To appear in ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH 2018), 37(4)

An Advection-Reflection Solver for Detail-Preserving Fluid Simulation

Université de Montréal
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
University of Minnesota
Université de Montréal


Advection-projection methods for fluid animation are widely appreciated for their stability and efficiency. However, the projection step dissipates energy from the system, leading to artificial viscosity and suppression of small-scale details. We propose an alternative approach for detail-preserving fluid animation that is surprisingly simple and effective. We replace the energy-dissipating projection operator applied at the end of a simulation step by an energy-preserving reflection operator applied at mid-step.We show that doing so leads to two orders of magnitude reduction in energy loss, which in turn yields vastly improved detail-preservation. We evaluate our reflection solver on a set of 2D and 3D numerical experiments and show that it compares favorably to state-of-the-art methods. Finally, our method integrates seamlessly with existing projection-advection solvers and requires very little additional implementation.



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive and thoughtful feedback. This work was supported by the Discovery Grants Program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).