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Does anyone here know houdini? Would it take long to learn for someone with a lot of experience in 3D and programming?
It's a deep program, I guess it depends on how many facets of it you want to learn. Having experience and a programming background will definitely come in handy (specifically for VEX stuff).
You'll like how intuitive it is with a programming background. If it's your first 3D program it's good to learn and get good with. If you use something else and are actually intermediate with it then don't bother.

Its not, I use C4D. I'm pretty much pushing C4D's limits it seems, C4Ds native 'coding' suite xpresso was surprisingly nice at first but its actually pretty shallow... or at least very inefficient at simple tasks.

I'm really frustrated with how little control I have over things like cloth or soft bodies in C4D.
I painstakingly made an xpresso in an attempt to make cloth work how I want, but in the end I couldn't. It also seems to only utilise 1/4th of my CPU in calculations.

It made me think that learning Houdini might be a good idea, just based on the fact it uses some kind of actual programming language as a core rather than an extra thing no one cares about as well as being better fitted towards simulation(?).
If you have experience with programming Houdini will feel very natural even if you don't use any of the programming in it, just the way things work. It's a much more complex program than others but again if you know how to program, stuff will fall into place quickly.

>being better fitted towards simulation(?).

Houdini is industry standard for simulations and VFX, so yes it's a head above all the others.

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