Thinking Particles 6

Long time without any post, and a lot of things happen recently. One of the most important was the launch of Thinking Particles 6. I worked during last 3 years on the alpha/beta version, and I can say is a really great update, in fact is the biggest new realease on any product I never saw before. Whats new? well, I will try to answer here some of the new toys we have, but for sure the stars are the new fluid system and the cloth solver.

I did the video on the top for Siggraph 2013, it was with an alpha version, still a lot of problems and things to be implemented but you have an idea of the new multiphysics implementation. On the version 6 Cebas add a lot of effort on improving Bulletsolver, and we can say that by far is the best implementation of this dynamic solver on any software. There is a new way to setup the simulation using bullet, instead of by group now is using nodes. Its faster, more flexible and procedural and overall better thant he “old” system. We have a cloth system based on bullet (with option to use plastic deformation, volume preservation, pressure, and everything you will need), bulletboats (As similar as the previous bulletvehicle), and all fluids interact with bulletdynamics.  On the video you can see how we can pass a particle from solid, to softbody, and to liquid. But now with the implementation of “snapshot” its even possible to pass a liquid to a solid again or to a softbody and do this procedurally and as many times as you want!

Talking about fluids, the new “big” feature in tp. its a very robust SPH system,and its very competitive with other packages like realflow or houdini. Its true that we dont have the speed of a grid based fluid system, but SPH system has also his strenghts and cebas did a very good job on this one. Is really fast, easy to setup and can work on top of any tp setup. You have viscosity controls, attraction, repulsion, density, adhesion,….and a long etc.

Since this is TP, will be very easy to replicate any daemon we have in Realflow and even push it harder. We want that when particles pass some time near an object solidificate? no problem. Use a texture to change density on specific area? easy! its TP!.

Take in acount that all videos here comes from alpha/beta versions of TP6, final product is more stable and accurate.

The SPH system is not only fast and can work with low subsample settings, but its inside 3dsmax! No need to export and import geometry for most of the effects, is an incredible timesaver (and moneysaver too).
All videos on this page are using an old 6 years laptop with 4Gb of ram, a GT520M and an i5M, and even with that TP6 is robust and I can move quite large amount of particles.

With the SPH we have a new implicitshape node, its an isosurface node, like frost. I didnt found it so easy to use as frost, but the fact that its build inside TP give a lot of points to it. We can control the scale using the “size” value per particle for example.

But we not only have the new SPH solver for fluids, Cebas create a mesh based fluid called Hydrofield, with automatic splash and foam generation and that its really fast to calculate, can interact also with rigid bodies (bullet), softbodies, and ropes, also we have the new BTboats to play with it. Can be similar than realwave in realflow, but much better. Different options to control, we can use any shape we want (not only rectangular ones), diferent level of details, an ocean generator, tracking system following the object so we dont need a big area to calculate,… lots of options for this tool.

Another huge implementation are splines, until now we only had “ropes”, but now with splines we have a new universe to explore. We have one particle that is the “comander” and will start to draw the spline, we can create lather on other particles that will be control points fro our spline (we can use the new trail born, that place particles every defined distance), after we can create particles procedurally with “splinepool” Not only that but we can move the spline moving the particles we created with the “trailborn” or define his width using the particle size, or apply dynamics (using bullet and also with a specific new splinedynamics node).  I was creating splines before using pflow or tp and the good pfspliner script, but with hundreds or thousands of particles this new operator can be X100 times faster than using the script, with much more control, realtime feedback and create secondaries based on the mesh or wathever.

Talking about softbodies, is as easy to implement as a rigid body, we can create procedural joints to them, modify any physicial behaviour, apply a plastic deformation (deformation will remain),… and is really really fast even with huge amount of objects.

No problem at all with interaction softbodies/ropes/liquid as you can see. There is also the possibility to tear the softbody bassed on stress, I will say is the only thing that can be improved since the tear breaks all the connections on the face and is not very nice. Other than that opens the door to a lot of new options.

But this is not all! we have more! There is an analizer tool, really cool when our system starts to grow and we need to optimize it. Is like task manager in windows. It give information about how many cpu time and ram is used by every node in TP system, you can go quickly to it to report problems or optimize the system.
A new “contactobject” operator is also very usefull, accesible via node or as a tool this node detects the precise point where two geometries are colliding and we can create joints or whatever we want on this position. A simple way to create precise joints when before we need a complex system to do the same.


With only the fluid system I will say TP is better than never, but as you can see there is MUCH more (and we can combine all of this with all the other powerful TP nodes) now TP is really an imprescindible tool for any type of studio, from vfx to motiongraphics studios based on 3dsmax. Give it a try:



  1. Ren

    Can the BTSoftBody be chopped procedurally without using a pre-painted map/vertex color channel. Say a banner/flag waving mid-air, and then a Katana slice a piece off the cloth? Currently I don’t know if there is a way to control breaking of softbody more precisely.(To not generating so many tiny triangles when using auto break.)

    I’m totally new to TP with demo version, maybe I overlooked some obvious operator/helper that I can use. Thanks!

    • no, there is an automatic breaking system, and you can control that more precisely with maps. But the triangles you see… you will get that all the type, is how it works right now.

  2. Marco

    HI Eloi.

    Thanks for sharing this information.

    I’m trying to use TP fluid with high viscosity to make a character pouring some jelly from it’s body. So far so good. The RnD tests were fast and gave a great result… Until we bring the animation cache to the character, that have very fast movements. The fluid isn’t being sticked to the fluid even with very high substeps. Do you have a tip?


  3. Unfortunatly TP Flow is not working with deforming boundaries right now. You should attach some geo on this deforming mesh, following motion, and use this as a collider.

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