Weekly Development Notes #56 – Solving Issues Video, Blender 3.0, and Cycles-X Testing

Covering the week of April 19th – 30th, 2021.

Thanks for taking a look at our 56th development update for the FLIP Fluids liquid simulation addon for Blender! There was not an update last week as I was mostly away from development during Monday – Wednesday. The last two weeks of development mainly involved catching up on fixing reported bugs. We also released a new video and had a chance to test Blender 3.0 Alpha!

New Video: Solving Common Issues

Dennis and I gathered common issues that are faced when using our FLIP Fluids addon. These are the most frequent issues that come up during help requests, and in this video Dennis helps explain and solve the issues as well as add some helpful tips (I even learned a few things about Blender from the video!).

Blender 3.0 Alpha and Cycles-X Compatibility

We usually don’t start testing new Blender versions this early (Blender 2.93 still has 3 weeks until release!), but we’ve heard from some of you that you’re real excited about the new Cycles-X branch. As a celebration for the 10th anniversary of the Cycles renderer, the Blender developers are adding some nice optimizations and preparing Cycles for the future. You can read more about Cycles-X here and can download the branch here.

We had a chance to start testing Blender 3.0 as well as the Cycles-X branch this week. At the moment, there are no known issues when using these versions of Blender with the FLIP Fluids addon version 1.0.9b or the latest experimental version. You may encounter some error messages in the system console when FLIP Fluids 1.0.9b, but these will be harmless and are not displayed in the Blender UI.

Compatibility may break and issues may arise as development of Blender 3.0 continues. Issues can be reported and tracked in this GitHub thread.

Performance Testing

During some brief testing on a high geometry simulation, Cycles-X definitely decreases render time. In this test on a GTX 1070, Blender 2.93 Beta and Blender 3.0 Alpha performed nearly the same at 1m30s. Cycles X reduced the render time down to 1m06s, but also used more memory. We’ll need to do more testing on larger scenes to see how the memory usage scales.

Cycles X Render Comparison

We’ll also need to test how Cycles-X performs with a large amount of instancing which is used to render whitewater particles.

Experimental Version

Want to try out the latest fixes and improvements? They can be tested in our Experimental Builds Package in the latest version!

Release Notes v9.0.9.20 (05-MAY-2021)

  • This version mostly adds fixes for reported issues.
  • Blender 3.0 Compatibility: Blender 3.0 is in early development and is set to release on August 25, 2021. At the moment, there are no known issues when using Blender 3.0 with the FLIP Fluids addon version 1.0.9b or the latest experimental version. The Blender 3.0 Cycles-X branch also seems to work after some brief testing.
    • Issues related to Blender 3.0 compatibility can be reported and tracked in this thread: issue #535
  • Added ‘Remove Mesh Near Domain’ feature support for the preview mesh.
  • Added an option to the FLIP Fluids Preferences menu to hide the experimental build warning displayed in the physics panel.
  • Bug Fix: Simulation will no longer stop if a frame statistics temporary file is found to be in use and unable to be deleted (issue #529).
  • Bug Fix: Issue where surface and whitewater materials would be removed when changing between scenes.
    • This involved many changes for how the addon sets up the viewport and render. Please let us know about any odd behavior in how the simulation is displayed.
  • Bug Fix: Issue where command line operators may not work if spaces are contained in the Blender executable path, specifically when located in C:/Program Files/.
  • Bug Fix: Fixed inconsistent UI issues (issue #533).
  • Bug Fix: Issue where non-mesh type objects could be selected as a custom whitewater particle object, leading to an error.
  • Bug Fix: Re-fixed preview rectangle artifacts issue that was introduced as a side effect by another bug fix (issue #491).
  • Bug Fix: Issue where the whitewater display percentage setting loaded an incorrect amount of whitewater after resuming a simulation. Notes:
    • This was caused by the addon saving incorrect information to the savestates cache.
    • Simulations will need to be re-baked for this fix to take effect.
  • Bug Fix: Issues where (harmless) error messages could be displayed when using Blender 3.0.
  • Known Issue: The Age and Source ID attributes are not yet supported when using the particle sheeting feature. A fix is in progress!