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New approach

From my previous posts, it must now be clear that free-surface fluid dynamics is hard. This is mainly caused by the free surface. Without that, it is possible to write a fluid-in-a-box in a little over 100 lines of C code, as Jos Stam did in his paper Real-Time Fluid... Continue reading

Fluid solver on the GPU

Work on this project has been standing still for some time while I was working on another project. But this week I picked up work where I left off: making the fluid simulation even faster. Since the SOR solver I was using lends itself well to parallelization, and video cards... Continue reading

Optimization story

The fluid simulation was beginning to approach results of decent quality. However, it was still far too slow. Most of the screenshots I’ve shown so far were done on a 64x64 grid, which barely ran in real-time even on my fast Intel i7 machine. For a full-screen game, I’d need... Continue reading

The joy of graphical debugging

I’m a very visual type of guy. A picture really does say more than a thousand words. It should come as no surprise that my way of coding and debugging reflects this. How does one debug a fluid solver? It is possible to step through the code, but that does... Continue reading

Free surface problems solved

Last week, I wrote to my fluid dynamics professor for advice on the free surface fluid simulation. It was a positive surprise to see that I had run into exactly the same problems as he had in his research. I must have been doing something right then! You might recall... Continue reading

Fluid still failing

It’s been a busy week with little to show for it. As I wrote last time, I more or less gave up on the SPH particle-based method, and opted to fix my grid method instead. That turned out to be harder than I expected. As a first attempt, I tried... Continue reading

Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

I realized that the problems I was having with the tracking of the water volume were not as easy to fix as I thought. It seemed that grid-based (Eulerian) methods are very suitable for a continuous fluid, but not so good when a sharp boundary between water and air is... Continue reading


To find the source of the instabilities, I pulled my code apart into more independent steps, that could individually be turned on or off. This did result in a speed hit, but allowed me to quickly trace the source of the problems to the advection routine. This is the part... Continue reading

Lid driven cavity

Since no existing code fit my requirements, I started working on my own fluid simulator a few weeks ago. The idea was to try both a grid-based and a particle-based method, and see which worked better for my situation. I started with the grid-based version. My code was not based... Continue reading

Previous work

I looked around for existing code or libraries to do the fluid simulation for me. There are some, but most are either GPL-licensed or too expensive, so they are out of the question for a small-time independent developer like me. Some publications exist on the topic, most notably Jos Stam’s... Continue reading

The beginning

Today, I’m really getting started. I quit my job last Friday so that I can work on this project full-time. I have some financial reserves to keep me alive during the period of development. Development of what? That is still largely an open question. I know it will be a... Continue reading

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