CREATE ABSTRACT SIMULATIONS USING BIFROST FLUIDS
3D World UK|Christmas 2020
Holly Watt demonstrates how to set up and manipulate liquid simulations in Maya
Holly Watt

Bifrost Fluids is known for its capability to recreate real-world liquid simulations such as oceans, but it can also be a useful tool in creating abstract fluid simulations. The added bonus is that it is a free plug-in with Autodesk Maya, so there is no need to leave the Maya software in order to create these types of fluid simulations. This tutorial covers the process of setting up and manipulating Bifrost Fluids that morph from one shape mesh to another, giving a zero-gravity effect. An overview is given on how to set up the initial Bifrost Fluid simulation, tweak the liquid properties, caching and finally rendering.

Motion Fields in Bifrost Fluids have the ability to control the particles’ movements and velocities, and this tutorial uses the Along Normal attribute to conform the particles to the shape of a mesh. We will cover how to add a Motion Field and how to use it to manipulate particles to morph between two meshes. With this knowledge you will also be able to apply the Along Normal attribute to achieve other effects, such as using geometry to control the directional movement of a liquid or to have liquid return to its original form after a collider has passed through it.

01 SET UP THE SCENE

To begin you will need to model or source any geometry that will be used in your scene. For this example there are two meshes; the emitter is the initial shape of the fluid and the particles will fill this shape as they are emitted. Then the second mesh will be the shape that the particles will morph into. Your meshes can be anything, just try to make them both a similar scale in your scene. Remember to delete any history, freeze the transformations and name each object. Now is also a good time to create a basic render camera and position it.

02 CREATE THE BIFROST FLUID LIQUID

The next step is to create the Bifrost Fluid; this is done through the FX context menu. Ensure your emitter geometry is selected and create a liquid in the Bifrost Fluids menu. You will now see some particles inside your emitter geometry (if you don’t then you will need to decrease the Master Voxel Size slightly on the Liquid Properties tab in the Attribute Editor). For this type of abstract simulation we’ll set the Gravity Magnitude to 0 (located on the bifrostLiquidProperties1) so our particles are suspended where they were emitted.

03 ADD A MOTION FIELD

Motion Fields allow you to control particles’ movements and velocities, and you can add multiple Motion Fields to a scene. You can add a Motion Field from the Bifrost Fluids menu.

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