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need help on rain, ripples, stream, and surface bubbles


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Hi  I'm currently a houdini student and my current project requires me to do water sim (rain on a pond). This involves splashes & ripples from the rain, and a small stream of water moving across the pond. My sim looks well.ok. But my render looks like pooh. 


So far I've:

 - Transferred the attributes from the particles falling to my grid (created color to visualize the transfer)

 - My splash is a separate system, used scatter points, had the normals point up and velocity follow the normals using point sop. Then have particles shoot out using popnet, assigned a particle fluid surface and cached it out. Then the cached 'splash' is assigned to points on the grid from the rain drops.

- Ripples, using a ripple solver triggered by the raining particles...a bit unstable after 150 frames...the grid gets destroyed somehow. I even tried the file from Digital Tutors tutorial and it also does the same thing...hmmm.

- I created an ambient noise on the grid using vopsop.

- I have not done any fluid sim, which concerns me a little because my project is suppose to be an Environmental FX sim. At this point I have to do this in SOPS, and material noise. But my teacher is giving me the option to change it to fluid sim if I choose to.

-On rendering, currently trying the DT tutorial on fluid but it's very basic, and needs so much work.


I need help on:

- How to render water properly, I know houdini comes with a basicFluid material. I can't seem to find an in-depth tutorial anywhere how to render water. Like reflections, specular, and refractions.

- I know a little maya rendering, but can fluid and particle sim be exported to maya? Maybe FBX or obj sequence? Not sure.

- Recommendation of whats the better system to use. SOPS or fluids.

- How to create and render better bubbles on the water surface


My reference:

but imagine there's a small stream of water travelling from left to right. And more of a mid shot than a wide shot.

stream of water example.

Sorry for the looong message... I only have 2 weeks to do this so I am emailing whoever I can to get help. My teacher wants us to do the research. Any info will be greatly appreciated.




sorry my hip file is about 50mb so i can't upload it. If you have another link then maybe i can send it there.



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I think you can get by with just surface deformation since the ponds are shallow. You can use a variety of noise along uv attributes to deform the surface. I might be able to make you a demo file. I have some flowing water tests made in vops. The ocean tools are also worth a shot they let you generate vector displacement and can give nice fine ripples.

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  • 2 weeks later...



 I might be able to make you a demo file

 That you would be very interesting for me too!


Rod, if you can share any info about your research and how did you actually approached it , it would be great!


I tried to achieve a look similar to the second video with flip fluids but couldn't get the surface detail like in the video (I don't think that flip fluids are appropriate for thin fluids, correct me if I 'm wrong...).

I did manage though to get results that looked closer to this when I used SPH fluilds in realflow...


However I'd really love to know how to achieve something similar in Houdini!

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