Friday, September 24th, 2010 Posted by Jim Thacker

Video: Softimage gets new real-time fluid simulator

Fluid-simulation specialist Exocortex Technologies has teamed up with new Softimage superstar Thiago Costa of Lagoa Technologies, to produce a real-time smoke, air and fire simulator for Softimage 2010 and 2011.

SlipstreamVX dispenses with a bounding box for simulations, avoiding the wastage common in voxel simulation methods, in which calculations must be performed even for regions of the simulation volume in which no fluid is present – an approach which sounds intriguingly similar to that of hotly tipped new liquid simulator Naiad.

The result, claim the developers, is “real-time and near-real-time” calculations of complex gaseous fluid dynamic effects. The software is also paired with Exocortex’s GPU-accelerated renderer, Fury.

The new release follows hot on the heels of Costa’s widely praised Lagoa Multiphysics system, integrated into the ‘Softimage 2011.5’ Advantage Pack release earlier this month.

Exocortex founder Ben Houston has an equally impressive pedigree, having previously been responsible for a range of innovative Prime Focus/Frantic Films tools, including the liquid simulator Flood.

See SlipstreamVX in action:

SlipstreamVX introduces a new method of simulating fluids to the VFX artist community. Rather than employing a voxel simulation method that uniformly divides up space whether or not anything interesting is happening, the patent pending SlipstreamVX focuses on the interesting aspects of the fluid, the turbulence, wherever it is and it represents in explicitly.

This innovative approach to fluid simulation gives SlipstreamVX two unique and powerful benefits:

First, SlipstreamVX does not limit its fluid simulations to any type of bounding box. Fluid simulations are free to go where they want. You can have detail where you want it. You can have multiple centers of details and interaction between originally disparate areas of interest with ease. SlipstreamVX efficient representation of turbulence means that you don’t run out of memory.

Second, SlipstreamVX can simulate the complex and detailed fluid dynamics of smoke and fire in real time and near-real time. Voxels are not only memory consuming but they are slow. SlipstreamVX explicit turbulence representation is simply much more efficient. Having a real-time simulation makes it easier for an artist to refine a simulation’s look and feel.

SlipstreamVX is fully multithreaded to take advantage of Intel’s Xeon and Core i7 CPUs. SlipstreamVX along with Intel’s technology increases the speed of simulation creation and iteration beyond artists current expectations.

Lastly, SlipstreamVX is being distributed with Exocortex’s new GPU-accelerated “Fury” renderer. Fury was designed to complement SlipstreamVX’s near-real-time simulation with real-time rendering of simulation-centric atmospheric effects. The rapidly evolving Fury renderer already supports depth of field, motion blur, a density integrator and matte objects.

The SlipstreamVX simulation and Fury renderer bundle along with support for the first year is available now for $399.99 CND. A time-limited trial version of SlipstreamVX and Fury is available from the Exocortex website.

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