The Art of Fluid Animation: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Art of Fluid Animation

1st Edition

By Jos Stam

A K Peters/CRC Press

257 pages | 149 Color Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781498700207
pub: 2015-10-28
Hardback: 9781138428188
pub: 2017-08-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429158100
pub: 2015-11-04
from $36.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Fluid simulation is a computer graphic used to develop realistic animation of liquids in modern games. The Art of Fluid Animation describes visually rich techniques for creating fluid-like animations that do not require advanced physics or mathematical skills. It explains how to create fluid animations like water, smoke, fire, and explosions through computer code in a fun manner.

The book presents concepts that drive fluid animation and gives a historical background of the computation of fluids. It covers many research areas that include stable fluid simulation, flows on surfaces, and control of flows. It also gives one-paragraph summaries of the material after each section for reinforcement.

This book includes computer code that readers can download and run on several platforms so they can extend their work beyond what is described in the book. The material provided here is designed to serve as a starting point for aspiring programmers to begin creating their own programs using fluid animation.

Table of Contents


Observations, Equations, and Numbers

Beavers, Cave Persons, and Fire

From Caves to Greeks: Archimedes, Gold, and Medals

Long Curly Haired Mathematicians, the Abyss and the Airbrush

Euler–Newton Equations or Navier–Stokes Equations


Euler and Continuity

Incompressibility, Continuity, Helmholtz, and Hodge

Euler and the Motion of Fluids

Newton and Viscosity

Navier and Stokes and Their Equations

Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries, and Boundaries

The Early Days of Computational Fluid Dynamics

Kolmogorov and Turbulence

Introduction to Fluid Animation

Discretize! Bugs, Grids, and Bugs Moving through Grids


Intermezzo Uno: Linear Systems

Intermezzo Due: The General Solution of a Linear System

Intermezzo Tre: Circulant Matrices and the Fourier Transform

Intermezzo Quattro: Numerical Solution of Linear Systems

A Simple Fluid Solver

A Math Horror Flick: Operator Splitting

Code Please?

Bugs Crawling on Donuts, the FFT, and ~60 Lines of C Code

Four-Dimensional Turbulent Vector Fields and Turbulence

Decorating Fluids

The Little Computers Who Can Handle Fluids

The Smart Phones Who Can Handle Fluids

Fluid FX: Version 2.0 of Autodesk Fluid

Show Time! MAYA Fluid Effects

Fluids on Arbitrary Surfaces

Control Freaks! How to Make Fluids Do What We Want

Shooting Cannon Balls in Two Dimensions

Computer Optimizers

The Ad, the Joint, and the Path Back to the Optimizer

Real Experiments, Computer Experiments, and Validation

Spheres Are Such a Drag

Curly Flows behind Spheres, Wavy Flows in Tubes, and Turbulent Plumes between Plates

Epilogue: Let’s Call It Quits

About the Author


Jos Stam

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Learn more about Jos Stam >>

Jos Stam is a senior research scientist with Autodesk. He was born in the Netherlands and educated in Geneva, Switzerland, where he received dual bachelor degrees in computer science and pure mathematics. In 1989 he moved to Toronto, where he completed his master’s and PhD in computer science. His research spans several areas of computer graphics: natural phenomena, physics-based simulation, rendering, and surface modeling, especially subdivision surfaces. He has published papers in all of these areas in journals and at conferences. In 2005 he received the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, one of the most prestigious awards in computer graphics. He also won two Technical Achievement Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science and has been featured in Wired magazine.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Computer Graphics
COMPUTERS / Programming / Games