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FX Experiment #002: glu3D Basics

Category : FX Experiments · by Aug 4th, 2009

After trying out FumeFX in my previous experiment, I got really curious about liquid simulation as well. So I had a go with glu3D by 3Daliens. glu3D is a fluid system but it is primarily used for simulating liquid substances; such as  water, oil, honey, cement and more.

Rather then using voxels, such is the case with FumeFX, glu3D uses particles to simulate the flow of the substance and then uses a special surface generating algorithm for generating a mesh surface around the particles. Kind of like Meta balls, or BlobMesh as it is called in 3ds max, but from what I’ve seen glu3D is more stable and less memory intensive. Now without further ado, here is my first glu3D result:

I think it looks really good considering how easy it was to set up. Maybe the liquid’s viscosity is a little to high, it looks somewhat like some sort of liquid rubber, especially towards the end of the simulation. Probably should dial down the thickness.

I like the “water”-material I was able to achieve as well. It doesn’t look totally realistic, but I think it would pass for water in many cases. Best of all however is that is was easy to set up and renders really, really fast! 8)

Here is the material set-up:

water_matBasicParametersThe purple selection markers are settings that I altered from their standard values. Here follows the Maps rollout:


I tried it without the Refraction Map when using the Scanline Renderer and it looked very nice as well, but even more stylized and more cartoon. The Refraction Map supplies a little extra realism. Next; the Falloff Map used in the Opacity Slot:

water_matFalloffMapThis alter the transparency of the material depending on the mesh normals direction relative to the camera. Adds much for the water “feel” to it. Finally the Refraction Map:

water_matRefractionMapThe colours here might depend on the colour of your background. I used pitch black and saved the images with an alpha channel. I then added the gradient background in Fusion using Screen Mode. Note that I didn’t use any lights in this scene, just the default lighting of 3ds max, and there is no reflection of the environment (there isn’t even an environment really) in the water material which there generally should be for a realistic water shader. But I thought this looked really cool and as I said—it renders really fast :)

Cheers mates!