Konstantin Magnus walks through a pretty neat setup in Houdini where you can procedurally cut holes into a grid and have that animate (in a way) by being driven by another object.
How to procedurally cut holes in a grid combining the old bevel SOP with groups and subdivisions.
In this case, Konstantin has the holes show a numerical countdown. Houdini tackles setups like this pretty easily. Watching tutorials like this, really show of the power of connecting nodes together to build things procedurally. Being able to cut holes into a grid like this would be a challenge for any other application (without giving it too much thought).
Even though the set up is fairly straight forward, with groups and subdivisions, there is a bit of a trick here. The “normal” or most recent Bevel tool in Side FX Houdini no longer operates on a vertex level, which is how the holes will be created.
Not to worry though, you can re-enable the old Bevel SOP pretty easily, and that will still bevel on a vertex level to cut holes.