CSIRO fluids researcher Dr Mahesh Prakash says the physics of bubble creation in carbonated drinks like beer is complex.
“As you pour beer into a glass, you see bubbles appearing on what
are called nucleation sites, where the glass isn’t quite smooth,” Dr
“The bubbles expand to a certain size then rise up
in streams to the surface, where they bump into each other and form a
raft of foam that floats on the top.”
Dr Prakash and his
colleagues have captured the maths describing these processes in
software that allows movie makers, film production houses and others to
create super-realistic special effects.
The four-year project
is being undertaken jointly by CSIRO and South Korea’s Electronics and
Telecommunications Research Institute, one of the world’s largest
computer graphics developers for games, with most of the research being
done in Melbourne.
Clever maths called smoothed particle
hydrodynamics (SPH) helps the software do its job by working smarter
not harder. The software uses less computer power and takes less time
to get better results than other special effects software it has been
CSIRO Business and Commercialisation
Manager, Andrew Dingjan says CSIRO and ETRI hope this will bring the
fluid animation software within reach of smaller film production houses.
Hollywood studios spend vast sums on single-use solutions when they
make blockbusters like ‘Poseidon’ and ‘The Perfect Storm’ but we’d like
our software to make realistic special effects easier to come by,” Mr
Computer animation is a US$55billion global
industry. Discussions with potential global commercialisers of the
software will follow next year.
CSIRO and ETRI’s presentation,
‘Bubbling and Frothing Liquids’, is part of a technical session on
animating fluids at the San Diego Convention Center on Thursday 9
A video of the software’s rendition of rolling waves, sudden flooding and pouring beer is available at http://www.csiro.au/multimedia/FluidSpecialEffects.html
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by CSIRO Australia.