Weekly Development Notes #32 – Curve Guided Force Fields

Covering the week of September 7th – 11th, 2020.

Hey, this is Ryan with our 32nd development update for the FLIP Fluids liquid simulation addon for Blender! Last week’s development mainly involved completing our curve guided force field feature – a feature that I’ve been very excited about!

FLIP Fluids Experimental v9.0.9.04 is now available

We have updated our Force Field Experimental Builds with a new version: v9.0.9.04, which largely consists of the new curve guided force field feature. Check out the documentation and notes on this feature here.

In this example scene, a curve guided force field is used to direct fluid to flow along and spin around a Bézier Curve object.

To help you get started with our new curve guided force field feature, this example scene can be found in the force field experimental build downloads.

Release Notes

version 9.0.9.04 (September 16 2020)

  • Added curve guided force field mode.
  • Added options to Fluid/Inflow object to emit fluid from the object’s negative local axis (in addition to the existing positive axis options).
  • Fixed export error that could be triggered by exporting an Empty type object as a force field.
  • Added UI warnings if the type of Blender object is not suitable for the selected force field mode (Ex: using an Empty type object as a Surface Force).
  • Added note to Inflow Enabled tooltip that this option can be disabled to stop fluid emission.
  • Performance improvements in handling FLIP Fluid Obstacle objects.
  • Performance improvements in grid initialization.

What’s Next?

The next force field feature we will be adding is the turbulence force field mode – a force field that randomly directs and propels fluid.

We’ll also be adding a drag force option to most of the force field types. This will work similar to friction, which helps slow down fluid when in contact with an obstacle. Except that the drag option will slow down fluid when inside of a force field. Due to the nature of how the physics of force fields work, fluid under the influence of a force will accelerate (speed up) over time, similar to how an object under the force of gravity will speed up the longer it falls. A drag option will help reduce this amount of acceleration, which may not be desirable in certain effects.

The next experimental update will be available next week (September 23rd) and will largely consist of speed optimizations! Over the last week I have found some areas that can be easily optimized and provide a nice performance boost. In early tests, these optimizations can speed up the simulator by 10% – 15% without sacrificing simulation quality or accuracy.

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