On the simulation of fluids for computer graphics
fluid dynamics | computer animation | Euler's equations | natural phenomena | Navier-Stokes' equations | Stable Fluids | SPH
The ubiquity and complexity of natural phenomena are responsible both for the high demand of software capable to simulate them and for the difficulties in designing such tools. In the special effects industry, there is a need of depicting phenomena arising from the interactions among the elements of nature. However, the requirements imposed by this application domain differ from those in the classical engineering settings with which Computational Fluid Dynamics is traditionally concerned. The increase in computing power and memory availability has made it possible to simulate many natural phenomena in commodity hardware, when the visual plausibility of computed motions is enough. These developments and the demand for 'realistic' animations, both for films and games, have encouraged the graphics community to work on the design of specialized methods and techniques to simulate physical phenomena for these applications. For these reasons, the literature on fluid simulation, already very large due to its important applications in engineering, has been growing fast because of the recent attention from the computer graphics community. This scenario has motivated us to study the fundamentals of fluid simulation, still with computer graphics applications in mind. With the purpose of reporting our studies, the goals of this thesis are twofold: to learn both the theoretical fundamentals of fluid dynamics and the main methods for the computer simulation of fluid flows; and to help other students, by grouping the main concepts involved in simulating fluids for animation in an introductory text along with relevant references to specific topics and current research trends.