Lava Flow Help

Hey, this is the best place I could think to post this, but my question is if there is any really good way to acieve a realistic lava flow, like the one in Star Wars episode three, exactly like that actually, I’m remaking that scene and have tried to think up many good ways of making it, like fluid sim, animated tex, but none work right, fluid sim never seems to work well for me, but I also want it to be colored well, and have stuff in it, I can parent objects to parts of it for the stuff, but I was wondering if there was any really great way to make this, and its for render, so I don’t care how much space it takes or render time, because I want this to look good. If it dosn’t look right the whole scene is going to fail. Any help would be great.

Hmmm. That’s a tough one. The closest that I would think might work would be used metaballs as objects for a particle system. I would use “fluid” particles for the interaction. If particle meshing was finished off (like Farsthary was working on), that would be a possible solution.

Otherwise, it might just involve using multiple particle systems, one for the lava, and one for the molten rock that lies on top. They would be referencing metaballs with different texture types that could be animated over time. It’s unfortunate that you can’t make textures “stick” to a fluid simulation. Hope this helps!

Search for the mesh paint thread. It is a separate build right now and a work in progress butr you can have fluid paint, stick to and flow down surfaces and any other object.

I think you will frustrate yourself trying to use complicated particle effects or fluid sims. I would use an animated texture to displace the lava and make it flow. Then I would animate the chunks of rock flowing along the stream. My focus would be on materials and compositing to get the glowing look and heat distortion.

Once the base effect was achieved, then I would consider using particles for little puffs of escaping gasses, and the fluid system for little geysers/secondary streams and flows. This is really about creating believable materials IMO.