Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Cell Fluids is a lightweight new real-time fluid solver for Blender

CG artist and programmer Shahzod Boyhonov (specoolar) has released Cell Fluids, a lightweight fluid solver based on Blender’s Geometry Nodes system.

It’s a grid-based solver and only generates displacement of the water surface, so it isn’t suited to complex simulations, but it’s described as being fast enough to work interactively in “semi-realtime” inside the open-source 3D software.

Developed by the creator of some of the key Geometry Nodes tools demos
Although there already a number of fluid simulation add-ons for Blender, Cell Fluids caught our attention for two reasons.

First, because it’s written entirely using Geometry Nodes, and Boyhonov was responsible for some of the most eye-catching user demos when new simulation capabilities were added to the Geometry Nodes framework in an experimental branch of Blender last year.

And second, because the demo video suggests that it’s capable of producing nice-looking results semi-interactively.

Only intended for simple sims, but fast enough to work in near-real time
Although Blender 3.6, released earlier this year, added support for particle simulation to the Geometry Nodes toolset, Cell Fluids isn’t actually particle-based.

Instead, it’s a grid-based solver that generates displacement to the fluid surface, so it’s intended for mimicking bodies of ground water like rivers and oceans – not, say, liquids pouring out of containers – and it can’t reproduce effects like spray, or interactions with deforming objects.

However, it’s compatible with both Blender’s Cycles and Eevee renderers, and is described as being fast enough to work interactively, with the simulation being calculated in “semi-realtime”.

The results can be baked to a static mesh with flow map textures, for final-quality rendering offline. You find more details in the online documentation: the controls are very simple.

Price and system requirements
Cell Fluids is compatible with Blender 3.6+. It costs $20.

Read more about lightweight real-time fluid solver Cell Fluids on Blender Market

Have your say on this story by following CG Channel on Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). As well as being able to comment on stories, followers of our social media accounts can see videos we don’t post on the site itself, including making-ofs for the latest VFX movies, animations, games cinematics and motion graphics projects.