2 January 2014

Filling Mesh with Fluid

In the following examples I have been experimenting with filling the character I created previously with a fluid in Maya. 

In order to achieve this effect I have used a 3D fluid container and started with the fish tank preset, by manipulating the attributes of the fluid I was able to make the fluid rise to the top of its container. The container is placed around the outside of the character and the characters mesh is selected and assigned as a collision object with the fluid. 

The outcome of this was that although the fluid filled the mesh there were also large amounts of fluid around the outside of the character. On this occasion I was unable to fix this and I did like the effect that this had in part, aside from the blocky nature of the fluid because it adheres to the shape of the container. I will therefore look for other techniques of filling meshes with fluids. 

Another way to approach this would be to have the fluid assigned to 'Fill Object' in the attribute editor, this will result in the fluid originating from the centre of the character mesh. I will try this approach next.

I am also aware that another approach would be to use particles to fill the mesh instead  these can also be converted to a mesh that can be textured, but the physics of the water may not be overly effective.

Having achieved a look I was fairly happy with I did a test render of the scene to see what the final look would be. I quite liked the effect that the fluid had as it appeared to burst from the lens of the character and the result of the reflection of the animated image sequence in the fluid, I therefore decided to experiment with having this appear to seep into the rest of the fluid by combining the test renders with the video footage from the experiment. 

I used several duplicates with varied blending  of the footage which I masked and animated in After Effects to produce a rough test towards the end of the video below.

The next step will be to use a similar technique to combine the characters mesh filling up with with the cornstarch / displacement map experiments, this will involve attempting to match the shading of the liquid that fills the character with that of the displacement animation, this is something I will experiment with at a later date.

Post by Jess