Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Thinkbox’s Ember will let you mix fire and water sims

Combining a RealFlow simulation with a FumeFX simulation in Ember. Thinkbox Software’s upcoming tool acts like a compositor for sim data, enabling users to stitch together elements from disparate types of simulations.

Thinkbox Software has announced Ember, its new ‘volumetric field manipulating tool’. The software will let users sample elements from existing particle systems, fluid simulations and volumetrics and combine them in new ways.

The developer describes the process as being analogous to compositing, but for simulations.

According to a post from Thinkbox CEO Chris Bond on Max Underground, once source data has been sampled into fields within Ember, users will be able to “filter, combine, subtract, twist/warp and modify [them] to generate new results … or tweak to give the client the notes they want addressed without re-simulating.

“Additionally, you can create fields directly from textures, geometry and other methods to model volumes directly – or use those modeled fields to create entirely new simulations.”

Mixing fire and water
To show how this might work in practice, Thinkbox has posted several videos of Ember on its website. The one above, which shows Ember in use to combine a FumeFX fire simulation with a RealFlow fluid simulation, gives some idea of its power to create new hybrid simulations.

Other videos cover using a light source to control a fire simulation, in order to make an object catch fire only where it is illuminated directly; and advecting one particle flow with another.

There’s no information about release dates or pricing yet, but you can apply to join the beta program: given Thinkbox Software’s development history, we presume the software will be for 3ds Max only.

Ember will get its first public showing at Siggraph next month.

See more demo videos of Ember in action

Sign up for the Ember beta