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New Fluid Simulation Algorithm Allows Realistic Water Physics

As games steadily approach new levels of photorealism, one of the few remaining "problem areas" has been providing a realistic simulation of water physics, which is still notoriously difficult to implement properly, and is compute / graphics intensive.

A new fluid simulation algorithm (FSA) from PhysX appears to have made a breakthrough with its Position Based Fluids (PBF) technique that is based on the same Position Based Dynamics (PBD) framework used for simulating cloth and deformables in the PhysX SDK.

According to PhysX Info, PBD uses an "iterative solver" that allows it to "maintain incompressibility more efficiently than traditional SPH fluid solvers. It also has an artificial pressure term which improves particle distribution and creates nice surface tension-like effects (note the filaments in the splashes). Finally, vorticity confinement is used to allow the user to inject energy back to the fluid."

Further information on the technology is available in the following SIGGRAPH 2013 paper by Miles Macklin and Matthias Mueller-Fischer. The demonstration video (running on a single GTX 580) is available below.

  • Memnarchon
    Wow! This is trully stunning. I wonder when we will see it in games...
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    10731078 said:
    Wow! This is trully stunning. I wonder when we will see it in games...

    I would say within 5 years depending on what they used to render that...
    Reply
  • solomaniac85
    Looks amazing, I wonder when it will come to games. Hopfully in the next few years or even less considering how powerful gpus and cpus are.
    Reply
  • Chairman Ray
    woah, can't wait to see it in real games
    Reply
  • unknown9122
    This + ray tracing = awesomeness.
    Reply
  • eodeo
    Looking good. I cant wait until they enable it in 3ds Max.
    With ps4 coming out soon, I'm sure we'll see it in games as fast.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    We'll see that in games when computers start being sold in store with graphics cards as good as (or better than) the GTX 580. Might be a couple years.
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    Nvidia makes water physics and AMD makes hair physics. Only problem is that the water physics requires an Nvidia card while the TressFX will work on any computer with DX11 Compute. I hope AMD counters with some water physics soon. I hate it when some features require you to buy a certain brand.
    Reply
  • Shin-san
    Quite excellent, though there's still the uncanny valley of the simulation
    Reply
  • SirGCal
    From the site that had this news a few weeks ago, the rendering card was a simple gtx 500 series... Peanuts compared to todays best. I'd love to see it go live in games but it has a way to go for full realism.
    Reply