Fusion has been doing some r&d on a cool fluid effect: sound-generated splashes. Here's a first look at one of our more successful experiments, but in a few days we should have some even cooler and properly rendered versions posted.
The splashes are created by putting a puddle of cg paint on the membrane of an upward-facing speaker. When sound emits from the speaker, the membrane vibrations launch a swarm of paint tendrils, creating amazing, alien-looking splashes.
If you're into fluid stuff, you have probably already seen this, but here's some movies of the real thing:
To create this in CG, we adapted a few of our tools -- namely "smorganic" and the associated tendril-generator -- so we could trigger batches of tendrils at key-framed times. Then it was just a matter of tweaking the size, spacing and frequency of the tendrils, and the forces pushing them up and down. We even managed to find a way to make each tendril spin about it's long axis -- just like you see in the reference -- which gives them a much more lively performance. CG fun!