Interactive Water Streams with Sphere Scan Conversion
Rama Hoeztlein and Tobias Hollerer
ACM Symposium on Interactive Graphics and Games (i3D), 2009. Boston, MA.

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Fluid simulations require efficient dynamics, surface extraction and rendering in order to achieve real time interaction. We present a novel technique for the surface extraction of stream-shaped fluid simulations represented as particles. Typical surface extraction methods for particles combine implicit function evaluation with the marching cubes algorithm. In our approach, we dynamically update vertex positions in pre-generated geometry to efficiently construct and render fluid surfaces. Cylinders are wrapped to water streams composed of particles, with simulation and polygonization on the CPU, and shadows and lighting on the GPU. While limited to stream-shaped fluids, our technique is significantly faster than marching cubes, scales well with resolution and number of particles and, unlike point-based rendering, produces true 3D polygonal surfaces.