A semi-Lagrangian contouring method for fluid simulation
In this paper we present a semi-Lagrangian surface tracking method for use with fluid simulations. Our method maintains an explicit polygonal mesh that defines the surface, and an octree data structure that provides both a spatial index for the mesh and a means for efficiently approximating the signed distance to the surface. At each timestep a new surface is constructed by extracting the zero set of an advected signed-distance function. Semi-Lagrangian backward path tracing is used to advect the signed-distance function. One of the primary advantages of this formulation is that it enables tracking of surface characteristics, such as color or texture coordinates, at negligible additional cost. We include several examples demonstrating that the method can be effectively used as part of a fluid simulation to 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". ACM Transactions on Graphics, 25(1), 2006.