Surface-Only Liquids

Fang Da David Hahn Christopher Batty Chris Wojtan Eitan Grinspun
Columbia University IST Austria Univ. of Waterloo IST Austria Columbia University


We propose a novel surface-only technique for simulating incompressible, inviscid and uniform-density liquids with surface tension in three dimensions. The liquid surface is captured by a triangle mesh on which a Lagrangian velocity field is stored. Because advection of the velocity field may violate the incompressibility condition, we devise an orthogonal projection technique to remove the divergence while requiring the evaluation of only two boundary integrals. The forces of surface tension, gravity, and solid contact are all treated by a boundary element solve, allowing us to perform detailed simulations of a wide range of liquid phenomena, including waterbells, droplet and jet collisions, fluid chains, and crown splashes.


[MOV], [YouTube]
Poster at TWIG 2016:


    author = "Fang Da and David Hahn and Christopher Batty and Chris Wojtan and Eitan Grinspun",
    title = "Surface-Only Liquids",
    journal = {ACM Trans. on Graphics (SIGGRAPH North America 2016)},
    year = 2016

This work was supported in part by the NSF (Grant 13-19483, CMMI-11-29917), NSERC (RGPIN-04360-2014), Disney Research, Pixar, Adobe, Altair, and the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 638176). We would also like to thank Oded Stein for insightful discussion, Károly Zsolnai-Fehér for advice on rendering, as well as Henrique Teles Maia, Papoj Thamjaroenporn and Yun Fei for their assistance.