Weekly Development Notes #30 – Cache update is now complete!

Covering the week of August 24th – 28th, 2020.

Hey everyone! This is our 30th development update for the FLIP Fluids liquid simulation addon for Blender!

It’s been quite a productive past week and I have completed our transition to storing exported Blender scene data in an SQLite3 database (You can read more in this post). Last week’s development mainly involved fixing some minor issues with transferring Blender scene data to the database, as well as updating the simulation scripts to pull data from the database to send to the simulation engine.

FLIP Fluids Experimental v9.0.9.03 is now available

We have updated our Force Field Experimental Builds with a new version: v9.0.9.03. This version contains some major changes ‘under-the-hood’, so there are bound to be some bugs lying around in there.

The entire scene mesh export system has been rewritten and a large part of that includes how the addon converts Blender geometry for static/keyframed/animated meshes into data that our simulation engine can use. So that means there are probably some edge cases that I have missed.

Release Notes

version 9.0.9.03 (September 2 2020)

  • Mesh data export system has been rewritten and exported scene mesh data types are now stored in an SQLite3 database rather than directly on the filesystem.
    • This will be a likely source of bugs as a major portion of code had been rewritten. The following is a list of some things to test:
    • Are your mesh objects appearing in the correct place during simulation?
      • For static objects (not moving)?
      • For keyframed objects (animated with simple rotation/location/scale or f-curves)?
        • For all of Blender’s rotation modes (Euler, Axis Angle, Quaternion)?
      • For animated objects (complex animation such as parenting, armatures, deformation)?
    • Are you able to start your simulation without error messages?
    • Are you able to stop and resume your simulation?
      • Is the ‘Update Settings on Resume‘ feature still functioning correctly?
    • Are you able to reset or delete your cache without errors?
    • Are Inflow/Fluid objects with target objects emitting in the correct direction?
      • When the target is an Empty type object?
      • When the target is a Mesh type object?
    • Is the Skip Re-Export feature still functioning correctly?
    • Is the FLIP Fluid Surface ‘Meshing Volume’ feature still functioning correctly?
    • Is command line baking still functioning correctly?
    • Are your older .blend files (v1.0.8a and higher) and caches still running and loading correctly?
    • If you notice any undesirable changed behaviour or bugs between versions, please let us know!
    • If you are interested in viewing/debugging the database contents, the SQLite3 database file can be found in cache_directory/export/export_data.sqlite3. A graphical SQLite3 viewer such as DB Browser for SQLite can be used.
  • Added functionality to Skip Re-Export of static and keyframed meshes in addition to skipping animated meshes.
  • Added functionality for Inflow/Fluid objects to emit fluid in the direction of the object’s local axis.
  • Fixed issue where inline force field documentation links would not be consistently displayed when submenu was collapsed.
  • New Complete Guide Episode: Mastering FOAM (part 3a)

What’s Next?

Now that the FLIP Fluids scene exporter has been updated, we have a good system for exporting different types of data outside of simple triangle meshes. I’ll be continuing work on adding Blender Curve export methods to the addon so that we can send curve data into the fluid engine. That will be for our next implemented force field: Curve Guided Forces!

Our curve guided force has been designed to contain settings to control strength of attraction to the curve, strength of flow in direction of the curve, and strength of spin around the curve. A very exciting feature for interesting fluid effects!

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