Computer Graphics

University of California - Berkeley

A semi-Lagrangian contouring method for fluid simulation

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In this sketch we present a semi-Lagrangian surface tracking method for use with fluid simulations. Our method main- tains an explicit polygonal mesh that defines the surface, and an octree data structure that provides both a spatial index for the mesh and an efficient means for evaluating the signed- distance function away from the surface. At each time step the surface is reconstructed from an implicit function defined by the composition of backward advection and the previous signed-distance function. One of the primary advantages of this formulation is that it enables tracking of surface charac- teristics, such as color or texture coordinates, at negligible additional cost. We include several examples demonstrating that the method can be used as part of a fluid simulation to effectively animate complex and interesting fluid behaviors.


Adam W. Bargteil, Tolga G. Goktekin, James F. O'Brien, and John A. Strain. "A semi-Lagrangian contouring method for fluid simulation". In SIGGRAPH '05: Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH 05 electronic art and animation catalog, pages 238–238. ACM Press, 2005.

Supplemental Material

Paper Video

This is the long version of the video that demonstrates the methods.

Electronic Theater Video

This version of the video (with audio) was shown in the SIGGRAPH 2005 Electronic Theater

Full Paper in TOG

The full paper appeared in ACM TOG.