Lagrangian vortex sheets for animating fluids

Tobias Pfaff, Nils Thuerey, Markus Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Buoyant turbulent smoke plumes with a sharp smoke-air interface, such as volcanic plumes, are notoriously hard to simulate. The surface clearly shows small-scale turbulent structures which are costly to resolve. In addition, the turbulence onset is directly visible at the interface, and is not captured by commonly used turbulence models. We present a novel approach that employs a triangle mesh as a highresolution surface representation combined with a coarse Eulerian solver. On the mesh, we solve the interfacial vortex sheet equations, which allows us to accurately simulate buoyancy induced turbulence. For complex boundary conditions we propose an orthogonal turbulence model that handles vortices caused by obstacle interaction. In addition, we demonstrate a re-sampling scheme to remove surfaces that are hidden inside the bulk volume. In this way we are able to achieve highly detailed simulations of turbulent plumes efficiently.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluid Simulation
  • Turbulence


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