I'm looking for primer material on the modelling the physics of liquids. In particular I want to make a small simulation (I'm a programmer by profession) of throwing ink at a board, much like this.


I'm researching ways to approach the problem before I start banging on the keyboard. But I'm finding it hard to find an article about procedural generation of splatters and pools of liquid. There are a lot of search results for After Effects plugins, but this is of limited use. It could be possible that an open source AE plugin exists out there that I can analyze, but I would prefer to have a good maths based article to draw from.

My math skills are quite basic so I'm fully prepared for a hard slog on this one. I would like to make some sort of road map for myself to get to a level where I can make a simulation such as this.

Guidance is much appreciated.


There are two separate physical considerations regarding the video you posted:

  • The physics of a spherical drop hitting a dry surface
  • Multiple spherical drops hitting the surface at different times

Once the first is solved, you should be able to simulate the second easily.

Regarding the first point, a quick arxiv search returns the following results:

  • $\begingroup$ Excellent, thanks Sklivvz, I didn't know arxiv.org existed, looks like a handy resource. $\endgroup$ – BefittingTheorem Jan 2 '11 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Brian: arXiv sure is handy but note that it hosts mostly professional research papers that might be quite difficult to follow for a layman. So let us know whether those papers helped. $\endgroup$ – Marek Jan 2 '11 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Marek thanks for the support, I can tell you up front, yes I will have trouble understanding them. But I'll give them a skim over and see if I can get a jist of the main elements involved in simulating a liquid splatter. I'll give a search around in the game development circles and see if i can dig up an approximation there. I'll get back with progress ;) $\endgroup$ – BefittingTheorem Jan 2 '11 at 14:28

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