New fluid simulation algorithm makes water actually look real

Developing realistic fluid dynamics for use in computer graphics can be challenging, but something called Position Based Fluids (PBF) may present new opportunities for game developers to create amazingly real scenes where water is the focal point.

The new fluid simulation algorithm simulates liquids using Position Based Dynamics (PBD), which is the same framework that is used to generate the eye candy found in cloth and deformables simulation.

According to PhysXInfo, PBD’s iterative solver is better at maintaining incompressibility than traditional SPH (Smoothed-particle Hydrodynamics).  Furthermore, PBD “has an artificial pressure term which improves particle distribution and creates nice surface tension-like effects.”  It also allows user to inject energy back to the fluid via “vorticity confinement.”

In-depth details on PBF can be found here and here.