Vorticle Fluids implemented in PopcornFX

This is a really crude first approximation of a homebrew realtime fluid simulation using vorticles. The general idea is a sparse layer of particles are queried for position and orientation and used as centers of rotation to simulate turbulent fluids. Even this very simple first experiment is very promising.

No noises, fields or turbulence forces are used, the motion is all directly a result of particles interacting with a layer of vorticles, which I reveal in the latter portion of this video.

Simulation is entirely on the CPU and takes 18ms per frame for 21,000 particles. One nice thing about vorticle simulations is the motion does not change with the number of particles, meaning a simulation can be tuned while running very fast and then the simulation turned up for millions of particles to be rendered in After Effects etc. I look forward to seeing how fast this will run when entirely on the GPU.

Apologies for the tiny video… this is just a screen capture.

Mercedes Santa

Mercedes “Santa.” :30, created snow rig using slipstream/fury which was then implemented into the shots by artist and friend Sue Jang. Method/NYC. The actor is Peter Xifo – nice job Peter!



This isn’t anything special, just a slapped-together polygonized ICE/slipstreamVX pointcloud I made a while back.

Fury Particle Renderer gets Furious-er

As long as we are talking about Exocortex, they just posted this exciting preview of the next version of their point rendering tool Fury.

For those of you wondering why this is important, it’s simple enough. Fury is fast. Really, really fast. And it was written by Ben Houston, the original author of Krakatoa, a tool of choice for rendering particles. Softimage, Max and Maya users alike can move their simulations to ICE (or create their simulations with ice directly) and partake in the Fury awesomeness.

LOOK at it. 1 million points. Self shadowing and cast shadows. 1-second-per-frame.

“The major new features in Fury 2.0:

* GPU-accelerated particle self-shadowing * Shadow maps * Built-in compositing previewing. * Command line renderer support. * Synchronized Softimage and Maya support.

In this example, 1 million points are lit and rendered in about 1 second per frame and the shadow map is also created at the same time. Motion blur and DOF do not slow down rendering time.

The simulation in this example is from a alpha-version of SlipstreamVX 2.0 and thus the smoke motion isn’t quite perfect in this video.”

Congrats to Exocortex for Harry Potter VFX

There is a good article online about Exocortex and the work they did using Slipstream VX for the last Harry Potter film. You can find it here.

Some excerpts:

The pool, known as the Pensieve to Harry Potter fans, contains an oillike liquid that sloshes around in its basin whenever someone gazes into it. While they had managed to make do with available tools in previous Harry Potter movies, this time around animators wanted the effects to be bigger, better and more realistic than ever before.

Houston, 32, sold the company a piece of specially designed software that mimics real world physics and helps to accurately create water digitally. The water special effect had taken Houston more than three years to perfect. The software tool was designed to work with Gradient’s existing special effects software.

“I went and further customized our software to meet the needs of the Harry Potter production,” said Houston, adding the experience has been “awesome.”

Animators at Gradient learned about Houston’s software from a review in a computer graphics magazine, he said.


Having written the magazine article in question, I couldn’t be happier for Exocortex. Good work, guys!