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Liquid drops FLIP fluid-simulation rendering.

Water Drops

FLIP fluid-simulation of water drops falling in slow motion, creating crown-splashes around the hero-asset.

The drops were simulated and meshed in Houdini, cached as alembic and brought into Maya for lighting, shading and rendering in V-Ray. 

done at



Project Pitch


Houdini FLIP-Fluids, Maya, V-Ray

Screencapture of the VDB-Fluid-Mesher HDA.

When meshing liquids, you often run into the problem of loosing detail/droplets when you smooth your VDB to get a cleaner, nicer surface. To prevent this from happening, I created a custom, droplet-preserving fluid mesher using volume-based smooth-masking. The particles are turned into a VDB, and are then deliberately eroded / smoothed to only enclose the large body of the liquid, leaving fine detail and droplets outside. This "mask-volume" is then used to mask the smooth operation during meshing. Everything inside the volume gets smoothed, everything outside (the droplets, fine detail) is not affected - thus, preserved. SideFX recently upgraded houdini's own particle-fluid-surfacer with functionalities similar to mine, making my HDA obsolete, but I'm still a bit proud that I was slightly ahead of them. 

VFX - Breakdown showing the particles, mesh and final render.

The red particle-spheres where added manually to the simulation to get some typical, round splash-droplets  to make the sim more belivable. Rendering high-resolution caustics also helped the shot and provided a extra layer of detail.