Whether you’re wandering a lush landscape in a videogame or are engrossed in a movie with realistic CG effects, it can be easy to take the underlying technology for granted. Of course, there is a lot going on from a technical standpoint and while developers and animators have gotten pretty good at simulating water and sand, combing the two into mud has been especially challenging. That might be about to change.
Researchers from UCLA, DreamWorks Animation, Jixie Effects, and the University of Pennsylvania will be presenting a paper at the Siggraph 2017 conference this July outlining their research into altering the properties of simulated sand when simulated liquid is introduced.
This is no small feat. Simulating the simple task of flipping over an hourglass filled with sand sets in motion a complex chain reaction as millions of particles bump into one another and eventually pour into the bottom. There are millions of calculations taking place every second.
Adding water obviously…