At a micro level, granular materials consist of thousands of tiny rigid bodies. At a macro level, they behave like fluids. New work-in progress tech Sandy aims to encapsulate both behaviours in a production-ready technology.
The solver currently runs inside RealFlow, but developer Yannik F – he doesn’t list his full surname, even on his LinkedIn profile – intends to make it a completely standalone tool with connections to other 3D apps.
You can trace his progress over the course of 70-odd videos on his Vimeo channel. Early alpha builds use relatively large particles, but gradually the granule size decreases. There’s even a full liquid solver.
The sand simulation shown at the top of the story is probably the most polished so far, but other videos on the channel show snow or sugar crystals, as well as materials it’s harder to categorise. Nice stuff.