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Bring scenes to life by building realistic fluid simulations in Autodesk Maya. In this advanced course for visual effects designers and animators, author Aaron F. Ross shows you how to simulate foam and bubbles, liquid being poured, and volumetric liquid in a 3D container. Techniques include rendering particles with the Fluid shader, colliding particle fluids with polygons, storing simulations with disk caches, converting particles and fluids to smoothed polygons, and texturing 3D fluids.
With our particles cached, we're actually ready to render them. And we have choices on how to render these N particles. The easiest thing to do is to simply use the default blobby surface, which is already turned on by default. And we can just go ahead and render it now. However if we did this now I've got my mental erase settings down to draft quality and wouldn't be able to see the particles inside these refractive objects. So I want to hide them. Select the tumbler and set its visibility to zero and also this gin bottle proxy I want to set its visibility off as well.
And then just scrub through to the timeline to a representative frame and go ahead and do an interactive production render. I'll select these particles, open up the attributes, Ctrl+A, and then click IPR and drag a rectangle around the particles. Once that's finishsed updating, we can start playing around with the properties in the N particle shape node. So as you can see, we're getting reflections and refractions for free, that's just already enabled. We don't even need to do anything to turn that on.
Really, the main thing we want to concern ourself with is the shading attributes here in the N particle shape node. And you'll see the particular render type is set to blobby surface. And that happened at the very beginning of our work flow when we chose the water preset before we even created our particles. The main thing we want to look at here is the threshold value. And this determines whether the blobby surface will render or not, based upon how many particles are overlapping. With a lower threshold, what we will see is each individual particle is kind of rendering more defined and if I have a really low threshold, even down to zero, each particle will be very distinct.
And that's not really what we want in most cases, we want to have a non-zero threshold. Now if we increase the threshold past the value of one then what that means is that we have to have more than one particle overlapping in order to actually render the blobby surface. However with the threshold greater than one you might see that your mesh starts to break up and so that's why the default value was 0.6 and it's actually probably a pretty good value in this particular scene.
So rendering our particles with the default blobby surface properties is easy. But it may not be the most optimal solution. We won't be able to smooth the mesh out and get rid of some of these bumps and kinks in the liquid. So if we want that to look smoother, then we can't really use the blobby surface method. What we'll do is we'll convert the particles to polygons. We'll do that in the subsequent movie.
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