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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 Dynamics for Games.

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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.

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Waves

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.

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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.

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