Saturday, 13 November 2010

Water research

I've been looking into water in games and animation, as well as simlatuted water in movies like 2012 and Avater. The general consensus is that water is hard, often using techniques to mask it. It slightly worries me when studios like Naughty Dog (Uncharted) and Blizzard (StarCraft 2) have to cheat it. For example check out 17 seconds on...

It just fills from the botton as a solid shape. Not filling as liquid would.
Having said that though, I have found a Maya plugin called RealFlow. It is also a standalone product that can have its animations exported to Maya. Here is what it claims:

RealFlow, with sister product the RealFlow RenderKit, is a unique fluids and body dynamics software package which allows you to simulate anything from a single drop of water to a massive tsunami crashing across a beach, sweeping debris in its wake.

RealFlow remains the definitive tool for the creation of flawlessly realistic simulations, and has been used to produce some of the most ground-breaking visual effects ever seen, in movies like “Avatar”, “District 9”, “2012”, “GI Joe”, and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, as well as commercials, TV programs, and game cinematics.

I haven't downloaded it so I haven't tried it out to see how difficult or not it is but I'll look at this to see if I can make awesome water.


  1. That might be the solution! :) Imagine how much you''d learn for your future projects is taking these chalanges we give you :D Continue on being awesome :)

  2. Real flow is very very expensive! talking thousands here!

  3. Can I ask whats wrong with using the ocean plane? Do you actually need anything more dynamic than a flat plane of water because you are really dealing with two different types of simulations.

    If you really want to do water simulations that involve filling up a glass (or something similar), Blender has it's own FREE liquid simulator. Very much like what real flow can do. The only catch with that is that it is built into blender, not maya. And theres no way to import anything back into maya so the whole scene would have to be done entirly in blender.

    Hmmm. I suppose thats not very usefull.

    Maya does have a very crude water simulator using Nparticles. You can achive quite good results with that. (As I've tried it before on many ocassions when I can't think of anything better to do.)
    Although it's only good for small bodies of water. I takes for ever to setup correctly and to calculate. And is not as accurate as real flow or blender.

    The fact is if a flat plane of water is all you need, then don't make it any more complicated than that.
    Perhaps you should check out my (unfinished!) summer project to see what you can do with a flat plane of water. I needed an ocean for a boat to get battered and tossed about in.

  4. I've been thinking, a possible cheat if needed is to have the ground level raised above the river almost like a mini cliff... we would stil hear the water flowing and the shot would be almost exactly the same but we wouldnt see the water come to his feet, only end where it meets the mini cliff... thoughts?

  5. I think we should do that Ethan if we run out of ideas. I would like to try out the other ways first, if they fail or just look crap, we'll have to use the cliff cheat :)