The state of real-time fluid simulation (lots of videos)

Ever wondered how far we have progressed in making water and other fluids behave realistically in games?

These are PC demos using NVIDIA PhysX. Yeah, not gameplay videos as such, but we are slowly but surely getting there. Just need a "bit" more horsepower...


November - NVIDIA FLEX
- Water balloons!

July - SIGGRAPH (Miles Macklin)

Fluid poured over non-static objects in a pool

Cloth + fluid

Pool with static objects in it

Position-Based Fluids - Supplemental Video (Miles Macklin)
- Lighthouse demo 15fps on a GTX 680

Position-Based Fluids demonstration
- 30fps on a GTX 580

Position-Based Fluids - SIGGRAPH submission video (Miles Macklin)

March - GDC
Fishtank Fluid - Position-based fluids demo with real-time destruction


Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
I think it all looks fucking incredible. But I also liked the liquid PhysX stuff in Borderlands 2.
Thanks for the post, I love this type of stuff.

I think it looks pretty good, better than a lot of other stuff out there. I especially like when they turn on the lower tension effects (the white foamy bits), it helps sell it.

I agree though that it has a ways to go, my intuition would say that the water's friction is too high, water doesn't flow naturally under the surface, as it tends to want to stop too quickly, the surface appears to keep moving, but the actual particles aren't, which would lead to problems under the surface if you were to simulate things like sea weed, fish, and the like.

You can see this as well when two bodies of water collide, it makes the particles come to an abrupt stop when they collide, while the surface the motion seems reasonable, under the water, the actual fluid simulation falls on its face. Perhaps these are concessions to allow it to run in real time at a reasonable framerate.

Perhaps it's tunable under this model, I didn't read the paper.
This would be awesome for a Super Mario Sunshine. Shame there wont be a Nintendo console powerful enough for a loooooooooooong time.
I'm not sure any console will be if you want an ocean of the stuff.
But I'm interested if it could seamlessly blend with less detailed water depending on your distance.
The problem now is more the quantity of water than the actual simulation of it. More powerful GPUs will definitely go a long way towards making that achievable.
I'm not sure any console will be if you want an ocean of the stuff.
But I'm interested if it could seamlessly blend with less detailed water depending on your distance.
Yep, thats what i though. It would increase the size of particle in part where its not interacting with anything and for surface it would use synced FFT approximation for example. This could scale down power requirement significantly.
That is sweet. I really want an avatar the last airbender game that takes advantage of this stuff/digital molecular matter/euphoria-type technologies so we could have a game with benders doing stuff like waterbending in a true physical way, pushing enemies/objects with the water, and earthbending, sliding the ground to knock enemies over, literally tearing buildings apart as they fight each other, hurling giant rocks and undermining the structural integrity of the buildings they're fighting in - so many possibilities... It could even be completely brilliant for motion controls, something I haven't been too fond of most times I've tried them.

I know realistically the horsepower needed for such a game rather than just a small environment like that video is quite a ways off, but man would it be awesome...
The videos looked great, except the cloth + fluid one. It was really weird how the water bounced off the cloth and shattered into beads.