A New Way To Render Water In Games

by Adam Biessener on Apr 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Two researchers at graphics chipset manufacturer Nvidia have released video of a new method of simulating fluids. You’ve never seen dynamic water like this.

These two videos demonstrate the concepts behind a paper to be presented at SIGGRAPH (a development conference for the technical aspects of computer graphics) by Miles Macklin and Matthias Müller-Fischer.


Based on our understanding, this research is close to the cutting edge of programming techniques. You won't be seeing this water in a game any time soon, but it could feasibly work on the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox since the simulations were run on a single Nvidia GeForce 680 GTX graphics card – which is broadly similar in power to the video hardware the next consoles will be shipping with.

From the paper’s abstract:

In this work we present an iterative density solver integrated into the Position Based Dynamics framework (PBD). By formulating and solving a set of positional constraints that enforce constant density, our method allows similar incompressibility and convergence to modern smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) solvers, but inherits the stability of the geometric, position based dynamics method, allowing large time steps suitable for real-time applications.

What he said. That water sure looks pretty, doesn’t it?