Abstract liquid chrome background?

I would love to make some abstract liquid-metalish backgrounds to use for some motion graphics video’s.
Kind of like this one.
What would be a good way to go about doing this?

My first thought was using a displacement modifier and some kind of generated texture, but I’m not really sure how to animate it. Perhaps with blend shapes?

Curious what you people think.

These are interesting animations. There is some movement of the “liquid metal” object but you might get a similar effect with this method:

  • Model the reflective metal on a large plane on the XZ axis, camera on the Y axis.
  • Subdivide substantially, use proportional editiing tools to deform the mesh, lattice modifier, etc.
  • Use an HDRI environment image texture and key frame the z rotation.

Basically, this rotates the environment’s horizon around while the camera and object plane are stable. I tried a short animation using a cloudy-day style of hdri and it worked reasonably well. You could even try a similar pipeline using a noise textured sky.

While goofing with this I discovered the “ocean” modifier in the simulate category. Apply it to an un-scaled unit plane without subdividing and keyframe the Time value for the animation. Contrary to what I did above, use a less reflective material to speed rendering.

That’s a good idea! I played around with your method a bit, and then I experimented with sculpting some different blend shapes.

Anyway, here is my (quickly rendered, noisy) result:

Still not perfect, but getting there.

Nice video, it has potential.