New! For a more realistic fluid simulation using Blender, check out the Blender Fluid Simulation tutorial.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use BlobMesh, or metaballs as they are commonly called, to make a fountain of water. BlobMesh is a new feature of 3ds max 6 that's essentially metaballs. Metaballs are lots of sphere-like objects, but when you put them close together, they will join together. Example: if two blobs of water a floating together in space and they get near each other, they will merge into one blob. Of course, real water if far more complex than metaballs, but it's one step closer.

For starters, we'll make a SuperSpray particle emitter. Place it about here:

My units are probably set up differently from your's, but that was about 100 mm up. We will also make a Gravity SpaceWarp in Create > Space Warps > Forces > Gravity. Place it anywhere and keep the strength at 1. Bind it to the SuperSpray. We will change the settings to make a better water flow. Make it something like this:

At frame 15, it should look something like this (of course, I changed the view):

Now, we need to make the particles behave as blobs. You'll have to set these:

I rendered and got something like this:

Cool, eh? You can either stop here, or keep going with the tutorial.

To make it into a scene, I made a simple watery Raytrace material as shown:

Since transparent and reflective materials don't work well in total blackness, I added some environment with an HDRI map. You can learn how to use those in the HDRI tutorial. Or, you can just make a scene, like a floor, couple of teapots, maybe a faucet or hose, who knows?

Now, if want to make water splashing off a rock, I'll first have to make a rock and then have the water splash of deflect off of it. Warning: Rendering this may take an extremely long time (couple hours).

First, we will make a rock. I want my rock to be kinda of roundish, but not much. We'll make a sphere right where the water hits the default grid. Don't make it too big, a small-medium rock will do. Lower the sphere's segments from 32 (default) to 10. Next, I only use half a sphere for rock. Go to hemisphere, and set it to .5.

To make the rock a bit irregular, I applied a Noise modifier. I used these parameters:

To make the water splash off the rock, you need to make a UDeflector for it. A UDeflector is a type of World-Space Modifier (WSM) that allows an object of any shape to block and deflect particles. Make the UDeflector and choose the rock as the deflecting object. Set the bounce level to 0.1, since we don't want the water to splash too violently. Then, bind the UDeflector to the SuperSpray.

Next, we will also increase the number of particles. Change the amount (by rate) from 10 to somewhere in the 200 range. I made the size 3.2, but you can change it as you please.

Your resulting flow of particles (display dots not mesh) should look something like so:

Render. It might take a while, so go grab something to eat. It should end up something like this:

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