Primal-Dual Optimization for Fluids

T. Inglis, M. L. Eckert, J. Gregson, N. Thuerey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We apply a novel optimization scheme from the image processing and machine learning areas, a fast Primal-Dual method, to achieve controllable and realistic fluid simulations. While our method is generally applicable to many problems in fluid simulations, we focus on the two topics of fluid guiding and separating solid-wall boundary conditions. Each problem is posed as an optimization problem and solved using our method, which contains acceleration schemes tailored to each problem. In fluid guiding, we are interested in partially guiding fluid motion to exert control while preserving fluid characteristics. With our method, we achieve explicit control over both large-scale motions and small-scale details which is valuable for many applications, such as level-of-detail adjustment (after running the coarse simulation), spatially varying guiding strength, domain modification, and resimulation with different fluid parameters. For the separating solid-wall boundary conditions problem, our method effectively eliminates unrealistic artefacts of fluid crawling up solid walls and sticking to ceilings, requiring few changes to existing implementations. We demonstrate the fast convergence of our Primal-Dual method with a variety of test cases for both model problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-368
Number of pages15
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • convex optimization
  • flexible boundary conditions
  • fluid guiding
  • fluid simulation
  • physically-based animation


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