that is compatible with previous versions of blender.
most artists are so done with the old particle system that they are rewriting there addons or remaking there old projects using geometry nodes instead of the particle system.
One important aspect of geometry nodes that was always missing in the particle system, is using particles as geometry, this is when you add particles on to geometry and then use those particles or instances to instance more particles or geometry, this is
another generator that has greatly benefited from geometry nodes, is TrashKit, previously you could scatter trash like this using the particle system, but because you could not instance new particles on old particles like in geometry nodes, there was no way of pilling it on top of each other, or instance objects onto multiple objects, if you wanted for example grass on multiple planes, then each plane would need its own particle system, with geometry nodes you can instance objects on all objects in a collection quite easily.
how generators have changed rigging
one thing i did not expect geometry nodes to change was rigging, rigging has always been complicated even traditional rigging. to think that it could all be replaced by geometry nodes is mind boggling. but demos started poring in on twitter, different creators making different rigs for creatures, vehicles
we are also starting to see complete products like car rig generators taking advantage of these functionalities. here geometry nodes is used to rig an entire car with the ability to easily change the number of tires with a slider.
trying this kind of rig using traditional rigging will break your animation immediately yet with geometry nodes its a simple slider and everything updates from spacing and how the entire vehicle behaves.
this did not just stop at rigging but also on how objects are animated, you can have hundreds of cars on the road, on a road generated using a generator with cars rigged with a generator, making it easy to add more cars, change traffic behavior and update the road without breaking anything, something unheard of with traditional rigging and animation.
and for compositors new generators like flare wizards can help you add things like lens flares into your renders, they work in Realtime, support object occlusion and more.
how generators are replacing fluid simulations
while all these generators seem to be doing something that could be done using old ways, geometry nodes is rewriting the rules of how we do simulation in blender, artists like tobi stuff are writing entire realtime fluid solvers using geometry nodes
and then there is what miettinen is doing, i have never seen a realtime water simulation demo like this before, not in houdini, not in 3ds max or cinema 4d, the closest i have seen was in unreal engine, but this is all in blender, you even have small leaves and lily pads floating in the water, something that was impossible to do with manta flow, you have everything to make a convincing swamp.
but those are all still demo, for products you can use right now you can try delta flow, its an addon that combines a lot of different techniques to make convincing, rain, rivers and anything you want concerning water.
soft and cloth simulation
and its not just fluid simulation that geometry nodes is changing
the softbody system, the cloth simulation system and rigid body physics system are separate systems in blender that are oblivious to one another, clothes are not affected by rigid bodies and rigid bodies are not affected by cloth or soft bodies atleast not in a way that makes sense. there is no two way coupling in blender meaning one simulation does not influence the other or vise versa which is not realistic at all, geometry nodes seems to be the solution to this problem as you can see in this example, there is a softbody, rigid body and cloth simulation all affecting each other.
scattering and randomisation
everything we have looked is like an extra feature to geometry nodes but the main thing that has been used with geometry nodes and its best feature in my opinion is its scattering and randomization feature.
almost all addons and generators are using geometry nodes for this, from adding millions of particles to simulate rain using generators like baga rain generator to scattering animated characters to create realistic crowd behavior using procedural crowds.
all buildings in the procedural alley generator are using geometry nodes to randomly generate buildings and scatter additional props like shops, signs, posters, air conditioners, windows on buildings and also to populate the alleys with crowds.
generators have touched every aspect of blender, from meshes to curves, to particles and even vbs and sky system, which the addon cloudscape uses to make convincing animated skies with procedural generated clouds.
so truly generators are the future and are here to replace everything in blender until we have everything nodes blender.