Working fluids / fragmentation volumetric with a 2D plane SurfaceForce



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This is one of Drop 7 major update feature that deforms and animate a simple 2D plane into 3D effects using particles. Tutorial by Edwin Braun.

Let’s dive right into SETUP: Overview

  • ObjtoParticle : select objects and turn them into ‘particles’

  • assign the BT RigidBody

  • Force - gravity

  • Bullet Physics Solver to simulate RBD/


  • add the Force dynamic set

  • pick a standard 2D plane ( parameters adjust as your requirements )+ Wave Modifier (animated phase value). You now see a pre-test of waves running through the object. The waves will affect the particles above it)

  1. You can control via the object axis where forces can affect up, etc)

  2. using different type of forces

  3. the force multiplier ; you can increase the multiplication to 5 or decrease to 1.

( So the forcefield strength will affect the particles as you desire)


  • INTENSITY (Type of force such as ‘pressure’ / ‘lift’ /… )

  • under Show, add Directional force to the setup, and the possible Force Sum.

(other selections under Type of force : parallel / tangential / directional / attenuation )

  • Attenuation : help control using a standard Alpha gradient so ‘0’ means No Force and ‘white area’ means Full Force. When you enable Attenuation, you can see the guides that help control how it works, e.g., where you wish the FX to occur and where not to have any effects.


** With a non-animated 2D plane (serves as the ‘Particle’ ), and when you add SURFACE FORCE , you can create an unimaginably huge amount of visual effects.


H Random (-60, -90) , H Port 3 , PositionBorn.

  • add gravity force and SurfaceForce operator


U_Deflector - maintain the particles bounding box e.g., if you want particles arranging themselves into a pattern of choice.

See that the surface deformation occurring real time on the 2D plane now affects the particles above ! You can modify according to angle of deformation; calculate the vectors and force field vectors.


  • displacement by using the ‘Swirl’ procedural texture and that’s it + masking. You have created the effects you want. And by adjusting Swirl, you now can affect the particle movement instantly - moving particles to a preferred location, for example. You can also control spread and other factors. There is no pre-animation needed at all. You just use the material and displace the surface. For this, we have to use Type: - PRESSURE CONSTANT / So Type and Force itself is added accelerated force so each each simulation, you will see the effects of the particles moving faster and faster if you keep the Pressure CONSTANT ongoing.

  • INTENSITY : creates the power to the effects.

NOTE: if we let this simulation carry on, it will eventually gather sufficient speed and dissipate like a gaseous effect.

VELOCITY CONSTANT: (different from acceleration) so what this does is it SUBTRACTS the speed you set before and adds the velocity on top of the particles and eventually simulated particles will assemble to one spot of your choice.

NORMAL CONSTANT : this is for non-animated surface which takes the normal one-to-one as the forcefield effect so the particles will just move upwards quite uniformly and assemble atop the bounding box.

PRESSURE CONSTANT : change to parallel; adds a force that is parallel to the deformation.

Show helps you to Visualize as you tweak, how the Force Vector will affect the particles and help predict the effects it will take. You can also adjust Scale, under Attenuation to ‘50’, for example, which makes it parallel to the surface and you will see a rotational movement. You can use this to create GALAXY style effects.

Under SHOW, select tangential – you now see tangents of surface normals. In other words, the SHOW helps show you the visualization of the outward/inward force lines and direction so you can adjust and get the FX you want/

  • When you learn how to combine effects, that is when you get amazing FX. For example, combine forces : Parallel (e.g.value = 60) + Tangential ( value=60), you now see a twisting rotational particle behaviour going upwards. Huge amount of creative potential scenes here alone.


Throw this in the mix ! With FluidSolver the particles, you gain a BINDING Force for your particles. So the particles are no longer gaseous now but has greater surface tension and acts as a fluid. And you can create all kinds of amazing fluid-like effects and all of it based simply on a 2D bitmap! TURN ON SURFACER : you see the 3D look with the nice fluid ripples.


Let’s use checker’ and see what we can do. Same deal, go to Gradient Ramp Parameters and control the sharpness of the contour on the plane . Adjust TILING (U.V. Coordinates to 4 or 3 as you wish). Now view the Tiling effect happening on the Checkerboard 2d plane. You get an amazing localised effect! You see little whirlwinds / twisters by changing the 2D texture map with rising particles thru SurfaceForce (remember we used the Parallel combined with Tangential SurfaceForce to create this FX)


To get this, turn on the Surface View and you now see it ! All these fast and east effects straight, controlled simply via 2D texture maps! You can create tons of amazing effects from your library of texture maps /Material Editor.

With this, you increase the mask to control how far you want the texture map to reach out. Adjust the Cellular map: e.g., SIZE = 30 / SPREAD = 0.14 and see in the viewport the strong, localized bumps you get with this SurfaceForce. Again turn on the Surfacer to see it in 3D.

thinkingParticles 6 Drop 7 has now been released.
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