Yeah… and it’s been almost 4 years since I worked on the rejected particle mesher…
If there has to be a volume object, then yes there will be volume modifiers. Actually the very first volume modifier shall be the smoke modifier as it is creating a volume based on a bounding box (it really has nothing to do in a mesh modifier stack).
About node systems having sometimes lacking functionalities, this is mostly about how the graph is processing the data, and which data the graph is processing. I may do a write-up in the everything nodes topic about the various observations that I made about this subject. Furthermore, I believe that the programming languages (C, C++, etc…) may be somewhat limiting as well.
Nodes are powerful, but sometimes a hassle indeed. As a matter of fact, I spent the last 4-5 weeks writing a language for my software (similar to Houdini’s VEX), as some things are easier to express in a language than with nodes:
An idea I just had is to have a dependency graph of data requests, like you have a stack of modifiers that are parsed into a graph of what data processing is needed (normals generation, texture lookups, object merge, etc…) and in what order, and then execute that graph like we would a node system. This would add some flexibility to the rigid modifier stack.
Such a dependency graph could also be used when sculpting, so developers won’t have to explicitly write in which order things have to be updated when applying a stroke, or remeshing, etc… I have unfinished code to do the same in my UI system: the 3D view depends for example on the timeline and the properties editor, so there’s already a dependency graph to be created and executed when updating the UI. I do have a lot of bugs in this area which could be solved easily with a graph.
Also scorpion81, I stole part of your fracture code for my software (I still need a boolean system to constrain the shards to original object shape, I think OpenVDB would be overkill especially with thousand of shards):
In the video the shards are generated by using the point positions of the small object with the noise graph applied to it.