Weekly Development Notes #17 – Organizing the UI and the Blender Market Spring Sale

Covering the week of April 13th – 17th, 2020.

Hello! It’s our 17th weekly development update for the FLIP Fluids addon for Blender. Last week was a short 4 day work week due to the Easter Monday holiday, but I still managed to get a good amount done! Last week’s development mostly involved reading and brushing up on some simulation concepts, adding some tweaks to the UI, force field optimization, and getting ready for the Blender Market Spring Sale.

With the Blender Market Spring Sale running this week, it’s going to be a busy one, so I’ll be keeping this post short!

Blender Market Spring Sale

The Blender Market 2020 Spring sale begun today and will run from April 20th – 24th During this time the FLIP Fluids addon as well as over a thousand other fantastic products will be 25% off!

https://blendermarket.com/products/flipfluids

What to try out the FLIP Fluids addon? We have a free demo!

Development Notes

  • Customize toolbox sidebar: Added functionality to specify the tab name of the FLIP Fluids toolbox menu. This setting will be found in the addon preferences menu:
  • This functionality was by request to de-clutter the sidebar. If you have many addons installed, this sidebar could contain a lot of tabs. This new functionality also allows you to place the FLIP Fluids tools inside of another panel so that it does not add an extra tab:
  • Display documentation in UI: Added preferences option to display links to relevant documentation topics within the UI (disabled by default). This option will also be toggled in the FLIP Fluids toolbox menu. Clicking on a link will open the topic within your browser:
  • UI Organization: to de-clutter the UI, some settings categories have been placed into collapsible sub-menus. Most of the sub-menus will be closed by default to keep the UI cleaner, but some of the more important sub-menus will be left open by default:
  • UI Organization: Duplicated the whitewater particle object display/render settings from the Display Settings panel into to the Whitewater Panel. One of the most common questions we are asked is how to set the scale of the whitewater particles. The whitewater particle scale can be found in Display Settings panel, and the rational for this is because the particle size is related to display and rendering. To reduce the amount of questions/confusion these settings will also be placed in the Whitewater panel so that they can be found easier.
  • Force Field Optimization: Added functionality to specify the grid resolution of the upcoming force field feature set. Similar to many other areas of the simulator, force field calculations are run on a grid where the resolution controls how many grid cells there are and how details the calculations are. Some force field calculations can be quite intense and take a long time on a high resolution grid. Not all force field setups will require a grid resolution as high as the full simulation resolution in order to accurately capture the details of the field. An optimization option has been added to specify the force field grid resolution as either low (resolution/4), medium (default, resolution/3), high (resolution/2), or ultra (full resolution).
  • New documentation topic: What is the difference between Blender’s Mantaflow fluid simulator and the FLIP Fluids addon? One of the most common question these days!
  • Updated documentation topic: Expanded topic on CPU usage. A common question we receive is why the simulator is often unable to use 100% of the CPU. This topic has expanded and now contains information about what CPUs work best with the FLIP Fluids simulator, strengths and weaknesses of CPU aspects, and caching to SSD vs HDD.
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