“So basically I would turn my meta spheres into meshes or start out with normal spheres and then apply soft body and cloth physics to them. Following that I would have to place a wind field in the shot, is that what your saying?”
– A lot depends on what you’re actually trying to accomplish. The wind field is just a way to create some response in the soft body physics, you could just as easily use other effectors or key some motion into the soft body object. Since gravity is not a factor, you have to use some other “force” to create a response in the soft-body physics, such as “inertia” (I use quotes because these are not true physics effects in Blender, just near-sims). For example, if you set a mesh for soft body and no gravity or other forces, it won’t do a thing, just stays static. But if you give it a Mass value and then move it, inertia has an effect and the mesh will deform. If you oscillate the mesh, the soft-body sim can create a jello-like wiggle similar to what water does in free-fall.
“About the animation, would I have to animate every single sphere individually or is there a way to make one sphere effect the paths of the others?”
– You can use constraints and/or parenting to have one object control the motions of another. If all the objects also have physics applied, they will respond to those physics as well, creating some individuality in the motion based on the nature of the mesh and the physics specs for each.
“I figure to give the water a smooth gliding feeling I will need to parent it to a curve. The only thing is that if I parent all the spheres to a curve It makes the effect look way to uniform.”
– If you want the objects to follow a general path, then using a curve or path is fine, but you can use that for only one “master” object, and have the rest follow the master via parenting or constraints, Then you’re free to introduce individual motions in each of the child objects so the motion isn’t entirely uniform. This will require some keyframing of the individual objects (but there are ways to do that relatively quickly), but depending on the specs used, the physics can also introduce individualized motion, though this isn’t always 100% controllable.
“Also can soft body objects intersect like meta objects.”
– Not that I know of.
“I’d like to make it look as if the blob of water breaks up as it accelerates, and then recombines as it decelerates.”
– This would be really complicated to fake, and is quite a bit more than just having water globules move in circles in zero-G as you originally described. It sounds like the fluid sim would be capable of this but you say it doesn’t work well with no gravity, so I can’t comment on that part. Meta objects can do this but afaik don’t lend themselves to either individualized shaping or physics, and so are pretty limited for your purposes.
In order to “fake” this kind of thing (in it’s more complicated form ) you’ll need to define exactly what you want visually, then find combinations of tools that can get you close as possible. It could get pretty hairy depending on what you envision – I had a simpler effect in mind from reading your original post.
If instead you want to just set up a system and let it run to get your effect, then I guess you’ll have to find a way to make the fluid sim work under your conditions, since that’s the only tool that seems to come close to doing everything you want.
I’ll look into the fluid sim (haven’t had a need to use it yet) and see if it suggests any options. But again, so much depends on exactly what you have in mind, that all I could do is offer general suggestions you’d have to try to apply specifically to your project.