Weekly Development Notes #4 – Perfectly contained fluids

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

Ryan here, and welcome to this week’s development notes! I had missed the January 15th work day due to a snow storm and power outage. The most snow I have every seen in Vancouver! Which is not much compared to other areas of Canada, but it’s all relative.

This week’s theme is similar to last week. It’s the second development week of the new year and a large portion was handling followups to last week’s support requests. The large volume of support seems typical compared to last year’s winter break, and if it’s similar, the support volume should reduce soon.

New Documentation Topic: Inverse Obstacle Workflow

What does the obstacle Inverse option do and how can I use it in my projects?

In short, the obstacle Inverse option converts a solid obstacle into an empty container to perfectly hold fluid without any leaks.

This is one of my favorite features in the FLIP Fluids addon! A common question we receive is what exactly does this option do? The original docs only provided two brief sentences on this option, so hopefully this new documentation page will help clear some things up.

Rolling on a Catenary

A catenary is a curve that a chain forms when supported at its ends. If you take a series of catenary curves and turn that upside down, this creates a shape where a regular polygon (with 4 or more sides) can roll smoothly across the surface.

This animation was created while testing some internal changes to the FLIP Fluids addon and also uses our Inverse obstacle workflow mentioned earlier!

A problem that I noticed (unrelated to recent changes) is that simulating and animated Inverse object takes longer to calculate than a regular solid obstacle. Ideally, the obstacle should take the same amount of time to calculate no matter if the Inverse option is enabled or not. This is something that should be looked at and fixed in the near future!

Phoenix FD Advanced Water FX Course Progress

52% complete! As mentioned in development update #1, I have been following RedefineFX’s Advanced Water course to better understand how the Phoenix FD simulator works.

A big feature from Phoenix FD that I really think the FLIP Fluids addon needs is the ability to animate the position of the domain during simulation. This would be great for workflow in scenes where a camera is following a ship moving through an ocean. And great for optimization! If using a static domain, you would need a very large runway of liquid for the ship to move through. With an animated domain, you would only need a volume as large as what the camera sees, saving a huge amount of time on simulation.

FLIP Fluids Homepage

Dennis has been working on building a FLIP Fluids website: http://www.flipfluids.com! The website will contain info about the FLIP Fluids project, learning resources, and weekly development posts (like this one).

I was able to test how the website works this week. I know close to zero about web development, so it’s great that Dennis set this up with WordPress so that it’s easy to add and change content!