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Online Docs : Performance

First, it's important to know exactly what Fluid is. Fluid is a realtime fluid dynamics modeler and renderer. What does this mean? Well, it means that for each frame of animation on the screen the program has computed the reaction and involvement of a "fluid" medium and has then taken that numerical model and produced an image from it using rendering techniques that are commonly used in scientific visualization. Fluid does all of this for each frame of animation. Therefore, if you are getting around 50 frames per second (about right for a dual-proc 867 G4 using a resolution 64 grid...more about this later) then Fluid is recomputing the movement of the liquid and rendering it 50 times each second. This is an incredibly complex task—a task that could have only been accomplished on supercomputers merely five or six years ago.

Performance Checklist
If you are getting slow performance from Fluid there are a few things that can help, in the order in which to try them.

  • If you have two graphics cards in your machine then make sure you have selected the "Use main monitor only" option in the Expert tab.
  • Lower the resolution for the liquid grid in Fluid. Resolution 64 should run fairly well on just about any machine with a G4. The resolution control is in the Model Properties Tab.
  • Don't include so many Render Effects. Each Effect adds another layer and geometry for your graphics card to deal with.
  • If you are using Contours, lower the amount of colors being used in the Colormap.
  • If you have a multi-proc machine then make sure you have selected the "Multithread / Multiproc" option in the Expert tab.
  • Large amounts of particles can slow down even the most advanced graphics cards out there. The alpha-compositing of all those particles slows it down considerably. This is not a limitation of Fluid, but of your graphics card.


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