Four-year project yields virtual beer

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Four-year project yields virtual beer

Advances in computer physics are bringing stunning simulations following natural particle behavior onto the screen. One of the newest tricks achieved is virtual beer, which will be poured into a virtual graph during a demonstration at the upcoming Siggraph tradeshow and conference.


Researchers from CSIRO and Korea’s ETRI said they will host the demonstration to showcase their fluid special effects software, which has been developed as part of a four-year project. The animation, available in a preview on the CSIRO website, simulates not only the fluid itself, but also the bubble creation. “As you pour beer into a glass, you see bubbles appearing on what are called nucleation sites, where the glass isn’t quite smooth,” Mahed Prakash, a fluids researcher at CSIRO, said. “The bubbles expand to a certain size [and] 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.”

The company claims that the simulation is not enabled via increased hardware horsepower, but by “clever” math called “smoothed particle hydrodynamics” which apparently allow the software to do the physics calculation efficiently.

Click here to see a preview of the fluids simulation (broadband connection recommended, data rate: 368 kb/s). 

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